2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The revenge is a wonderful dish
The thief is a modern film noir. James Caan gives his most powerful performance to date. Cool, analytical with a hard debt that it must be paid.
There is a film that I still remind very close related, titled Point Blank and directed by John Boorman. The starring in that film was the hard Lee Marvin. I have the inner conviction that Thief was inspired by that one...
Published on June 11 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film, poor DVD reproduction.
Thief has a touch of authenticity, it doesn't really ask you to suspend belief, you really feel there are people as hard boiled as the protagonist, as aimless as his girlfriend/wife, and as corrupt as the cops and members of the judicial system. Consequently, the film is driven by actors and not special effects, sure there are a few explosions and gun shots, but they...
Published on Dec 9 1999 by James Edwards
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The revenge is a wonderful dish,
This review is from: The Thief (Special Director's Edition) (DVD)The thief is a modern film noir. James Caan gives his most powerful performance to date. Cool, analytical with a hard debt that it must be paid.
There is a film that I still remind very close related, titled Point Blank and directed by John Boorman. The starring in that film was the hard Lee Marvin. I have the inner conviction that Thief was inspired by that one. Please acquire both of two. I have them in my personal collection.
This is the opera prima of Michael Mann as director. Well effort and amazing script.
One of the top ten cult movies from the eighties.
A must in your collection!.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 80s film,
This review is from: The Thief (Special Director's Edition) (DVD)James Caan does a great job at playing a master thief approaching middle age. Contrary to a superficial viewing he does not glorify the criminal life. His best scene is where he is describing the sense of waste he feels about his life and time in jail. James Caan really carries this scene over better than many actors of today would.
Oldsters will also remember that this is the first peice where James Belushi stepped out of his brother's shadow. He surprised a lot of people with a good dramatic role as James Caan's partner instead of a comedy.
Great Tangerine Dream score. Bit of trivia, the film has a song over the closing credits that was not by Tangerine Dream that is very good but not by Tangerine Dream. This song DOES NOT appear on the CD version of the Thief soundtrack, although it was included on the older cassette and LP releases. You can hear it on this movie release though.
5.0 out of 5 stars THE SIGNATURE STYLE OF MICHAEL MANN,
This review is from: The Thief (Special Director's Edition) (DVD)James Caan in black Armani leather looking better than he did in THE GODFATHER; Tuesday Weld looking angelic; Chicago lit up in neon with non-cliched corrupt cops, desperate crooks and the underbelly of the Midwest. Michael Mann imprinted his signature style on this fierce tale of a career criminal caught in the nightmare of a dream gone bad and a life that could never exist. THIEF is distingushed by its incredible visuals and hard dialogue... the most frightening of both is an exchange between a silent, face up Caan and Robert Prosky (fantastic as Leo) in a back alley shop with an acid bath at arms length. THIEF is the prototype for the new era film noir and Mann a skilled and worthy architect of the genre. Dennis Farina makes his acting debut as a shotgun toting mobster.
5.0 out of 5 stars thief in the night,
This review is from: The Thief (Special Director's Edition) (DVD)I seen this movie when it was 1st released in the theatre,
and i like it, and also the style of filing, and storey line.
filmed in chicago, this movie gives ya a world wind tour of
the area with land marks....the elevated train tracks,
the bridges, chocago police interview techniques, pay off's, the mob, double cross's, the love connection.
jame caan was around 42 at the time of the movie and probably
at the zenith of his looks and ability's.
tuesday weld, was around 38 and looked....hot..!!!!
james belushi, was in his late 20's and starting his film career
based on his own talents.
dennis farina, the ex chicago cop, i believe this may have been his 1st film as well, we see him prior to his tv show
crime storey when his hair was still dark.
the bad guy mob boss- robert prosky, although older than james caan, later played the 2nd lead sgt on hill street blues.
unlike the new york mob, chicago's " outfit" always had a different flair to it.
willie nelson, shows up in the film as a aging- death bed convict also., this film , with a lot of footage filmed at night, y takes us in the world of the professional thief, on the prowl, one of the better crime movies to come out of the 80s'
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power and Passion of a Dream,
This review is from: The Thief (Special Director's Edition) (DVD)I first saw this film soon after it was released, having no idea what to expect except that it was filmed in my home town (Chicago) and that it starred James Caan whose work I had admired so much in The Godfather. I neither knew nor cared who directed it (Michael Mann) and had no idea which group provided the musical soundtrack (Tangerine Cream). Wow! I enjoyed Thief so much I returned to see it again the next evening, dragging along some friends who knew even less about it than I did only 24 hours before. In my opinion, this is Caan's finest performance as Frank, a middle-aged jewel thief who is obviously determined to make a long-cherished dream come true: Retire from his criminal life, marry, start a family, and live happily ever after. He carries a photo collage in his wallet as a daily reminder of that dream. He shares it only with Jessie (Tuesday Weld) because she is the only person with whom he wants to share his life. Meanwhile, Frank has established contact with Leo (Robert Prosky) who seems to take a paternal interest in Frank but only to gain his trust so that Frank will agree to an assignment for the mob. Of course, Leo has no intention of allowing him to retire. Once involved with the mob, Frank will have no way out except death. After he and Jessie marry and move into a lovely home, they are frustrated in their attempts to adopt a child so Leo provides one ("Boy or girl? Whatever you want.") and much of Frank's dream has come true. One last lucrative theft and....
Under Mann's direction, all of the performances are outstanding. I was especially interested in the care with which the major theft is planned and then executed. When Frank then realizes that he cannot free himself from the mob, he reacts with prudence (to protect his wife and child) and then with rage and vengeance. The soundtrack and cinematography are brilliantly integrated within the narrative. The editing by Mann and Dov Hoenig is lean and sharply-focused. When I saw Thief again recently, it had lost none of its dramatic impact; moreover, I recognized this time around certain nuances of character and plot development which I had missed before. I include it on my list of great films which have never been fully appreciated, probably because -- until the VHS and CD versions -- so few people had been able to see it. No excuses now.
The DVD version includes a commentary by Mann and Caan, deleted scenes, and footage not shown in theaters. I also strongly recommend the CD of the Tangerine Cream soundtrack which evokes so many memorable images from the film but, for those who have not as yet seen it, one which offers great listening in its own right.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody Owns Me,
This review is from: The Thief (Special Director's Edition) (DVD)Not only one of the best film noirs of the 1980's, it's one of the best of the genre, period.
James Caan co-produced. It's easily his best work.
His character is complicated but his code is simple. If you've got nothing to lose, then you can fight and survive because you won't give a damn whether you live or die.
He's a professional safe cracker who has spent most of his life in jail, who is now out on the street, making halfhearted efforts to get away from his past.
After all, he hasn't much of a life. He slugs his way through the day as a used car salesman. A job which doesn't exactly fill him with joy. He cares for only two human beings in the world: A father figure he idolizes, who taught him the mastery of his 'trade', who is still behind bars--and has just been told by the doctor he has only a few months to live.
The second is a waitress who has also been around the block and roughed up by life. The combination of sexual attraction, past dissappointments, and the desperate need to hope bring them together.
(These supporting leads are brilliantly cast: Willie Nelson as the 'Father' and Tuesday Weld as the waitress. They really deliver the goods.)
And now comes the plot twist: The promise of a huge and final score put together by a mobster becomes Caan's shot at The American Dream: A new life, a wife, a house, and---courtesy of the mobster--an adopted child.
The family and life he always wanted.
One small problem. Though Caan makes it clear from the start that this is his last heist, the mobster wants him for the long haul.
Come payday, he shorts him, but promises him better and better deals to come. It's time to join the corporation. Now that he's 'family' and can no longer maintain the 'I've got nothing to lose attitude.' The mobster knows--or thinks--he's got him. Time for Caan to compromise, join the corporation and play ball, just like everybody else in this world.
Comparisons are supposed to be facile or somehow in poor taste.
Too bad. To name just two 'masterpieces', "Thief" is far superior to "Heat" or "Reservoir Dogs", And rightly deserves the recognition it's finally getting.
Great film, Great script, Great direction and Great acting.
4.0 out of 5 stars James Caan At His Peak,
This review is from: The Thief (Special Director's Edition) (DVD)James Caan does a spectacular job of portraying a thief caught between the mob and starting a new life. Jim Belushi is introduced in this film and does a wonderful job in his role as the theif's partner. I saw this movie when it first came out and it has never left my memory. A welcome addition to my collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars CONTEMPORARY FILM NOIR,
This review is from: Thief (VHS Tape)THIS FILM WAS LARGELY IGNORED WHEN RELEASED IN 1981. IT WAS ALSO CRITIZED FOR EXCESSIVE VIOLENCE. BUT THE VIOLENCE ONLY COMES IN THE FINAL CONFRONTATION AND IS CERTINELY JUSTIFIED GIVEN THE ELEMENTS THAT PRECEDE IT.
'TANGERINE DREAM' SCORES THE MODERN DAY FILM NOIR WITH ELECTRIC EFFECTIVENESS.
JAMES CAAN IS 'FRANK' IN THIS CHARACTER STUDY OF A PROFESSIONAL SAFE CRACKER TRYING TO MAKE ONE LAST SCORE AND RETIRE TO HIS IDEALIC PERCIEVED SELF CONSTRUCTED LIFE.
NORMALLY AN INDEPENDANT OPERATOR, HE GRUDINGLY THROWS IN WITH THE MOB TO EXPEDITE HIS DREAM.
BUT WHEN THE BIG JOB IS DONE AND PAYDAY COMES FRANK FINDS HIMSELF ANCHORED INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BAD GUYS THAT HE WANTS NO PART OF.
THIS DARK SULLEN FILM IS WELL DONE THANKS TO MICHAEL MANN OF 'MIAMI VICE' FAME, WHO DIRECTS IT WITH A REALISTIC EDGY FEEL THAT HASNT BEEN SUCESSFULLY COPIED YET EXCEPT BY HIMSELF IN ANOTHER CRIME FILM CALLED 'HEAT.'
THE MOST MEMORABLE SCENE IS PLAYED OUT WHEN FRANK SHOWS UP TO COLLECT HIS 'END.' THE MOB BOSS FINALLY REALIZES THAT FRANK IS NOT GOING TO CONFORM EASILY AND WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE HE TELLS FRANK TO "JOIN A LABOR UNION." TO WHICH CAAN'S 'FRANK PUTS HIS HAND ON HIS .45 TUCKED INTO HIS WAISTBAND AND RESPONDS WITH "IM WEARIN IT."
THE CRIME BOSS KILLS FRANKS PARTNER AND HAS FRANK HIMSELF BEATEN.
FRANKS ENVISIONED HAPPINESS IS SHATTERED AND HE SETS OUT ON ONE LAST MISSION TO DESTROY ALL HE HAS WORKED FOR AND THE MOBSTERS IN THE PROCESS.
THE FINALLY IS INTENSE AND REALISTIC WITHOUT BEING OVERDONE.
JAMES CAAN'S AGGRESSIVE 'FRANK' IS EXTREMELY WELL DONE. SUPPORTING ROLES ARE ALSO NOTABLE WITH JAMES BELUSHI AND TUESDAY WELD.
5.0 out of 5 stars Steal This Movie,
This review is from: The Thief (Special Director's Edition) (DVD)The movie is just terrific combining Michael Mann's characteristic visuals and subject matter detail, James Caan's mad dog persona, and a truly creepy Robert Prosky performance. If you pay attention, you will also see an extremely brief appearance by William Peterson (CSI) who would star in Mann's next film Manhunter. I can't recommend this movie enough for people who like gritty crime dramas or just good film making. Superb.
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The Thief (Special Director's Edition) by DVD (DVD - 2003)
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