Author Topic: Thief (1981)  (Read 1929 times)

adolfojacosta

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Thief (1981)
« on: April 24, 2012, 09:41:47 AM »
Just caught this on Netflix.  If this wasn't an inspiration for last year's "Drive" then I don't know know what is.

Instead of a driver, James Caan plays a thief for hire.  The movie starts just like Drive, with Caan on a job, displaying his skills and avoiding the cops.

He meets a girl that causes him to reassess how he does business.

When he strays from his personal code of conduct, everything goes to hell.

No spoilers, but it even has a similar ending.  PLUS a great synth pop soundtrack :)

It's on Netflix streaming. Check it out.

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MartinTeller

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 10:03:10 AM »
There are rumors that Criterion is working on a Blu-Ray release.  I hope so, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.  Yes, definitely an influence (and Michael Mann in general) on Drive.

My mini-review from a few years back:

Quote
This is a trip down nostalgia lane for me.  I first saw this when I was sleeping over at a friend's house (whose name I forget now... David, I think) as a kid.  We played "Stop Thief!" and ping pong, and Vectrex and Odyssey2 video games.  We listened to Hall & Oates.  And we watched Thief on cable.  It made a big impression on me.  It was the first time I heard Tangerine Dream, which ended up being the first concert I went to.  It may have been the first time I saw graphic violence (although I think Halloween has that honor).  It made me fascinated with crime, and soon afterwards I read the book it was based on: Frank Hohimer's "The Home Invaders".  The book, of course, is almost entirely different.  Oh, most of the key elements are the same (including Hohimer's odd grammatical aversion to contractions) but there certainly isn't a nihilistic ending where Frank tears down his life and kills everyone.  The best part of the book and the movie is the attention to detail involving the crimes.  Looking at it now, none of the robberies in Thief are as captivating as the heist in Rififi, but then again Rififi doesn't have an awesome Tangerine Dream soundtrack, so it balances out.  Rating: 8

adolfojacosta

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 10:08:42 AM »
There are rumors that Criterion is working on a Blu-Ray release.  I hope so, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.  Yes, definitely an influence (and Michael Mann in general) on Drive.

A Criterion? Droooool.  Don't tease me, I'd buy it the day it was released.
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verbALs

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 10:17:28 AM »
I saw Thief, end of last month. This is how it made me feel;

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Manhunter is a film that rises in my estimation every time I think of it or catch another glance at it. That clinical excellence, a kind of cinematic shorthand and a clipped vocabulary is on show here as well. I like Michael Mann before he bought a thesaurus.

My point being Mann does the same things again in Heat, just twice (pro thief and pro cop).

Yeah, criminal artisan is something Thief and Drive share, and share with the JP Melville crime films. The driving sequences of Drive had the same aesthetic as Mann's Collateral for me, those streets probably lend it that, although Friedkin's To Live and Die in LA seems to take place in a much dustier, dirtier city.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

smirnoff

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 08:19:53 AM »
We enjoy Heat more though, right? Right?!

MartinTeller

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 09:38:57 AM »
wrong

verbALs

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 12:57:28 PM »
Do you know, I useta, now I ain't so sure. It feels bloated. Problem is it has bits like Fichtner in it, that I lurves. Thief and Manhunter feel like lean steak to a piece of fatty bacon.
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jim brown

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 03:54:20 PM »
Thief > Heat 
Kevin: Yes, why does there have to be evil?

Supreme Being: I think it has something to do with free will.

-------------------------------------------------------

Verna: I suppose you think you raised hell.

Tom: Sister, when I've raised hell you'll know it.

adolfojacosta

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 03:22:42 PM »
Thief > Heat

I can't say I disagree... but that's a close one for me.
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Rowland_Howard

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Re: Thief (1981)
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 01:18:27 PM »
I saw Thief again recently and it is indeed great, the Tangerine Dream soundtrack is perhaps a bit dated but I still love it. 

Another underappreciated, gritty 80s crime drama: William Friedkin's To Live & Die In L.A.