Wednesday 21 December 2022

Movie Review: Thief (1981)

Genre: Crime Drama
Director: Michael Mann
Starring: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Robert Prosky, and James Belushi
Running time: 123 minutes

Synopsis: Ex-convict Frank (James Caan) is a car dealership manager by day and an independent thief and safe cracker by night. Frank dreams of making enough money to live the American dream, and convinces Jessie (Tuesday Weld) to join his quest. Against his better judgment, Frank agrees to work for ruthless mob boss Leo (Robert Prosky), but although the money is good, there is no turning back.

What Works Well: Director Michael Mann delivers a paletted cool vibe, mixing 1970s gritty crime granularity with glossier new decade aesthetics. James Caan dominates as the fiercely autonomous Frank, and his diner scene with Tuesday Weld, explaining his life's philosophy and ambitions, is epic. Donald Thorin's cinematography luxuriates in damp electric nighttime blues, and Tangerine Dream provide an edgy synth-dominated soundtrack.

What Doesn't Work As Well: Mann (understandably) lingers a bit too long on the spark-filled beauty of metal-on-metal safe-cracking.

Conclusion: An exquisitely crafted character study enhanced by crime mechanics and bursts of hard-hitting violence.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome reader comments about this post.