How to Steal a Million


Action / Comedy / Crime / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 89%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 20790


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June 14, 2017 at 06:54 AM



Audrey Hepburn as Nicole
Eli Wallach as Davis Leland
Peter O'Toole as Simon Dermott
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870.51 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 3 min
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2hr 3 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by elvircorhodzic 7 / 10

"You don't think I'd steal something that didn't belong to me, do you?"

HOW TO STEAL A MILLION is a romantic crime drama film which, through an illusion of fiction, merges art and fraud. A clumsy fraud, mixed with a pleasant romance, can quickly enter in our hearts.

Charles Bonnet is well-known as an art collector, but actually he copies famous works of art. His daughter Nicole disapproves his "work" and is also afraid that he may get caught. His replica of a famed Cellini sculpture is inadvertently displayed in an art museum, and he begins to worry that he'll lose his reputation once the experts evaluate the statuette. Nicole decides to steal sculpture from the museum with the help of a mysterious burglar. However, her assistant is actually a well-known private detective who investigates frauds of her father...

A simple story with lot flaws is enriched with a very thrilling twist. The film is full of fictional tricks, through which it develops a delicious romance. Mr. Wyler has managed to create a frivolous version of double deception. He has, through a healthy dose of humor, emphasized Mrs. Hepburn style. A scene with a key is probably one of the most memorable. I think that a key has a double meaning in this case. This is a key to the heart and the truth.

Audrey Hepburn as Nicole Bonnet is, as always, a magic woman, this time in the role of a romantic rich girl and morally sensitive daughter at the same time. Peter O'Toole as Simon Dermott is a calm seducer, between an eccentric detective and inexperienced burglar. All for love. There's good chemistry between the two of them.

Hugh Griffith as Charles Bonnet is funny an art counterfeiter. Eli Wallach as Davis Leland is crazed collector, who effectively shows the characteristics of a sexual perversion.

Every art is a kind of deception!? Each theft is a form of art!? However, it is very difficult to mislead or steal one's heart.

Reviewed by James Hitchcock 8 / 10

How to Make a Film about Stealing a Million

"How to Steal a Million" is a heist comedy film, a genre which became fashionable in the late sixties. Such films tell the story of a crime- in this case the theft of a statue from a Paris art gallery- in a light-hearted manner and from the point of view of the criminals. In 1966, however, there was a problem with films like this. The Production Code, which among other things forbade films which showed criminals getting away with it, was still officially in force. (It was not abolished until the following year). Admittedly, it was no longer enforced with the rigour which the Hays Office had shown in the thirties and forties, but this did not mean that film-makers could ignore it altogether.

So how do you make a film about stealing a million? Or how did you go about doing so in 1966? Well, the first thing to do is to cast as the main criminal somebody whom the audience could not possibly dislike. And who in the Hollywood of the mid-sixties was more lovable than Audrey Hepburn? It's not just that the divine Audrey, at the age of 37, still held the title of "World's Loveliest Woman" which she had held for well over a decade. Her whole public persona, both on-screen and off, was that of a genuinely decent and kind-hearted person. She had never, as far as I am aware, played a villainess in any of her previous pictures, and, of course, does not do so here.

The second thing to do is to establish that the criminals are acting out of a selfless, disinterested motive. Charles Bonnet is well-known as an art collector, but he also has a sideline in forging paintings and selling them to rival collectors. His does it not so much for the money- he is already immensely wealthy- but for the artistic intellectual challenge of being able to produce something indistinguishable from the work of a great master and to fool the experts. Forgery seems to run in the family, because Charles's father was also an expert in the trade, although he specialised in sculpture rather than paintings.

Audrey plays Charles's daughter Nicole, who unlike her father and grandfather has moral scruples about forgery. She loves her father deeply, however, and when he takes the risk of lending a forged statue, supposedly by Cellini, to an exhibition, she decides that she will have to protect him from himself. She knows that the statue will be subjected to scientific tests which will reveal its dubious provenance, thereby ruining Charles's reputation. She decides that the only way to do this will be to steal the statue from the museum, and to this end recruits the help of a young Englishman named Simon Dermott, whom she wrongly believes to be a professional art thief. In fact, he is a private investigator tasked with countering fraud in the art world, but he decides to play along because he has fallen in love with the lovely Nicole.

The film seems to have been an influence on some later heist movies; the idea of a precious artefact being protected by laser beams which will trigger an alarm if broken was also used in the Sean Connery/Catherine Zeta Jones vehicle, "Entrapment". (Catherine can be considered a successor to Audrey's "World's Loveliest Woman" crown). The differences between the two films are indicative of the way in which the heist genre developed between the sixties and the nineties. In "Entrapment" the thieves' motives are purely self-interested, and the film-makers treat their subject matter semi-seriously, whereas "How to Steal a Million" is a pure comedy.

And as a comedy it is a very good one. The way in which Nicole and Simon go about removing the statue from the museum is, looked at logically, pure nonsense, but somehow the cast and director William Wyler make us believe in it. Peter O'Toole as Simon shows an unexpected talent for comedy starring, the splendidly over-the-top Hugh Griffith makes Charles a lovable rogue and there is a nice came from Eli Wallach as a devious American millionaire who pretends to be a suitor for Nicole's hand when he is really far more interested in getting his hands on the "Cellini" statue. But, of course, the main factor contributing to the film's success is Audrey's comedic skills and her ability to convey meanings and emotions by the slightest gestures and inflections. This is a film in the same class as her other great comedy with Wyler, "Roman Holiday". 8/10

A goof. The statue is described as being "29 inches high" when it is nowhere near that size. Perhaps someone meant 29 centimetres.

Reviewed by Stephen Bird 6 / 10

Quite possibly the lousiest thief in the world

Audrey Hepburn has the same style and grace regardless of what she's starring in, however in How to Steal a Million her performance seems a little rusty and not akin to what you are used to from her, maybe because this was her first role for two years since My Fair Lady and she was having a troubled personal life around the time.

Nevertheless How to Steal a Million is good old fashioned fun with a rather silly premise, what could have been a hardcore heist film has been toned down considerably and made overly family friendly, something that was a common occurrence at the time.

Peter O'Toole plays the part of Simon Dermott rather well even if the character is a tad too comical. The guy comes across as the lousiest thief in the world, and for somebody who's trying to steal a million dollar statue he doesn't seem to quite know what he's doing.

Some parts of the film came across as tongue-in-cheek, like when Nicole and Simon are hiding from the museum guards in that cupboard, the whole act seemed false to me, how did they successfully stay hidden in there when one of the guards only had to open the cupboard door and catch them?

The whole mise-en-scene seems outdated, for something that was released after the golden era had ended, this film literally stinks of golden era! Like it was one of the last hurrah's before Hollywood changed forever, this may have something to do with the director, William Wyler was one of the standard bearers for the golden era and maybe the guy had great difficulty changing his style he was so used to in order to keep up to date with the changing world.

Eli Wallach is a great reliable actor but I think he was greatly wasted in How to Steal a Million, his screen time was limited and his character was very two dimensional, playing the part of crooked art lover Davis Leland, the guy is interested in two things: expanding his art collection and falling in love with Nicole..., a fan of the works of Nicole's father Bonnet, he's very anxious to get his hands on the Cellini Venus that Simon and Nicole eventually steal.

A bit of a dull story that was made edible by the craziness that's vastly inserted into the film..., very divisive, you'll either love the film or not love the film, it's okay but doesn't strike me as particularly great, I've seen better and I've seen better from this era.

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