I had never before seen this 40 year old movie from Director Michael Mann. I think that, (unreasonably), I got it mixed up in my head with another James Caan film, 'The Gambler'. I viewed it on The Criterion Channel several weeks ago and was blown-away by the film. I won't go into the story of the film because after 40 years, most people have seen it already. However, there is this long, detailed conversation between co-stars James Caan and Tuesday Weld which takes place inside a Diner that is a marvel to watch. Their conversation and the chemistry between them is absolutely believable; these two performers 'click' onscreen. I finally found a Criterion Blu-ray edition on E-Bay (it was out of print), and viewed it again the other night and it was no fluke, the film is some sort of American Masterpiece. The totally immersive, hypnotic, score by Tangerine Dream is wonderful! However, this is (for me), Actor James Caan's best performance; he walks away with it and he owns this film!
I think a lot of people have never seen it. A very fine film, agreed Montana. The Criterion Bluray looks terrific. It is the kind of compact, hard edged crafted film that used to be fairly common in the 70's and 80's. But that is pretty darn rare now. It is efficient and well shot and well acted. The TG score mostly works, some of the electric sizzle is occasionally over the top, but it is fine.
It's definitely a striking film. It bridges the grit and naturalness of 1970s cinema with the flashier imagery of the 1980s.
Indeed it is Mark! I failed to mention the 'look' of this film by the Director of Photography, Donald Thorin. On The Criterion Blu-ray, (an impeccable 4-k scan b.t.w.), there are very deep blacks which showcases the florescent neon lights and sparks emitted by drills used in the film. Tough, yet beautiful to behold.
" He also needs to move fast to get his mentor, Okla (Willie Nelson), out of prison before the old convict's heart condition takes him down for good." I love the seen Caan's lawyer and the Judge negotiate with there finger the price to get Okla out of jail.
Thief is one of the best movies of the 80s. Its as quotable as Pulp Fiction - memorable lines every few minutes - and a brilliantly lizard performance by Robert Protsky in his premiere. A friend recommended it to me almost 20 years ago and it fast became one of my favorite movies. Everything about it clicks. I know the film has a LOT of fans on this board.
I have a beautiful signed photo of Caan and Weld in that diner in my collection. I keep meaning to have it properly matted and framed but haven't gotten to it yet.