Based on the novel "The Home Invaders" by Frank Hohimer, a professional thief himself.

More Trivia from Thief
Before his days as executive producer of the hit TV dramas "Miami Vice" and "Crime Story", Michael Mann co-wrote, produced and directed this compelling tale of a professional Windy City thief who is torn between a life of crime and a steady relationship with his girlfriend.

Frank (Caan) is a car salesman by day and a safecracker by night. He knows what it's like to be a thief, and has his $800 suits and expert skills to prove it. But he is tiring of this lifestyle and wanting to start a new life.

There are two important figures in Frank's life: his ailing friend Okla (Nelson, in a brief but strong role), who wants to escape from prison because he doesn't want to die there, and his love interest Jessie (Weld), to whom he wants to marry and have children with.

Problem is thats Jessie is incapable of having children and Frank cannot adopt because he is an ex-con (he had previously spent 11 years in prison for one of his big heists). So what does he do? He makes a deal with mafia kingpin Leo (Prosky) to help him out in exchange for an agreement to pull off a huge bank robbery with Frank's sidekick Barry (Belushi) along for the ride.

The heist is a success but Frank wants to quit soon after, much to Leo's objection, he is now stuck between a rock and a hard place as Leo and his gang deliver death threats to him and his family, and the situation forces Frank to make a decision...


Thief was sadly overlooked upon it's release in the spring of 1981. I think it's one of the greatest crime thrillers ever made.

Caan, Weld, Nelson and especially Belushi all have solid roles and Michael Mann's stylish direction was a sign of things to come and has made him a gifted filmmaker ever since.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: The performances, the direction, not to mention the slick score by Tangerine Dream.

Weaknesses? Nada.

Our rating: 9.7 out of 10

Review Written by Philip Martin:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Philip Martin