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It Takes a Thief (Magnificent Thief) [VHS] (1968)

Robert Wagner , Don Taylor , Jerry Hopper  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)

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DVD 18-Disc Version $111.01  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Wagner
  • Directors: Don Taylor, Jerry Hopper, Leslie Stevens
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios Ho
  • VHS Release Date: October 15, 1997
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304727127
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,532 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
210 of 223 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
And so goes a Public Enemy rap song from the late 80's, as the ultra chic thief of the late 60's got immortalized on vinyl two decades later, and should continue to be an icon for decades more. The coolest burglar in TV or movie history is none other than Robert Wagner, as Alexander Mundy.

Airing for 3 seasons from '68-'70, we got 66 episodes of espionage, heists, and of course, romance in exotic locales. We got a cool theme song from Dave Grusin, spun over psychadelic opening montages, featuring 3 different opening tags through the three seasons. In '68 you had Noah Bain, expertly played by Malachi Throne, uttering "Look, Al, I'm not asking you to spy, I'm just asking you to steal." In '69 and into '70 it was Wagner responding with "Let me get this straight, you WANT me to steal." And also in '70, there was none other than Alistair Mundy (Al's thief of a Dad) with "I've heard of stealing from the government BUT FOR the goverment!"

When Malachi Throne departed during the '69 season, he was replaced by Ed Binns as Wally Powers, who was never as strict as Noah. Noah made Al stay in a government monitored house, under close wraps, but Al was quickly roaming free under Wally. While the 3rd season was a whole lot of fun, featuring Fred Astaire as Al's Dad, the shows never had as much pinache as some of the superb 1st and 2nd season hits, and one of my favorite shows in TV history was canceled far too early.

What made this show so grande was the performance of Robert Wagner, and the premise of the shows, where Al was sent in (almost always under an alias and spying in various disguises) to steal something, spy on someone, or protect something.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New Box Set Definitely a Mixed Bag Quality-wise November 17, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've only watched the first episode "The Magnificent Thief" and scanned thru episodes 2-4. The first episode appears to be time compressed or has been taken off of a sped up PAL master. Also that episode runs at just over an hour. Has something been cut? I couldn't tell as I haven't seen the show for many years, but it's odd that it would run just one hour and a minute long. Also, no music over the end credits. Very strange. Image-wise, this episode doesn't look too bad, though it is a little soft looking. Episodes 2-4 don't appear to be time compressed though episode 4 is taken off of a substandard video master that has a lot of ghosting in the image. It's really tiring seeing some really great old television getting no respect on DVD. CBS/Paramount will often provide great transfers for most of their shows, but some of these other labels are really slip-shod. I wish Universal would quit farming out their shows to these low-grade producers and for once go back to the original film elements and provide first rate transfers. Also, the packaging for IT TAKES A THIEF is really cheap and flimsy. Standard DVD cases would have been preferable. I haven't had the chance to watch any other episodes, but the first 4 are a real mixed bag. OK at best.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly Disappointed in eOne November 17, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Most, if not all, of the 5 star reviews are several years old, lobbying for the release. Sadly, the reality is considerably less than 5 star quality.

I've been waiting for this on DVD for years. The eOne set was announced, and I kept an eye on the release date like Al and Alistair would keep an eye on diamonds. The set arrived yesterday.

'Digitally re-mastered'? Hardly. The episodes on Hulu were of higher quality. Specks, static, etc. on every episode watched or looked at so far. No idea what these were manufactured from, but they are not *remotely* re-mastered. Color balance varies widely in each episode. The video quality is on a par with 10-15 year old well cared for VHS recordings.

Second season theme is incomplete. I know the full 60 second S2 intro is out there, because I've seen it intact (rarely, I'll admit, but it is out there) on brief syndication runs. Not on every episode, true, but at least one or two, so it does exist. No excuse for it not to be used here.

So far, third season is also using the abbreviated version of the theme on about half the episodes. Again, no excuse.

The 'Special Feature' film version of the pilot was dubbed from the VHS release years back: the disclaimer about "copying this VIDEOTAPE is prohibited," and "This VIDEOTAPE is for private use only" (emphasis added) is intact and displays before the opening credits.

The packaging is flimsy at best, awkward at worst. The Special Feature Interviews with Robert Wagner and Glen Larson are nice to watch, but the quality of episode transfers and lack of substantial extras make this one a 2, and that's only due to my affection for the series overall. It's nice to have un-edited and complete episodes to watch when the mood strikes, but one has to wish eOne had done things right and proper. One day, I may have to look into the German and Australian sets.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Way To Be Remembered... December 29, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Seriously - have you ever seen cheaper packaging on a "boxed set". How disrespectful to this A-list series to have it end up looking like this. The packaging is cheap, negligent, and IT DOESN'T EVEN FIT THE ITEMS. Did someone design the cheap cardboard outer box while not realizing there would be no inner covers for the disc sets? So there is 50% AIR. It doesn't look like any other first-rate boxed set.

But I do go on about this tacky protection and appearance. I do confirm the other reviewers' main observations about the poor quality of the videos. Much older, fuzzier series have been digitally remastered with skill and care to look much better than this. There are many, many techniques and tools to produce DVD's from old film and tape. Too bad this producer/distributor did not care to put out a fitting quality tribute to the series. Some of the discs appear to have no remastering at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great series Robert Wagner is one of my actors.
Published 13 days ago by jimwashburn
5.0 out of 5 stars A quality late 60's series respectfully assembled with surprisingly...
This full season boxset is nicely organized. The foldout but conveniantly slim booklet type individual seasons are adorned with nice color photos from the series. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Wilfred Hanevich
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
everything I order is great shipping is fantastic
Published 1 month ago by brent young
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun series!
Lots of nostalgia here. RJ knows how to play the naughty boy hero to a "T"!
Published 3 months ago by jerry fitzpatrick jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Al Mundy strikes again! The most charming thief ever!
It Takes a Thief looks great, Robert Wagner is at his most stylish, and the extras in the set include a recent interview with RJ, who still has all his hair! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tumbleweed
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Its great to see this series again.
Published 3 months ago by Alan F. Esselbach
5.0 out of 5 stars good
great tv show glad i have all of the show to watch
Published 3 months ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Memories
I loved this series when I was young and now that I'm old I love it even more. Highly recommend.
Published 3 months ago by Thomas F. Schmidt
3.0 out of 5 stars It Takes a Thief
I thought I was going to really like this series. I watched it when it was originally on TV years ago. I think it just doesn't stand up. It seems dated to me. Read more
Published 3 months ago by RAW
5.0 out of 5 stars Alexander Mundy, professional thief!
I always thought that this TV show would make for an excellent movie, or series of, like "Mission Impossible"! Read more
Published 4 months ago by G. stone
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