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Thief (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) (1981)

James Caan , Tuesday Weld , Michael Mann  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, James Belushi, Dennis Farina
  • Directors: Michael Mann
  • Writers: Michael Mann
  • Producers: Michael Mann, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ronnie Caan
  • Format: Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GBT62PQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,794 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The adored American auteur Michael Mann burst out of the gate with his bold artistic sensibility fully formed with Thief, his first theatrical feature. James Caan (The Godfather) stars, in one of his most riveting performances, as a no-nonsense ex-con safecracker planning to leave the criminal world behind after one final diamond heist, but discovering that escape is not as simple as he hoped. Finding hypnotic beauty in neon and rain-slick streets, sparks and steel, Thief effortlessly established the moody stylishness and tactile approach to action that would define such later iconic entertainments from Mann as Miami Vice, Manhunter, and Heat. DIRECTOR-APPROVED DUAL-FORMAT BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES New digital restoration from a 4K film transfer, approved by director Michael Mann, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary featuring Mann and actor James Caan New interviews with Mann, Caan, and Johannes Schmoelling of the band Tangerine Dream, which contributed the film's soundtrack Trailer One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Nick James

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Michael Mann's dark and intriguing 1981 crime film "Thief",....adapted from the Frank Hohimer novel "The Home Invaders" is finally out on DVD and packed with interesting features including insightful commentary by director Michael Mann and star James Caan.
Additionally, there are deleted scenes, theatrical trailer and an 8 page booklet too....excellent additions to accompany the DVD release of this noir cult film. The DVD color transfer is excellent...precisely capturing the neon lit and rain swept night world of crime...and Tangerine Dreams haunting soundtrack is brilliant in Dolby sound. Mann's movie depicts the life of ex-convict turned professional thief, Frank (James Caan) who maintains an honest veneer during the day as a car dealership manager, but his nights are spent with partner Barry (James Belushi) carrying out elaborate jewel robberies. Frank falls in with criminal mastermind, Leo (Robert Prosky in a chilling performance) who is seemingly a guardian angel...but the relationship quickly sours and Franks world crumbles and then ignites in violence and death.
Mann's highly effective use of light and color give an eerie ambience to this film...and the first rate support cast including Tuesday Weld and Willie Nelson as the ailing master safe cracker, Okla....give "Thief" a polished finish. Director Michael Mann continued his motif of criminal thrillers in later years with TV shows like Miami Vice & Crime Story...and films like Manhunter & Heat.
A very worthy addition to your DVD collection...fans of intense, intelligent crime saga's will definitely enjoy !!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see movie, and an AWESOME DVD! January 21, 1999
Format:DVD
James Caan plays a hardcore master thief who's spent almost his entire adult life behind bars. When he makes a Faustian bargain with a mobster (Robert Prosky) in order to get out of the life, everything he's worked for tumbles down around him. This is a MAGNIFICENT movie, full of power, irony, and ferocious action! I think it's Caan's greatest role, and that's saying A LOT! He brings incredible intensity to his role as a man who, in order to save himself, must destroy everything he loves. Not only is this a fabulous movie, it's my favorite DVD. The DVD/widescreen format truly does justice to Director Mann (MIAMI VICE, MANHUNTER, HEAT)'s quirky, ultra-slick style. Also, the commentary by Mann and Caan is EXACTLY what a DVD commentary track should be: two great artists commenting on the film at the same time, playing off of each other and really adding a whole new dimension to the film (for instance, did you know that the "technical advisors" for the film were a "crew" of jewltheives, and that Caan was breaking into REAL safes with REAL burglary tools?). If you loved HEAT, you HAVE TO see this movie! In fact, this is almost a companion piece to HEAT, because Caan's character is sort of an earlier version of DeNiro's character. If you are a fan of films like RESERVOIR DOGS, HEAT, PULP FICTION, and THE GETAWAY, this is a MUST-SEE! This is truly a modern classic!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power and Passion of a Dream September 17, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first saw this film soon after it was released, having no idea what to expect, except that it was filmed in my home town (Chicago) and that it starred James Caan whose work I had admired so much in The Godfather. I neither knew nor cared who directed it (Michael Mann) and had no idea which group provided the musical soundtrack (Tangerine Dream). Wow! I enjoyed Thief so much I returned to see it again the next evening, dragging along some friends who knew even less about it than I did only 24 hours before. In my opinion, this is Caan's finest performance as Frank, a middle-aged jewel thief who is obviously determined to make a long-cherished dream come true: Retire from his criminal life, marry, start a family, and live happily ever after. He carries a photo collage in his wallet as a daily reminder of the "life" he one day hopes to have. He shares it only with Jessie (Tuesday Weld) because she is the only person with whom he wants to share that life. Meanwhile, Frank has met with Leo (Robert Prosky) who seems to take a paternal interest in Frank but only to gain his trust so that Frank will agree to an assignment for the mob. Of course, Leo has no intention of allowing him to retire. Once involved with the mob, Frank will have no way out except death. After he and Jessie marry and move into a lovely home, they are frustrated in their attempts to adopt a child so Leo provides one ("Boy or girl? Whatever you want.") and much of Frank's dream has come true. One last lucrative theft and....

Under Mann's direction, all of the performances are outstanding. I was especially interested in the care with which the major theft is planned and then executed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intensely Stylish and Menacing Noir August 19, 2006
Format:DVD
The pulsing synth-rock of Tangerine Dream really sets the tone for this ultra-stylish and sleek noir heist gone bad film. The film is like a well oiled machine and when you hear the synthesizers roar into action you know that something extremely bad is going down. This synthesizer noir film has a menace that never lets up.

Michael Mann isn't much for giving his criminals and cops bios or personalities or much else; his characters don't even have last names, they are just hunters or the hunted. James Caan plays "Frank". Frank's a car dealer by day and jewel thief by night and as an ex con who has spent 11 of his 35 years in prison Frank knows that he doesn't have a second to lose and that the odds and the fates are against him. Nevertheless he's trying to defy his loner's fate by assembling a family (that includes a recently met waitress played by Tuesday Weld and an adopted child) but he seems to know from the start that plans do not have a way of working out. So far his life has been like a big blank that he's trying to fill in but he just can't seem to beat those odds and those fates that have somehow decided ahead of time that he is predestined to fail are breathing down his neck. Frank doesn't have a real family. He went straight from orphanage to prison house. And everywhere Frank has been he's been mistreated. Still he keeps fighting back. In prison he was beaten within inches of his life by a gang of predators attempting to rape him but Franks the kind of guy who fought back and left his assailants in worse shape than they left him. The recently released from prison Frank is a guy that you don't want to cross. Still each time Frank pulls off a heist someone screws him over.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Mann and James Caan's Crime Drama Masterpiece
I have always loved this movie. For this viewer, Thief is a great character study of a thief [powerfully portrayed by James Caan], who wants the last Big Score before he cashes in... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Houston-movie-lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, Love the Reworking
Only had the older non-anamorphic DVD. Even the DVD in this set is better than the old non-anamorphic. The Blu Ray is just phenomenal quality. Definitely worth the money. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Mike
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Crime Drama
The Only thing like "The Godfather" is "The Godfather" but if you're not afraid of an older movie then jump on this one. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Clifford M. Graham
3.0 out of 5 stars MUSIC OVER THE TOP
I really enjoyed the film, but the score by Tangerine Dream was way too loud and invasive for my liking. Read more
Published 6 days ago by ERNESTO
5.0 out of 5 stars James Caan at his best
I loved this movie. I had heard about it for years and now that criterion released it on blu ray it was time to check it out. Read more
Published 18 days ago by kris Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Neo Noir at its Finest
Jimmy Caan delivers his career defining performance here as (Frank), a highly skilled jewell thief with a troubled past. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Eli A
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it's likely to ever get <spoiler alert>
If you love this movie, go for it. The sound remastering is excellent, and I'm really sorry to my wife, who still doesn't get why I love this movie so much, and why I made her and... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Michael Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CLASSIC MODERN NOIR FILM MADE BY MICHAEL MANN & JAMES...
I remember seeing this film for the first time and it was a life changing event. At that point I was in a emotionally bruised place. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael A~~~~
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Mann second film is one of his best still to this day,oh...
Between great direction ,Michael Mann great acting James Caan and the most incredible soundtrack score by tangerine dream Ive ever heard this is not to be missed. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hotrod71
5.0 out of 5 stars Must own
Classic film with great cinematography great story and a fantastic performance from James cann ..in my opinion it is Michael Mann's best work
Published 1 month ago by George Papageorgiou
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