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Yolanda And The Thief (1945)

Fred Astaire , Lucille Bremer , Vincente Minnelli  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Fred Astaire, Lucille Bremer, Frank Morgan, Mildred Natwick, Mary Nash
  • Directors: Vincente Minnelli
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English (Mono), French (Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004T4XRDU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,718 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Fred Astaire gracing an imaginative, surreal 16-minute ballet with his wit and unerring dance mastery; a jazzy, glorious-in-Technicolor(r) street carnival pulsing with movement and music; director Vincente Minnelli's lush, savvy sophistication evident in every scene - these elements highlight Yolanda and the Thief, a ravishingly beautiful fantasy about a con artist (Astaire) in a mythical Latin American country who convinces a naive heiress (Lucille Bremer) that he's her guardian angel. It's a perfect plot to fleece the winsome mark, until love gets other ideas. Ahead of its time in tone and visual style and largely underappreciated at its release, this musical is a real find for fans of bold, inventive filmmaking.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(21)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Slice of Heaven November 19, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
In my opinion (for whatever that's worth) it's impossible for any movie starring Fred Astaire to be bad. So, I wasn't surprised when I viewed Yolanda and the Thief for the first time and found myself thoroughly enjoying this unusual musical. Unfortunately, this was not the general consensus of the movie going public when Yolanda premiered in November of 1945. Even under the masterful direction of Vincent Minnelli, the film was an enormous flop, costing MGM millions...and for all intents and purposes...destroying Lucille Bremer's career. Once relegated to virtual cinematic obscurity until Turner Classic Movies came along and resurrected it, Yolanda has attained "cult classic" status and is finally earning the aprreciation it deserves in spite of its flaws.
The movie features Fred Astaire, as charming conman, Johnny Parkson; Lucille Bremer as the virginal and incredibly rich, Yolanda; Frank Morgan as fellow conman, Victor Budlow Trout (Is that a great name, or what?); Mildred Natwick as Yolanda's match making aunt, Amarilla; and Leon Ames as the mysterious Mr. Candle.
The plot revolves around Johnny Parkson(Astaire) who, in order to to get the innocent Yolanda's (Bremer)huge fortune has hatched a plot to convince her that he's her guardian angel. Having spent her entire life in a convent, Yolanda is easily persuaded that he is indeed the angelic being he presents himself as and gives Johny every reason to believe his scheme will succeed without a hitch. Soon, however, Victor Trout (Morgan) must try and keep the con game going when it becomes obvious that Johnny is falling in love with Yolanda and may be faltering in his quest to get her millions. Yolanda is also doing battle with her less than pure thoughts.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre but entertaining musical fantasy October 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
In the small but intriguing field of surrealistic musical films (which includes LADY IN THE DARK and ZIEGFELD FOLLIES), perhaps the most bizarre is director Vincente Minnelli's YOLANDA AND THE THIEF.
The film tells the story of Yolanda (played by Lucille Bremer), a fabulously wealthy heiress in a fictional South American country. Having just left the convent school where she grew to adulthood, Yolanda is overwhelmed at the prospect of managing her vast estate. She prays for guidance to her guardian angel, but her prayer is overheard by a sly con-man (Fred Astaire) who decides to pose as the angel himself.
The film's script--based on a story by Ludwig Bemelmens, author of the famous children's story MADELINE--is a strange blend of zany comedy and mystical fantasy. The most interesting (and, depending on the audience, perhaps scandalous) element has Yolanda falling romantically and erotically in love with the man she believes to be a heavenly messenger. During a moment of prayer, she tries to deny her feelings: "Oh my angel. You know I could never even think of marrying you. . ." Then she stops, realizing that an angel can read her thoughts, and that marriage is EXACTLY what she's thinking of!
YOLANDA AND THE THIEF is photographed in breathtaking Technicolor. Its musical elements are fine, with choreography by the ballet world's famed Eugene Loring and songs by Harry Warren and the film's producer, Arthur Freed. Best tunes are "Angel" and "Coffee Time." But the most striking musical moment is the 15 minute surrealistic ballet sequence depicting the thief's conflicted feelings for his "prey," Yolanda.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Real Oddball Movie December 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This very oddly filmed fantasy directed by the great Vincent Minnelli was quite a production way back in 1946. The Story which is set in a fictional South American country stars Fred Astaire as a con man who impersonates a guardian angel to get at the vast fortune of Lucille Bremer's character, the innocent, Yolanda.
This paper thin plot is pleasant enough but is over-shadowed by the very opulent sets, and breathtaking Technicolor musical production numbers. One of those being a surreal dream sequence which is one of the most mindboggling ever put on film. `Coffee Time' a catchy little tune looks like it was a blast to film, and that black and white swrilled dance floor will give you optical illusions.
Over-all I rate this film so highly because it is wonderfully off-beat and is so beautiful to look at. I read that "Yolanda" cost a whopping 6 million dollars to make, which was unheard of at the time, and that it was a huge box office flop. I also understand that Fred Astaire nearly retired from show business because of his trials and tribulations filming it.
If you are in the mood for something different, in the Salvido Dali sense, I highly recommend this film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Feast for the eyes March 22, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is probably my favorite MGM musical gem. Lucille Bremer brilliantly plays the naive millionaire yolanda. Fred Astaire and Frank Morgan (who played the Wizard of oz) Team up and play hillarious Crooks. The movie has a fantasy dream ballet thats awsome! It also has a breath taking swing-like number called "coffee time". Over all this musical is feast for the eyes thanks to director Vincent Minnelli
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Should not have been made
This is a movie that should never have been made. Bad script, non-descript score. A good cast and crew with good intentions and the money to fulfill them, but it all somehow goes... Read more
Published 10 months ago by R. Knablin
3.0 out of 5 stars MateinMovie
Missed Ginger Rogers, Fred is still the king but his partner lacks the chemistry that Ginger had with Fred. The Robot was not popular then if it was it will have been better.
Published 11 months ago by Matein Movies
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Love Fred Astaire
This is one of my wife's favorite Fred Astaire movies. She is really enjoying it. The quality of the recording is excellent.
Published 11 months ago by GoModeGuy
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to par
This is arguably the worst of the Fred Astaire movies. The script is ridiculous, Minelli's "innovative" sets and figures are overblown and irritating, and the music is... Read more
Published 21 months ago by C.A. Arthur
5.0 out of 5 stars Under appreciated
I have to qualify my rating by admitting that I could not, as a Fred Astaire fan, rate any of his musical films at less than five stars. Read more
Published 23 months ago by N. Bandler
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Fred Astaire Movies!
I saw this movie on tv and loved it. I got up early one morning to record it, from there I bought it on tape, and then was constantly waiting for it to come out on dvd. Read more
Published on July 8, 2012 by Liz
2.0 out of 5 stars The least of the Fred Astaire movies
After a long search for Yolanda and the Thief, I finally obtained a copy. It wasn't a total disappointment because there were a couple of wonderful dance numbers but on the whole... Read more
Published on July 24, 2011 by Richard T. Richmond
1.0 out of 5 stars yolanda and the thief
Unable to review as product was defective and returned for exchange. Currently waiting for new item and hope it arrives soon. Read more
Published on July 13, 2011 by dave b
4.0 out of 5 stars A riot of Technicolor highlights this Dali-esque Minnelli fantasy
First, the new Warner Archive release looks incredible. A few speckles, but the color, and I mean the old three-strip Technicolor, will keep you watching this sometimes dull,... Read more
Published on July 8, 2011 by Jay Lesiger
4.0 out of 5 stars "Mr. Brown doesn't dance, except, perhaps, on the head of a pin."
I'm a classic film buff and a sucker for nostalgia, but, jeepers, how to pimp this one? YOLANDA AND THE THIEF is one of Fred Astaire's lesser known musicals and one of his flops,... Read more
Published on May 10, 2011 by H. Bala
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