Wednesday, May 09, 2012
by Ned Wazowski
How to Steal a Million, 1966
A terrific how-to for film or fashion.
How to Steal a Million is a perfect film. It’s a heist caper, first of all, and those are always perfect. (I’ve never met a heist film I didn’t like – except maybe Art Heist with one of the lesser Baldwins.)
So let’s start with the heist: Stealing a work of art from a museum. Check. A forgery. Check. Using human nature to do it under the guards’ noses. Check. This film pretty much hits all my heist buttons. The fact that the main character is stealing a work of art that belongs to her just makes it easier to encourage her thievery.
The cast is wonderful. Peter O’Toole has the lightest touch in the film, and seems to move from romantic lead to straight man to pratfalls without any effort – such elegance and ease wrapped up in someone who is obviously up to no good. And Hugh Griffith’s brand of crazy is hilarious (watch for the spit-take into a glass that he hands directly to Hepburn who then takes a big gulp). Playing a forger, he’s given the funniest line in the film: “We live in a crass, commercial world with no faith or trust.”
And lastly, we have Audrey Hepburn herself. While the part asks no more from her than to be charming, it doesn’t surprise that she brings so much more to it, especially the rich and loving relationship she has with her father. She just lights up the screen.
So if you haven’t seen the film, give it a look soon. It will steal your heart.
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