With its mixture of suspense, satire and broad comedy, The Hot Rock emerges as an offbeat crime feature. Stars Robert Redford and George Segal head a quartet of thieves who usually miss the objective, here a famous diamond which inspired the title of the piece.
Peter Yates’ direction and uniformly good cast partly overcome a William Goldman script [from Donald E. Westlake’s novel] that has many exciting and funny bits, but lacks a clear, unifying thrust.
However, the plot involves four separate heists, and, given the deliberate exposition of the human frailty of the hoods, the sequential capers lose a lot of momentum, giving the film as a whole the look of a spliced-together multi-episode TV show.
1972: Nomination: Best Editing