Review: ‘The Thief Who Came to Dinner’

The Thief Who Came to Dinner has a good title and a helpful supporting cast. Otherwise it is a tepid caper comedy, starring Ryan O'Neal as a computer-age society gem burglar, Jacqueline Bisset as his girl, and Warren Oates as a befuddled insurance detective.

The Thief Who Came to Dinner has a good title and a helpful supporting cast. Otherwise it is a tepid caper comedy, starring Ryan O’Neal as a computer-age society gem burglar, Jacqueline Bisset as his girl, and Warren Oates as a befuddled insurance detective.

Using a Terrence Lore novel, adapter Walter Hill structured an episodic script focussing on O’Neal who blackmails magnate Charles Cioffi for entree into rich circles where he can plot his heists.

The film, which exudes the lethargy of a project where some talent commitments are being exercised, uses as a running gag O’Neal’s heist signature of a chess move, leading to a newspaper promotion with chess editor Austin Pendleton becoming frustrated as the thief’s computer-aided expertise.

The Thief Who Came to Dinner

Production

Tandem/Warner. Director Bud Yorkin; Producer Bud Yorkin; Screenplay Walter Hill; Camera Philip Lathrop; Editor John C. Horger; Music Henry Mancini; Art Director Polly Platt

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1973. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Ryan O'Neal Jacqueline Bisset Warren Oates Jill Clayburgh Charles Cioffi Ned Beatty

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