Review: ‘Thieves Like Us’

Thieves Like Us proves that when Robert Altman has a solid story and script, he can make an exceptional film, one mostly devoid of clutter, auterist mannerism, and other cinema chic. It's a better film than Nicholas Ray's first jab at the story in 1948 [They Live By Night], the mid-1930s tale of lower-class young love and Dixie bank-robbing.

Thieves Like Us proves that when Robert Altman has a solid story and script, he can make an exceptional film, one mostly devoid of clutter, auterist mannerism, and other cinema chic. It’s a better film than Nicholas Ray’s first jab at the story in 1948 [They Live By Night], the mid-1930s tale of lower-class young love and Dixie bank-robbing.

Edward Anderson’s novel of the same name has, this time, been adapted into a no-nonsense screenplay. Keith Carradine heads the cast as a young prison trustee who escapes with John Schuck to join Bert Remsen in a spree of small-town bank heists. Shelley Duvall and Carradine fall in love, their romance clearly destined for tragedy as the robberies inevitably lead to murders and eventual police capture.

Thieves Like Us

Production

United Artists. Director Robert Altman; Producer Jerry Bick; Screenplay Calder Willingham, Joan Tewkesbury, Robert Altman; Camera Jean Boffety; Editor Lou Lombardo

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1974. Running time: 123 MIN.

With

Keith Carradine Shelley Duvall John Schuck Bert Remsen Louise Fletcher Tom Skerritt
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