Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|How to Steal a Million|
Actors: Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Eli Wallach, Hugh Griffith, Charles Boyer
Director: William Wyler
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
The daughter (Audrey Hepburn) of a wealthy Frenchman (Hugh Griffith) who creates counterfeit art learns her father is in danger of being exposed as a crook. She decides to steal the family's forged Cellini sculpture from a... more »
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You don't think I'd steal something that didn't belong to me
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 06/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Bonnet, Nicole Bonnet's incorrigible father, makes a living forging long-lost masterpieces and then selling them at auctions or to private collectors, such as American business magnate David Leland. Bonnet's quite a character and is an artist, albeit a forger, living the moment, but also being the artist. When he paints a Van Gogh, he IS Van Gogh. Nicole is exasperated, worried that he'll be caught and sent to prison. Charles' flippant response is "The trouble is, you're so honest." So when he authorizes the loan of the prize of his collection, the Cellini Venus, a copy of it sculpted by her grandfather which her grandmother posed for, Nicole thinks her father has flipped his wig. It is worth a million dollars--hence the title.What Nicole dreads the most occurs when the museum announces that one Professor Bauer will be conducting tests to determine the statue's authenticity. To that end, Nicole enlists the aid of Simon Dermott, a burglar she caught in her father's house trying to steal a Van Gogh (fake, of course), to steal her father's sculpture to save him from being jailed for fraud. She doesn't tell him the real reasons, of course. Dermott thinks it's a crazy idea, given the high-tech security devices and the numerous police detail milling around the museum, but combined by Nicole's persistence and her charm, finally gives in. But just what does he hope to accomplish with a toy boomerang?The actual heist and scenes in the museum are worth waiting for, as that's where the exciting parts are. The cramped quarters in the broom closet underlines the tension of two people scared that they'll be caught, although it furthers the budding romantic storyline. And Dermott's ingenuity is well demonstrated. As he says, "wait for normal human reaction." A particular comical touch comes in the form of a portly museum guard who has a large mustache and quite a fondness for the bottle. Oh, and that alarm is pretty annoying, so beware!Audrey's Givenchy fashions become ridiculously funny, such as the pillbox hat and large-rimmed sunglasses in her opening scene, and even becomes a point of parody when Dermott remarks at Nicole dressed as a cleaning woman, "It Givenchy a night off." As it turned out, one night turned into thirteen years, as Givenchy was pressed back to work for Bloodline.The last comedy Audrey acted in, How To Steal A Million, originally titled Venus Rising, was the third and last film Audrey did for William Wyler, after Roman Holiday and The Children's Hour. It was also the first time Hepburn acted with a leading man closer to her own age since Anthony Perkins in Green Mansions, Peter O'Toole being three years her junior. Her wide expressive eyes and that winning smile are put to good use here. And she does have a great line: "You don't think I'd steal something that didn't belong to me?"Hugh Griffith is fun to watch as the rascally Charles Bonnet, with the same bulging eyes, funny hair, and goatee. O'Toole (Simon) is also an asset, suave, calm, clever, and quick with one-liners. So is Eli Wallach (Leland), an excitable and impulsive millionaire with his sights on the Venus. And Jacques Marin, who is the befuddled senior museum guard, previously appeared with Ms. Hepburn in Charade, as the chief of police.Panned when it first came out, I'm not sure why this doesn't hold out even today. Hepburn herself acted in it because she felt indebted to Wyler, who made her what she became, but at least she had fun with O'Toole, as the two were gigglers and many takes had to be required, especially in the broom cupboard scene. It's an enjoyable and frantic caper film, a genre popularized by Topkapi six years ago."
So THAT's what all the fuss over Peter O'Toole's about!
Laurie A.E. | MA, USA | 12/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie I give a solid four stars, but Peter O'Toole gets five because it's the most I could give. (Hey amazon, how about a little room for upward adjustment under extenuating circumstances like these?)
I'm an Audrey fan and she's her usual delightful self in this movie, no longer the ingenue but every bit as lithe and fetching as ever. She was a dazzler, but in Peter O'Toole she met her match. He is something else -- the Jude Law of his day, I suppose! (The highest of high compliments I give). In "How To Steal A Million" O'Toole is suave and self-assured but never arrogant ... spectacularly good looking (hey, it's not his fault) ... witty but flawed, not what he seems and in the end, you're glad of it. He can burgle my objects d'art any day!
The movie also has that very "1960's" look and feel to it that allow you to time travel, but not so far back you feel as though you've been whiplashed when it ends. The '60's were in many ways more modern than the '70's, and played against the backdrop of Paris those burgeoning modern sensibilities find an excellent foil. Audrey is her usual "au courant" self, except for one scene in which she has to play a cleaning lady. Like Liza Doolittle, she would shine through a burlap sack.
O'Toole and Hepburn are very, very winning here. The assorted cast of characters are daffy but mostly harmless, and if I'm not completely mistaken, the movie does poke gentle fun at the French. (Not that terribly difficult to do, but then again we re-elected ... oh, never mind)."
Fantastic Movie :)
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this movie. It has everything: romance, comedy, quirkiness and a kissing-in-a-closet scene! Audrey Hepburn was as adorable and entertaining as ever, and this was the first time that I'd ever seen a Peter O'Toole movie and he was fabulous! He's extremely funny and pretty darn spunky! You could just instantly fall in love with him, the second you saw those bewildered round blue eyes peering over the top of the "Van Gogh" painting. I didn't find this movie boring for an instant and I loved watching them steal back the "Cellini" sculpture, using, amongst other things, a bucket, a magnet and a boomerang! I think that this is now my favourite Audrey Hepburn movie. They make an extremely likable couple and their exploits in "How To Steal A Million" are engaging and engrossing."
Breath of fresh air with Audrey Hepburn at her most chic
Simon Davis | 05/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Was there ever another actress to compare with Audrey Hepburn? She combined all the ideal qualities of what a skilled, beautiful, and totally charming actress should be in the one gorgeous package. Indeed in William Wyler's sophisticated heist film "How to Steal a Million",she has never been more gorgeous and appealing while displaying that totally unique and special talent that was solely her own and has never been duplicated by another actress. Released in 1966 at the height of the "mod" period, "How to Steal a Million", in alot of ways is very much of it's time and this probably explains why this film is perhaps not as well known as other films of both Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. This is unfortunate as the pair make a superb romantic comedy team and combine excellently in this slick and very chic story set in the most beautiful of cities, fashionable Paris. "How to Steal a Million", tells the story of Nicole Bonnet (Hepburn) who is the glamourous and very mod daughter of art collector Charles Bonnet (Hugh Griffith is a delightfully eccentric performance) who is what could be described as a lovable rascal and spends his time forging great art which he then sells to unsuspecting but wealthy art enthusiasts. Complications however arise when one of Monsieur Bonnet's "masterpieces", a statue of Venus supposedly carved by famed Italian artisan Cellini in the sixteenth century, but in reality a modern work by Nicole's grandfather, is put on display in a Paris Museum. The problem however here is that for insurance purposes the work must be inspected by a world famous expert on authentic works of art and their dating which would threaten to expose Ms. Bonnet for the fraud that he is,lovable or otherwise! Nicole concocts a wild scheme with the collaboration of supposed society thief Davis Leland (Peter O'Toole in a marvellously sophisticated performance),to steal the statue from the museum before her father is exposed as a fraud. Along the way the pair, in between scampering around museum interiors and hiding out in broom closets find themselves falling in love. What unravels is a totally delightful caper comedy with marvellous screen chemistry between Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole in their only appearance together. Audrey is beyond comparison as the chic Givenchy lady about town who gets involved in the museum robbery. Her outfits are a total dream, and her mod hairstyles and sunglasses are just right for this charming 1960's story with its rich Parisian settings. Peter O'Toole displays a great talent for sophisticated comedy and as is often the case in such stories turns out to be not exactly what he first seems to be when we first encounter him trying to "steal" one of Charles Bonnet "Van Gogh's".The cast of "How to Steal a Million", is rounded out in a very funny performance by Eli Wallach as a fanatical art collector who has his sights set on the "Cellini" Venus and wants it no matter what lengths he has to go to, even proposing marriage to a very reluctant Nicole! Veteran heart throb Charles Boyer provides the necessary authentic French atmosphere in a small role as Charles De Solnay , O'Toole's boss who has his own interest in the Bonnet family. The film is a rich snapshot of all things beautiful and sophisticated in 1966 Paris from the wonderful on location photgraphy, Audrey's stunning fashions, all the beautiful art on display and museum interiors. The film has been accused of being "too perfect" in some respects but the story never pretends to take itself seriously and its look is what stays in the mind. Indeed I have a hard time imagining such a fashionable couple as Hepburn and O'Toole in any other setting! Directed at a nice pace by veteran William Wyler who guided Audrey Hepburn through the classic "Roman Holiday", and the sadly underappreciated "The Children's Hour", Wyler manages to combine romance with high slap stick as seen in the very amusing scenes when the alarm protecting the Venus is set off prompting an almost "Keystone Cops" routine by the French Police arriving time after time for what are false alarms at the museum.With the absense of elegant comedy with beautifully dressed people in elegant settings nowadays movies like this one are like a glass of water in the desert. I love most sophisticated comedies and while not the best ever made, if you love Paris and Audrey Hepburn like I do you can't help but be enchanted by William Wyler's "How to Steal a Million". Open the champagne and sit back and enjoy!"