Tossin’ It Out There: Who’s YOUR Favorite Movie Thief?

the-bling-ring-trailerI had a chance to check out “The Bling Ring” the other day (review pending), Sofia Coppola’s movie about a young gang of celeb obsessed thieves, and it put robbing and thieving on the brain.

Who’s your favorite thief in film? Do you go high-minded and say Robin Hood? Or do you head for a slick pro like Neil McCauley? How about the Reservoir Dogs gang? How about a petty thief like Warren from Empire Records, LOL, or someone classic like Cary Grant’s John Robie?

From the common crook to big time embezzlement, movies about stealing and robbing have been made again and again and again. From “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” to “The Great Train Robbery” to “Goodfellas” to the “Oceans” series, they never seem to tire of making movies about people who steal.

So who’s YOUR favorite thief?

Let us hear it!

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118 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: Who’s YOUR Favorite Movie Thief?

  1. the Ewoks.

    Those lil buggers stole my heart. Awwwwww.

    (Seriously. I think I’m the only person on earth who likes Ewoks.)

  2. Hmmm, Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises was quite crafty. I especially liked when she stole the valet slip for Bruce’s car.
    Would Harry and Lloyd, Dumb & Dumber, count? They steal that money unwittingly, sure, but they don’t have any qualms about spending it! And it’s fun watching them spend.

    • Sure, I suppose the “stealing” element is the operative criteria, right? LOL You can pick them if you like.

      Selina Kyle is a great answer as well. Well, at least the Dark Knight Rises version is. Halle Berry had some other alter ego and Michelle Pfieffer… did she even steal anything? LOL

    • That’s a great movie – “Catch Me If You Can”. I love that flick. So fun… definitely one of Spielberg’s most underrated films.

      And I forgot Aladdin started out as a thief. I guess its been too long since I’ve seen it! :o

  3. Hi, Fogs:

    Hans Gruber had the style and panache to pull off a Jynoarmous haul and ‘Die Hard’. The epitome of a suave high end thief and villain.

    Though, my favorite is James Caan’s Frank in Michael Mann’s ‘Thief’. With mad skills and extremely cool toys. And the time devoted to watching those nuts and bolts toys in action only make Frank cooler.

    High marks also to Frank Sinatra and the original “Rat Pack” for pulling off an unique, imaginative and (for then) massive heist. And creating the basis for a lucrative franchise decades later with ‘Ocean’s Eleven’.

    • My brain doesn’t function all that well either ;)

      The Fast and Furious crew is a great choice! Technically, they’ve been thieves since the first one, but 5 was the first movie to unite everyone! It was like a Fast and Furious All Star Team :D

  4. This was tough. I’m still compiling a Top Ten (Yeah, I might make that a-eh, whatchacallit, a weekly thing with these, and I considered more and more possibilities as I recalled more and more films. There were a lot of pairs, I noticed, thieves rarely work alone in films, it seems… I’ll throw out a couple names that didn’t make my cut, but thought they should be mentioned. For instance, Cody Jarrett from “White Heat” could get forgotten, in terms of a traditional gangster bank robber type. I looked at other kind of thieves as well. Bob from “Drugstore Cowboy” for instance, stealing pills, or-eh, Cruella De Vil, dognapper, or Cesar Soubeyran from “Jean de Florette”, which is, the ultimate long con to some extent, plugging up a spring so his fellow farmer, can’t grow crops, so he can get the land cheap…, definitely stealing, a vicious robbery at that. I thought about identity theft too, like David Locke from “The Passenger”. Also, I’m sure someone will bring up “Thelma & Louise” eventually, as they should, but I don’t know if anyone’s gonna bring up Violet and Corky, from “Bound”, and I think somebody should mention them. Great, weird movie to begin with, but the mobster girlfriend, and her lesbian lover, stealing from her boyfriend, definitely should get a mention at least. Arguably the Wachowski’s best film too. For my top ten, I don’t know what my criteria was so much for this one, I guess one’s I like the best.

    1. Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow-“Bonnie & Clyde”
    2. Max Bialystock & Leo Bloom-“The Producers”
    3. Harry Lime-“The Third Man”
    4. Henry Gandorff and Johnny Hooker-“The Sting”
    5. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid-“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
    6. Virgil Hartwell-“Take the Money and Run”
    7. Willie-“Bad Santa”
    8. Wanda Gershwitz & Otto-“A Fish Called Wanda”
    9. Sonny Wortzik-“Dog Day Afternoon”
    10. Jerry Lundegaard-“Fargo”

    • That’s a solid list, Dave. 1-5 is actually pretty great. Kudos for remembering Lundegaard was an embezzler prior to the failed kidnapping scheme. I’ve never actually seen “Take the Money and Run”, but 1 out of 10 isn’t bad. LOL.

      • Thank you very much. Haven’t seen “Take the Money and Run”? It’s Woody Allen’s first, great film he did. Mockumentary, just joke after joke, funny as hell, and yeah, one of his best characters too. One of his, just purely funny ones, and a great character as the legendary worst thief of all-time. I got his name wrong though, it should be “Starkwell”, not Hartwell. I don’t know why I did that. Damn.

  5. Thomas Crown. The Pierce Brosnan one. He stole art not to make money but because no money could buy it. Very high style heist flik. Makes me wonder if we’ll ever know what happened to the Steward Gardner paintings.

  6. In general, most movies centered around Jesse James. But I go for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”. Pretty slow moving flick but Afleck and Pitt kept ahold of me.

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