Seven Thieves (1960)

100 or 102 mins | Drama | January 1960

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writer:

Sydney Boehm

Producer:

Sydney Boehm

Cinematographer:

Sam Leavitt

Editor:

Dorothy Spencer

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, John De Cuir

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Although a Jul 1959 HR news item notes that Anne Bancroft was to play the female lead, and an LAEx news item adds that offers were made to Fredric March and Richard Widmark to play the two top male leads, none of these actors appeared in the film. A Feb 1959 LAEx news item notes that Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons were also considered for the leads. Although May Britt is listed in an early HR production chart, she does not appear in the released film. A HR production chart places Thayer David in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The Var review states that backgrounds were filmed at the French Riviera and Monte Carlo, ... More Less

Although a Jul 1959 HR news item notes that Anne Bancroft was to play the female lead, and an LAEx news item adds that offers were made to Fredric March and Richard Widmark to play the two top male leads, none of these actors appeared in the film. A Feb 1959 LAEx news item notes that Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons were also considered for the leads. Although May Britt is listed in an early HR production chart, she does not appear in the released film. A HR production chart places Thayer David in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The Var review states that backgrounds were filmed at the French Riviera and Monte Carlo, Monaco. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Jan 1960.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jan 60
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Jan 60
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 59
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 59
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 59
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 60
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
20 Feb 1959.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
5 Jun 1959.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Jan 60
p. 564.
New York Times
12 Mar 60
p. 14.
Variety
20 Jan 60
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Lions at the Kill by Max Catto (London, 1959).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
January 1960
Production Date:
late July--late October 1959
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1959
Copyright Number:
LP15348
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
100 or 102
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19432
SYNOPSIS

On the French Riviera, Theo Wilkins reunites with his old friend Paul Mason, who has spent the last three years in an American penitentiary. When the wary Paul wonders why Theo suddenly sent him a plane ticket to fly to France, Theo takes him to a sidewalk café, where Pancho and Melanie, seated at a rear table, size him up. Pancho and Melanie are two of Theo's five accomplices in an elaborate caper he is planning, and Theo begs Paul to join them and be the "one friendly face among strangers." Theo, who was once a prominent science professor before turning to crime and being unceremoniously "cast out into the gutter," has devised his revenge in the form of what he terms an elaborate experiment that will make the world gasp--the $4,000,000 robbery of the Monte Carlo casino. Reluctant to commit himself, the cautious Paul agrees only to meet Theo's five accomplices at a tawdry club, where Melanie performs seductive dances while Pancho plays saxophone. In addition to Melanie and Pancho, Paul is introduced to Raymond Le May, who works as the secretary to the casino director and is in Melanie's thrall; Louis, a seasoned safecracker; and Hugo Baumer, an expert mechanic and get-away driver. Paul suggests continuing the discussion at Pancho's hotel room, and there they examine a blueprint of the casino that depicts a private elevator leading from the director's office to the vault two floors below. The next day, everyone except Raymond and Theo regroup in Pancho's room, and Paul agrees to throw his lot in with them on the condition that he be given total authority. Paul then asserts ... +


On the French Riviera, Theo Wilkins reunites with his old friend Paul Mason, who has spent the last three years in an American penitentiary. When the wary Paul wonders why Theo suddenly sent him a plane ticket to fly to France, Theo takes him to a sidewalk café, where Pancho and Melanie, seated at a rear table, size him up. Pancho and Melanie are two of Theo's five accomplices in an elaborate caper he is planning, and Theo begs Paul to join them and be the "one friendly face among strangers." Theo, who was once a prominent science professor before turning to crime and being unceremoniously "cast out into the gutter," has devised his revenge in the form of what he terms an elaborate experiment that will make the world gasp--the $4,000,000 robbery of the Monte Carlo casino. Reluctant to commit himself, the cautious Paul agrees only to meet Theo's five accomplices at a tawdry club, where Melanie performs seductive dances while Pancho plays saxophone. In addition to Melanie and Pancho, Paul is introduced to Raymond Le May, who works as the secretary to the casino director and is in Melanie's thrall; Louis, a seasoned safecracker; and Hugo Baumer, an expert mechanic and get-away driver. Paul suggests continuing the discussion at Pancho's hotel room, and there they examine a blueprint of the casino that depicts a private elevator leading from the director's office to the vault two floors below. The next day, everyone except Raymond and Theo regroup in Pancho's room, and Paul agrees to throw his lot in with them on the condition that he be given total authority. Paul then asserts that they must move up the heist to the evening of the Governor's Ball, the night the casino will be the most crowded, and to draw the timid Raymond deeper into their web, insists that he issue them invitations to the ball. After Hugo purchases a limousine, an ambulance and a swift get-away car, the group holds a dress rehearsal of the theft. Posing as a wheelchair-ridden baron, Pancho, accompanied by Theo, the baron's "personal physician," drives to the casino in a limousine chauffeured by Hugo. Meanwhile, Paul and Louis check out access to the governor's apartment and the elevator leading to the vault. On the night of the ball, they reconvene at Pancho's, and Paul is surprised to discover that Melanie does not live there, but has her own place. When Theo shows Pancho a cyanide tablet that will make it appear that he has suffered a heart attack, thus creating a diversion at the casino, Pancho balks, fearful that the tablet may kill him. At the casino, Louis, Melanie and Paul present their invitations, and soon after, Pancho and Theo, as the baron and his physician, arrive. Paul and Louis then slip out the window and onto a narrow terrace to scale the casino façade up to the governor's apartment. Louis, terrified of heights, is prodded by Paul until they reach the elevator and descend to the vault. As Louis drills open the safe, upstairs in the casino, the Duc di Salins recognizes Melanie as an exotic dancer. When the Duc alerts the casino director about Melanie, Raymond begins to lose his nerve, but Melanie coolly instructs him to delay the police. Meanwhile, at the roulette table, Theo reminds Pancho to take his medicine and when Pancho places the tablet in his mouth but refuses to bite down on it, Theo injects him with a dose of cyanide, after which he collapses. After declaring that his patient has suffered a heart attack, Theo advises that the baron be taken to the director's office. Soon after, a concerned doctor knocks at the door to report that he detected the odor of cyanide, thus disputing Theo's diagnosis of a heart attack. Stating that he was simply being discreet, Theo explains that the baron committed suicide and then calls for an ambulance to pick up the body. After Theo and the others leave the room to wait for the ambulance, Paul and Louis, carrying a satchel of stolen bank notes, enter the office, stash the money in the seat of the wheelchair and then take the elevator up to the governor's apartment. As they slip onto the ledge to climb down to the casino, Melanie struggles to unlock a window so that they can sneak back inside. Soon after the window pops open, the police arrive to question Melanie about her escort. Just then, Louis and Paul appear and identify themselves as Melanie's escorts. As Louis and Melanie dance toward the exit and their waiting car, Paul nods to Theo that their mission is a success. Turning to the director, Theo suggests removing the baron in his wheelchair so as not to call attention to his condition. They then wheel the baron to the waiting ambulance, where Paul and Hugo, dressed as ambulance attendants, wheel him in. After the ambulance drives off, the exhilarated Theo anxiously anticipates hearing "the world gasp" about his crime, and then exhausted, drifts off to sleep. Soon after, Pancho regains consciousness and notices that Theo has died. Pulling off the road, Paul tearfully cradles Theo's lifeless body in his arms and insists on driving him back to his hotel. Melanie asks to go with them, and after putting Theo to bed, Melanie confides that she envies him because he died happy. When Paul bitterly muses about Theo's inauspicious fall from hero to social pariah, Melanie realizes that Paul is Theo's son. Deciding to renounce their share of the money, Paul and Melanie return to Pancho's, and after Paul scrutinizes the bank notes, he discerns that they have been newly minted and recorded and are therefore unspendable. Paul then reasons that if they return the money, the casino will forgo pressing charges to avoid a scandal. When the others disagree, Paul pulls his gun and they resentfully toss the bank notes into a suitcase. Returning to the casino, Paul and Melanie drop an envelope addressed to the director that contains the claim check for the suitcase. As the director retrieves the satchel, Paul places a bet at the roulette table and wins handsomely. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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