The Burglar (1957)

90 mins | Drama | May 1957

Director:

Paul Wendkos

Writer:

David Goodis

Producer:

Louis W. Kellman

Cinematographer:

Don Malkames

Editor:

Herta Horn

Production Designer:

Jim Leonard

Production Company:

Samson Productions, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

Before the opening credits roll, "Nat" is shown concentrating on a newsreel about "Sister Sara" and her necklace. Paul Wendkos' screen credit reads "directed and edited by." According to HR production charts, location filming was done in Philadelphia, PA and Atlantic City, NJ. The Burglar marked the screen debut of Stewart Bradley. According to the DV review, The Burglar was an independent production that was bought by Columbia after the film was completed. The 1971 French-Italian production Le Casse , directed by Henri Verneuil and starring Omar Sharif, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Dyan Cannon, was also based on David Goodis' ... More Less

Before the opening credits roll, "Nat" is shown concentrating on a newsreel about "Sister Sara" and her necklace. Paul Wendkos' screen credit reads "directed and edited by." According to HR production charts, location filming was done in Philadelphia, PA and Atlantic City, NJ. The Burglar marked the screen debut of Stewart Bradley. According to the DV review, The Burglar was an independent production that was bought by Columbia after the film was completed. The 1971 French-Italian production Le Casse , directed by Henri Verneuil and starring Omar Sharif, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Dyan Cannon, was also based on David Goodis' book. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 May 1957.
---
Daily Variety
24 Apr 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 May 57
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 1955
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 57
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Jun 57
p. 410.
Variety
1 May 57
p. 7.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Bassoon solo
of the Philadelphia Orchestra
SOUND
Re-rec eng
Supv sd ed
Sd eff
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr girl
Tech adv
Philadelphia Police Department
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Burglar by David Goodis (New Jersey, 1953).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"You Are Mine," music and lyrics by Bob Marcucchi and Pete DeAngelo, sung by Vince Carson.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
May 1957
Production Date:
late July--late August 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 June 1957
Copyright Number:
LP9136
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Philadelphia, soon after burglar Nat Harbin sees a newsreel about a priceless emerald necklace owned by a spiritualist named Sister Sara, he dispatches Gladden, a woman in his gang, to case Sara’s mansion. Pretending to be an admirer of the spiritualist, Gladden gains entrance to the estate and reports back to Nat that the necklace is locked in a safe in Sara’s upstairs bedroom. Gladden continues that Sara always watches newscaster John Facenda’s nightly broadcast. The next evening, as Sara settles into her easy chair in front of the television set, Nat scales the trellis to her bedroom and begins to drill open the safe. While cruising by in their patrol car, two policemen notice Nat’s auto parked outside the estate and stop to investigate, prompting gang members Dohmer and Baylock to signal Nat. Scurrying back down the trellis, Nat approaches the officers and lies that his car has broken down. After the police depart, Nat returns to the safe, removing the necklace just seconds before Sara climbs the stairs to her bedroom. Speeding away into the night, Dohmer, Baylock and Nat drive to their hideout in a run-down tenement. There, Baylock values the necklace at $85,000 and nervously presses Nat to sell it immediately. After Sara reports the robbery, the officers who questioned Nat provide his description to the police artist, who then sketches an accurate drawing that is sent nationwide. At the tenement, Dohmer leers at the shapely Gladden, angering her. Later, Baylock questions Nat about the bond he feels to Gladden, prompting Nat to reflect back to his flight from an orphanage years ... +


In Philadelphia, soon after burglar Nat Harbin sees a newsreel about a priceless emerald necklace owned by a spiritualist named Sister Sara, he dispatches Gladden, a woman in his gang, to case Sara’s mansion. Pretending to be an admirer of the spiritualist, Gladden gains entrance to the estate and reports back to Nat that the necklace is locked in a safe in Sara’s upstairs bedroom. Gladden continues that Sara always watches newscaster John Facenda’s nightly broadcast. The next evening, as Sara settles into her easy chair in front of the television set, Nat scales the trellis to her bedroom and begins to drill open the safe. While cruising by in their patrol car, two policemen notice Nat’s auto parked outside the estate and stop to investigate, prompting gang members Dohmer and Baylock to signal Nat. Scurrying back down the trellis, Nat approaches the officers and lies that his car has broken down. After the police depart, Nat returns to the safe, removing the necklace just seconds before Sara climbs the stairs to her bedroom. Speeding away into the night, Dohmer, Baylock and Nat drive to their hideout in a run-down tenement. There, Baylock values the necklace at $85,000 and nervously presses Nat to sell it immediately. After Sara reports the robbery, the officers who questioned Nat provide his description to the police artist, who then sketches an accurate drawing that is sent nationwide. At the tenement, Dohmer leers at the shapely Gladden, angering her. Later, Baylock questions Nat about the bond he feels to Gladden, prompting Nat to reflect back to his flight from an orphanage years earlier: The young Nat is given refuge by Gladden’s father Gerald, a professional burglar who teaches the boy his trade, asking only that in return, Nat promise to take care of Gladden. Three years later, Gerald is killed during a burglary due to Nat’s blunder, and Nat has felt responsible for her ever since. His thoughts returning to the present, Nat tells Gladden that she must go away, and the next morning, puts her on a train bound for Atlantic City. She is followed by a shadowy man, who strikes up a friendship with her in Atlantic City. Later, in a Philadelphia bar, Nat, depressed, meets a sultry woman named Della who invites him to her apartment. After several drinks, Della relates the hardships she has suffered in life, ending with her husband deserting her. Nat then tells her about Gladden and confides that he longs to leave his life of crime. Awakening late that night in Della's apartment, Nat finds that she is missing and goes to look for her. In the garden, he overhears her speaking to man about the necklace. Recognizing that Gladden is in danger, Nat assembles the gang and drives to Atlantic City to protect her. As they cross a bridge outside the city, the toll collector recognizes Nat from his drawing and notifies the authorities. Soon after, Nat is pulled over by a policeman for a traffic violation, and when Dohmer hears a bulletin about Nat over the police radio, he shoots the officer, who fires back, killing Dohmer. Now on the run, Baylock and Nat drive to a swamp on the edge of Atlantic City and abandon their car. Hearing the news of the gun battle, the Philadelphia captain of police speculates that the burglars will seek refuge in Atlantic City and goes there. At the water’s edge, Nat and Baylock come across a deserted beach shack, and Nat instructs Baylock to wait there while he goes to warn Gladden. Nat phones Gladden from the lobby of her hotel, and when she informs him she is not alone, he tells her to get rid of her boyfriend. When the man descends the hotel stairs, Nat recognizes him as Charlie, one of the officers who questioned him on the night of the robbery. After Nat informs Gladden that Charlie is only interested in the necklace, she upbraids Nat for his inability to perceive her as a desirable woman. Before he leaves Gladden's room, Nat slips the necklace under her pillow and tells her where she can find him. As Gladden removes the necklace and drops it in her music box, Charlie phones his accomplice Della in Philadelphia and orders her to come to Atlantic City. Upon returning to the shack, Nat is confronted by an armed Charlie, who has just killed Baylock and demands the necklace. Just as Della arrives at the shack, Nat informs Charlie that he has hidden the necklace in Gladden’s room. After instructing Della to hold Nat prisoner, Charlie goes to search for the necklace. Taking a risk that Della will not shoot, Nat walks out of the shack and phones Gladden to warn her. Gladden has gone out, however, and after the phone rings several times, she returns to her room and picks up the receiver, and Nat tells her to meet him at the Steel Pier. At the pier, Charlie, who has followed her, flashes his badge at a pier patrolman, then stalks Gladden and Nat into the fun house. After Gladden drops her music box in one of the tunnels, Charlie follows the sound of the music, catching up to them at the pier’s bleachers. Soon after, the audience departs, leaving only Nat, Charlie and Gladden. When Nat offers Charlie the necklace in exchange for Gladden’s life, Charlie agrees and allows Gladden to leave. After Nat hands Charlie the necklace, Charlie shoots him in the back, and he tumbles down the stairs where Gladden cradles the dying Nat in her arms. Just then, the police, alerted by the patrolman, arrive and congratulate Charlie on a job well done. Just as Charlie states that Nat threw the necklace in the ocean, Della appears and calls him a liar. The police captain then slugs Charlie in the face, and after extracting the necklace from his pocket, handcuffs him. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.