The Thief Who Came to Dinner

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The Thief Who Came to Dinner
The Thief Who Came to Dinner Poster.jpg
Directed byBud Yorkin
Produced byNorman Lear
Bud Yorkin
Written byTerrence Lore Smith (novel)
Walter Hill
StarringRyan O'Neal
Jacqueline Bisset
Warren Oates
Jill Clayburgh
Ned Beatty
Charles Cioffi
Austin Pendleton
Michael Murphy
Gregory Sierra
Music byHenry Mancini
CinematographyPhilip H. Lathrop
Edited byJohn Horger
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date(s)March 1, 1973
Running time104 min.
Box office$1,750,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[1]
 
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The Thief Who Came to Dinner
The Thief Who Came to Dinner Poster.jpg
Directed byBud Yorkin
Produced byNorman Lear
Bud Yorkin
Written byTerrence Lore Smith (novel)
Walter Hill
StarringRyan O'Neal
Jacqueline Bisset
Warren Oates
Jill Clayburgh
Ned Beatty
Charles Cioffi
Austin Pendleton
Michael Murphy
Gregory Sierra
Music byHenry Mancini
CinematographyPhilip H. Lathrop
Edited byJohn Horger
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date(s)March 1, 1973
Running time104 min.
Box office$1,750,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

The Thief Who Came to Dinner is a 1973 comedy film directed by Bud Yorkin and based on the novel by Terrence Lore Smith. The film stars Ryan O'Neal and Jacqueline Bisset, with Charles Cioffi, Warren Oates, and in an early appearance, Jill Clayburgh.

Plot summary[edit]

Webster McGee (Ryan O'Neal) is a computer programmer who abruptly quits his job and adopts a life of crime as a jewel thief in Houston, Texas.

For his first job he robs rich businessman Henderling (Charles Cioffi), stealing from him not only money, but also files with information that could destroy Henderling's career. McGee uses them to blackmail him but instead of money he asks for introduction into high society -- aiming to find a way to rob other rich houses.

He soon meets Laura (Jacqueline Bisset) at a society function hosted by Henderling. She falls in love with McGee and then helps him to burglarize several friends of Henderling.

Texas Mutual Insurance investigator Dave Reilly (Warren Oates) is intent on identifying Webster as the jewel thief, but in the course of investigation Reilly and McGee develop a sort of friendship. Reilly must decide whether to be loyal to his job or his new friend.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Oliver Hailey wrote the first draft of the script from the novel. Then Walter Hill was hired to rewrite a number of subsequent drafts and he ends up with sole credit.[2]

Filming took place on location in Houston. Director Bud Yorkin is known for his association with Norman Lear who together collaborated on All in the Family and Maude for broadcast television. Following this film, Yorkin turned mainly to TV, along with Lear and writer Aaron Ruben. Yorkin did, however, direct three more feature films, including the sequel to Arthur starring Dudley Moore.

Differences between the novel and the movie[edit]

Reception[edit]

Walter Hill later said "Warren Oates was very good in the movie - better than the movie was. They cut a lot of things of his out of the movie they shouldn't have."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 19
  2. ^ a b "Hard Riding", Greco, Mike, Film Comment 16.3 (May/Jun 1980): 13-19,80.

External links[edit]