1981 ***1/2
Original Theatrical Cut runs 122 mins.
Special Director's Edition runs 124 mins.

The first feature film from Michael Mann is not without its faults. It definitely feels like a first feature. It is riddled with problems, up to and including an ending that is shot strangely, resulting in unsettling slow-motion. James Caan creates a vivid main character, though, and we welcome the journey. The painfully '80s score by Tangerine Dream is also a welcome addition to a film that does offer some interesting insight into the future films Michael Mann would grace us with. We can definitely see some of the brilliance that would become Manhunter and Heat taking root here. Caan plays a fly-on-his-own thief, who gets wrangled into working for a tycoon. All he wants is to retire and live a normal life, but that may not be what's in store for him.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Rated R.

James Caan + Tuesday Weld + Willie Nelson + James Belushi + Robert Prosky + Tom Signorelli + Dennis Farina + Nick Nickeas + W.R. (Bill) Brown + Norm Tobin

Screen Story and Screenplay by
Michael Mann

Based on "The Home Invaders" by Frank Hohimer

Directed by
Michael Mann

THIEF in The Criterion Collection

Motion Pictures