How to Steal a Million (1966)

I've seen a couple of Audrey Hepburn's romantic comedies in the past and something I've noticed is that she is able to make these movies charming and kinda magical. That's the reason why I gave How to Steal a Million a try. That, and Peter O'Toole; I've seen him only in Lawrence of Arabia and I was really curious to see him in a lighter role. 

Charles Bonnet (Hugh Griffith) is a famous art collector but in reality, he forges paintings to seel them. One night a thief (Peter O'Toole) breaks into his house, trying to steal one of his van Gogh and Charles's daughter, Nicole (Audrey Hepburn), stops him but lets him go because afraid a police involvement could expose her father's hobby. Later on,  Charles lends a precious statue to a prestigious Parid museum, but it's another fake, this one made by Nicole's grandfather, and before the statue gets tested, Nicole asks the burglar for help to steal it.

It's a very simple and basic plot, some pretty far-fetched things happen, it's kinda dragged at some point and it feels a little rushed towards the end, and yet it unfolds very nicely, it takes a few surprising turns along the way and it's overall quite engaging and fun. 

The romance between Nicole and Simon, the burglar, isn't one of the surprises though. It's indeed obvious since they first meet that they are going to fall in love. Furthermore, the romance is a little unconvincing. In spite of that, it's a very nice romance, and the credits entirely go to the brilliant leads. 

20th Century Fox
Audrey Hepburn is sublime as Nicole. She is vulnerable and sophisticated at the same time, like only she can be. The character isn't very complex --it's rather thin, actually-- but she easily makes up for that with her grace and charms. Peter O'Toole too does a good job. As Simon, he is able to deliver very well both the crook with a nice sense of humour and the love interest. It was really nice seeing these two paired together, and their chemistry is so good, it made the night at the museum exciting and charming. 

Then there's the dialogue and humour. With such a basic story and thin characters --Hepburn's isn't the only poorly written--, the script didn't look very well. It's the elegant and witty dialogue and the sparkling, subtle humour that makes it work. 


  1. It is one of my lesser favourites of her films. I like it but there is something about the movie I don’t care much for and I think it might be that the leads don’t seem to gel well with each other. I don’t know for sure.

    1. Oh I'm sorry to hear that. For me, they work very well together.