Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

How to Steal a Million


A medium-good entry in a genre I really love: the heist movie. Audrey Hepburn is the daughter of one of my favorite character actors, Hugh Griffith, who played the ribald Squire Western in Tom Jones. Papa is an art forger who has done very well for himself and Audrey, selling phony masterpieces to gullible billionaires. But hubris has caught up with him. He has allowed a phony statue of Venus by “Cellini” to be exhibited in a museum. But since it has to be insured for a million dollars, it will now be examined by an art expert who is sure to detect the forgery. Daughter teams up with Peter O’Toole, a man she thinks is a professional burglar, to steal the statue. The scheme they come up with is pretty good, and fun to watch.

Even more fun to watch is the chemistry between the couple. O’Toole is his usual devilishly charming rogue, and Hepburn is … well, Hepburn. One might think that the whole thing was thought up just to let her model half a dozen ‘60s-ish outfits by Givenchy, and there may be some truth in that. I’ve always felt that no one who ever lived looked better in a suit than Cary Grant. And Audrey Hepburn could wear anything and look good. There is a funny line when she is forced to dress as a charwoman as part of the plot. She says something like “How do I look?” And he replies “For one thing, it gives Givenchy a night off.” That, plus the car that she drives, an Autobianchi Bianchina Special Cabriolet, is so small it looks like a toy (google it, and laugh), and he drives a bright yellow Jaguar E-Type convertible. What more could you want in a light entertainment?