35 Years later: ‘Thief’ is Michael Mann’s Masterpiece

1981 saw the release of Michael Mann’s feature directorial debut Thief. James Caan plays Frank, a professional safecracker whose plan to settle down spirals out-of-control when he becomes indebted to an underworld criminal organization.

‘Thief’ is Michael Mann’s coming out party, boosted by the magnetic James Caan

Minor quibbles aside, there is little doubt that Thief remains one of the director’s more accomplished and assured projects. It serves as an indicator of the material that speaks to him, material he would borrow from a few more times in the following decades and boasts a raw, subtly layered performance from the iconic James Caan. Whether it represents Mann’s best work or not, it certainly is neo-noir done right.

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