Watch The Happy Thieves
- 1 hr 28 min
In 1961's The Happy Thieves, we are introduced to two rather skilled and equally charming thieves, Jimmy and Eve, played respectively by Rex Harrison and Rita Hayworth. Set primarily in Europe, the movie follows this duo as they plot to steal a valuable painting from a wealthy collector, played by Joseph Wiseman. As the movie opens, Jimmy and Eve are in the middle of executing a smaller heist, successfully stealing a diamond-encrusted tiara from a museum in Spain. From there, they hatch a plan to steal an even more valuable and high-stakes item - a painting known as "The Laughing Cavalier" from the aforementioned collector's home in Monte Carlo.
From there, the plot thickens, with the addition of various other characters both helpful and not so helpful. This includes a potential new love interest for Jimmy in the form of a young woman named Paola, played by Alida Valli.
One of the most immediately striking things about The Happy Thieves is its gorgeous setting. Shot on location in Spain and Italy, the movie features stunning shots of the Mediterranean coastline, the narrow alleys of coastal towns, and ornate villas that evoke a life of luxurious leisure.
The chemistry between Harrison and Hayworth is also a major highlight of the film. They work together seamlessly, with a certain level of flirtatious banter that never goes too over the top. It's clear that they have worked together before, and their rapport feels natural and easy.
Joseph Wiseman also does an excellent job as the wealthy collector who has no idea that Jimmy and Eve are plotting to steal his prized possession. His character is simultaneously suave and sinister, with an underlying current of danger that makes the stakes feel real.
As the movie progresses, we see the various members of this motley crew working together to try and execute their plan. This includes creating a distraction by staging a theatrical production of "The Laughing Cavalier," and using subterfuge and stealth to try and sneak their way into the collector's home undetected.
While the movie does have its tense moments, it never feels overly serious or weighed down by heavy drama. There's a certain lightness to the proceedings that makes it all feel like a fun, escapist adventure.
At its heart, The Happy Thieves is ultimately a movie about the thrill of the heist, and the sense of satisfaction that comes from successfully pulling off a scheme that seems impossible. It's a movie that takes joy in the cleverness and ingenuity of its characters, and in watching them play off of each other in pursuit of a common goal.
Overall, The Happy Thieves is a delightful and breezy film that is sure to entertain fans of classic Hollywood cinema. With its beautiful setting, charming performances, and high-stakes heist plot, it's a movie that is easy to get lost in and enjoy.
The Happy Thieves is a 1962 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.2.