Thief of Hearts
(1984) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
Thief of Hearts (1984) stars Steven Bauer, who,
together with partner David Caruso, specializes in burglarizing homes
of the rich, and is very good at what he does. When he hits the home
of Barbara Williams, he gets more than he bargained for, as a locked
chest contained her personal journals, in which she wrote every
intimate detail of her life, as well as her secret fantasies. Bauer
decides that he will steal her from her husband, and armed with his
knowledge of her, nearly does. All of the principles have pronounced
New York accents, but the film is set in San Francisco.
|The highlight for me was the appearance
of George Wendt in a minor role. He is always entertaining.
Although the concept was interesting, the story didn't
hit any high notes, or cover any new ground, and the ending seemed off
Williams shows breasts in a bath scene and a sex scene. Unfortunately,
the entire sex scene was in poor light and had severe motion blur.
Romy Windsor (who has enjoyed steady work since 1984), as a young
prostitute, showed all three Bs in good light.
Evidently there is a European cut somewhere with
an extra minute of footage on the sex scene.
|Scoopy's comments in yellow:
This was Douglas Day Stewart's first script after An Officer and a
Gentleman. The reviews were poor, and it was essentially his last
script. It was the first film he ever directed, but the disappointing
performance meant that he would not get another chance for many years.
Although this film
is rated only 5.0 at IMDb, he never bettered that score in subsequent
It isn't such a bad film. While it doesn't really
click, as Tuna noted, it has some real strengths:
- Excellent photography of San Francisco, including
some very creative and cinematic camera angles. (The cinematographer
worked with many of Hollywood's top directors).
- A very solid concept. A thief robs a prosperous
couple. Included in the booty are a stunning professional photo of her
and her horny diaries. More than enough to get him interested. Enough
to get him laid. After all, he knows exactly what she wants, and acts
out her fantasies.
- Good comic relief by George Wendt
- A really offbeat and enjoyable performance by David Caruso as the
- A complex portrayal of the thief of hearts, a man
who is not as good as he would like to be, but not as bad as people
They didn't do much with the concept. He should have
used his knowledge to make the sex really hot. Although the seduction
scene was excellent (Bauer undresses her while she is learning to
shoot), the sex scene is tired and uninspiring, and not even very
revealing. Tuna noted above that it also had technical problems.
I often whine when a script simply has
too many improbable surprises. This time, there were too few. Everything
plays out exactly as you expect it to from the moment that you first
understand the premise.
- with their dollars: domestic gross: $10.4
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this description, this
film is a C (Scoopy) to C- (Tuna). It's not erotic enough or
thrilling enough to an erotic thriller, but it has some
positives which make it watchable.
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