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Sunday, July 29, 2012

How To Steal A Million (1966)

A world class forger (Hugh Griffith) loans a priceless Cellini statue of Venus to a Paris museum. But when the museum insists on an authentication of the piece for insurance purposes, his daughter (Audrey Hepburn) enlists the aid of a burglar (Peter O'Toole) to help steal the statue before the authentication reveals the statue to be a fake. William Wyler is the last director one would think of for a romantic piece of heist fluff. This is Blake Edwards or Stanley Donen territory here. Still, if not light and bubbly, at least Wyler doesn't muck it up. My only complaint is that the film is overlong and just at the point of wearing out its welcome. Wyler's got the good fortune of having Hepburn and O'Toole in the leads who override any concerns with the improbable plot. Hepburn could do this stuff in her sleep but who knew the normally intense O'Toole had the light touch and could be so charming? The delightful score is by John Williams. With Charles Boyer, Eli Wallach, Marcel Dalio and Jacques Marin.

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