Movie Review: How to Steal a Million (1966)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1966 movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole.

Synopsis: French art collector Charles Bonnet has a collection that is envied by many. But, he has a secret, his collection consists of forgeries. When he risks getting caught after donating a forged statue to a museum exhibit, his daughter partners with an art thief in an effort to steal the statue before it can be examined.


I had planned on watching another classic film last night while my wife was at work. However, after I started that movie, I discovered it wasn't in English and, since I wasn't really in the mood to spend my evening reading subtitles, I looked for an alternative.

I had seen this movie was available on Netflix about a week ago and, after reading the description, thought it sounded interesting. As it turns out, it was actually a pretty decent film.

The thing I found I liked about this movie was the chemistry between Hepburn and O'Toole. Her character, Nicole, needed O'Toole's Simon's help stealing the statue but, because of it being a forgery, didn't want to fill him in on any of the details. This ended up making the movie entertaining to watch because it was unclear if he would end up helping her or succeeding in convincing her to give up.

The character I liked the most in this film, however, was the forger, Bonnet (Griffith). He was such a colorful individual and kind of unpredictable. As a result, he was fun to watch and, at the same time, I wasn't sure if he would end up doing something that would hurt his daughter's efforts.

Probably my only complaint about the movie was the heist itself. For one, it seemed to take much longer than it probably should have and consisted mostly of them being locked in a storage closet. Plus, it wasn't overly difficult to figure out Simon's game plan for stealing the statue. I actually had it figured out the second he bought a boomerang.

That being said, the end of this film wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be, mostly because I was still a bit confused about how Nicole's accidental fiance (Wallach) would fit in with all of this, especially since he was one of the pushiest characters I have seen. I loved how Simon managed to use the fiance to his advantage and both unload the stolen merchandise while getting Nicole out of her engagement. It was actually a pretty clever ending.

Final Opinion

The actual art theft took a little too long but, overall, I thought this was a cute, funny movie. It wasn't my first choice last night but was definitely worth watching.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 03/05/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/24/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The library system has How to Steal a Million among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. So I look forward to seeing this classic film.

What might have made the art heist less laborious in detail and time?

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