Happy New Year is an Americanized remake of the 1974 French film of the same name. Peter Falk and Charles Durning play Nick and Charlie, a pair of seedy but suave jewel thieves. Preparing to rob the exclusive Florida jewelry store managed by Tom Courtenay, Nick and Charlie meticulously pre-plan their heist, adopting a variety of false identities and silly costumes along the way. Unfortunately for our heroes, Nick becomes enamored of Caroline (Wendy Hughes, in her American film debut), the beautiful owner of the antique shop next door to the jewelry store. Nick's fascination with Caroline effectively scuttles his and Charlies' "perfect" crime. Claude Lelouch, writer/director of the original Happy New Year, appears in an amusing cameo role. Bedeviled with production problems, the Falk-Durning Happy New Year didn't see the light of day until nearly a year after its completion; after a fitful theatrical release, the film went straight to video, where it finally built up a following.
by Hal Erickson synopsis