The Thief (1952)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Film Noir  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Director Russell Rouse went out on a creative limb in this outing, which resulted in the first American film since Chaplin's City Lights without any spoken dialogue. The Thief stars Ray Milland as Allan Fields, a nuclear physicist who has sold out to a foreign power. With only a few tinges of conscience, Fields sets about to steal vital scientific secrets and smuggle them out of the country. With the FBI on his trail, he briefly hides out in a rundown tenement house, where he inaugurates a desultory romance with a sluttish woman (Rita Gam, making her auspicious film debut). On the verge of escaping without detection, Fields is forced to commit a murder and things quickly go downhill from there. The novelty of silence (except for natural sound effects) is intriguing at first, though it wears off rather quickly; still, Ray Milland deserves at least a gold star for trying.

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Keywords

agent [representative], criminal, espionage, FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), killing, scientist, treason