How to Steal a Million (1966)

Genres - Comedy, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Caper, Crime Comedy  |   Run Time - 123 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Heist caper comedies are a special breed, and while How to Steal a Million is certainly not the finest of them, it may very well feature the most engaging star coupling. Certainly Million needs the star wattage that Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole provide in abundance, for left to its own devices it would be significantly less enthralling. The biggest problem is that the film is a good 20 minutes too long and that it takes far too long to get to the heart of the story; the entire subplot with Eli Wallach could have been excised from the screenplay and the little that was lost would have been made up for by a film that moved along at a brighter pace. Part of the blame rests with director William Wyler, whose work here is certainly good but is also clearly not his best; a stronger hand on the helm was needed to trim the completed picture. Still, this matters little once the film actually starts concentrating on the scheme, and its far better for the film to drag too much at the beginning than at the end. Besides, as long as Hepburn and O'Toole are around, no one needs to pay too much attention to the fluffy script. They're such incredibly beautiful people and have such unmatched charisma, both separately and together, that we're quite ready to forget what they're saying and just listen to the way they say it and how they look when they're saying it. It doesn't hurt that Hugh Griffith is also on hand to turn in a marvelous supporting performance, and it really doesn't hurt that Hepburn gets to waltz around in a number of stunning Givenchy outfits. Million is not a great film, but it's a perfectly charming way to waste a couple of hours.