The Thief (1952)

the thief 1952

Thoroughly absorbing movie that doesn’t use any dialogue. It’s all Herschel Burke Gilbert’s soundtrack and natural sound are all that’s heard. Ray Milland is an award winning nuclear physicist who works for the Atomic Energy Commission and reluctantly sells secrets to a foreign power. This belongs on the must see list.

Dr.Allan Fields (Ray Milland) is contacted by phone and that’s the signal to go outside for his orders. His contact (Martin Gable) drops a paper in the street. Fields takes it back home to see what he has to do. He photographs some documents and the pictures are successfully passed through a group of couriers.

Now he has to go into the office of Dr.Linstrum. Making sure no one is inside he opens the safe and photographs some secret documents. He has a narrow escape as Lindstrum returns and Fields left the camera on the desk. Lindstrum doesn’t see it, gets a book he wanted and leaves. As the film is passed down the line a courier is accidentally run over by a car. The film is in his hand. An alert cop turns it over to the FBI.

Fields and a few others are now under the suspicion of the FBI. He looks all through his apartment for bugs and doesn’t find any. He doesn’t know his phone is tapped. It’s arranged to get him out of the country. He gets a locker key from the glove compartment of a car and heads for a cheap hotel. He has a nice looking babe (Rita Gam) across the hall to look at.

The suitcase has a note instructing him to meet a woman on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building. She’ll be carrying three books wrapped in string. There’s also a passport for him with a new name and a change of clothes. He’s going stir crazy and runs through the streets to work off the tension.

The woman heads for the meeting. She doesn’t know she’s being followed by FBI agent Harris. Fields makes contact and there’s a newspaper clipping with a circle around the departing time for a ship to Cairo. Harris is in a panic because he lost sight of the woman. Then he spots Fields

A lot of suspense from here on out. The movie shows how well taking a chance can turn out when you have an actor the caliber of Ray Milland to work with. He was nominated for a Golden Globe. The winner was Gary Cooper for “High Noon.” This is high on my favorites list.

Martin Gable made a lot of movies but most know him for his over one hundred appearances on “What’s My Line?” as a panelist and even a mystery guest (1956-67).

Rita Gam made a number of TV appearances before this, her first movie role. It’s a quick appearance.

Rita Gam

Rita Gam


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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