How To Steal A Million
Oh, how I love a caper movie! And this has to be the prettiest one ever made, with Audrey Hepburn as Nicole Bonnet, Peter O’Toole as Simon Dermott, a wardrobe by Givenchy, jewels by Cartier (yes, the jewels get a screen credit – it’s that kind of movie) multiple tiny convertibles, and Paris, Paris, Paris! It’s fun, gorgeous, and sophisticated, three words that also describe Audrey Hepburn.
Audrey is everything you want from her here. OMG, the white bubble hat, the white sunglasses, the little white dress and the tiny red convertible that she’s tooling around Paris in the first time we see her – you will die. And don’t even get me started on the black lace outfit she wears to meet Peter O’Toole clandestinely in the Ritz bar. A black lace dress with black lace tights and – I swear to you – a black lace mask barely obscuring amazing silver glitter eye makeup. I may pass out from fashion overload. Did I mention the clusters of diamonds at her ears? Cartier clusters, people.
So, okay, there’s also a plot. Nicole (Audrey) comes from a long line of happy-go-lucky art forgers, and lives in a Parisian mansion with her father and the family collection, the center of which is the “Cellini Venus,” a small statue forged by her grandfather. All is well until her father loans the Venus to a museum, which means it will have to be authenticated. Which means Audrey somehow has to get it back before the expert arrives from Zurich. Which is where Peter O’Toole comes in. And he comes in as a very fashionable burglar.
The two meet cute when she finds him attempting to rob her house in the dead of night. He’s in a tuxedo and she’s in a pink nightie. Only Audrey Hepburn could totally rock a pink nighty and black rubber galoshes. And he’s no slouch himself. The word ‘debonair’ comes to mind. The first shot of him is those Peter O’Toole blue eyes peering over the top of a forged painting. Rob me, Peter, rob me.
The Venus is installed at the museum under (of course) elaborate security, but Audrey is (of course) able to convince O’Toole to rob the place. The plan he devises involves a boomerang, a magnet, and the two of them spending a great deal of time together in a very small broom closet. Which is fine. They’re both so thin.
Will they retrieve the statue and live gorgeously ever after? You’ll have to watch and see. And by that I mean you have to.
The statue is watched by very French guards. You know they’re so French because of their mustaches.
The look on Audrey’s face after being kissed by O’Toole is the look we all imagine we’d have after such an encounter. Pure dazed bliss.
No two people have ever mad smoking look sexier. Is that how they stayed so thin? This is not a productive line of thought.
Is this movie the reason I started calling my father “Papa?” Audrey is beyond adorable every time she says it.
This movie is so pretty you could watch it with the sound off. But then you’d miss lines like these…
“I’m a society burglar. I don’t expect people to run about shooting me.”
“It’s national crime prevention week. Take a burglar to dinner.”
“You know, for someone who started lying just recently, you’re showing a real flair.”
And delightful exchanges like these…
A: “Well, you don’t think I’d steal something that didn’t belong to me, do you?”
P: “Excuse me, I spoke without thinking.”
P: “Ah, yes. That does it.” (on seeing her in her burglary disguise)
A: “Does what?”
P: “For one thing, it gives Givenchy a night off.”