The Hot Rock

Synopsis: Dr. Amusa approaches Dortmunder about a valuable gem in a museum that is of great signifigance to his people in Africa, stolen during colonial times. Dortmunder assembles a crack team of cat burglars and hatches an elaborate plan for stealing the gem. Despite their care and experience, circumstances and plain bad luck keep the gem just out of their reach.
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Director(s): Peter Yates
Production: 20th Century Fox
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

- Name?

- Dortmunder.

This way.

Sign here.

- What is your name?

- Dortmunder.

- Your first name?

- John.

Put your package

on the table right here.

Step over here.

Gimme your right hand.

Get over this way a little bit.

All right, swish your thumb

in the red dish, take a napkin...

wipe your finger off

and remain standing there.

- Your name?

- John Dortmunder.

Do you wanna, uh,

check your belongings, please?

I couldn't let you leave without

hearing my rehabilitation speech.

Sign here.

You don't have to worry about me

getting rehabilitated, sir.

I already am.

Thanks to you

and your prison programs.

Johnny. Johnny.

This is me, remember?

No matter what institution I'm at,

sooner or later I got you inside it.

You couldn't, um, really go straight?

My heart wouldn't

be in it, Frank.

Man on discharge.


Damn. Dortmunder!

What the hell you running for?

It's me, your old pal, Kelp.

- Ah.

- So how was it this time?

Not bad.

I learned plumbing.

Man of your talents

can't be a plumber.

You don't have to worry yourself

about my talents.

I'm not doin'

any more jobs with you.

Who mentioned a job?

You mean, you don't think it's possible

I came out of friendship?

Look, I happen to be married

to your sister, and we both

happen to care for you.

And if you think that's easy,

you're wrong because you're

a very abrasive fellow.

Most people can't stand you.

Am I right?

You're still as fascinating as ever.

I took a hell of a risk

stealing this car so

you'd have a little comfort...

to ease you back into society.

Why does that

entitle me to abuse?

It's terrific. I'm sorry.

- Don't apologize unless you mean it.

- I mean it.

- Really?

- Really.

Okay, good. I believe you.

So now let me tell you

a few things about the job.

- Well?

- I don't think so.

I know you.

When you say no, you mean yes.

Say you'll at least meet the doctor,

okay? He's the moneyman.

I'm not being pushy but where's

the harm seeing if you like each other?

- You're not being pushy?

- I'm just edging you

towards making a decision.

There's a difference.

There's a difference.

There's six ways of lookin'

at this. You could look

at this in 100 different ways.

I'm just sayin', let's take two ways

to look at it that way.

Now, listen, I didn't tell the doctor

about you being in prison.

I figure, why undermine his confidence.

He wants the best for his money.

Not that you're not the best.

But a layman might wonder

why you're all the time in jail.

Someday the schoolbooks

of my country will sing your praises.

I don't think we want

this nosed around, do we, Doctor?

I was taking poetic license.

Our literacy rate in Central Vatawi

is 99 percent.

The point is, my entire country

will be in your debt...

for returning the Sahara Stone

to its rightful people.

- This is him?

- I am the permanent representative...

- of Central Vatawi

at the United Nations.

- Some job of explaining you did.

You may call me "Doctor" Amusa,

Mr. Dortmunder.

You see, the countries

of Central and Outer Vatawi...

have been stealing the Sahara Stone

from one another for generations.

We like to think

it was originally ours.

The whole matter at present is

being studied by the United Nations.

Being a member of that body...

I, of course, have complete faith in

the wisdom of their eventual decision.

But as you Americans might say,

in case they blow it...

I'd feel more secure

with the jewel in my possession...

which is why,

naturally enough, we are here.

Mr. Dortmunder is not entirely

committed yet, Doctor.

I won't pay a penny

more than 25,000 a man.

I didn't ask for any more.

It comes to a total

of exactly $100,000.

Four men. If you need five,

you'll each take less.

What if we can do it with three?

That will still be 25,000.

I wouldn't want

to encourage greed.

There's no greed around here, Doctor.

We're all men of goodwill.

If I weren't a man of goodwill...

I might think that some of us lied...

about the prison records

of others of us.

As it is, I know it

was only an oversight.

The doctor is, uh,

a most understanding employer.

How much help are you good for?

What kind of help?

Vehicles, weapons,

whatever's needed.

- Oh, matriel, of course.

- And expenses.

- Expenses?

- Come on, little birdies,

and get your supper.

- What?

- Come on. Come on, dears,

and get your supper.

Come on. Near the bench.

Here. You, come on. Get it.

Come and get it, dearies.

Come and get it.

He means expenses

to live on, Doctor.

- Planning something like this

could take weeks.

- Oh, the sweet little...

Oh, you mean an advance

on your 25,000?

- No, that's not what I mean.

- I'm sure something can be arranged.

What I mean is expenses

in addition to the 25,000.

- I mean per diem. I mean

whatever is needed in order...

- I'm sorry.

It's-It's not possible.


Doctor, the man

is fresh out of prison.

How's he supposed to eat?

How's he supposed to keep

body and soul together, Doctor?

- All right.

- All right!

Eat your supper, I tell ya.

I'll let you have $75 a week.

- Seventy-five?

- Seventy-five.

Do you realize what

the cost of living is in this town?


I couldn't work for it.

How can you insult the man

with an offer like that?

Offer him 150.

- I can make him take 150.

- Yes. Right I am.

You want the stone,

you'll say 150.

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William Goldman

William Goldman (born August 12, 1931) is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He came to prominence in the 1950s as a novelist, before turning to writing for film. He has won two Academy Awards for his screenplays, first for the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and again for All the President's Men (1976), about journalists who broke the Watergate scandal of President Richard Nixon. Both films starred Robert Redford. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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