The Thief of Paris

Synopsis: In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who steals his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a rich neighbour. As an act of revenge, Georges steals the fiance's family jewels, and enjoys the experience so much that he embarks upon a life-time of burglary.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Louis Malle
Production: United Artists
  1 nomination.
120 min

Some thieves go to any lengths

to avoid harming the furniture.

Not me.

Others carefully put everything

back in place before they leave.

I never do.

It's a messy business I'm in.

But there's a reason

I do it messily.

Besides, I have no time to waste.

For a house such as this,

to look it over completely,

sort it out, pick and choose,

it takes the whole night

and then some.

I know what I'm talking about.

I'm a thief. That's my life.

We don't choose our destiny.

But I'm not complaining.

Don't bite your nails.

If you must bite nails, use other people's.

Yours are your property.

You must respect your property.

I was an orphan.

I grew up with my cousin, Charlotte,

and Uncle Urbain, her father.

He had taken me in

and watched over my interests.

One day I would be rich,

everyone kept telling me.

Idleness is wicked,

young man, and work is honor.

My children, he needs the advice

more than the charity.

I hated my uncle, but I loved Charlotte.

I swore to myself I'd marry her.

Fourteen years passed,

in college, the army,

in dormitories and barracks.

Fourteen years behind bars.

And then freedom,

homecoming, Charlotte.


What's wrong?

I have a fianc.

I'm getting married.

Georges, I was fond of your father.

A charming gentleman, an artist.

But in financial dealings, a total failure.

He made errors,

overestimated his fortune.

Verify it yourself. I did all I could

to repair the damage he caused.

Georges, hear me.

If I gambled with your money,

I did so for you.

Unfortunately, I was victimized

by unscrupulous rascals.

It's deplorable, but who knew that

the Bank of Europe would go bankrupt?

Would you have guessed that?

Would I? Never.

You lost a total of 600,000 francs.

Six hundred thousand?

I myself have not been spared.

The other 300,000, where did it go?

It's here.

They're Panamanian.

You know that they are won'thless.

It's possible.

But I paid a lot of money for them!

I have your bills, if you'd like to check.

Can you see what the wealthy

are up against?

- Why are you robbing me?

- What are you implying?

Is it for Charlotte's dowry?


What does she have to do with this?

Are you questioning my word?

- I am, Uncle.

- Then you can sue, if you want to.

If you have time and money, you have

one chance in a hundred to succeed.

You have thought of everything!

Where do I sign?

Careful now.

Do you know what you're signing?

You renounce in perpetuity, all redress.

- Are you feeling remorseful?

- Me? Don't be foolish.

But you look as if you're making me a gift.

I don't like that.

Don't believe in looks.

You could be mistaken.

- You have a fianc for Charlotte?

- We've arranged a superb match.

Are you surprised?

Are you disappointed?

What a pity!

You're right, Uncle.

I'm not a suitable match for her.

I will try to control myself.

Several days later, the Montareuils

honored the engagement

of their son Armand to Charlotte.

We are off on the right foot, Mademoiselle.

- One might say it was fate.

- Armand, you're right.

You're so joyful and carefree. So am I.

I am joyful, but I'm shy.

Allow me the time to become

accustomed to you and you to me.

The Montareuils, once very rich,

still retained remnants

of their famous jewelry.

Madame de Montareuil

had taken them out of the bank

for my cousin to choose

her engagement ring.

My sweet Charlotte.


Father, give me back those matches.


And get to bed, it's late.

Heartbreaking old man.

A peer scolded for stealing some matches.

La Margelle. Flix La Margelle,

at your service.

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Jean-Claude Carrière

Jean-Claude Carrière (French: [ka.ʁjɛʁ]; born 17 September 1931) is a French novelist, screenwriter, actor, and Academy Award honoree. He was an alumnus of the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud and was president of La Fémis, the French state film school. Carrière was a frequent collaborator with Luis Buñuel on the screenplays of Buñuel's late French films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Thief of Paris" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 27 Nov. 2020. <>.

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