Thieves Like Us

Synopsis: Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in love along the way with a girl met at their hideout, the older man is a happy professional criminal with a romance of his own, the third is a fast lover and hard drinker fond of his work. The young lovers begin to move out of the sphere in which they have met, a last robbery in Yazoo City goes badly and puts paid to the gang once and for all as a profitable venture, but isn't the end of the story quite yet, as all three are wanted and notorious men with altogether different points of view on the situation they are faced with.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Robert Altman
Production: United Artists
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
123 min

You know, they say there's

some of the best fishing around here

in that pond

by the cow barn on Huett's land.

Listen, I'm gonna tell you

all something about fishing, Bowie.

Most people won't admit to it.

Best time to go fishing is in the rain.

Well, I ain't ever done that.

Of course you haven't.

Somebody says, "Fish in the rain. "

"Well, the fish won't be out. "

Hell, if they don't wanna be out.

Fish don't mind.

They live in the pond, the lake, whatever.

They're wet already.

Few more paddles and we're there, Bowie.

Good for you.


Come on, son of a b*tch.

- Not a bad day's work, is it?

- I'll say.

- You fellas stay here. Guard the boat.

- See you.


I know they're just not gonna be here.

Well, they might.

I told you. They're not here.

- No. Look there. See?

- Where?

Right there.


Who's driving?

Who was that guy

who sells marijuana, the prison guy?


Yeah, I think that's who's driving.

I could tell he sells marijuana

just by the way he drives.

He just hit a pothole.




Howdy, Bowie.

What you boys doing out here, fishing?


Hey, did y'all hear the one

about the little boy that bought the turtle?

Had one of them turtles,

you know, that they paint pictures on.

Well, the next day,

he took it down to the store,

and he grabbed the manager

and he says, "Look," he says,

"My turtle got blisters on his feet. "

Man looked at him and says,

"That's not possible, son. "

He reached down, he took

the turtle away from him, he looked at it.

He says, "Son, I believe you're right. "

He says,

"This turtle does have blisters on his feet".

Had two syrup buckets

sitting over there on the counter.

He reached over there and he dropped

that turtle in one syrup bucket,

and he reached down in that other

syrup bucket and pulled out that turtle,

and he handed it to the little boy.

Little boy took that turtle,

and he looked at it

and he said, "Thank you, sir. "

He put it right on top

of the counter and he says...



God almighty, man.

This is a stickup, Jasbo.

Bowie, you know me.

Tell these boys I'm all right.

You just do like you're told.

I'll do anything you say.

All you gotta do is just tell me.

Come on, now, Jasbo.

You're gonna put

your hands there high on that wheel.

- High, that's right.

- T-DUB:
All right.

- You put your head between them.

- Okay.

Yes, sir.

I'll put my hands down between my legs

if you want me to.

Now, you don't have

to do that, Jasbo.

Yeah, yeah. Just tell me, though.



What do you think we are, midgets?

All right, come on, hurry up.


- Button later, button later.

- Okay.

What do you think we are, T-Dub, giants?

Come on, will you?

Jasbo, put your head down.

Yes, sir.

Come on, let's go, let's get going.

Worry about the straps later.

All right, come on.

Let's go. Get in, get in.

All right, Jasbo, start your motor.

Yes, sir.

I see you wince just once, Jasbo,

and I'm gonna

shoot you right in the side of the head.

Yes, sir. Yes.

- Just hang a U here.

- Yes, sir.

I'll bet the colonel's bowels

are in an uproar by now.

I can just hear him saying,

"Get out and slap that bunch of no-goods.

"That's what you get

for treating them like white men. "


No more baseball

and passes to go fishing.

Now go and beat Bowie Bowers.

And that T-Dub Masefield, he isn't

gonna work in that commissary no more.

Well, praise the Lord for that.

I can hear him saying, "Get out the guns

- "and the hounds and the .30-30s...

- Yeah.

"... and you shoot them

sons of b*tches down. "


Did you hear

any baseball scores, Jasbo?

No, sir, I sure haven't.

Well, don't the radio work?

No, sir. It don't.

It never has worked when it's raining.

Hey, Jasbo, why don't you sing us a song?

I don't know no songs.

What do you mean,

you don't know no songs?

The radio don't work.

You be the radio. You sing us a song.

Well, there is a song

we used to sing in high school.

Oh, that's okay, boys.

Sing the high school song.




Thataway, Jasbo!

Yeah, Jasbo!

Just another what?

Just another accident.



Hey, Jasbo!


Jasbo, I could

shoot you for this.

Bowie, get that spare tire.

That ain't my fault.

That tire's a brand new tire.

His spare's flatter than a sailcat.

Gentlemen, this wins the purloin bathtub.

Come on, let's walk it.

You go ahead, Bowie.

I'll take care of Jasbo right now.

- Take care of me?

- Come on, in the car, in the car.

- Yes, sir.

- Move it, move it, move!

Yes, sir.

Now, you know what to do,

don't you, Jasbo?

- Or am I gonna have to tie you up?

- No, sir, you don't have to tie me up.

- I know what to do.

- That's a good boy.

- Now, you bump your head on that wheel.

- Yes, sir.

And you close your eyes and you keep

your eyes closed, you hear me?

Yes, sir.

You keep those eyes closed

for the next two hours, hey?

- Yes, sir.

- Three hours,

'cause I'm gonna come back and check

every once in a while. You got me?

Yes, sir.


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Calder Willingham

Calder Baynard Willingham, Jr. (December 23, 1922 – February 19, 1995) was an American novelist and screenwriter. Before the age of thirty, after just three novels and a collection of short stories, The New Yorker was already describing Willingham as having “fathered modern black comedy,” his signature a dry, straight-faced humor, made funnier by its concealed comic intent. His work matured over six more novels, including Eternal Fire (1963), which Newsweek said “deserves a place among the dozen or so novels that must be mentioned if one is to speak of greatness in American fiction.” He had a significant career in cinema, too, with screenplay credits that include Paths of Glory (1957), The Graduate (1967) and Little Big Man (1970). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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