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The Thief (1952) Ray Milland, Rita Gam | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Director Russell Rouse went out on a creative limb in this outing, which resulted in the first American film since Chaplin’s City Lights without any spoken dialogue. The Thief stars Ray Milland as Allan Fields, a nuclear physicist who has sold out to a foreign power. With only a few tinges of conscience, Fields sets about to steal vital scientific secrets and smuggle them out of the country. With the FBI on his trail, he briefly hides out in a rundown tenement house, where he inaugurates a desultory romance with a sluttish woman (Rita Gam, making her auspicious film debut). On the verge of escaping without detection, Fields is forced to commit a murder and things quickly go downhill from there. The novelty of silence (except for natural sound effects) is intriguing at first, though it wears off rather quickly; still, Ray Milland deserves at least a gold star for trying.

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Comment (22)

  1. WOW! This is an amazing film! The scenary/locations were great! I loved the cars and buses etc. All the main actors were fantastic, especially Ray! There was no over acting! You could almost tell everything that was going through Ray's mind just by his subtle facial expressions. The camera angels were fantastic! The director was awesome! The musical score carried the film all the way through! Absolutely marvelous!
    Thanks for posting such a wonderful film! The heck with two thumbs up, this was a 10 thumbs up! I bet many thought at the time that this way of directing would not work, but work it did! 👍✌😎🇺🇸

  2. Deeply absorbing & intriguing; so many phone calls, yet nobody says anything. Always felt that silent movie techniques really show what an actor’s made of; maybe part of what made Garbo so transcendent. Of course all she had to do was show up; her eyes were enough. Was surprised to learn that many late silent-era films were furnished with a complete recorded musical score & dubbed sound effects, but no dialogue, which actually qualifies them as ‘sound films’ which this feels like.

  3. Was the worse movie I ever seen Ray Milland play in. Got bored with it the fact that it didn't have any dialogue just made it worse. I thought it was going to be good because I have seen so many of his movies and I have never been disappointed until now.

  4. th e music composer for this movie, HERSCHEL BURKE GILBERT, was nominated for this movie, and two others but never actually win the Oscar unfortunately. He set the right mood in this movie w. his music.

  5. always liked this, after a long time between showing you're like. oh yea, he doesn't say anything, not till the end do you realise no one says anything. the spoiler should be removed in description.


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