Combustible Celluloid
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With: Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Eli Wallach, Hugh Griffith, Charles Boyer
Written by: Harry Kurnitz, based on the story by George Bradshaw
Directed by: William Wyler
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 123
Date: 07/13/1966

How to Steal a Million (1966)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Crimes of the Art

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In 1953, Audrey Hepburn made her starring debut in Roman Holiday, directed by William Wyler. Though Wyler's films generally lack in personality, Hepburn's charisma was more than enough to make the picture a smashing success. Thirteen years later, the duo teamed up again for this full color, widescreen romantic comedy that registers considerably less in the fire and passion department. Peter O'Toole stars as Simon Dermott, an expert in art forgeries, while Hepburn is Nicole Bonnett, the daughter of a great forger (Hugh Griffith). When Simon breaks into Nicole's estate to investigate a bogus van Gogh, she discovers him and mistakes him for a burglar. She later enlists his help to steal a counterfeit statue before insurance inspectors discover that it, too, is a fake. O'Toole is at his best, but Hepburn seems to have lost some of her sparkle; she's not helped by one of her horrid 1960s beehive hairdos. Wyler's sluggish direction fails to wake her up, while cinematographer Charles Lang's widescreen images emphasize the screen's riches, but not its humanity. Still, this is totally harmless entertainment and a pleasant enough two hours for Audrey fans.

DVD Details: As a bonus, the disc includes Hepburn's 60-minute A&E Biography episode, while co-star Eli Wallach and Wyler's daughter Catherine provide a commentary track.

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