The Happy Thieves

The Happy Thieves is a 1961 American crime/comedy-drama film starring Rex Harrison and Rita Hayworth and directed by George Marshall. The film is based on the novel The Oldest Confession by Richard Condon. The film was poorly received, with star Harrison later describing it as "absolute rubbish".

The Happy Thieves
Poster of the movie The Happy Thieves.jpg
Directed byGeorge Marshall
Written byJohn Gay
Based onThe Oldest Confession
by Richard Condon
StarringRita Hayworth
Rex Harrison
Joseph Wiseman
Music byMario Nascimbene
CinematographyPaul Beeson
Edited byOswald Hafenrichter
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
December 20, 1961 (Chicago, Illinois)[1]
January 1962 (Nationwide)
Running time
88 mins.
CountryUnited States


The painting in the castle is Diego Velázquez's Rokeby Venus.
They try to steal The Second of May 1808 from Prado.
The cover for their presence in Prado is painting a legal copy of The Third of May 1808.

A painting belonging to Duchess Blanca (Alida Valli) is stolen from a castle in Spain by the clever Jimmy Bourne (Rex Harrison) and his partner in crime, Eve Lewis (Rita Hayworth). It is stolen from the thieves, however, by Dr. Victor Muñoz (Grégoire Aslan), the cousin of the duchess.

Eve wants to go straight, but Muñoz blackmails her and Jim, demanding they steal another valuable artwork, a Goya, from the Prado museum. A duplicate is created by Jean Marie Calbert (Joseph Wiseman) and a switch is planned during the farewell bullfight of a matador (Virgilio Teixeira) whom the duchess intends to wed.

Munoz shoots the matador. During the ensuing chaos, Jim and Eve switch the paintings. They also find Munoz dead, killed in vengeance by the duchess. Jim is brought to justice and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Eve vows to wait for him.


Production notesEdit

The film was produced by Hayworth's production company Hillworth Productions A.G., and distributed by United Artists. The film's executive producer was Hayworth's then-husband James Hill.[1]


During a test bullfight, a melody based on Gernikako Arbola can be heard.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Munden, Kenneth White, ed. (1997). The American Film Institute Catalog: Of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States : Feature Films, 1921-1930, Part 1. University of California Press. p. 453. ISBN 0-520-20969-9.

External linksEdit