The Little Thief

The Little Thief (French: La Petite Voleuse) is a 1988 French drama directed by Claude Miller. It is based upon an unfinished script by François Truffaut. Truffaut died before being able to direct the film himself.[2] The film had 1,834,940 admissions in France.[3] Set in the French countryside after the end of World War II, it tells the story of a 15-year-old girl abandoned by her parents, who is looking for love and independence but succumbs to stealing and sleeping with men.

The Little Thief
The Little Thief FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byClaude Miller
Produced byClaude Berri et al
Written byFrançois Truffaut
Luc Béraud
Annie Miller
Claude Miller
Claude de Givray
StarringCharlotte Gainsbourg
Didier Bezace
Simon de La Brosse
Release date
21 December 1988 (France)
Running time
103 minutes
Box office$1,055,416 (USA)[1]


Janine lives with her uncle and aunt, who have little sympathy for her as her mother left her to go with a lover to Italy and she never knew her father. She dreams of luxury, stealing American cigarettes and expensive underwear from shops. When found out, she leaves to become a live-in maid for the Longuets, a rich and friendly young couple. Tired after a long day's work, in the cinema she falls asleep on the shoulder of Michel, a married man in his forties keen on poetry and music. They start an affair, but he also tries to improve her culture and encourages her to study shorthand-typing.

At her course she sees a young intruder robbing the office, but does not inform on him. This is Raoul, who waits outside for her and they too start an affair. He wants money to buy a motor bike for racing, and Janine supplies it by robbing her employers and their guests during a dinner party. The two young criminals go on the run, ending up living rough beside the sea. There Janine is arrested, and sent to a school for young offenders. She and another girl escape, but Janine is now wanted and has nowhere to go. She is also pregnant. After making an appointment with an illegal abortionist, in the cinema she sees a newsreel of soldiers off to the war in Indochina. Among them is Raoul, so she does not keep the appointment and an end caption says that her baby was coming on well.



The Little Thief was released in 1988 in France.[4]


  1. ^ "The Little Thief (1989) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 23 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Caryn James (1989-08-25). "The Little Thief (1988) Review/Film; A Woman In Rebellion And the Life She Hates". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "La Petite voleuse (1988)- JPBox-Office". Retrieved 23 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "La Petite voleuse (1988) Claude Miller" (in French). Retrieved September 4, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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