Add a Review

  • Michel Deville is perhaps the most underrated French filmmaker alive today. His films are marked by a deft, intelligent style; the editing and transition scenes in his films is often stunning: dialogue scenes are always zippy and fresh, especially in La Lectrice (1988) and the superb, Death in a French Garden (1986).

    On a Vole La Joconde, as the film is known in France (The Mona Lisa Has Been Stolen in English-speaking nations) is a light a breezy caper film in the best tradition of the subgenre, which was very popular in the late 50s and early 60s, with hits like Big Deal on Madonna Street and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) springing first to mind.

    What makes the film so appealing is Chakiris' laconic, confident performance which sits well with the overall tone of the film; danger is never present, yet one is intrigued as to how and when the famous portrait will be stolen and who will finally get their hands on it. Slapstick abounds once things get going, but it never becomes overbearing.

    Marina Vlady gives a coy but sexy performance and her rapport with Chakiris is delightful.

    Even with fluff, Deville's style is invigorating and The Mona Lisa Has Been Stolen is a fun, sexy caper, beautifully shot in scope by Massimo Dallamano; this was his last film; he shot Leone's A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More.

    Available on DVD in the UK in anamorphic widescreen.
  • bensonmum215 August 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    Before watching The Mona Lisa Has Been Stolen, all I knew about the movie was based on what little I had read on the internet. I knew that it was supposed to be a period heist film made in France in the mid-60s. I knew that the film was intended to be a mix of intrigue and comedy. And, I knew that Margaret Lee was in the movie. A heist film with comedic touches and Margaret Lee - it just had to be a winner! After watching, all I can say is what a disappointment. On reviewer called the movie, "Forgettable". Well, I can't forget The Mona Lisa Has Been Stolen fast enough. First, there is no real heist. Sure, the Mona Lisa is stolen, but it takes just minutes and there's no suspense surrounding the theft at all. Second, the comedy just didn't work at all for me. Maybe I'm not in tune with what was considered comedy in France in 1966. Or maybe (and this is what I suspect) it's just no funny at all. I can't remember cracking a smile the entire runtime. Finally, while I'm happy to report that Margaret Lee is the movie, her screen-time is limited to about five minutes and her character has no real impact on the film's plot. By the time you get settled in with your popcorn, she's gone. How disappointing! Her performance and character hardly warrant being listed third in the credits. Add to what I've already written a dull screenplay, extremely distracting and annoying music, and characters I didn't care about, and it's little wonder I can't rate The Mona Lisa Has Been Stolen any higher.