The Thief (1997)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama

The Thief (1997) Poster

A woman meets a man who isn't the right man for her - but she hasn't realised it yet...




  • The Thief (1997)
  • The Thief (1997)
  • The Thief (1997)
  • The Thief (1997)
  • The Thief (1997)
  • The Thief (1997)

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User Reviews

17 October 2003 | bouncingoffwall
| Shattered lives
A woman, who is traveling with her young son in search of a better life, meets a soldier on a train and has a sexual encounter with him. Afterward, they move in together, and she thinks she has found security and love. It doesn't take long, though, for the soldier to start showing a darker side. First, he becomes harsh in his treatment of the boy, and then unleashes his volatile personality on her.

Eventually, the woman must make a decision: does she stay with this stranger, although she knows he is corrupting her child and challenging her authority, or does she leave him and return to the uncertainties she was facing when she met him?

This film, a multi-layered portrayal of victimization, effectively illustrates how harsh reality can be, and how fragile our dreams. It's not for everyone. It contains sexuality which lacks sensitivity. It contains graphic nudity. But, it depicts life as some unfortunate people know it, and depicts it well indeed. I rated it 9/10.

By the way, Misha Philipchuk, who portrays the little boy, is a fantastic actor. As the movie tagline claims, he will indeed steal your heart.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


All trivia for this title are spoilers.


Sanya - 48 Years Old: I was born right after the war, in 1946. My mother was going to the village where her relatives lived and gave birth to me right on the road. I never saw my father. He was covered with wounds when he returned from the war and died six months before ...

Alternate Versions

The Russian release features an additional 14 minutes at the end which depict Sanya as an adult. After he shoots Tolyan, the film cuts directly to modern times where Sanya is a colonel of the Russian army. He explains that he has had to kill many times since that day and that his profession justifies it. In a war-torn village, he mistakes an old man for Tolyan. He embraces the old vagrant, who dies in his arms. Upon inspection of his back, he finds that there is no Panther tattoo. It is not Tolyan. As he leaves the village in his own personal staff car, he takes off his shirt. At this point Russian audiences see for the first time that Sanya has a Panther tattoo identical to Tolyan's on his back. (Some non-Russian versions finished the film with a shot of Sanya at 12 lying in his bunk with this tattoo. Russians did not see that scene.) The original Russian version ends with a flashback to Sanya at 6 peering out the window of the train and seeing his father waving to him on the back of a passing railcar. It is rumored that 'Pavel Chukhraj' cut the non-Russian versions for two reasons. First, he wanted to make it shorter and more attractive to foreign critics and film festivals. He also felt it might confuse and complicate the meaning of the film for viewers not familiar with modern Russia.


La Paloma
Written by
Sebastián Yradier


Plot Summary


Crime | Drama


Release Date:

17 July 1998



Country of Origin

Russia, France

Filming Locations

Yaroslavl, Russia

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,340 19 July 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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