Thieves' Highway

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Thieves' Highway
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jules Dassin
Produced by Robert Bassler
Screenplay by A. I. Bezzerides
Based on the novel Thieves' Market 
by A. I. Bezzerides
Starring Richard Conte
Valentina Cortese
Lee J. Cobb
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Norbert Brodine
Edited by Nick DeMaggio
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • October 10, 1949 (1949-10-10) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Thieves' Highway is a 1949 film noir directed by Jules Dassin. The screenplay was written by A. I. Bezzerides, based on his novel Thieves' Market.[1]


A war-veteran-turned-truck driver Nico "Nick" Garcos (Richard Conte) arrives at home to find his foreign-born father, who is a farmer, crippled. He learns that his father was crippled at the hands of an unscrupulous produce dealer in San Francisco, Mike Figlia (Lee J. Cobb). Garcos vows revenge.

Garcos drives a truckload of apples to San Francisco, where he runs into Figlia. With the help of other drivers and a streetwalker (Valentina Cortese), he defeats Figlia and restores his family honor.



The film was shot on location in San Francisco, California, and is noted for its accurate depiction of the vibrant fruit and produce market in that city (and the use of extras who worked at the market). The film was released on DVD as part of the Criterion Collection in 2005.

The outdoor Fruit Market scenes were shot in the Oakland Produce Market area on 3rd street. Several indoor and street shots are also were made in that locale. The story discusses San Francisco, and does feature the city, but the majority of scenes were in the actual Produce Market in Oakland (now the Warehouse district).


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