Thieves Like Us (film)
|Thieves Like Us|
|Directed by||Robert Altman|
|Produced by||Robert Altman|
|Written by||Edward Anderson (novel)
|Edited by||Lou Lombardo|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
Thieves Like Us is a 1974 film directed by Robert Altman and starring Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall. The film was based on the novel Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson, which was also the source material for the 1949 film They Live by Night, directed by Nicholas Ray. The supporting cast includes Louise Fletcher and Tom Skerritt.
Bowie, a youthful convicted murderer and bank robbers Chicamaw and T-Dub escape from a Mississippi chain gang in the 1930s. They hole up with a series of colorful associates and continue robbing banks. While hiding out at the home of Mattie and her two children, Bowie unwittingly insults Mattie by comparing her with his mother during an exchange that initially sounds like a pick-up. The insult, combined with the lascivious attention of the much older T-Dub toward Mattie's daughter Lula, and Bowie's later return with the young Keechie (now pregnant with Bowie's child) in tow inspires Mattie's revenge against Bowie.
Bowie is injured in an auto accident and takes refuge with the daughter of the gas station attendant, Keechie. They become romantically involved but their relationship is strained by Bowie's refusal to turn his back on crime. Chicamaw is eventually recaptured and T-Dub is killed while waiting in his car for his wife. Bowie poses as a sheriff's deputy to spring Chickamaw from jail but he quickly becomes disgusted with the violent, raving Chicamaw and abandons him on the side of the road. The Texas Rangers catch up with Bowie, who is betrayed by Mattie and meets a violent end. Keechie carries on, pregnant with Bowie's baby. (In Anderson's novel, she too is killed by the Texas Rangers.)
- Keith Carradine as Bowie
- Shelley Duvall as Keechie
- John Schuck as Chicamaw
- Bert Remsen as T-Dub
- Louise Fletcher as Mattie
- Tom Skerritt as Dee Mobley
The film features a large number of small-town people as extras, including Lloyd Jones, an actual Mississippi State Highway Patrolman. Thieves Like Us was largely filmed on location in Mississippi.
Awards and honors
- 2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated
- 2008: AFI's 10 Top 10:
- Nominated Gangster Film
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