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File:The good thief.jpg

The Good Thief is a film by Neil Jordan starring Nick Nolte and released in 2002. It is a remake of a classic French Film Noir, Bob le Flambeur by Jean-Pierre Melville.

Bob is an aging but Loveable Rogue who lives on the French Riviera and shambles through life by indulging his twin addictions, gambling and heroin, with a little thievery on the side. His lifestyle has got him into plenty of trouble, but even the cop who keeps putting him behind bars can't help but like the guy.

One day he takes under his protection Anne, a young prostitute from Eastern Europe, who swiftly develops a crush on him. Having gambled away the last of his money, he accepts to do One Last Job with a group of fellow thieves: stealing the priceless paintings held in the vault of a casino in Monaco, while pretending to be after the casino's money as a diversion.

Roger Ebert has commented that Nick Nolte "was born to play Bob. It is one of those performances that flows unhindered from an actor's deepest instincts."

Tropes used in The Good Thief include:


  • The Cameo: One of the thieves is played by filmmaker Emir Kusturica.
  • Completely Different Title: Not only is the remake's title completely different from that of the original, it has been translated in French as L'Homme de la Riviera.
  • Everything's Better with Bob: Even more obvious in the original, since Bob isn't a French name.
  • Going Cold Turkey: Bob overcomes his heroin addiction by chaining himself to a bed and forcing himself into a withdrawal phase. Ironically, he remains addicted to tobacco.
  • Guile Hero: Bob.
  • Loony Fan: One of Bob's accomplices completely idolizes him and seeks to emulate him in every way, to an extent that Bob finds embarrassing. His infatuation eventually causes him to kill a man he thought was double-crossing Bob.
  • Loveable Rogue: Bob. As the reviewer of the Austin Chronicle puts it, "Bob could be called a lower-echelon crook, but that would be missing the point; he's a gentleman gambler, wastrel, and sage protector of fallen women."
  • May-December Romance: 17-year-old Anne falls in love with the middle-aged Bob.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Anne.
  • One Last Job
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The thieves are a motley crew that includes a transsexual bodybuilder.
  • The Remake: The original dates from 1955.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Anne's evening dress when she and Bob go to the casino.
  • Single-Minded Twins
  • Title Drop: Bob explains to his policeman nemesis the Biblical story of the Good Thief while in a church.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Philippa, the aforementioned transsexual bodybuilder, is afraid of spiders.
  • Xanatos Roulette: The job.
  • You Must Be Cold: While they are out at night, Bob puts his jacket on Anne's shoulders.

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