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Thieves Like Us (film)

Thieves Like Us
Directed by Robert Altman
Produced by Robert Altman
Written by Edward Anderson (novel)
Joan Tewkesbury
Calder Willingham
Robert Altman
Starring Keith Carradine
Shelley Duvall
John Schuck
Bert Remsen
Louise Fletcher
Tom Skerritt
Cinematography Jean Boffety
Edited by Lou Lombardo
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • February 11, 1974 (1974-02-11)
Running time 123 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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.

The film was entered into the 1974 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


  • Plot summary 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production notes 3
  • Earlier film version 4
  • Awards and Nominations 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Plot summary

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 gas station attendant and continue robbing banks.

Bowie, who is injured in an auto accident, 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 a motel keeper. He meets a violent end. Keechie carries on, pregnant with Bowie's baby. (In Anderson's novel, she too is killed by the Texas Rangers.)


Production notes

This film has no traditional score. All music in the film is diegetic music or "source music," usually presented as coming from a radio.

The film features a large number of small-town people as extras, including Lloyd Jones, an actual Mississippi State Highway Patrolman.

Earlier film version

Thieves Like Us differs from They Live By Night by being filmed largely on location in Mississippi, while the earlier movie was filmed primarily in a studio. The Bowie and Keechie characters in Thieves Like Us do not get married, and Bowie's innocence is not asserted as aggressively as in They Live By Night.

Awards and Nominations

American Film Institute Lists

See also


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Thieves Like Us". Retrieved 2009-04-26. 
  2. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees
  3. ^ AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot

External links

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