6.9/10
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8 user 10 critic

The Little Thief (1988)

La petite voleuse (original title)
R | | Drama | September 1989 (USA)
In a small town in post-World-War-II France, an unhappy sixteen-year-old (Janine Castang) tries to escape her dreary situation by any means at her disposal. Three successive friends (Michel... See full summary »

Director:

Claude Miller

Writers:

François Truffaut (original scenario), Claude de Givray (original scenario) (as Claude De Givray) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Janine Castang
Didier Bezace Didier Bezace ... Michel Davenne
Simon de La Brosse ... Raoul
Clotilde de Bayser Clotilde de Bayser ... Séverine Longuet
Raoul Billerey Raoul Billerey ... Rouleau
Chantal Banlier Chantal Banlier ... Léa
Nathalie Cardone Nathalie Cardone ... Mauricette
Renée Faure Renée Faure ... La Mère Busato
Catherine Arditi Catherine Arditi ... La directrice école
Gilbert Bahon Gilbert Bahon ... Le brigadier
Clothilde Baudon Clothilde Baudon ... Bonnin
Joëlle Bruyas Joëlle Bruyas ... Soeur Marie-Odile
Denise Chiabaut Denise Chiabaut ... Le doctresse
Philippe Deplanche Philippe Deplanche ... Jacques Longuet
Erick Deshors Erick Deshors ... Raymond
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Storyline

In a small town in post-World-War-II France, an unhappy sixteen-year-old (Janine Castang) tries to escape her dreary situation by any means at her disposal. Three successive friends (Michel Davenne, a married lover; Raoul, a fellow thief; Mauricette Dargelos, a photographer and fellow prisoner) help her learn from her mistakes. Written by English Showalter <showalte@crab.rutgers.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Deliciously Sexy Tale Of Love And Larceny. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Thief See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,055,416

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,055,416
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

François Truffaut's scenario offered the leading character Janine Castang as a female counterpart to the character Antoine Doinel in The 400 Blows (1959). See more »

Connections

Version of The 400 Blows (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Same old same old - French male fantasy
21 April 2008 | by MikelitoSee all my reviews

Truffaut originally wanted to do this movie, but died. He seems to have left behind notes. What might they have contained, I wonder: "Alright, there's this young chick, and she's all horny and a juvenile delinquent and she just does what she wants. And we'll have lots of excuses for boobs and lingerie." Hat's off to the genius.

This starts out pretty entertaining. A look into a girls life in France in the late 40s.

But lo and behold, who would have guessed it: after 20 minutes it turns into the number 1 passion of French men: a Lolita fantasy.

Yes, an insecure grown man who is very supposedly married hooks up with a teenage girl... In fact as we all know from decades of French movies this is yet another French man's wet dream brought to the screen. So was Truffaut no different? Too bad.

The girl in this movie seduces the man and that makes it credible, plausible and "proof" that this is not Pedophilia. Well at least we believe it, won't we?

Unfortunately it is just that: Pedophilia. There are lots of gratuitous scenes of the girl wearing lingerie etc. Of course those scenes had to be there. Otherwise we couldn't possibly have followed this deep and meaningful story... Because you know she just happens to be a kleptomaniac and she just happens to love lingerie. So she has to try on what she steals doesn't she? She could have stolen tractors or food but who wants to see her eating a baguette on a tractor, right? Right.

Later on they check into 2 separate hotel rooms as father and daughter. But grandma concierge knows everything ... she doesn't really approve but hey, this is France, he's 40 and she's 16, no problem!

I guess everything is fine - Charlotte Gainsbourg was SEVENteen at the time. Quite old actually to be in a French movie about defloration.

If you are not convinced by the noble intentions now, there are women's prison scenes and cat fights in the movie as well.

So you see, this is really just an innocent and totally non-sexist totally non-speculative totally non-exploitative look into a young girls life.


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