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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Action > Heist > How To Steal A Million

How to Steal a Million


Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Film: B-



How to Steal a Million (1966) squeaks its way into part of Fox’s Studio Classics, which only prompts the question of what determines in classic to be introduced into this series for Fox, especially considering some of the titles previously released including: All About Eve, The Grapes of Wrath, The Day the Earth Stood Still, or My Darling Clementine.  There is no doubt that Fox does a great job with this series by presenting the film in a relatively well restored version, which typically includes the originally audio (usually mono) as well as an optional stereo track as well.  To top things off Fox includes a handful of extras as well, which are always a nice bonus. 


That brings us back to How to Steal a Million starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole, just a few years after his role in Lawrence of Arabia and Audrey spinning off her hot streak of films including of course Charade, My Fair Lady and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  The film also includes Eli Wallach in a very clean appearance considering the same year he was in Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (check out that review on this site as well). 


The film holds up pretty good after all these years, if it was ever a great film to begin with.  It’s pretty standard fare for the most part working mostly on the interaction of its cast, which is directed by William Wyler, known to work better in the drama genre, rather than in comedy.  Not that his work in comedy is under-par. 


One thing that can be said about this film is again how great scope can work even for a comedy.  Visual gags and spectacular framing can all be captured quite nice for a comedy, which is presented here in a splendid anamorphic 2.35 X 1 transfer.  Colors look very accurate and detailed with some exceptions here and there.  Audio options are either stereo or mono, which to some extent sound identical and purist will probably go with the mono, while some many prefer the slightly more spacious Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo option. 


As for extras this, like many of the Fox Studio Classics is loaded up with more extras than sometimes necessary, but that’s not a complaint.  First there is the commentary provided by Eli Wallach and Catherine Wyler, which is along the lines of a reflective commentary that is not necessary technical, but more of an ‘I remember that’ type of thing.  Those are the types of commentaries that can drive you mad at times because it’s like listening to a senior citizen drone on about the ‘glory days’.  That is not meant to be an insult to seniors, but rather to put into perspective how some people just like to reminisce. 


Also included is the A&E biography on Audrey Hepburn, which is the real highlight here, as fans of Audrey will enjoy this for sure.  Although the odd thing is that very little is necessary mentioned about Audrey in reference to this particular film, although anyone can guess which pictures she is more well-known for, especially when the biography is titled “Audrey Hepburn: The Fairest Lady”.  Aside from the theatrical trailer that sums up the extras, which is a tad lighter than some of the others from the Fox vault, but that goes back to my earlier point about this being a odd bird in the bunch anyway.  All in all, this is a solid DVD edition for a film that could arguably be a classic or not.



-   Nate Goss


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