The Burglar (1957)

With a $90,000 budget, a noir sensibility and no small amount of grit, some have seen this film as the last b-movie made by Columbia Pictures. It’s all about professional burglar Nat Harbin (character actor Dan Duryea) trying to justify his life and how it keeps involving his adoptive daughter Gladden (Jane Mansfield).

Directed by Paul Wendko, whose career was mostly in TV (SecretsGood Against EvilThe Legend of Lizzie BordenThe Death of RichieHaunts of the Very RichThe Brotherhood of the Bell) with some films (three Gidget movies and The Mephisto Waltz, strange bedfellows if there ever were) mixed in.

Mansfield was cast after producer Louis W. Kellman saw the crew lose their minds over her during the making of Pete Kelly’s Blues. She cast into a world here where everyone has their own angle, even their mark, a fake spirtualist.

This was remade as The Burglars with Omar Sharrif and Dyan Cannon in 1971.

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