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It Takes a Thief


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132 replies to this topic

#1 of 133 Zardon

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Posted January 24 2008 - 05:16 AM

For years Robert Wagner's best TV series (also his first one after years as a film leading man), "It Takes a Thief" has been passed over for video release.

Why is that? The show has all the elements that make a great action show: Suspenseful plots, beautiful women, quality production values, international locales (even if it was all filmed at Universal in Hollywood), and an interesting lead character with Alexander Mundy.

Malachi Throne co-starred as SIA lead agent Noah Bain...who gives our hero Al a pardon in exchange for the former thief agreeing to work for the agency, utilizing his criminal skills. During the 2nd season, Al Mundy manages to become more of a freelance operative although the SIA still hires him for jobs.

The third and final season of the show was even better, starting with the improved version of the wonderful opening theme music and visuals (some of which were launched the previous year).

Edward Binns (as Wally) was the SIA contact who replaced Noah. Even more big name guest stars turned up than before, such as The 5th Dimension, Bette Davis in "Touch of Magic", and Broderick Crawford and Wagner's future Hart to Hart co-star Stefanie Powers in "Fortune City". Most important was the addition of veteran performer Fred Astaire as Alistar Mundy (Al's father, from whom he learned everything he knows) in 6 episodes. "The Great Casino Caper" remains my all-time favorite. Posted Image Never mind Astaire's past film career as a dancer and singer. His recurring role on It Takes a Thief is the best example of him (at least on the small screen) as a dramatic actor.

So get on the ball Universal! There are only 65 episodes. How about releasing the partial first season (including the 2 hour pilot "Magnificent Thief") and the second season in a double set. Then after sales go through the roof, you can put the 3rd season out a few months later! Posted Image

#2 of 133 Ockeghem

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Posted January 24 2008 - 06:02 AM

^^^
Great choice! I watched It Takes a Thief faithfully as a child. It has all of the elements you describe, and would be a very welcome addition to DVD. I'd snatch it in a flash. So count me in as far as helping those sales to go through the roof ... once it is released, that is. Posted Image
ockeghem2.jpg

 

#3 of 133 Todd_W_Zimmrman

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Posted January 24 2008 - 07:50 AM

Deal me in. I've had IT TAKES A THIEF on my DVD-release want list ever since they started releasing TV shows on DVD.
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TELEVISION: Dave Allen At Large, Department S (R1), The Goodies (R1), It Takes a Thief, Name Of the Game, Waterfront

MOVIES: At Sword's Point, Belles of St. Trinian's (R1), Cavalcade, Dangerous Moonlight, W.C Fields Collection (with MILLION DOLLAR LEGS)

#4 of 133 Bob Gu

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Posted January 24 2008 - 08:34 AM

Some of the Season 3 episodes were filmed in Europe. Also in Season 3,don't forget George Murdock as his new SIA control and Joseph Cotton as SIA chief "Mr.Jack".

And, in earlier shows, young Universal contract player Susan St James as another thief pal of Al's, "Chuck".

#5 of 133 Richard--W

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Posted January 24 2008 - 08:45 AM

It Takes a Thief ended just when it was getting interesting. I'd like to get reacquainted with this fine series, especially the third season, which took risks. I'll buy all three box sets on the day of release.

#6 of 133 progrocktv

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Posted January 24 2008 - 10:54 AM

I'd buy 'em in a second!
My current "obscurities" wishlist:
The Magician (Starring Bill Bixby)/ Project UFO/ Search (Probe)/ T.H.E. Cat/ It Takes a Thief/ My Mother the Car/ Man from Atlantis/ The Goodies (season sets R1)/ Hey Landlord!/Captain Nice/ Green Hornet/ '66 Batman (yea, right!)/

#7 of 133 Tory

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Posted January 24 2008 - 12:03 PM

I never knew of it but you got me wanting it. Apparently Will Smith is going to be in a film remake of it in 2010 so maybe by then we will see something.
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#8 of 133 Peter M Fitzgerald

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Posted January 24 2008 - 12:41 PM

I'd like to see a Season 1 release in R1, at the very least.

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Wanted in R1: UNEARTHLY STRANGER ('63) / IF I HAD A MILLION ('32) / THE FACE BEHIND THE MASK ('41) / IT CONQUERED THE WORLD ('56) / TERROR ABOARD ('33) / DANGER ROUTE ('68) / THE BLISS OF MRS. BLOSSOM ('68) / GUNN ('67) / ZOO IN BUDAPEST ('33) / THE SEA WOLF ('41) / DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS ('63, restored) / ALAKAZAM THE GREAT ('60) / DARKER THAN AMBER ('70) / THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME ('47) / CROSSWINDS ('51) / JIVARO ('54)

Wanted TV-on-DVD: T.H.E. CAT (1966-67) / SUSPICION (1957-58) / WAY OUT (1961) / ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR (1962-65) / PANIC! (1957-58) / CORONET BLUE (1965) / DRAGNET ('50s) / NEW ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN (1968) / BUS STOP (1961-62) / THE WESTERNER (1960) / THE IMMORTAL (1970) / BLUE LIGHT (1966) / TERRIERS (2010) / THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS (1966)


#9 of 133 Zardon

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Posted January 24 2008 - 01:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tory
I never knew of it but you got me wanting it. Apparently Will Smith is going to be in a film remake of it in 2010 so maybe by then we will see something.
Well, I'm no Will Smith fan but to his credit he can't possibly ruin It Takes a Thief the way he did with The Wild Wild West. I can believe Will as a thief. Posted Image

#10 of 133 Zardon

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Posted January 24 2008 - 01:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Gu
Some of the Season 3 episodes were filmed in Europe. Also in Season 3,don't forget George Murdock as his new SIA control and Joseph Cotton as SIA chief "Mr.Jack".
Yep, I remember them but they didn't make as many appearances as Ed Binns. They were all good actors (particularly Joseph Cotten), but I suspect those other guys were hired whenever Binns wasn't available.

Quote:
And, in earlier shows, young Universal contract player Susan St James as another thief pal of Al's, "Chuck".
Bill Bixby also appeared as another thief (George) in at least 2 or 3 first and second season episodes. The difference is that his character was often trying to upstage Al. Susan St. James and he didn't have any rivalry that I can recall. Her character was named Charlene "Charlie" Brown. I think Al did call her Chuck.

#11 of 133 Hank Dearborn

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Posted January 24 2008 - 02:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tory
I never knew of it but you got me wanting it. Apparently Will Smith is going to be in a film remake of it in 2010 so maybe by then we will see something.

The only way Universal releases an older series is with some kind of tie-in so if this indeed does come about then they will put the show out. Otherwise forget it. The only reason they put out Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew S2 is because of the Nancy Drew movie, Equalizer is being made into a film so that's coming out.

#12 of 133 Mikah Cerucco

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Posted January 24 2008 - 04:04 PM

I remember loving the show It Takes a Thief, yet I haven't seen it since way back when, so I remember nothing specific about it. That's neither here nor there, but my point is... does anyone really sales of this show would go through the roof? I don't think the younger folks have ever even heard of it. It isn't something like The Brady Bunch or Star Trek that generations know about. Some folks say the shows that most need DVD releases are shows that aren't on Nickelodeon or TVLand every day. The flip side, though, is that shows that don't still air don't reach new generations (and buyers).
Studios, caption your internet streams.

#13 of 133 Tory

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Posted January 24 2008 - 04:13 PM

The hope would be for the new film and Robert Wagner's personal popularity to aid in sales. I want the rest of Hart to Hart as well and Switch too sounds interesting. I never heard of it aside from today and I think seeing it on people's lists of wants but never investigated it much.
Hungry enough to eat a turnip and call it a turkey.

 


#14 of 133 progrocktv

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Posted January 24 2008 - 04:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikah Cerucco
does anyone really sales of this show would go through the roof? I don't think the younger folks have ever even heard of it. It isn't something like The Brady Bunch or Star Trek that generations know about. Some folks say the shows that most need DVD releases are shows that aren't on Nickelodeon or TVLand every day. The flip side, though, is that shows that don't still air don't reach new generations (and buyers).

I wouldn't say sales would go through the roof or anything, but I think it would have the same appeal as Mod Squad, Mission Impossible or even Mannix. I'd say a Seson 1 Volume 1 would be worth a shot.

I do remember Universal mentioning it in one of their annual wholesale catalogs that it was an upcoming release, but that was a couple of years ago.

HMMM maybe Time Life should have a crack at it.
My current "obscurities" wishlist:
The Magician (Starring Bill Bixby)/ Project UFO/ Search (Probe)/ T.H.E. Cat/ It Takes a Thief/ My Mother the Car/ Man from Atlantis/ The Goodies (season sets R1)/ Hey Landlord!/Captain Nice/ Green Hornet/ '66 Batman (yea, right!)/

#15 of 133 troy evans

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Posted January 24 2008 - 04:57 PM

I'd love to own "It Takes a Thief" on dvd. Right after they release all the seasons of that, they can get working on "Switch" as well. Ah....Dreams coming true....hopefully.Posted Image
" I think it's time we go to plan B". "What's plan B?" "That's the one where we don't do something stupid".

#16 of 133 Zardon

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Posted January 24 2008 - 05:20 PM

SWITCH was a great series too, and I wouldn't mind getting that on DVD also.

Hart to Hart I never cared for though, as much as I love Stefanie Powers.
The only show of hers I want is The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.

#17 of 133 Mikah Cerucco

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Posted January 25 2008 - 01:25 AM

Quote:
I think it would have the same appeal as Mod Squad, Mission Impossible or even Mannix.

Mannix I give you uncontested. Mod Squad, maybe, though there was a movie a few years back that some younger folks might be exposed to. I also occasionally still hear pop references to the show. I think Mission Impossible is in a completely different category, what with the Tom Cruise movies. Everyone knows the name "Mission:Impossible" and though I have no marketing training, I have to believe getting people to say, "Hey, what's this?" is an accomplishment from a marketing POV.
Studios, caption your internet streams.

#18 of 133 Charles H

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Posted January 25 2008 - 03:21 AM

THE MAGNIFICENT THIEF--the show's pilot--came out on vhs and it had an incredible cast: Joe Louis, Rochester, Raymond Burr, Susan St. James, Wally Cox, Leslie Nielson, James Drury, and Doug McClure. THIEF was a terrific show that had wonderful casts: Edward Everett Horton, Gale Sondergard (coming off the blacklist), Ida Lupino, Fernando Lamas, even Peter Sellers. Around that time, Wagner did a tv movie (75 minutes) called MADAME SIN with Bette Davis as a female Fu Manchu. CBS/Fox brought it out on vhs, but does anyone know who currently controls the video rights? Viacom?
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#19 of 133 Zardon

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Posted January 25 2008 - 12:36 PM

Magnificent Thief certainly did have a stellar cast, which you'll notice was composed largely of other Universal TV actors at the time. Senta Berger was the first "Babe of the Week" in that movie, and I think she guested in a different role in an episode months later. The pilot was filmed and aired on ABC in the fall of 1967. Then the weekly series started in January.

Bette Davis, who worked with Bob Wagner in the 1970 Thief episode "Touch of Magic" was indeed reunited with him for her unsold TV pilot for "Madame Sin", but that was in 1972.

#20 of 133 Tina_H_V

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Posted January 25 2008 - 02:44 PM

Count me in on this one also!!!!! I have always liked this show since its original late-60s run!!!!! Great music, great plots, great acting!!!!! I would unconditionally buy this title from Day One of its DVD release!!!!! Posted Image
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