It Takes a Thief (TV Series 1968–1970) Poster

(1968–1970)

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Ultimate Cool - World Traveller and all that goes with it.
Brewski-230 June 2005
Someone do a DVD boxed set with commentaries on this quickly before Malachi Throne, Susan St. James and R.J. leave us!!!! Much like the Man From UNCLE, Mission: Impossible and other shows "filmed" all over the world, the Universal backlot was Paris, Istanbul, Rome, etc. But the one thing this show did have that none other would was R.J., AKA Robert Wagner. The first season was great and when joined by his Dad (Fred Astaire) the scripts became a little more tortured, but still, you wanted to move and talk like R.J. When Bette Davis was a co-star as an ailing female thief that was going to hold a formal party, R. J. commented on the class she exuded by saying, "White Tie - First Cabin". He is what Austin Powers attempted to be, he is what a less brutal version of Connery's Bond could have been. No matter where he went, he could be the playboy who knew the best Bistro in Cannes, the grooviest bar in Picadilly, the best casino in Monaco. He had the women: Susan St. James before Rock Hudson, an early interracial fling with one of the Fifth Dimension-ettes. Studios are making a fortune on DVD releases. I am stunned with slack-jawed amazement that they can come up with the first season of the Brady Bunch but not a unique cultural event like "It Takes a Thief". Trust me, we'll buy it.
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" Let me get this straight.....
dhines57036 April 2001
I remember that line as if it were said yesterday!! Robert Wagner as Al Mundy had a big influence on me as a 13 year old looking for a "style" of his own. I combed my hair like him and even tried to dress like him. This show had it all; beautiful women, exotic locations and a real cool theme song. I remember being quite devastated when this show was cancelled. Thought the folks at ABC were nuts!! We all know that Mr. Wagner went on to star in "Switch", "Hart to Hart" and the underrated "Lime Street". But I must admit that this was and still is my favorite. What a Gem!!
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9/10
Next...It Takes A Thief....In Color
raysond7 October 2002
"Let me get this straight,........you want me to steal?"

That line was from one of the coolest espionage shows to ever come out of the 1960's. The series "It Takes A Thief" premiered in a era that was lined with espionage shows that included "The Man From U.N.C.L.E", "The Avengers","The Saint","Secret Agent Man","The Wild,Wild West","I Spy","Mission:Impossible","Man With A Suitcase",and "Get Smart" to name a few. "It Takes A Thief",which came in as a mid-season replacement for the 1967-1968 season,premiered on ABC-TV on January 9,1968 for the three seasons it was on the air until March 24,1970 producing 66 episodes all in color. It was among the last of the 1960's spy television genre,although it was be clipped by "Mission:Impossible" which continued onward into the early-1970's. "It Takes A Thief" which was created by television writer Roland Kibbee(who was the writer and producer for a lot of Universal produced TV-series including "Leave It To Beaver","The Munsters","McHale's Navy")who also served as executive producer of this series along with Frank Price,Glen A. Larson,and Jack Arnold. The first two seasons of the show were filmed on the lot at Hollywood's Universal Studios,but the third and final season of the series were filmed on location in Europe within Greece and Italy and locations in France.

"It Takes A Thief" stars Robert Wagner(his first role in a television series) was the debonair jewel thief Alexander Mundy turned international man of espionage and mystery who was hired by the U.S. Government's S.I.A. agency(secret intelligence agency)(his boss was Malachi Throne who was in Seasons 1 and 2 of the series,and was replaced in the show's third and final season by Edward Binns) for a range of dangerous,yet sometimes various assignments,but in some of the episodes he did his job with such grace and style. The series also had Fred Astaire(who appeared in Season 3 of the series) as his dad who was also a jewel thief,but also worked for the government as well. There was one of the episodes where(and one of the oddest and weirdest episodes ever produced)he would be in a tight jam and somewhere would have to risk his neck to save the damsel in distress like The Fifth Dimension's Marilyn McCoo,or other broads like Petula Clark,Nancy Sinatra and so forth. Others included Susan Saint James, Bette Davis, Ida Lupino, Fernando Lamas, Paul Heinreid, and Joesph Cotten made guest appearances. Susan Saint James appeared in five episodes of the series.

One of the underrated and better episodes from Season 2 featured the one and only Peter Sellers in a dual role;in which he would played an informant in one,and a cold blooded killer out to get our hero in another! Great ending if you get the chance to see it. The series originally ran on ABC-TV from 1968-70,and when the show ended I thought why destroy a good thing that was very good since this show was a spy show,and a good hearted well-produced crime drama/action-adventure spectacle which after this show ended Robert Wagner went on to star in other crime/action shows like "Switch" with Eddie Albert(aka from Green Acres),and Sharon Gless(from Cagney & Lacey) ,and "Hart to Hart"(with Stephanie Powers),and to the LOST Wagner series from the early 1980's(I forgot the title of it,but it ran on NBC)

"It Takes A Thief" did very well in the ratings since ABC moved the series to different nights during its run. Season 1 was on Tuesday nights at 8:30e/7:30c opposite Diahann Carroll's "Julia",and the long-running "The Red Skelton Show". For Seasons 2 and 3,the show moved from Tuesday nights to Thursday nights at the 10:00e/9:00c time slot opposite "The CBS Thursday Night Movie",and "The Dean Martin Show" which got it canceled on March 14,1970 to bad ratings. On September 14,1970,the show that ABC replaced "It Takes A Thief" was the short-lived science-fiction thriller "The Immortal".
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8/10
very cool
jackhammer1117 September 2005
Cool was a word that was used for many things back in the day when this series aired. 1968 was a very serious year yet here was something that wasn't serious yet I thought it was very cool, this despite the fact I was an antiwar peace love hippie. I was 18 and Alexander Mundy was my fantasy life alter ego. It wasn't about the plots, although the twist of the government turning to a convicted felon for help was novel. Nothing really groundbreaking about this series, nothing that sticks out in my memory all these years later about particular episodes, although I do remember the addition of Fred Astaire to the cast being a great way do show where Mundy got his mojo. It was all about Robert Wagner in his prime being the coolest of cool guys. The looks, the confidence, the overall attitude, Women wanted him; men wanted to be like him. I loved it and I recommend it.
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10/10
"It takes a thief" one of the best ever
sebek-227 April 2006
Back in the day there were three shows that I had to see every week , or , the world might stop spinning or some strange like that would happen.They were "It takes a thief " , " Mission Impossible " , and, " Star Trek",In that order, and in case you didn't know Al Munday was the coolest guy on TV. And then make Fred Astaire his dad was just to much, they were the perfect match. The chemistry between characters, the writing,the locations. This I think was one of the perfect shows far ahead of it's time, I wouldn't be surprised if it ran today that it would get better ratings then some of stuff on the major networks.I was so overjoyed to see the entire saris, and look forward to sharing it with everyone.
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Mundy was cool
hillari14 December 2000
Alexander Mundy was the coolest of the cool, a career thief who had been given a get out of jail free card. Even though he had choosen to do burglaries for the government, there was still a hint that Mundy might go back to his old ways if he could figure out how to get away with it. The show even became more cool when they added the character of Mundy's father (Fred Astaire) who was also a career criminal.

One of the oddest episodes I remember was one that featured singing group, The Fifth Dimension. Marilyn McCoo's (lead singer) character had died in the first few minutes, but then she returned, stating, "I died, but now I'm back". They did a great acoustic version of "One Less Bell To Answer" in that episode.
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It Takes a Thief took my Heart and broke it
svgarvin725 December 2005
Every girl and woman had a crush on RJ back then--he was so f*****g suave! I loved this show and the premise, it was always intriguing. I always had a crush on Fred Astaire as well and when he joined the show, I thought, perfect casting. I will always have a soft spot for Malachi Thorne, I loved his mellifluous voice. I recall one particular episode that guest starred the beautiful, not to mention Black actress, Marilyn McCoo (5th Dimensions). Up until that point, RJ interacted with many women, but here was definite chemistry and I was sooooo disappointed that they wimped out on the kiss--Ar! As a young Puerto Rican woman, I knew this was a pivotal moment on TV that would have opened the doors to race relations on programming and they just didn't have the guts to do it--such a shame. Talk about missed moments. BTW, I was only 13-14 then. Get this out on DVD already so RJ and MT can make the talk show circuits. This can be remade with RJ playing MT's role--that would be fun.
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9/10
DVD want list
boklady3 January 2007
I want to know when this is going to come out on DVD. Does anyone have an idea. I enjoyed this series very much and always caught all the reruns. My favorite episodes were the ones with Alexander's father, played by Fred Astair. The episode with the balloons was especially good. Is there anyway to vote on this series being brought out on DVD format for us to purchase. I also have a couple of other Robert Wagner movies that I would like to see come out on DVD. One of them was with Audry Hepburn and I think it was made for television. The name was "Don't just stand there". The other movie was a remake of "Indiscreet", I would also like to have that on DVD.
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The coolest show ever.
UNIVEX28 August 2001
It Takes a Thief was the coolest show ever. Wagner was suave, sophisticated, and always well dressed. Inventive stories, great dialogue, and watching Robert Wagner and Fred Astaire plot to knock over the casino in Monte Carlo is just irresistible. This would be a perfect candidate for a big-screen remake, but there's nobody cool enough to fill Alexander Mundy's shoes--maybe Travolta?
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Bring it back via DVD
hpof625 November 2007
I, for one, would really like to see this series on DVD and I would buy it yesterday! Back then, I was a fourteen year old, eighth grade girl in love with Al Mundy, or Robert Wagner, or RJ, or all of the above. I agree with all the previous writers concerning how exciting a show this was and they must have had a good size budget to film in all those exotic places instead of a Hollywood studio. The acting was tremendous and the guest stars were very good as well. With all the other sub-prime shows on television now, why can't they bring back shows that are exciting and fun to watch. I think I will try and write TV Land and see if they would re-re-run the episode they re-ran this past summer - - Darn, I missed it. But, in the meantime, does anyone know if the DVD's on the internet are legit? Thanks for helping.
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Anything with ROBERT WAGNER is TERRIFIC,
jazz-4510 August 1999
I WISH THEY'D HAVE A ROBERT WAGNER WEEK, where they'd show::

ALL 85 of his Movies..... ALL Hart to Hart episodes ALL episodes of series SWITCH ALL episodes of series IT TAKES a Thief

HE is the Best ACTOR since CARY GRANT and the only man who could possibly do a Cary Grant remake. Thanks for letting me comment.
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9/10
The ultimate "Ladies' Man" secret agent show of the 1960's
shakspryn28 June 2017
Other reviewers have done an excellent job on the big picture of this fine series. I want to comment on a particular aspect, Al Mundy as a suave secret agent and a champion ladies' man. A big part of the appeal of the 1960's Bond films was that Bond had a hearty appreciation for attractive women. "Thief," with the handsome and charismatic Robert Wagner in the title role, emphasized this aspect of his secret agent adventures.

Each week, there would be a beautiful woman as guest star, and usually there would be some romantic sparks with Al. Some women did more than one guest appearance. It was a fun aspect of the show.

Now, jump ahead about a decade, to Wagner in "Hart to Hart." In that show, he's married to Stefanie Powers. Casanova is safely domesticated. I think the network people thought this change was more sensitive, or something. The result, to me, was a dull show. Thank goodness that there was no Mrs. Mundy to squelch the great Al!
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9/10
DVD Sale
WWhitney983 March 2007
I had been looking for this series on DVD also because I grew up watching the show and always caught it in reruns. I did a google search and found the series available from several suppliers. Not the usual places I buy DVD's from, however. I haven't seen this show in years so I'm purchasing the DVD set myself. This show is great because of the suspense involved and skills that Robert Wagner's character uses to get into and out of various situations. If you plan on buying the DVD series, make sure you check out several of the suppliers from the Google search because the price did vary somewhat from supplier to supplier.
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Mirage
misctidsandbits29 October 2011
On the basis of the reviews here, I really looked forward to catching this series on a rerun channel. It's one I had never seen originally. I found a glossy, slick, exotic, cool -- jerk -- with an extremely skewed moral compass. I was prepared for a classy guy making the most of his second chance. Instead, there's sleazy, immoral, rebellious, smart aleck brat spitting in everybody's eye. Here is a guy that gets away with slick, gets caught, gets a break and then plays with it like a toy. There are at least two decent people babysitting this brat, and he still is waaaa, waaaa. Excuse me ?? Not impressed. Apparently, neither were others. Should not be represented as a role model, as some will always succumb to the illusion. Thankfully, most did not have the stomach to tolerate this punk brat narcissus. Nielsen knows. Good cancel.
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10/10
Anyone still care about ITAT?
shakadula18 October 2007
"Every time I open a refrigerator I'll think of you". Line from one of the better shows. Anyway, I noticed that there are DVDs available over the web. Anyone fish into these? Are they good quality? I called one of the sites and they couldn't tell me if the DVDs were created from the master tapes or just if they were created off the air. I decided to steer clear since the cost was about $80.00 and I'm sure they would want to receive the funds before they ship.

I created DVDs from my taped shows but I'm not sure I have the full episodes and I am missing 1; "Mad in Japan". Not a great one but I am missing it and want to have the complete collection.

Anyone still care about ITAT?
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5/10
A mix between Mission Impossible & I Spy...but isn't near the quality
nomoons1125 March 2012
I had high hopes for this series but when I got through it...I knew why it only lasted 3 seasons.

Right off you realize your getting a Mission impossible clone with a comic touch...i.e...I Spy. Sadly though, the scripts and acting in this is so poor it's really laughable. I can pick a few moments from this and explain in detail but the problem is...there are so many bad moments it's just a laugh.

Take the third season. By looks it's the best season because of the first 10 episodes were bases in Italy. As soon as that goes away and you sit back and see how terrible the acting was you realize that all the money for that production went to pay for the scenery shots in Italy and not any decent actors. I mean there's one shot where a guy is shooting at Alex Mundy in broad daylight and there's people all around him. They don't run from the guy with the gun...they just stand there gawking. Just terrible. The third rate actors they chose were just that...third rate.

Another funny part is the constant re-use of the same sets. there are episodes where it's back to back. They don't even spread out the use of em. Next episode you'll say.."hey, that looks familiar". Most episodes they usually show one street you'll always recognize throughout the series. This same street and set up show up in a scene where they're in East Berlin lol. Man they really went the cheap route when they ran this series through production.

The only saving grace of this series is Robert Wagner. He can usually pull any bad movie out of the fire and make it into something better. He barely does in this. It's not enough to give this series high marks but he's an interesting watch.

Watch this series and you'll know why it didn't last but only 3 seasons. By the end of the last season you get really tired of the same type of plots and bad acting and scripts and re-done scene shots. Watching this you could almost make it out to be a comedy....of errors.
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Digby
aimless-4629 December 2011
"It Takes A Thief" is a bit dated and probably only of interest to those who recall watching it years ago. The 1968-1970 ABC show was inspired by Cary Grant's debonair jewel thief in the film "To Catch A Thief". Professional thief Alexander Mundy (Robert Wagner) gets an offer to work for the SIA (a covert U.S. government spy agency). Mundy does not simply dismiss the offer out of hand as he is doing time and the government is offering him limited freedom (house arrest confinement in a Washington mansion between missions) in exchange for allowing them to utilize his considerable skills as a thief.

While not on the level of classics like "77 Sunset Strip", the show's first two seasons followed the wonderful tradition of 1960's action/adventure/spy shows by casting a different hot "young" starlet in each episode (except episodes 1.12, 2.11, 2.12, 2.14 & 2.15). The show went strangely gay for its third and "final season", replacing this practice with evocative shots of Robert Wagner and in the process losing its original audience.

The set includes all 65 regular episodes and two versions of the pilot episode. Despite the complaints the packaging I received was not bad, much better the standard Mill Creek release. Each season has its own folder with individual pockets for each disc. Resolution is decent for the first two seasons, but since most older viewers first saw this as a grainy ABC broadcast, the resolution might cause an even more nostalgic reaction.

The resolution is much worse on the Season Three episodes but those episodes were staggeringly moronic and completely lacking in eye candy, so the poor film stock or whatever washed out the print did not ruin anything of any quality. The third season episodes are bad but not bad enough to work as mockfest material. Watch for the steady parade of ancient actresses with mega makeup, perhaps they provided the financing to keep things going for another week in exchange for the opportunity to take a working vacation at some exotic foreign location and a chance to encourage Wagner to unbutton his shirt a bit more. Fortunately the first two seasons provide enough entertainment to justify the price, even if you simply trash the third season.

DVD set extras are a booklet, a 4-piece coaster set (why?) and interviews with Robert Wagner (he is not asked if he killed Natalie) and with Glen Larson. Larson was associated with the series for its entire run, mostly as an associate producer but occasionally as a writer, particularly during season three. In fact, when you find a particular episode especially boring it is a fair bet that it is one that Larson wrote. It is believed that he was the Coen Brothers' model for the Digby Sellers character in "The Big Lebowski".

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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