GenreComedy, Drama, Crime ScreenplayRichard Condon, John Gay CountryUnited States
Release dateDecember 20, 1961 (Chicago, Illinois)
January 1962 (Nationwide) Based onThe Oldest Confession
by Richard Condon WriterRichard Condon (novel), John Gay CastRita Hayworth (Eve Lewis), Rex Harrison (Jimmy Bourne), Joseph Wiseman (Jean Marie Calbert), Alida Valli (Duchess Blanca), Grégoire Aslan (Dr. Victor Muñoz), Virgílio Teixeira (Cayetano the Bullfighter) Similar moviesHigh Risk, Jönssonligan på Mallorca, The Italian Job, Trance, Tower Heist, The Light Touch
TaglineRita and Rex Steal The Picture!
The Happy Thieves is a 1961 American crime/comedy-drama film starring Rex Harrison and Rita Hayworth and directed by George Marshall. The film is based on the novel The Oldest Confession by Richard Condon. The film was poorly received, with star Harrison later describing it as 'absolute rubbish'.
A painting belonging to Duchess Blanca (Alida Valli) is stolen from a castle in Spain by the clever Jimmy Bourne (Rex Harrison) and his partner in crime, Eve Lewis (Rita Hayworth). It is stolen from the thieves, however, by Dr. Victor Muñoz (Grégoire Aslan), the cousin of the duchess.
Eve wants to go straight, but Muñoz blackmails her and Jim, demanding they steal another valuable artwork, a Goya, from the Prado museum. A duplicate is created by Jean Marie Calbert (Joseph Wiseman) and a switch is planned during the farewell bullfight of a matador (Virgilio Teixeira) whom the duchess intends to wed.
Munoz shoots the matador. During the ensuing chaos, Jim and Eve switch the paintings. They also find Munoz dead, killed in vengeance by the duchess. Jim is brought to justice and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Eve vows to wait for him.
Rita Hayworth as Eve Lewis
Rex Harrison as Jimmy Bourne
Joseph Wiseman as Jean Marie Calbert
Alida Valli as Duchess Blanca
Grégoire Aslan as Dr. Victor Muñoz
Virgilio Teixeira as Cayetano the Bullfighter (credited as Virgilio Texera)