How to Steal a Million

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
How to Steal a Million Movie Poster Image
Lots of charm, little action in slow-paced heist comedy.
  • NR
  • 1966
  • 123 minutes

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Heist caper comedy offers little in the way of positive messages. Nicole and Simon try to do the right thing but achieve their goals by theft, subterfuge, and blackmail. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nicole doesn't like that her father's an art forger and tries to convince him to stop. She plans to steal in order to save her father, and what she's after actually belongs to her father. She relies entirely on Simon to come up with and execute the plan, and is proud of herself because she helped a little. Simon's a lovable rake who tries to manipulate Nicole but ends up doing what she asks anyway. M. Bonnet's forgeries are depicted as a harmless eccentricity.

Violence

Someone brandishes a gun and accidentally fires a shot. The victim's arm is grazed; there's a small amount of blood.

Sex

Some kissing, a few quick pecks, and one long comedic kiss. Mention of an "over-sexed Italian." Some classical-style artworks depict nudes.

Language
Consumerism

The Hotel Ritz several times. Givenchy once.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adult characters frequently drink alcohol, sometimes to calm nerves, sometimes to celebrate, sometimes in a bar. Simon smokes half a dozen times or so, and Nicole smokes once or twice.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that How to Steal a Million is a '60s romantic caper that doesn't teach how to steal anything. There's little to offer in terms of positive messages or role models, but there's no real evil here, either. Characters frequently drink and smoke, so it's a good opportunity to talk to kids about how that behavior glamorizes alcohol and tobacco use, and how society's attitudes have changed since the mid-'60s.  Sexual content is limited to a few kisses. Some works of art depict nude female figures. Someone accidently shoots a gun.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written bymovielover159 April 23, 2017

Lots of charm, little action in slow-paced heist comedy. Haha! CSM is right again!

Although it may be slow, How to Steal a Million was amazing and indeed charming. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed it and fell in love with Peter O'Toole... Continue reading

What's the story?

Nicole's (Audrey Hepburn) father is an art forger. One of his sculptures on display is about to be inspected for authenticity. She decides she needs to steal the sculpture back and hide it away to keep her father from being exposed as a fake and save him from ruin. The only person she can call on for help is Simon (Peter O'Toole), the thief she caught trying to steal a painting from her home. But what's Simon really after?

Is it any good?

HOW TO STEAL A MILLION offers a lot of eye candy in the form of two gorgeous and talented stars it's almost impossible not to fall in love with. They bring an easy charm, and two of the most beautiful pairs of eyes in the history of cinema, to a lightweight, romantic, crime-caper comedy. And guided as they are by William Wyler, one of Hollywood's most-respected directors, expectations run high. But with little action, the wait is sometimes long for something to happen. The solid script provides some genuine laughs, but fails to bring real humanity to the characters and bogs down in extended sequences like walking around thinking or being stuck in a closet.  Kids looking for an exciting caper are likely to be disappointed in this movie best saved for those with a real soft spot for old-school glamour.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about heist movies. Why do we enjoy them so much when they're about committing a crime?

  • How would the movie be different if it were made today? Would a heroine who can't think of or execute a plan to save her father seem realistic today? Do you think it seemed realistic in 1966?

  • Smoking in movies used to be a lot more common. Why have attitudes about smoking changed? What do we now know about the dangers of smoking?

Movie details

For kids who love adventure

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