Thieves Like Us

Director: Robert Altman
Year Released: 1974
Rating: 3.0

Three cons bust out of jail (Keith Carradine, Bert Remsen and John Schuck) to continue their bank robbing spree while taking just enough free time for Carradine to woo Shelley Duvall, Remsen to get touchy-feely with several women and Schuck to drink the state dry. As with McCabe & Mrs. Miller (and, to a degree, Buffalo Bill and the Indians), Altman's effectively taking a standard, technically unremarkable story and treating it objectively by distancing himself (and 'us') from the material, removing the 'excitement' out of bank robberies and being on-the-lam the same way he made the Wild West one of the worst places you'd want to live in McCabe. Despite the demystification and sober treatment it retains a quiet kind of power, and the inclusion of some dry humor (Carradine busts Schuck out of prison by merely showing up and driving away) and Carradine's "everyman" quality both help tremendously.