Well you don’t think I’d steal something that didn’t belong to me, do you?

Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole

How to Steal a Million (1966)

Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn. I would’t mind being stuck in a museum broom closet with either one of them. He’s devilishly handsome and charming enough to convince her to drive him home after he breaks into her house to steal a painting. And she’s delightfully adorable and charming enough to convince him to risk prison time to steal back a forged sculpture and protect her father. Whew!

Surrounded by a stellar supporting cast, including a clean-shaven Eli Wallach, a heavily-eyebrowed and bushy-bearded Hugh Griffith, and a hilariously entertaining museum guard known only as Moustache, O’Toole and Hepburn pull off the crime of the century, and take the audience along for the ride. It’s actually refreshing how decidedly low-tech the heist is, involving only a magnet, a boomerang, and a cleaning bucket, among other things (normal human reactions being one of them). But it works, and so does this film.


The other refreshing thing is how O’Toole’s character comes clean immediately after the caper, which is a nice change from so many other movies where people pretend to be something they’re not, and end up getting caught in their lie or outed by someone else. He actually tells her the truth himself, and his deception doesn’t matter much anyway because she’s been in love with him since the beginning, when she so lovingly wiped his fingerprints off the frame of the forged Van Gogh. Priceless ­čÖé

So it doesn’t have as much swank and sizzle as Ocean’s Eleven and its ilk, or as much sexual tension as The Thomas Crown Affair, but it’s a fun heist movie with heart. And a John Williams soundtrack! And very cool cars… I just love it when people hop in to old-timey cars without even bothering to use the doors. And car phones! How did those even work?? And the clothes! How amazing are Audrey’s outfits in this film? Oh my gosh.

Cocktail #1: The Million

Courtesy of Speakeasy Cocktails.

  • 2 oz heavy rum (the recipe calls for┬áSmith & Cross but I used Cruzan Black Strap)
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • garnish: maraschino cherry

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a coupe glass and add garnish.

Cocktail #2: The Fun Loving Criminal

Courtesy of Speakeasy Cocktails.

  • 1 oz Hennessy VS cognac
  • 1 oz Bulleit bourbon
  • 1 oz passion fruit juice (I swapped this out for pineapple juice)
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • 2 tsp simple syrup
  • 2 dashes rose water
  • garnish: mint leaf

Shake all ingredients (except rose water) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with mint leaf and dash of rose water on top of leaf.

Time to make our getaway!