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The Happy Thieves

The Happy Thieves(1961)

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Gentleman thief Jim Bourne steals a Velázquez painting, "Venus With a Mirror," from the Spanish castle of the Duchess Blanca. But as his confederate, Eve Lewis, smuggles the painting into Paris, she is outwitted by Dr. Muñoz, a fanatical art dealer and cousin of the duchess, whereupon Eve threatens to become an honest woman. Jim placates her with marriage, and they return to Madrid. There they learn that Muñoz has the Velázquez and that he also has photographs of Jim stealing it. In return for his silence, Muñoz demands that Jim steal Goya's famed "Second of May" from the Prado. Jim's artist cohort, Jean Marie Calbert, makes an exact reproduction of the painting. They plan to switch the two during the farewell performance of Cayetano, Spain's celebrated matador, who is retiring from the arena to marry the duchess. In order to create a riot and distract the Prado guards, Muñoz shoots and kills Cayetano while he is in the arena. In the ensuing panic Jim and Eve switch the two paintings, hiding the original in Jean's artist's cart. When they visit Muñoz, they find him dead, murdered by the vengeful duchess. The police arrive on the scene and hold both Jim and Jean. In exchange for the Goya, however, the police offer to release one of the two men. Jim decides that Jean will serve the 10-year manslaughter sentence; but when he realizes that Eve considers him a cad because of his decision, he himself goes to prison, knowing she will wait for him.