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Tv Review : 'Thieves' Old-fashioned Adventure

February 23, 1987|LEE MARGULIES | Times Staff Writer

The hoopla and angst of "Amerika" finally behind it, ABC gets back to Americana tonight with an old-fashioned, Hitchcockian movie with nothing more on its mind than entertainment.

And while "Love Among Thieves" (9-11 p.m., Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42) lacks the flair of the master, it nonetheless is a fast-paced adventure that makes for pleasurable viewing.

Among its biggest pleasures is Audrey Hepburn, making her TV-movie debut as a wealthy concert pianist who steals a set of precious Faberge eggs as ransom for her kidnaped fiance (Patrick Bauchau). She still has plenty of spunk--and needs it, for lifting the eggs is nothing compared to delivering them.

Writers Stephen Black and Henry Stern send Hepburn on a perils-of-Pauline journey from San Francisco to Mexico and back again. Along the way she encounters a bearded Robert Wagner as a roguish traveler who may be helping her or arresting her but who, you may be certain, is not who he initially says he is.

But then, neither is anyone else she meets--not Samantha Eggar as her sister-in-law or Jerry Orbach as the man in the trench coat chasing her. That's the fun of it.

Director Roger Young keeps the story moving briskly. What he can't do, however, is manufacture any chemistry between Hepburn and Wagner. The actors simply don't spark, and that robs the film of its heart. It's a romantic escapade without romance.

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