It Takes a Thief (1968–1970): Season 1, Episode 5 - It Takes a Thief - full transcript

Mundy steals a famous Da Vinci painting, and arranges a buyer. To maximize his profits he arranges for a counter fitter to produce a copy of the painting.

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[Music]

Since there are only 17 Da Vinci oils
in existence, we were very fortunate

in obtaining this masterpiece,

"The Sorrow Angel" on a special loam.

The sorrowing angel, an early work
of Leonardo's, probably dating back to

the year 1483.

According to records which we
now have in existence, this was...

They don't know what true art is.

These artists, they have been dead
for years and now, now their paintings

are worth a fortune.

Madam, a living artist, a true genius
can starve. I tell you the way it is.



You think of Picasso. And Renoir.
And Gauguin. Do you?

Oh yes.

This painting along with three others
now in the National Gallery of London

have been documented
as coming from the chattel.

[Music]

Although the sorrowing angel is an
early work of Leonardo, we begin to see.

some depth in the
games of his latest style,

the use of expression
and general composition.

Leonardo, along with two Milanese
artists, was commissioned to produce

pictures to be inserted into an altar
field in the chapel of the Immaculate

Conception.

[Music]

San Francesco Grande at Milan.

As you might well imagine, we are
indeed pleased that rare modern...



Thank you ladies and gentlemen,
that's the end of this lecture. Another in

one hour.

Guard, they've been stolen.
The pictures, they've been stolen.

[Music]

There's been a theft
taking this to my office.

Right.

[Music]

Look, Al, I'm not asking you to spy.
I'm just asking you to steal.

[Music]

It doesn't look bad here.

I think a $500,000 original Da
Vinci painting goes with my image.

Anything stolen looks good on you, Al.
But that painting is going to South

America as bait.

Bait? Who's the fish?

A shark.

Señor Francisco Arascón.

Arascón? Dictator in exile.
I remember he fled his country with nothing

more than $100 million in a Swiss
bank account in one of the world's great

art collections.

Uh-huh.

Uh-huh.

Señor Arascón would like to return home.
So he's having a little weekend

get-together with some
old political friends.

A party. That's nice.

A hunting party aimed at the
Democratic government that ousted him.

As a friendly neutral power, we've
been asked by some of his former

neighbors to investigate.

We want to know exactly what plans
are going to be made at that meeting.

Here we are.

Here it is, sir. How'd it go, Al?

Got it.

Oh, isn't she beautiful?

She sure is.

That'll do, Miss Agnew.

Yes, sir.

The canvas is genuine 16th century,
except woven into a piece of it here is

a miniaturized microphonic pickup.

I see. So that's why you want
me to recruit a first-class art forger.

Exactly.

Well, he's standing
by. He can copy a da

Vinci so that it'll
pass any examination.

It had better.

Oh, it had better.

You sell him the genuine Da
Vinci and then switch in the fake.

(Music)

(Speaking Spanish)

Gracias.

(Music)

(Speaking Spanish)

(Speaking Spanish)

(Barking)

(Speaking Spanish).

(Music)

(Barking)

(Music)

(Barking)

(Speaking Spanish).

Tell Señor Arascón there's no danger.
I just came to deliver his paper.

You interested, Señor Arascón?

Now, why should I be
interested in a stolen Da Vinci?

Well, you collect art. I steal art.
Specifically the Da Vinci.

My name is Alexander Munday.

Oh, yes.
Yes, Mr. Munday, a very daring theft. Very.

Not as daring as coming
here to see me, though.

You know, I might
simply just call the police.

And give up the hope of owning
Leonardo Da Vinci a priceless masterpiece?

(Speaking Spanish)

Yes, excellent.

Now, Mr. Munday...

Assuming that I were so... unprincipled...

Aren't you concerned that I might
try to extort a masterpiece from you?

Señor Arascón, I'm not
carrying the painting on me.

If I don't check in by this afternoon,
the Da Vinci leaves the country.

I see. Very thorough.

I assume you have positive proof
that you actually have the painting.

Not just for myself.

Now you'll have a rather severe
critic that you have to satisfy.

Miss Sanders.
I have asked her to join us in the library.

(Speaking Spanish).

Oh, Janet.

Janet Sanders, my resin
curator and encyclopaedia of art.

Janet, this is Mr. Alexander Munday.

My pleasure. How do you do?

Mr. Munday offers to sell
me Da Vinci's sorrowing angel.

But that's ridiculous.
It's in the United States.

It was up until a few
days ago, when I stole it.

You.

Me.

Who is he?

Well, either a very
remarkable thief or a...

A very remarkable liar.

I want you to determine which.

This might help.

Is this a piece of the canvas?

Cut off of one of the sides.

Well, it's certainly a
genuine canvas of the period.

It's the right age.

But old canvas doesn't mean a thing.

Do you have any more evidence?

The Da Vinci.

Exactly how did you accomplish
this daring theft, Mr. Munday?

That's my profession.

Yours is to prove that it's
authentic, if you're competent.

I'm thoroughly qualified, I assure you.

If you have the Da Vinci, let me see it.

Janet, it is possible, you know.

Bring it here to me.

You'll have it by day after tomorrow.

Good.

When you bring it,
we'll discuss it further.

I look forward to your
inspection, Miss Saunders.

(speaking Spanish)

(speaking Spanish)

Mr. Munday.

Are you going to notify the authorities?

Not until he delivers a painting.

(music playing)

Ah, you're lovely.

Now, if you could
just raise that right

knee a wee bit more,
you know, more angular.

You've got to get a
little swoop to your body.

Johnny.

Ah.

Ah!

Years it's been, old friend,
since I've laid eyes on you.

Oh, how are ya?

Who is she?

Who?

Oh, ah.

Well, you see, old chum,
when I got your instructions,

I come here directly
and begin establishing,

as you suggested,
a local identity.

As a drunken, lecherous,
untrustworthy artist, huh?

Right.

I've been painting the young lady's
portrait to keep things convincing.

That'll be all for today, lovely.

That'll be all.

That'll be all.

I'll call you again when
it's time for our next sitting.

When will the picture be ready?

Soon, love, soon.

Bye-bye, Johnny.

Bye-bye.

What do you call it?

The recline in Venus.

A little too nude for my taste.

Ah, she's not an easy one to capture.

You sure nobody recognized you?

Ah, nobody knows me, Anna.

I'm famous for being unknown.

I wear kinds in museums.

I sell it by the golden ounce.

A testament to my genius.

I saw they use other names.

Van Gogh, Tintoretto,
Rubens, Picasso, Michelangelo.

You keep good company, Johnny.

But I've got somebody just as big.

Leonardo.

He's a great one.

Look at the depth.

Why, a man.

You're a daring man, Al Mundy.

The national museum theft.

That's my profession.

Yours is making a perfect copy for $5,000.

You know, I'd give ten times
the money if I could create that.

But I can't.

I'm cursed with hand and eye and skill.

And nothing more.

No spark.

But I've copied the best of them.

And now, Da Vinci.

Yeah, it'll be worth at least $10,000 now.

Five is all there is, Johnny.

All right, I'll give it to you for $7,500.

Five.

Five?

Five.

Six and a quarter.

Five, Johnny.

Five? It's a deal.

We'll need an authentic canvas of the time.

Oh, Al.

It's a pleasure doing work with you.

(Guitar music)

(Music)

(timer rings)

Hysteric.

You're a rotten human being, Johnny.

But you're a genius.

The original looks just like the copy.

Thank you, Al.

Now, we'll just slip this into the coat.

Into the coat.

Mm-hmm.

Oh, very clever.

Does that false lining never come apart?

If it did, it'd be embarrassing.

Thank you.

Count it.

Count it.

Didn't we, uh, agree on $10,000?

Five.

Five, huh?

Count it.

I trust you, Al.

You're a top thief.

You never cheat a man
on small transactions.

Hello, lovelies.

Ah.

We're gonna house the time.

But not here.

One way.

First class. Back to London.
Have a good trip.

Oh, you want me away and gone, do you?

Inside of an hour, Johnny. Goodbye.

Al, is that fair?

I want to know how much
you're getting on this job.

And to whom you're selling my masterpiece.

You know all you're gonna know, Johnny.

Ah, you're being harsh with me, Al Mundy.

I'm not so sure I want to leave.

I like it here.

It's a lovely lotus land.

But Al, there's money to be made.

Not if this affair blows up
and you're involved in it.

In this lovely lotus land, Johnny,
they beat your kidneys in first...

and they send you out in the
jungle to work off your sentence.

Your job is finished. I'm just beginning.

All right, old friend.

I'll be gone, but my heart'll be with you.

Take care of yourself.

Good-bye, Johnny.

Good morning, señor Arascón.

Do you have the painting with you?

Yes, I do.

I hope it is the Sorrowing Angel.

It's magnificent, isn't it?

Oh, yes.

I wonder who the model was.

A very beautiful lady named Ginevra Benci.

Leonardo loved her.

Oh, yes, of course. I've forgotten.

How did you know?

Art is my business, too.

Be very.

All right, Janet.

Go ahead and test it, will you?

Anything else I can do for you, Mr. Mundy?

I'd like to witness the procedure.

Oh?

Well, uh... Of course
you certainly may.

How long will it take, Janet?

I should know by tonight.

Excellent. Go ahead.

I don't want to alarm you,
but I think we're being followed.

You'll be watched as long as you're here.

You don't have to worry.
I only steal things.

I don't want to attack girls.

Unless, of course, they
enter a formal request.

I'll try and restrain myself, Mr. Mundy.

If you can call me a
thief, you can call me Al.

Well, that's what you
are, aren't you, thief?

And this, what's this to you?
It's just loot. Money.

No, no, no.

It was a challenge at first.

Now it's come alive for me.

It's what we're dealing with having.
For me and Arascon.

Don't judge Senor Arascon by yourself.

Didn't you see the way he looked at it?

Like one of Leonardo's
Florentine princes sacking a city.

Here's to dispose of her keep.

I... I don't believe that.

Then tell him it's a fake. And watch him.

Well, I may have to do that.
After the tests.

[Music]

[Door opens]

[Music]

You're very expert, Mr. Mundy.

To steal art, one has to know art.

[Engine starts]

We don't normally make a cash refund.

But in a case of a personal
tragedy such as yours...

Well, we're glad to make the exception.

Oh, thank you. You're wonderful people.

Well, here's your refund.

Wonderful people.
There's no doubt about it.

And as soon as my maternal grandmother's
recovered from her struggle with

smallpox, I'll be fine with that.

I thought you said it was malaria.

Oh, did I?

Well, you see, that's the tragedy of it.

We don't know for sure.

Here's your coffee.

Oh, lovely. Thanks.

Mmm. That's better.

You're quite a puzzle.

Oh, really?

Yes, you're intelligent, educated.

Quite charming, really.

Well, thank you.

I'm a paragon of everything but virtue.

As long as we're examining puzzles,
tell me, Janet Saunders, how did a nice

girl like you get involved in
a sordid profession like this?

Art? Oh.

Well, there's the can-do.

Those that can't teach, catalogue, curate.

Oh, I had ambitions
to be an artist, but I've

settled for being a
handmaiden to the arts.

For Signor Arascon?

A dictator so corrupt he was
tossed out of his own country?

Señor Arascon has one of the world's
great private collections. It's quite

an honour to be in charge of it.

True.

I stand in admiration of it.

I stole a painting.
He looted an entire nation.

I don't get involved
in political questions.

That's probably why he hired you.

I happen to be very good at my job.

Competing with men and winning,
but a little frightened of competing with

women, so you...

...grab this chance to hide out.

Really, Al, that held cliché?

What, I'm not a swinger,
so I must be a spinster?

Does it really sound that ridiculous?

Yes.

Are you finished?

Almost.

(Footsteps).

(Music)

(Clears throat)

I wish you wouldn't stare at me.

Why not? I enjoy it.

I'm through.

Do you want to hear my
opinion before I call any Irish gun?

No.

I'm a thief, but you...

...you are a liar.

(Silence).

Why did you do that?

If you have to ask.
I must have done it wrong.

No, I mean...

...what were you trying to prove?

Common humanity.

Do you want to slap me?

No.

(Sighs)

Yes.

(Sighs)

I'm sorry.

No, you're not.

You're frightened.

(Music)

(Loud crash)

(Screams)

Oh, my goodness!

You have to turn it up so high.

Well?

What's the verdict?

It's a fake.

No, it's quite genuine.

Where is it?

On the table.

You're positive?

Yes. Canvas and paint are the right age.

The technique is correct.

But most important, it has the
scale, the genius of Da Vinci.

No, it's real.

And you intend to keep it, don't you?

Oh, yes.

Unique, perfect and mine.

But you have no right.

I have every right, because I will own it.

You see, in my country
I have prestige, power.

Now, here in exile I must fight for them.

Now, culture is a weapon,
a very powerful weapon.

So I buy it.

I buy it and wave it onto those
sensitive international nostrils.

This is beyond value.

Name your price, Mr. Mundy. No bargaining.

One hundred thousand dollars.

One hundred thousand American dollars.

Very well, I accept.

Impressed, Janet?

It's wrong.

Morality? Oh, no.

It's a fact. It belongs to me.

Oh, it will when I get paid.

I'll just keep it in my
hands until I get my money.

Being a cautious man, Seamus.

Yes.

Las manos en la mesa.

May I?

May I?

You could have asked for more, you know.

Now take your money and leave.

They're all ten thousand dollar packs.

Take one hundred thousand dollars.

After that you can go. With my
guarantee of safety, I have what I want.

Don't we all?

Senor Arascan?

Show him to the door.

You told me you'd notify the authorities.

There's no need to. The painting is genuine.

I don't understand.

I've let you steal a genuine,
irreplaceable Da Vinci.

I financed your drunken artist friend.

I've given you every kind of help you
possibly could have needed and look

what you've done. Look what happens.

Do you think I needed a master
thief to give away that masterpiece?

Thanks to you, Arascan
has the real Da Vinci.

And because of that we won't be
able to bug his meeting tomorrow night.

Tell me. Tell me one more thing.

How am I to explain to my superiors
how I've managed to turn a half a

million dollar painting into
one hundred thousand dollars?

You can't win them all, Noah.

Impressive sight.
-Charming

All you have to do is to get over
the walls, get past the guards and the

dogs, switch the paintings.

Do it before the meeting.

The meeting is tonight.

(dog barking)

Don Diego!

Francisco!

How are you?

Nice to see you.

Quite a while.

Yes, sir.

Where is he going?

Keep your hands off me, poncho.

You're tempting Providence.

Allons-en, Jonathan O'Farrell.

Where are you keeping him?

Where is he?

I'm here to see my good
personal friend, Senor Ruskan.

So you are a personal friend of Ruskan, eh?

Have I not been telling
it to half the world?

Just show me who.

I am a Ruskan.

Oh.

To be sure.

And it's good, comrades, we're going
to be, because we have something very

special in common.

The most magnificent work of art.

New to your collection.

Could we speak in private, friend?

I don't think that's necessary.

No, no, no, no, not for me,
but for you, it might be wise.

Pardon me, my friend.
Janet, come with me. Follow me.

Hey, here.

Very well.

Who are you and what do you want?

The name's O'Farrell, and I'm here
to dick her a bit of business with you.

You're blackmail, eh?

Oh, faith, no.

I'm simply here to apply for a small
Grant, a wee bit of money to help me

continue to study art.

Get rid of him.

Oh, you're not going to throw me out?

If I go say to the police, and I'll be
singing like the bard of old on how

you've been buying up stolen
goods from an artist friend of mine, Mr.

Alexander Mundy.

No, I'm not going to throw you out.

I... what, over a painting?

I was lying, I can't
go to the police,

not over that. It's
a fake, it's not real.

What did you say?

It's a fake.

What do you mean, it's a fake?

It's a fake, I swear, it's a fake.

Fake?

Show it to me.

It's not real.

The truth is, Mr. Raskin,
the painting's a fake.

It's a beautiful, lovely, expensive fake.

I know it for a truth, because I
painted it myself and didn't prove I can

point you out my mouth.

Tiny, but there in
the corner, a bit of

green paint, the lines
across the garment.

And you.

Now this, this lump of stupidity,
he painted it, but you guaranteed it.

With your life, you
guaranteed it for Al

Mundy. How much
money did he offer you?

That isn't the painting that I guaranteed.
It didn't have any green marks in

the corner.

He must have switched it.

How much money? Where is Mundy?

I don't know.

Where is he?

I don't know.

Al must have got clear.

I may be able to do something
to refresh your memory.

Take him to the workshop, and take her too.

And, Janet, I will keep this
painting until I get the original.

And I will get the original. Take him out.

You have at the lower.

[Music]

There's some tea on the others,
and I'm ready for the meeting.

Sit down. Easy, pacho.

Ah, very fizzy.

I've always had a moment for a lovely lady.

Oh, come in, gentlemen.
Come in, please. Be seated.

Rosie, sit down, please.

Adelante.

Santiago, como te va?

Listen, we're going to go over
all the details very carefully, eh?

Francisco.

Yeah?

You're amazing.

E Da Vinci, e giennio Da Vinci.

Yes, very fortunate acquisition.

Okay, go, sit down.

Gentlemen, we are not here to discuss art.

We are here to discuss public health,

the eradication of a very curious
disease called social democracy.

Now, I'll be very blunt.

I'm going to take our country back.

That, of course, will take force.

The counter-revolution is that simple.

What are the details?

Santiago, what about your ships?

The commanders of two
ships are loyal, Francisco.

Good.

Erela has spent
quite a bit of money

among the Air Force,
so they are with us.

Now, gentlemen, please come over here.

I want to show you on the map
the exact place of every operation

that is going to take place.

Now, Santiago, your ships.

My ships will be here, and they will
be coming around this point right here.

Perfect.

Now, Gomez, your Air Force
will be taking off from this base

at 5 o'clock in the morning.

Sharp, you'll be flying
over the city at 5.13.

I want you to destroy every
center of communication there is.

Ve que pasa!

(music)

You all right?

(speaking Spanish).

Me buddy, don't forget.

I'm not forgetting, old buddy.

You sold me to Arascon on the cheap.

All wasn't after you, Al.

Only a bit of money.

All that bit of money, Johnny,
is going to be the death of you.

Al.

Hey, you're not going to leave me, are you?

You deserve it.

But who would I find to replace you?

Ah, you have a sour
sense of humor, Al, Monday,

but I Grant you are a
handyman in this sticky place.

Come on, let's get out of here.

You got the Da Vinci?

Yes, I've got it.

Let's go, quickly.

Can you get some coats?

Buenas noches!

Once we have the capital,
the whole country will be ours.

Then I shall return and take over.

Immediately after, I'll ask
recognition from the United States

and promise Democratic
elections within the day like that.

Yeah.

That's it.

On behalf of the
National Gallery, I wish

to thank our law
enforcement agencies

for their successful and heroic efforts,

which resulted in
the return of one of

the world's truly
immortal masterpieces.

That's the first time I've ever been
called a law enforcement agency.

Ah, Dr. Warren has offered me a very
important position here at the gallery.

A lucky Dr. Warren.

And I've spoken to him about a job for you,

an honest job.

An honest job?

Doing what?

Working with me.

After all, you know a great deal about art.

We could work together.

I'll, um, try to work out my time.

Good.

There's a new Picasso exhibit coming
in and we'll be working on the display.

Picasso.

That could be very rewarding.

Believe me, there's nothing
I'd like more in this world,

but I have to work it out
with my business partners.

I thought you said you worked alone.

I'd like to.

I'll do my best.

You take care of Picasso and
I'll come back and see you both.