Breaking In

Film, Comedy

Time Out says

Forsyth's second American picture (the first actually shot in the States) is a gentle comedy about a couple of guys who happen to break into the same house at the same time. Mike (Reynolds) is an old-time pro, but Ernie (Siemaszko) is a kid, only in it for thrills. Declaring he'd sooner have a partner than a witness, Mike sets about showing Ernie the ropes. Despite the caper movie framework, John Sayles' screenplay is not as far from That Sinking Feeling as you might think. Forsyth has a rare talent for locating the comic in the real world. His heroes and heroines never quite fit in, and who can blame them? There's something funny going on: a guard dog more inquisitive than aggressive, a Christian hostel with thousands of dollars in its safe, a poetic prostitute who muses, 'What would I do with your balls were they mine?'. Reynolds reminds one of the easy charm he commands when he doesn't force it, and young gun Siemaszko is marvellous as a likeable schmuck who wants only to belong; together they're poignant and very funny. A subtle, masterly film, a series of life lessons which never ducks the moral ironies, no less precious for their simplicity.

By: TCh


Release details

94 mins

Cast and crew

Bill Forsyth
John Sayles
Burt Reynolds
Sheila Kelley
Casey Siemaszko
Lorraine Toussaint
Albert Salmi
Harry Carey
Maury Chaykin
Stephen Tobolowsky
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