The Hot Rock (1972) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hot Rock (1972)



Critic Consensus: Smart direction and an outstanding ensemble cast help enliven The Hot Rock's relatively standard plot, making this heist caper worthy of stealing your time.

Movie Info

Peter Yates directs the early '70s comedy caper The Hot Rock, based on the Donald Westlake novel and adapted for the screen by William Goldman. Robert Redford stars as John Archibald Dortmunder, a former jewel thief just released from prison. His brother-in-law, Andrew Kelp (George Segal), recruits him to steal a diamond from a museum. They are hired by Dr. Amusa (Moses Gunn), an ambassador from Central Fatawi, whose people consider the stone to be sacred. John and Andrew assemble a team with Alan Greenberg (Paul Sand) and Stan Murch (Ron Leibman). They successfully pull off the job until the guards arrest them and Alan swallows the diamond. Alan's father (Zero Mostel) helps him break out of jail, which leads to a series of other heist attempts. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi


Robert Redford
as Dortmunder
Zero Mostel
as Abe Greenberg
Paul Sand
as Alan Greenberg
Moses Gunn
as Dr. Amusa
William Redfield
as Lt. Hoover
Charlotte Rae
as Ma Murch
Harry Bellaver
as Bartender Rollo
Seth Allen
as Happy Hippie
Robert Levine
as Cop at Police Station
Lee Wallace
as Dr. Strauss
Grania O'Malley
as Bird Lady
Ed Bernard
as Policeman
Charles White
as Policeman
Mark Dawson
as Big Museum Guard
Gilbert Lewis
as Museum Guard
George Bartenieff
as Museum Guard
View All

Critic Reviews for The Hot Rock

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (11)

It's a great action film and a blissfully funny one, too.

June 23, 2021 | Full Review…

"The Hot Rock" may be Robbery Movie No. 345. But there's as much fun as familiarity in it.

June 23, 2021 | Full Review…

A crazily funny show with satisfying measures of wit and ingenuity in cunning combination.

June 23, 2021 | Full Review…

"Rock" springs from the tired loins of that overbred formula, the Big Heist. It proves, however, that the right kinds of talent can transform any old formula into something new and different.

June 23, 2021 | Full Review…

A flat, dull, inept movie.

June 23, 2021 | Full Review…

An exhilarating conclusion leaves us smiling...

June 23, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hot Rock

Enormously entertaining caper flick where a quartet of thieves don't have just one job, they have to pull off four - a museum, the state prison, a police station, and a bank - and all to get the same diamond! Redford is typical Redford as the cool-as-a-cucumber brains of the group, although he tends to get arrested and needs antacids to offset the nerves he internalizes. George Segal is the optimist and master locksmith, while Ron Leibman and Paul Sand round out the team, and we can't forget Zero Mostel as a crooked lawyer. There's always something amusing going on in William Goldman's script which adds offbeat color to the story, like an old woman who interrupts a gang meeting in the park to feed the birds, or a bum who steals Redford's watch when he's casing a building, or the getaway driver and his mother who listen to speedway recordings of roaring engines for recreation. Plus, there's a breathtaking extended helicopter ride through downtown New York City. If you love caper movies, you've got to see The Hot Rock. "Johnny.....Can't you go straight this time?" "I just don't have it in me."

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer


Afghanistan Banana Stand, See this movie! How was this not a hit? Robert Redford + George Segal + Zero Mostel + William Goldman + Peter Yates = a pretty fun movie.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

A band of criminals played by some great 70s actors, go out to steal a diamond, with hilarious results. I enjoyed this movie, it's not very different from other movies like that, but it's fun.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Hot Rock Quotes

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