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One of my favorite movie OTPs ever, and possibly my top movie-OTP, Simon/Nicole from "How To Steal a Million." Peter O'Toole's chemistry with Audrey Hepburn was just off-the-charts, and if anyone is familiar with my penultimate OTP, Giles/Jenny from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's easy to see why I love this movie pair -- it's like watching Giles and Jenny, in 1960s Paris.


**To start out, here we have the first meeting of the film's leads, the dynamic duo of Hepburn and O'Toole as Nicole Bonnet and Simon Dermott, respectively. She is instantly leery of him, thinks he's a jerk and a crook, and he meanwhile is instantly smitten. It's all in the eyes.**

**Audrey as Nicole trying to untangle the gun from the phone cord while still keeping an eye on Simon was SO adorkable. And, as the second picture shows, he knows it. And I love how smug he is when he guesses that the gun isn't loaded. The look she gives him is brill too. And then of course comes the hilarious moment when she attempts to set down the gun... and winds up shooting him in the arm.**

Simon: [reviving Nicole from her faint] Wake up, wake up! [points to arm] I'm the one that's bleeding.

Simon: [points to bottle in her hand] What's that?
Nicole: Iodine.
Simon: Will it hurt?
Nicole: For a burglar, you're not very brave, are you?
Simon: I'm a society burglar. I don't expect people to rush about shooting me. [she puts iodine on his wound, he shouts in pain and grabs her hand]
Nicole: Stop being such a baby.
**And then, of course, is the moment with Nicole bending to put on her boots and Simon checking her out, then looking away with a grin. Smitten!**

Simon: [getting Nicole to a taxi] Just one more tiny favor - like an idiot, I forgot to wear gloves on the job. I may have left some fingerprints. Be an angel. Before you go to bed, just give the frame of the painting a little swipe with a clean cloth, okay?
Nicole: Certainly. Anything else? You wouldn't like a forged passport or some counterfeit money or...
Simon: Oh, no no no.
Nicole: You're mad. Utterly mad. I suppose you want to kiss me goodnight.
Simon: Oh, I don't usually, not on the first acquaintance, but you've been such a good sport... [kisses her; she struggles -- but then just sinks -- against him]

Mr. Bonnet: This tall, good-looking ruffian with blue eyes, he didn't... molest you in any way, did he?
[Nicole just stares dreamily into space a moment]
Mr. Bonnet: Well did he??
Nicole: Not much.

**The next day bump-into was grand; him being smug and happy to see her and her being leery of him. I love after their initial snark, they just glare at each other for a moment (top right) before they're interrupted. And now starts all the hand/arm grabbing. Simon follows the museum head to learn more about the security surrounding the Cellini Venus and Nicole grabs his hand to stop him. He pulls her along and eventually yanks his hand from her grip. She keeps trying to leave and he antagonizes her by asking the museum head to continue telling him about the security system. She finally grabs his arm and drags him away.**
Simon: [while Nicole drags him outside and then gets into her car] Yours is a capricious nature. Do you always blow hot and cold like this?

Nicole: Oh, no!
Simon: Not a very cordial greeting. I went to considerable trouble trying to arrange these few precious moments alone. [he sits]
Nicole: Leave the table!
Simon: It's National Crime Prevention Week. Take a burglar to dinner.
Nicole: My escort has a very ugly temper, now go and call off the fake telephone call!
Simon: There's something I must tell you.
Nicole: Ooh, how I'd like to take another shot at you!
**And so, they bicker. And bicker, and talk over each other a bit, and there's some arm touching and it's lovely.**

**No dialogue for this one -- just showcasing Audrey's loveliness and Givenchy's gorgeous designs.**

**Also no dialogue for this one -- O'Toole's expressions during this little bit are just brilliant. There Nicole sits, all decked out in dark lace; he doesn't recognize her at first but still checks her out as he walks by. Then, once he's passed and she whispers to him, once he realizes who she is, his eyes totally bug out and do a slow once-over of her all over again. And he continues to make googly eyes at her after he sits, talking to her in kind of a daze about not recognizing her. SO cute.**

Simon: I was surprised to hear from you. Surprised and pleased, Miss Bon--
Nicole: Please. No names.
Simon: Well if it's all that private, I've got a bottle in my room upstairs.
Nicole: This is a business meeting. I find I have need of someone with your talents and experience Mister--
Simon: Shh, please. No names.

Nicole: [quietly, conspiratorially] You interested in a big-time caper?
Simon: A what?
Nicole: [whispering] A heist.
Simon: A heist? Oh, you mean a burglary. [slides close] What's the score, baby?
Nicole: Won't be easy.
Simon: That's okay. What's the job? I'm in.

Simon: [still holding her hand after their handshake, sliding closer] Look, it's early. Why don't I show you the real Paris?
Nicole: I, uh- that's very kind of you, but I live here, I was born in Paris.
Simon: Oh, I forgot. Well why don't you show me the real Paris? [sliding even closer]
Nicole: [backing up a bit, nervously] Yeah well, I've only got two inches left of this bench.
Simon: Oh, I'm terribly sorry! [helps pull her back]
**Haha! Simon, you scoundrel. It had to have been the lace. His request was done in a quite charming, quite hard-to-resist way, though. I love the look on his face after they say goodbye and she leaves; that, and the way he peeks over the top of the booth to watch her go. Oh, O'Toole.**

**Casing the joint! Love the way they steal glances at one another when the other's not looking. Almost as much as I love Simon's geeky magnifying goggles and how he sees a resemblance between Nicole and the faux-Cellini.**
Simon: Where precisely were you in the early part of the sixteenth century?
Nicole: [annoyed] I don't know, but that's not how I was dressed.
**And he takes another look at the nude statue, then gives Nicole an up-and-down glance with a short, thoughtful, "Hmm" before she drags him away. LOL!**

**This, I basically just love for the arm-holding and the close-talking. Pure unadulterated chemistry on display. Love these two. Also, I love when he questions her about why she wants to steal her family's own statue and her response: "You don't think I'd steal something that didn't belong to me, do you?" His answering look is priceless.**

Nicole: You really are the smuggest and most hateful man.
Simon: If you frequent criminal circles, you can't be choosy. [gangster voice] How do you like being a gangster's moll, baby?

Simon: Right. There's the bathroom, take off your clothes.
Nicole: Are we planning the same sort of crime? [LOL!]
**The moment with Simon giving in at the sight of Nicole crying and then him hitting himself with the bucket while she's changing in the bathroom is aces.**

Simon: Where have you been?!
Nicole: I was getting engaged. Come on! This fellow turned up just as I was leaving. He wants to marry me. I didn't want to keep you waiting, so I got engaged to him. Is it alright, am I on time?
Simon: [still stunned; sarcastically] Oh, fine. In fact, we have about ten more minutes, so if you'd like to go back and marry him...
Nicole: [takes his arm, pulls him away] Come on.
**And another instance of Simon obsessing over the resemblance between Nicole and the statue (carved by her grandfather and posed for by her grandmother). Love how irritated she gets when he grabs her chin and turns her face this way and that -- "Don't start that! Not again."**

**Here we finally arrive at the climax of the film, and the super-fun closet scenes.**
Nicole: I'm going to faint.
Simon: Don't. There's no room.
**Love when they're folded up together in the closet, bored and tired, and she leans her head on his leg. Love the way he looks at her.**

**So Simon sets off the alarm for the first time to annoy the guards before getting back into the closet with Nicole. Nicole, scared out of her wits, hugs herself close to him. I absolutely adore the way he looks at her while she's cuddled against him, and the way he smiles and leans his cheek on her head ever-so-slightly; very sweet. And then, the inevitable moment where he reveals that he knows the Cellini is a fake and had known ever since she first asked him to steal it. She can't quite figure out why he'd still go along with it... until he kisses her. And then she's happy, he's happy, and some more kissing commences. Fade to.....**

Nicole: [now sitting on Simon's lap, she stretches] It's funny how... roomy it's suddenly become in here.
Simon: We're adjusting to our environment. [leans in for a kiss and winces when her ring scrapes him]
Nicole: What is it? Oh! I'm sorry, it's my engagement ring. I forgot about it.
Simon: So did I. Congratulations. May I... kiss the bride? [Nicole acquiesces and they kiss]
**He goes out to set off the alarm a second time; he returns to the closet and Nicole presses another kiss to his lips. An adorable moment then follows in which Peter O'Toole ad-libs pressing a kiss to her hair, and Audrey smiles and closes her eyes.**

**I picked this section merely for some more O'Toole ad-libs that I thought were cute, mainly when they're heading out to get started and Audrey's ducking under the velvet rope, he gives her a little pat on the behind. Then, when she goes to hide in the chimney, he walks along the other side of the partition and they sneak a quick kiss over the top of it. SO danged cute, these two.**

Simon: Night Fighter calling Dawn Patrol, Night Fighter calling Dawn Patrol. Our telephone may be tapped, so we'll have to conduct this entire conversation in Swahili.
[Nicole giggles]
Simon: [sweetly] How are you? Did you sleep well?
Nicole: Oh Simon, isn't it too awful - I slept beautifully. And I've just eaten an enormous breakfast. Isn't it ghastly? [grins]
Simon: It's your tainted blood. [pauses, listens] Who? What? Oh! She's fine. [picks up the Venus statue next to him] She's wrapped up in one of my old shirts, just as snug as can be. I rocked her to sleep in my arms lastnight. It's the first time I've ever done that with a grandmother.

**They meet up at the Ritz bar again with Nicole giddy over the heist they pulled off; Simon confesses that he's not a burglar, but a private detective specializing in forged pieces of art. She's alarmed, fearing the worst, until Papa Bonnet interrupts and joins them.**
Simon: You have two gorgeous girls in your family, Mr. Bonnet.
Bonnet: Two?
Simon: [implying the Venus] The other one is upstairs, wrapped in a shirt, in my room.
Bonnet: A-ha! And which, may I ask, do you intend to keep?
Simon: The real one. [Nicole looks at him, a little dreamily and a lot surprised]

Simon: You know, for someone who started lying just recently, you're showing a real flair!
Nicole: [happily] Oh, thank you! [hugs him]

**And off they go, those crazy, newly-affianced kids, off to get married. The end, roll credits!!**


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August 2010

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