The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

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Total Count: 17


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Movie Info

Find out how a poor, single, African-American mother from segregated 1930s America winds up as one of the world's most notorious and successful jewel thieves. A glamorous 83-year-old, Doris Payne is as unapologetic today about the $2 million in jewels she's stolen over a 60-year career as she was the day she stole her first carat. With Doris now on trial for the theft of a department store diamond ring, we probe beneath her consummate smile to uncover the secrets of her trade and what drove her to a life of crime. Stylized recreations, an extensive archive and candid interviews reveal how Payne managed to jet-set her way into any Cartier or Tiffany's from Monte Carlo to Japan and walk out with small fortunes. This sensational portrait exposes a rebel who defies society's prejudices and pinches her own version of the American Dream while she steals your heart. (C)Official Site

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Critic Reviews for The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7)

  • There is wonderful source material here; it's easy to root for Payne's transgressions. But her story is dying for a multimillion-dollar Hollywood treatment.

    Jun 20, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • As much a social and psychological study as a fascinating look at a woman who lived by her own rules.

    Jun 19, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It's obvious that Pond and Marcolina can't resist the woman, any more than she can resist yet another heist.

    May 29, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Payne's obvious pathology isn't probed as deeply as it should be.

    May 28, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A peppy and beguiling portrait of a convict whose defiant streak of independence has a way of outshining her wrongdoing.

    May 27, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Who knew that being lied to for 75 minutes could be so agreeable - and revealing?

    May 27, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

  • Jun 06, 2014
    While it is true that the documentary "The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne" is not without its share of flaws, where else are you going to have an opportunity to see a real life jewel thief talk about their life of crime? In this case, it is Doris Payne, now 84, who has been at it for decades; at first so she could help her abused mother escape a life of desperate poverty in West Virginia. As the documentary is about how we perceive others, it is ironic that Doris, who is of black and Cherokee parents, sidesteps the racism of the era in order to allow her access to high society, so she can perform her sleight of hand to subtly steal diamonds. The question remains is she still doing the same, especially considering her recent arrest after being accused of theft from a Macy's in San Diego. But then it does not help that the filmmakers get drawn in a little too closely, too intent on any possible answers to maintain proper distance.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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