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The Thief Who Came to Dinner


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Off the track here... There was a movie called "The Thief Who Came To Dinner" (1973) that was filmed in Houston. The house that was used in the movie was situated in Rive Oaks, on Willowick Dr. It was a 50's modern house. Long flat roof line, curved front exposure. I got to look around at that property back in the late 90's before it was demolish... I even wondered into the back yard with the sunken pool. Does anyone know the history of that house or where I can find photos and such? I really liked that house.

PB

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^Thanks for mentioning this movie - I need to see it! Here's a clip with a lot of Houston in it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jC8_x8aPVI

Do you know more about the location of the house? Was it up on the curvy part of Willowick by the bayou?

I just pulled up the old 1978 satellite images, and it looks like it was a few houses west of Pinehill. I was really surprised at how short the back yard was, and that the pool was almost on top of Buffalo Bayou. The front yard was very jungle like, with a sunken garden space. Very reminiscent of that 60's Astroworld "River of No Return" ride. (And I don't say that as being disrespectful to the builder or the neighborhood.) To sit in the garden; it gave you this feeling like you were someplace else, as in a rural jungle out in the Amazon. This was a very expensive arrangement, and one I find really unusual since started at the street line and moved back toward the house. But it was a good design.

I had to download the movie and find some shots of the house from the front. I do remember several scenes in the backyard pool.

Oh, and the French dialog was over the top. That's just not how we talk around here! HA!

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Here we go.....

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(Let me add a comment here: This hallway has glass walls (giant panels of glass) all the way to the end, on the right side, which was on the front side of the home.

The opposite side of the house is the same, but reversed. It was like being in an airport, but you had all that jungle to look out at. Anyone standing

outside in the front yard could easily see inside. Idea for your stalker girlfriend/boyfriend. It was still a freak'n awesome home.)

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THESE SCREEN GRABS ARE FOR STUDY PURPOSES AND TECHNICAL REVIEW: FAIR USE APPLIES

Edited by Plumb Bob
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The Thief Who Came To Dinner deserves it's own topic, if it doesn't have one already...

that way, I can wonder out loud why Jill Clayburgh is sitting in a taxi outside of Jones Hall, and tells the driver to take her to the Rice Hotel. It's block away, get out and walk, you lazy bint!

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That was a long time ago but a couple of girlfriends and I tried to find the house when the movie came out. Seems like it was built by one of the Fondrens.

I just remember the large empty rooms in the movie, but it didn't really look like it was what we'd call a "mansion" back then.

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  • 1 year later...

Wow. I never realized that was the house where "The Thief Who Came To Dinner" was filmed, until looking at the HAR listing just now. My wife attended a wedding that was held there a few years ago, and I wound up not going with her after something else came up. Now I wish I had, so I could've gotten a closer look at the house in person. 

 

Not many people seem to be familiar with the movie, even longtime Houstonians. I've long wished for a US DVD release (It appears to have only been released on DVD in Spain). It would be right up Warner Archive's alley, practically tailor-made for their manufactured-on-demand catalog of lesser-known titles. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

I have the answer to this question. I am sure you know the answer by now. I watched an episode of "A Crime to Remember" on the ID channel which features this home and the story of the family who resided there. The episode is called "Candyland." Candy Mossler was put on trial for the murder of her wealthy husband and found innocent. She continued to live in the home with her four children. She passed away in 1976. Her son Dan Mossler is on Facebook. He has a photo posted in one of his albums from his 1968 graduation party which is the front of the home with many teenagers in the front yard. He mentions his home was used in many movies to include "The Thief Who Came to Dinner."

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Great find, Blisstoria. The story of Candace Mosler, her murdered husband, Jacques, and relationship with her nephew, Melvin Powers, ranks up there with the Joan Robinson Hill/Dr. John Hill and Cullen Davis sagas of Texas. I wonder if that played any part in the selection of this house for the movie. 

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