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The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

HD   14A Closed Captioning

Kirk Marcolina & Matthew Pond

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About the Movie

How does a poor, single, African-American mother from segregated 1950s America wind up as one of the worlds most notorious jewel thieves? A glamorous 81-year-old, Doris Payne is as unapologetic today about the nearly $2 million in jewels she's stolen over a 60-year career as she was the day she stole her first carat. With Payne now on trial for the theft of a department store diamond ring, filmmakers Kirk Marcolina and Matthew Pond probe beneath her consummate smile to uncover the secrets of her trade and what drove her to a life of crime. Romanticized recreations, an extensive archive and candid interviews reveal how Payne managed to jet-set her way into any Cartier or Tiffanys 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.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 14
  • Fresh: 9
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 6.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A peppy and beguiling portrait of a convict whose defiant streak of independence has a way of outshining her wrongdoing. – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times, May 27, 2014

Rotten: The film all too eagerly allows itself to be taken in by Payne's charms, trying to capture her human side via interviews with her two grown children, while all but ignoring the all-too-obvious cautionary aspect in favor of escapist entertainment. – Peter Debruge, Variety, May 26, 2014

Fresh: Who knew that being lied to for 75 minutes could be so agreeable - and revealing? – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, May 27, 2014

Fresh: It's obvious that Pond and Marcolina can't resist the woman, any more than she can resist yet another heist. – Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post, May 29, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Solid Doc

'The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne' is a solid doc with few setbacks.

Matthew Pond and Kirk Marcolina have captured great interviews with a proper variety of different colleagues and know-it-alls. But, the filmmakers have trouble concluding a train of thought.

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne
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  • $19.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2014

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this movie.

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