Last night we watched the movie Thief on dvd. It was the subplot that got my own attention. Readers of this blog won’t be surprised by that.
In the movie, Frank (played by James Caan) is wooing Jessie (played by Tuesday Weld) to accept him as he is – an ex-con who is currently a diamond thief. These are highly technical, difficult and dangerous scores. Jessie tells him she can’t have children and he says, no problem, we’ll adopt.
The couple goes to an adoption agency where Frank reveals he grew up in institutional care. The agency rejects the couple because of Frank’s criminal record. Frank is being groomed by a Chicago Outfit mob boss though he intends always to be an independent operator. The boss knows of the couple’s effort to adopt and tells Frank that he can procure for them whatever kind of baby they want, whatever gender and whatever color. Frank says he wants a boy.
There is a scene where Jessie walks up to a house and is greeted by a woman who hands her the baby boy. They decide to name him David after Frank’s close friend (played by Willie Nelson) who has just died after being released from prison for compassionate reasons related to his failing heart. Frank paid for the attorney who got the court order to release David.
Frank only wants to do one more score and then retire but the mob boss has no intention of letting him go. I won’t spoil the end of the movie for you. It is highly rated at Rotten Tomatoes though my teenage sons criticized it as being “too 80s”.
The notable damning statement by the mob boss is that the baby is only rented or on lease and that he still owns that baby. This is black market baby selling and there are no legal documents to confirm the child as being legally with these parents.
Thinking about this subplot of the movie today, I found an old Huffington Post op-ed by a woman titled “I Was Offered A Black Market Baby (and I’m Thankful For It)“.