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The Sex Thief
Directed by Martin Campbell
Produced by Tudor Gates
Written by Michael Armstrong
Tudor Gates
Starring David Warbeck
Diane Keen
Christopher Biggins
Distributed by LMG
Release date(s) July 1973
Running time 89 min
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Sex Thief is a 1973 British sex film starring David Warbeck, Diane Keen and Christopher Biggins. It was an early film credit for director Martin Campbell.

The film was released in America (in January 1976) as Her Family Jewels, with added hardcore inserts performed by stand-ins for the original cast members.

Keen, quoted in the book The Worlds Greatest Scandals of the 20th Century, claimed "Times were pretty hard and this is a comedy which I am not ashamed at having made. But it was bought by a company which drafted in other actresses to make it look like I was doing erotic things from start to finish. It became incredibly filthy". The hardcore version was later released on video in Holland (under the name Handful of Diamonds). The film was written by Tudor Gates and Michael Armstrong under the name Edward Hyde.

During the 2007 series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, Biggins failed to get a question right about his character's name in the film, as part of a bushtucker trial, "The Sex Thief, god, that was a million years ago," he groaned.

The soft version of the film was shown on Movies for Men channel on Sky tv on 24 April 2008.



Grant Henry (David Warbeck) a writer of trashy paperbacks like The Dirty and the Dying, moonlights as a masked jewel thief who is usually caught in the act but is able to get away with his crimes by luring his female victims to bed. After these women lie to the police about the thief’s identity (“who could disguise himself as a clubfooted coloured midget one week and a 6'6" Russian with a harelip the next”) and seem to want to get burgled again, the Inspector in charge of the case (Terence Edmond) and a Kung-Fu trained insurance investigator (Diane Keen) decide to lay a trap for the thief.

Censorship history

The Sex Thief was heavily cut by the British censor on its original release; cuts were made to the opening sex scene and the inter-cutting between a further sex scene and a wrestling match. The film's speeded-up sex scene was ‘considerably reduced’ as was the scene where Grant uses a 'stimulator' on his secretary, and the line “corr blimey, its someone’s prick” removed entirely. The current US and UK DVD releases are uncut.

Alternative version

The US Her Family Jewels/Handful of Diamonds version runs approx 81 minutes (as opposed to the original 89-minute running time) and adds hardcore inserts to every sex scene as well as an innocuous scene in which characters played by Terence Edmond and Diane Keen discuss the thief in a crowded pub, in which the hardcore inserts imply the two characters are masturbating each other under the table. Her Family Jewels deletes several narrative scenes that appear in the original version of the film (most notably the end credits and a subplot involving two detectives trying to sell blue films) but adds several newly shot hardcore scenes in which footage of David Warbeck (taken from elsewhere in the film) has been briefly inserted. These scenes are scored to a pop song “Well Here I Go”, which does not appear in the original film.


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