Well, no one says anything in The Thief, and I suppose its just as well. Although its difficult to tell whether or not dialogue, had there been any, would have helped this suspenseful spy story, I found myself clutching the seat in front of me at the right times, smiling at the right times, and even gasping once or twice when something particularly horrible occurred.
Ray Milland has the central role and is on the screen throughout the film. His actions did not seem exaggerated as one might expect in a silent film: the only aid to action was in the music. Written by Herschel Gilbert, the score was closely correlated to the goings on and seldom obtrusive.
The story was simple and good. Although there are a few unanswered questions why does a top nuclear physicist cooperate with a spy ring, how is the ring actually broken--it is generally absorbing. This is due in part, I suppose, to the direction of Russell Rouse, but Milland himself deserves a good deal of credit. His expressions are easy to read and to interpret, and he never drops out of character.
The movie's one annoying flaw was the ending, an obvious concession to the movie code.