|Directed by||Bill Forsyth|
|Produced by||Harry Gittes|
|Written by||John Sayles|
|Music by||Michael Gibbs|
|Edited by||Michael Ellis|
|Distributed by||The Samuel Goldwyn Company|
|Box office||$1,877,618 (US)|
Breaking In is a 1989 American crime comedy film directed by Bill Forsyth, written by John Sayles, and starring Burt Reynolds, Casey Siemaszko and Lorraine Toussaint. The film is about how professional small-time criminals live and practice their trades.
This article needs an improved plot summary. (November 2015)
Ernie Mullins (Burt Reynolds) is New York's 61-year-old-pro safecracker, who is operating now in Portland, Oregon. Mike (Casey Siemaszko), is the "nosy, amiable kid" that Ernie takes on as his lookout and apprentice after they encounter each other (Ernie tried robbing the safe while Mike broke in just to enjoy some of the comforts of the house). The two engage in a few heists together, such as one involving a supermarket and a friendly dog and a Fourth of July robbery of an amusement park during a fireworks show. Ernie is content to live in a tract home on the fringe of the city, but Mike can't resist using his newfound money for material items, and his firing from the mechanic shop only serves to drive a wedge between the two.
Ernie maintains a steady, paying relationship with a prostitute, Delphine (Lorraine Toussaint), who fixes Mike up with her apprentice, Carrie (Sheila Kelley). Their relationship does not last long, however, as Mike's desire for her to not need to use her body for money lead her to leave him. The film also features a pair of retired crooks, Ernie's card-playing pals, Johnny (Albert Salmi) and Shoes (Harry Carey), and a pair of adversarial lawyers (Maury Chaykin and Stephen Tobolowsky).
Mike's newfound wealth perks the suspicions of the authorities, and he has to try to not turn in Ernie in order to get a lighter sentence. Instead, he admits to his crimes alongside ones that Ernie did, which garners him a nine year sentence but keeps his friendship with Ernie intact.
- Burt Reynolds as Ernie Mullins
- Casey Siemaszko as Mike Lafeve
- Lorraine Toussaint as Delphine the Hooker
- Sheila Kelley as Carrie aka Fontaine
- Albert Salmi as Johnny Scot, Poker Player
- Harry Carey as Shoes, Poker Player
- Maury Chaykin as Vincent Tucci, Attorney
- Stephen Tobolowsky as District Attorney
The film was shot in Portland, Oregon. Forsyth envisioned John Mahoney for the lead role, but Act III Productions wanted a higher profile name. Jack Nicholson and Paul Newman were each offered the role, but declined.  Prompted to have a star, Reynolds was eventually asked to do the film. It was Reynolds' first character role. "I've spent an entire career... making the characters me," he said." This is the first time I've done it the other way around." 
Reynolds worked for SAG scale because he was an admirer of the script and of Forsyth. John Sayles normally directed his own scripts but did not do this one because he did not feel he had the sense of humor to bring it off.
Forsyth too, normally directed his own scripts, but took on Breaking In in an attempt to make contact with a larger mainstream audience:
I can't get away with making $6- or $7-million movies (e.g., "Local Hero" and "Housekeeping") with the kind of audience that my past movies have reached. I've just got to find an audience-or retreat. And I'm quite happy to retreat, I'm happy to go back to Scotland and make smaller movies"-e.g., "Gregory's Girl." "But at the same time, `Breaking In' seemed a comfortable experiment for me. Because although I say I'm trying to reach that audience or see how far that audience is from me, I don't think I'm going that far to get them. . . . You could read (the "Breaking In" script) very innocently as a kind of nice caper with nice characters. But underneath that there is so much compromise and so much duplicity and so much blackmail going on that it seemed to have lots of levels I could work on.
He later described it as "an awkward little movie. It’s not an American film and it’s not a European film; it’s ungraspable what it is."
Roger Ebert called the film "a well-written, well-directed picture. Reynolds has a comfortable screen presence and can act…he shows the warmth and quirkiness that made him fun to watch in the first place." 
- https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1988-09-11-ca-2580-story.html MOVIES: Burt Reynolds Does a Turn as an Old Man: [Home Edition] Chase, Donald. Los Angeles Times 11 Sep 1988: 21.
- Breaking In (1989) Box Office Mojo
- Gerry Molyneaux, "John Sayles, Renaissance Books, 2000 p 182
- Breaking In (1989) – Weekend Box Office – Box Office Mojo
- "Breaking In". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- Breaking In (1989)