Burt Reynolds turns in one of his most convincing and touching performances in years as a safecracker with a heart of gold in this comedy of character and timing that's both stylish and slick. Reynolds is Ernie, a loner thief constantly on the move. But when he and smalltimer Mike (Siemaszko) break into the same house, Ernie takes Mike under his wing, shares the stolen cash and claims, "it's better to have a partner than a witness!" With the adage "you learn by doing" in mind, the experienced pro begins teaching his craft to the eager, young hotshot in a string of successful heists. But when Mike fails to heed Ernie's advice and the police close in, Mike may well have to "learn by doing"... time!