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Socially-conscious banker Thomas Dickson faces a crisis when his protégé is wrongly accused for robbing the bank, gossip of the robbery starts a bank run, and evidence suggests Dickson's wife had an affair...all in the same day.
When a baroness is present during a robbery at a jewellers in Vienna, she finds the gang's debonair leader more attractive than either her husband or her lover. Written by
Ian Harries <email@example.com>
Based on the Hungarian play Ekszerrablás a Váci-uccában by Ladislas Fodor (copyrighted 26 Aug 1931) and on the following Broadway production: Jewel Robbery (1932); Comedy, adapted by Bertram Bloch; directed and produced by Paul Streger. Booth Theatre: 13 Jan 1932- Feb 1932 (closing date unknown/54 performances). Cast: Lionel Braham (as "Lenz"), Stuart Casey, Clarence Derwent (as "Franz"), Mary Ellis, Harold Johnsrud, Hazel Nagley, Eugene Powers, Frederick Roland, Louis M. Simon, Basil Sydney, Robert Vivian, Cora Witherspoon (as "Marianne"). See more »
After the baroness pulls a gun on the robber, he distracts her by kissing her, whereupon she drops the gun on his foot. She runs to the other side of the room with the robber limping after her. The gun is on the floor as he starts toward her; when he reaches her he's holding it. See more »
"Jewel Robbery" reflects the comic virtuosity of actors and actresses - and directors - in an eclectic Hollywood too soon to be stifled by THE Code. Kay Francis, little known to most movie buffs today, sparkles as a liberated, adventuresome and bored wife of a doting, not doddering exactly, but boring rich hubby. Apparently only his largess keeps her hitched and she seems quite open about looking for some exciting liaisons and she ain't talking about platonic ones either. The sexual innuendos aren't subtle. Neither are they serious.
William Powell is a suave and quick-witted gentleman jewel thief. In one sentence he dismisses the violence of his American counterparts, asserting the urbane civility of the European high class criminal.
"Reefer Madness," one of Hollywood's all-time great comedies, came out in 1937. In 1932 Powell, the jewel thief, dispenses marijuana cigarettes left and right and although the name is never used, the goofy behavior of the smokers prefigures the exaggerated and demonic grass-induced St. Vitus dance of the later documentary.
A short, sprightly comedy where crime is neither dangerous nor particularly even objectionable, "Jewel Robbery" is a small gem from a long bygone Hollywood. If you can rent it, do so. You won't be disappointed.
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