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Raffles (1939)

Man about town and First Class cricketer A.J. Raffles keeps himself solvent with daring robberies. Meeting Gwen from his schooldays and falling in love all over again, he spends the weekend... See full summary »


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Raffles (1930)
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A distinguished English gentleman has a secret life--he is the notorious jewel thief the press has dubbed "The Amateur Cracksman". When he meets a woman and falls in love he decides to "... See full summary »

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Raffles (TV Series 1975)
Comedy | Crime | History
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Most people know A.J. Raffles only as a gentleman of leisure and a top-rated cricketer, but he is also "the amateur Cracksman", an expert jewel thief. Alternately aided and hindered by his ... See full summary »

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The secretary of a newly appointed government official strives to make him a success in spite of his shortcomings.

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A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

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A young woman, Stanley Timberlake, dumps her fiance, Craig Fleming, and runs off with her sister Roy's husband, Peter Kingsmill. They marry, settle in Baltimore, and Stanley ultimately ... See full summary »

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Complete credited cast:
Lady Melrose (as Dame May Whitty)
Lionel Pape ...
Margaret Seddon ...
Hilda Plowright ...
Keith Hitchcock ...
Vesey O'Davoren ...
George Cathrey ...
Melrose Footman


Man about town and First Class cricketer A.J. Raffles keeps himself solvent with daring robberies. Meeting Gwen from his schooldays and falling in love all over again, he spends the weekend with her parents, Lord and Lady Melrose. A necklace presents an irresistible temptation, but also in attendance is Scotland Yard's finest, finally on the trail. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caballero y ladrón  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although the movie was based on the 1899 novel by E.W. Hornung, he also co-wrote a play (called "Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman") with Eugene Wiley Presbrey, who staged it in New York. It opened on Broadway on 27 October 1903 with Clara Blandick as Gwendolyn, and it had 168 performances, closing in March, 1904. See more »


In the hansom cab, Raffles puts his arm behind Gwen above her shoulders, but in the next close-up shot of her, his arm isn't there. See more »


Version of Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman (1925) See more »


Fantaisie-Impromptu in C Sharp Minor, Op.66
(1834) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played by an unidentified pianist at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

"Set a Thief to Catch a Thief"
30 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This appears to be the third remake of "Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman" Which seems to have originally been made in 1925 - No, make that 1905... 1917... 1925, 1930, and 1975 which seems to have spawned a short 1977 TV Series based on the character.

I've never seen those, I have only ever seen the Kay Francis/Ronald Coleman version, which I liked very much. So to my surprise I am watching this particular remake: Who knows why this remake was decided upon in 1939? Some of the comments here indicate that it could have been a lot better that it ended up being - And I agree.

A Young Snappy David Niven and beautiful Olivia DeHavilland (When is she not beautiful, even when she got older?) spearheading a great cast including Dame May Witty and E.E. Clive.

This film with the cast that was attached could have been one of the great films of the 30's but it just kind of sits there like a plate of cold tripe. I give the film credit for atmosphere but not much else. The dialog is delivered in a way in which we do not believe- Almost without enthusiasm.

Instead of doing a shot-by-shot and line by line remake (Which was also done with The Prisoner of Zenda) they could have just re-released the great and fun 1930 version. I have only seen one film where Niven was able to get a handle on comedy, and that was "Bachelor Mother" (Another film that was unfortunately remade, as "Bundle of Joy") - And only then because he used very Cary Grant-ish hand and body movements for some reason.

Watching this is akin to watching moss grow... Unfortunate, but true. Sometimes there is no reason to remake a film that has already been made three times, as had been the case here. I can understand the need for the 1930 remake, as that was the version that first applied that novelty we take for granted, Sound. Making this film again, so soon, and uninspired like this, I see no reason for it. Why? Nothing special jumps out, even though the performances of the actors are adequate. All of the things that made the 1930 version great are absent from this.

On a final note, DeHavilland and Niven do not work as well as Coleman and Francis did: Coleman and Francis have a very "Modern" look, almost contemporary. Which is why I was attracted to it when I originally saw the 1930 version. That timelessness is absent in the appearance of Niven and DeHavilland in this film.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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