7.4/10
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Larceny, Inc. (1942)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 2 May 1942 (USA)
Three ex-cons buy a luggage shop to tunnel into the bank vault next door. But despite all they can do, the shop prospers...

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Denny Costello
...
...
Jeff Randolph
...
Leo Dexter
...
Weepy Davis
...
...
Sam Bachrach
...
Mademoiselle Gloria
...
Mr. Aspinwall
...
Hobart (as Jackie C. Gleason)
Andrew Tombes ...
Oscar Engelhart
Joe Downing ...
Smitty (as Joseph Downing)
...
Mr. Jackson
...
Anton Copoulos
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Storyline

Three bumbling crooks buy a store so that they can rob the bank next door. When they soon discover the money they can make as legitimate businessmen, they abandon their plan. Trouble is, one of their cohorts, who's escaped from jail, won't let them. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Gauner GmbH  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened in New York City, New York, USA on 10 April 1941 and closed 27 April 1941 after 22 performances. The opening cast included Shelley Winters. See more »

Goofs

During the montage of several types of sales promotions for the store, Maxwell watches an advertising truck pass by. This sequence shows two close ups of Maxwell, the second is a reversed shot, since the writing on the building behind him is suddenly flipped left-for-right. See more »

Quotes

Jug Martin: Hey, Pressure, why didn't she ever write me all that time we were in prison?
J. Chalmers 'Pressure' Maxwell: Well. maybe it's because she knows you can't read.
Jug Martin: I never thought of that.
See more »


Soundtracks

Silent Night, Holy Night
(1818)
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
English lyrics anonymous
Played by the Mission band and sung by the Mission singers on Christmas Eve
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User Reviews

 
Inept Crooks
9 May 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

S. J. Perelman, on whose play this is based, would sometimes use the nom de plume Sidney Namelrep, a silly, devil-may-care joke that is perfectly in tune with his sense of humor. He wrote some of the most outrageously funny pieces ever to appear in the New Yorker. His comedy is filled with whimsy, non sequiturs, twisted clichés, notions that seem to emerge recklessly from nowhere, scarcely masked libidinous allusions, ridiculously transparent self justifications -- the kind of humor associated with the Marx Brothers. And in fact he wrote some of their best lines in (if I remember correctly) "Monkey Business" -- "Hurry, my dear, my regiment leaves at dawn."

His wit still can be seen through the screen of the more strict narrative line seen in this movie but because the characters need to seem reasonably sane, their range is a bit restricted. ("Mmm. Did you concoct these little tidbits?") The story itself, fortunately, is so absurd that it rolls right along, in the same league as Warners' "All Through The Night."

It's a pretty ancient tale. Thieves getting into a store next to a bank in order to break through the wall into the vault. The first time I remember coming across it was in a Sherlock Holmes tale, "The Red Headed League," and I doubt it was original with Conan-Doyle. This is the earliest movie about such a caper that I'm aware of. But later there was "Big Deal on Madonna Street" and most recently Woody Allan's "Small Time Crooks," which duplicated some of the incidents as well as the general idea. (The thieves break open a water pipe while digging the tunnel; the original plan fizzles out when the phony business upstairs becomes an economic bonanza.)

It's a well-done and highly entertaining comedy with the usual roster of Warners' stalwarts at their best. The kind of movie about which you can truly say, "They don't make 'em like that anymore." I don't know how long it took to shoot. Not long, I imagine. New York City is nothing more than a street on the back lot and a handful of interiors.

Loyd Bacon, whom no one ever proclaimed a genius, knows how to shoot a film efficiently, the way a good car mechanic knows his business, moving the bodies around with careless ease. There isn't a wasted motion. Every step, every opening of a door, every snarl and stutter, serves a purpose. Robinson breezes through the whole business. Jane Wyman looks cute. Broderick Crawford is dumb beyond belief. And every item of luggage in the store is "Nine seventy-five."

It's all very amusing.


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