IMDb > Larceny (1948)

Larceny (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
William Bowers (writer)
Lois Eby (novel)
View company contact information for Larceny on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 December 1948 (UK) See more »
They couldn't trust each other with men... money... or guns! See more »
A con man sets out to swindle a widow out of the money she's received to build a memorial to her war-hero husband, but winds up falling in love with her instead. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
John Payne makes smart his move to the newborn noir cycle See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)

John Payne ... Rick Mason

Joan Caulfield ... Deborah Owens Clark

Dan Duryea ... Silky Randall

Shelley Winters ... Tory

Dorothy Hart ... Madeline
Richard Rober ... Max

Dan O'Herlihy ... Duke

Nicholas Joy ... Walter Vanderline

Percy Helton ... Charlie Jordan
Walter Greaza ... Mr. Owens
Patricia Alphin ... Waitress
Harry Antrim ... Mr. McNulty

Russ Conway ... Detective

Paul Brinegar ... Mechanic

Don Wilson ... Master of Ceremonies
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Carpenter ... Bidder (uncredited)
Barbara Challis ... Maid (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Bald Waiter (uncredited)
Alexis Davidoff ... Waiter (uncredited)
Donald Dewar ... Boy (uncredited)

Sam Edwards ... YAA President (uncredited)

Gene Evans ... Horace (uncredited)
Don Garner ... College Student (uncredited)
Oliver Hartwell ... Black Porter (uncredited)
Ruth Lee ... Patricia Carson (uncredited)
Bob Perry ... Bartender (uncredited)
Grandon Rhodes ... Harry Carson (uncredited)
Bill Walker ... Butler (uncredited)
Pat Walker ... Peggy (uncredited)
Jasper Weldon ... Porter (uncredited)

Directed by
George Sherman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
William Bowers  writer
Lois Eby  novel "The Velvet Fleece"
John Fleming  novel "The Velvet Fleece"
Herbert H. Margolis  writer
Lou Morheim  (as Louis Morheim)

Produced by
Leonard Goldstein .... producer
Aaron Rosenberg .... associate producer
Original Music by
Leith Stevens 
Cinematography by
Irving Glassberg 
Film Editing by
Frank Gross 
Art Direction by
Bernard Herzbrun 
Richard H. Riedel 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman 
Ted Offenbecker 
Costume Design by
Rosemary Odell 
Makeup Department
Carmen Dirigo .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Production Management
Dewey Starkey .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jesse Hibbs .... assistant director
Sound Department
Glenn E. Anderson .... sound
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Special Effects by
David S. Horsley .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Everett Brown .... grip (uncredited)
Richard Towers .... camera operator (uncredited)
Bill Wallace .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Ethmer Roten .... musician: flute (uncredited)
Dave Torbett .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Pat Betz .... script supervisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
89 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 11, 1948 with John Payne and Joan Caulfield reprising their film roles.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When John Payne is being shown up to his hotel room, one can clearly see the tape on the floor as his marker for the previous shot at the front desk.See more »
Tory:Stop twisting my arm! People will think we're married!See more »


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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
John Payne makes smart his move to the newborn noir cycle, 29 August 2004
Author: bmacv from Western New York

Like Dick Powell, John Payne was another crooner and hoofer from ‘30s musicals – a light leading man – who saw new opportunities waiting in the changing Hollywood of the late ‘40s and seized them. Eschewing also-ran roles in prestige pictures (The Razor's Edge, Miracle on 34th Street), he found he was better off taking top billing in the grittier Bs of the newborn noir cycle. It was a smart move. With rugged good looks but no glamour boy, a strong, silent type who didn't make it a gimmick, he turned into a plausible and appealing Average Joe, without ever fading into the generic. In the half-dozen or so noirs he starred in, he straddled both sides of the law, though he usually found himself stranded in a no-man's land in the middle.

In Larceny, he's one of a gang of con-men led by Dan Duryea. They've just finished a grift in Miami Beach, so Payne is sent to the far coast, to `Mission City,' to lay groundwork for the next job. He poses as an old service buddy of a slain war hero so the widow (Joan Caulfield) will spearhead a fund-raising drive for a memorial – sort of a posh Boy's Town for underprivileged youth – that, of course, is nothing more than a scheme for bilking donors.

But that mischievous cherub Cupid throws a few monkey wrenches into the works. First off, Payne starts developing protective feelings for Caulfield and, more slowly, she for him (she's been playing Vestal Virgin at her husband's altar for so long she finds her own feelings a betrayal). Even worse, Duryea's moll, a `boa constrictor in high heels' (Shelley Winters, in full blonde-bombshell mode) carries such a torch for Payne that she follows him out west, by bus yet. The sicker Payne grows of her, the needier and more reckless she gets – their unstable chemistry threatens to blow them both sky high. The plot executes several quick turns when the possessive Duryea shows up (as does the victim of the Miami scam), when Caulfield reveals that she plans to put up all the money herself, and when Winters decides to take matters into her own pistol-packin' hand....

The violence in Larceny is toned way down, confined mainly to Winters' being slapped around (but she slaps back). It relies instead on a tight script, bristling with smart-mouthed cracks: `[Winters] is like a high-tension wire. Once you grab on, you can't let go – even if you want to;' `You kiss like you're paying off an election bet;' `I said I'm sorry but I'm not going to write it on the blackboard 100 times.' It allows Percy Helton and Dorothy Hart space enough to flesh out their small parts (Hart does a scrumptious riff on Dorothy Malone's bookstore clerk in The Big Sleep). All in all, Larceny proves a congenial vehicle for Payne's welcome arrival in dark city.

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