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The Skipper is a charming old man loved by all his neighbors. What they don't know is that he is also Mr. 880, an amateurish counterfeiter who has amazingly managed to elude the Secret Service for 20 years. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Based on the true story of Emerich Juettner, an elderly junk dealer who, like the character in the movie, only used to print counterfeit $1 bills to make ends meet. For 10 years, Juettner eluded the Secret Service's efforts to find him. He was finally caught in January, 1948, after a fire forced him to vacate his apartment on New York's Upper West Side, and move in with his daughter in Queens. The firemen who put out the fire left some of Juettner's belongings in a nearby alley. A few weeks later, a group of local boys found some of his $1 bills in the alley, realized they were fakes (the name "Washington" was misspelled as "Wahsington" on the bills), and turned them over to police. Juettner was arrested, but only sentenced to nine months in jail and a $1 fine. When 20th Century Fox bought the movie rights to his story, Juettner received more money than he had ever made as a counterfeiter. See more »
Wonderful Edmund Gwenn...back in the courtroom again
New York-area counterfeiter, a kindly old junk collector who means no harm, may have met his match in a new Secret Service man determined to nab the 10-year offender of phony one-dollar bills. Despite an early placard telling us the film was made with "the special permission of the Secretary of the Treasury", as well as with "the assistance of the Treasury Department of the United States Secret Service", the film is surprisingly light and blithe. Edmund Gwenn, Santa Claus in 1947's "Miracle on 34th Street", ends up before the judge again, and his sweetly honest disposition and gentle nature puts us on his side no matter what the crime. Agent Burt Lancaster, wooing Gwenn's neighbor Dorothy McGuire, is perhaps too intense an actor for such a breezy, frivolous take on this situation, yet he works well with his co-stars and has a good scene questioning some Bowery kids (Billy Gray among them). Not an important picture by any means, though mildly entertaining. Gwenn received a Golden Globe for his performance, followed by an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. **1/2 from ****
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