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A Touch of Larceny (1959)

 -  Comedy  -  December 1959 (UK)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 292 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

Philandering Commander Max Easton, now desk-bound and under-worked in the Admiralty, finds he suddenly needs to make some money when he falls for American Virginia Killain. When he hatches ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: A Touch of Larceny (1959)

A Touch of Larceny (1959) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cmdr. Max Easton
...
Sir Charles Holland
...
Virginia Killain
Oliver Johnston ...
Minister
Robert Flemyng ...
Cmdr. John Larkin
William Kendall ...
Tom
Duncan Lamont ...
1st Special Branch man Gregson
...
Capt. Graham
...
Sub Lt. Brown
Rachel Gurney ...
Clara Holland
Martin Stephens ...
John Holland
Waveney Lee ...
Marcia Holland
Charles Carson ...
Robert Holland
Junia Crawford ...
Susan
Henry B. Longhurst ...
Club Member (as Henry Longhurst)
Edit

Storyline

Philandering Commander Max Easton, now desk-bound and under-worked in the Admiralty, finds he suddenly needs to make some money when he falls for American Virginia Killain. When he hatches a plot to disappear in circumstances that suggest he has defected and then return to sue the papers, Virginia doesn't take much notice - at least at first. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Taglines:

About Money and Women and How To Get 'Em...With a Very Special Touch!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

December 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hochverrat mit Hindernissen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The working title for this film was suggested by James Mason himself. He thought of the title "A Touch of Larceny", as stated in his autobiography, "Before I Forget". See more »

Goofs

When Max picks up Virginia for their luncheon date, she tries to put a scarf on her head to keep her hair from blowing around in the wind caused by riding in Max's convertible sports car. However, when Max brings his car to a sudden stop, the wind continues. See more »

Soundtracks

The Nearness of You
Written by Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington
Sung by Jimmy Lloyd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The trouble with you, Easton, is you have no principles.
4 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A Touch of Larceny is directed by Guy Hamilton and adapted to screenplay by Ivan Foxwell & Roger MacDougall from the novel "The Megstone Plot" written by Paul Winterton. It stars James Mason, George Sanders and Vera Miles. Music is by Philip Green and cinematography by John Wilcox.

Plot finds Mason as Naval Commander Max Easton, a one time hero and a playboy who now idles away his time at an Admiralty desk. When an old comrade, Sir Charles Holland (Sanders), arrives on the scene with the beautiful Virginia Killain (Miles) on his arm, Easton wants her for himself. But Holland is well off financially and Easton is not, so he hatches a plan to make the press think he is a traitor to his country, and thus when they write damning articles about him he can sue them for libel!

It's little seen these days and merely a small entry on either the curriculum vitae of Mason & Sanders, but it deserves to have a bigger audience. It's very dry in humour and paced sedately without histrionics or extraneous passages of play (it was BAFTA nominated for Best British Screenplay), this is, in short, a long way from being screwball like! The novel it is adapted from apparently carries a cynical edge (not read it myself you see), and whilst the thematics here in the filmic adaptation; caddish rivalry and manipulation of the press, do lend a fragment of spice to the story, it's mostly played in a playful unobtrusive manner. The joy comes in watching the two wonderful cad lad actors on each side of the bonnie Miss Miles. All parties are doing darn fine work, with Mason dominating the screen with an engaging performance that pours scorn on those who thought he couldn't do comedy.

No masterpiece for sure, and sometimes it comes off as being a little bit odd, but this be a film to savour for the acting, the dialogue and the warm glow that follows when the end does come. 7/10


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