A loser of a crook and his wife strike it rich when a botched bank job's cover business becomes a spectacular success.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ray
Carolyn Saxon ...
Candy Salesperson
...
Frenchy
...
Denny
...
Tommy
Sam Josepher ...
Real Estate Agent
...
Lawrence Howard Levy ...
Dynamite Dealer (as Lawrence Levy)
Diane Bradley ...
Cookie Store Customer
Crystal Field ...
Cookie Store Customer
Cindy Carver ...
Cookie Store Customer
Ray Garvey ...
Cookie Store Customer
Bill Gerber ...
Cookie Store Customer
Olivia Hayman ...
Cookie Store Customer
Laurine Towler ...
Cookie Store Customer
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Storyline

Dishwasher and small-fry criminal Ray hits on a plan with his partners in crime to re-open a local pizza place and dig through to the bank down the street. As his wife can't cook pizza but does great cookies, that's what they sell. While the no-hope tunnellers get lost underground, the cookie operation really takes off and the team find themselves rich business people. But the other local money isn't quite ready to accept them. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Explodes with big-time laughter. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

19 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Woody Allen Spring Project 1999  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,880,723 (USA) (19 May 2000)

Gross:

ESP 477,699,084 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)| (Mono)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David makes a comment about having a painting in a closet quietly aging. This is a reference to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. See more »

Goofs

Denny is manipulating the box of dynamite as to allow the bottom to fall out. See more »

Quotes

Ray: I think she's developing a crush on her teacher, David.
May Sloane: Yeah. Well, you know, he's very good-looking, and he's really bright and very charming. And he's very elegant...
Ray: Okay, May, I got the picture. It's all right.
May Sloane: Well, when you're right, you're right.
Ray: Thank you.
See more »

Connections

References My Fair Lady (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Could It Be
Written by Stephen Lang
Performed by Stephen Lang
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/Master Source
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User Reviews

 
Woody Lite
30 May 2000 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

Like Mighty Aphrodite and Manhattan Murder Mystery, Small Time Crooks is the kind of movie Woody Allen would have made lots more of if he hadn't, in the post Annie Hall 1970s, started thinking of himself primarily as film auteur, rather than comedian. I count myself among those who are very glad he made the detour into Art that produced such original and challenging films as Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Husbands and Wives, and Deconstructing Harry. Small Time Crooks has a much lower level of ambition. Still, like most people in the audience at the showing I attended, I found much in it very amusing.

The film's comic plot starts out like Take the Money and Run revisited, but then takes a number of surprising turns. Along the way, Tracy Ullman, Elaine Stritch, and - especially - Elaine May all give scene-stealing performances. Early Woody one-liners and sight gags sparkle through the script (along with, unfortunately, a higher frequency of duds and chestnuts than in early Woody). Also adding an interesting dimension to the comedy is the influence of The Honeymooners on the relationship between Ray and Frenchie Winkler (Woody and Tracy) and on the film's fish-out-of-water class-based situation comedy. Woody has often professed his admiration for The Honeymooners, but this is the first film where he seems to have consciously reached for similar themes and effects.

On the down side, some of the plot twists seem downright arbitrary and amateurish, especially those involving Frenchie's comeuppance. Inadequate comic use is made of Ray's gang of losers (Jon Lovitz has one good line and too little screen time). And Hugh Grant as a Bluebeard wannabe is too much to ask of any audience. As to Woody himself .... what can you say? It's painful to watch his late career hardening of the comic arteries into stiff, unintentional self-parody. Let's hope the next Allen movie marks a return to high directorial ambition and low (as in "no") acting profile.


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