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Small Time Crooks (2000)

PG | | Comedy, Crime | 19 May 2000 (USA)
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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:

They took a bite out of crime. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Woody Allen Spring Project 1999  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$17,071,230 (USA) (4 August 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)| (Mono)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The quote, "The only thing missing from this guy is a piece of velvet and a pet mouse...", is a reference of "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. See more »

Goofs

When Denny, Ray, Tommy and Benny first begin digging the tunnel, while discussing who can use the drill, Denny appears to call Ray (played by Woody Allen) Woody. However, after Ray has just said to Denny "Whaddya mean?", Denny starts to repeat Ray's question, saying "Whaddy... I don't know how to work a drill like that." See more »

Quotes

Frenchy: [on her company's expansion] That's right, yeah. We've been planning it for months. Yeah?
Frenchy's Lawyer: In order to do that, you needed a bank loan. Are you aware of that? Quite a substantial loan.
Frenchy: Get to the point. What?
Frenchy's Lawyer: They asked you to sign a promissory note to the bank.
Frenchy: You're speaking to the wrong person. This is exactly what I got accountants for.
Frenchy's Lawyer: Yes, but unfortunately, your accountants are in Venezuela.
Frenchy: This is all so confusing!
Frenchy's Lawyer: Frances, you put up your home and savings as a note for a monster loan.
Frenchy: [...]
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Connections

Remake of Larceny, Inc. (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Sarabande From the Suite #2 for Solo violoncello In D Minor
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Performed by Jesse Levy
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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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