6.7/10
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192 user 128 critic

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:

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

Country:

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:

$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 movie poster is based on an NYPD campaign from the 70s with the phrase "Never Give a Criminal an Even Break". 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

David: So, you can see the difference between this Tintoretto and the earlier Byzantine painting we looked at? What would you say is the most significant difference?
Ray: Me? I'd say the frame's bigger here.
See more »

Connections

References Take the Money and Run (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Steady, Steady
Written by Ronald Graham & Milton Shafer
Performed by Lester Lanin
Courtesy of Epic Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Amusing comedy, but not perfect.
14 April 2001 | by (Jonquiere, Canada) – See all my reviews



Woody Allen essentially makes two kind of movies: comedy and movies about relationships. His very first movies were slapstick comedies and then once in a while, after Annie Hall, he made a comedy or two. Small Time Crooks is one of his lesser movies, not on quality but more on terms of release. Small Time Crooks was pretty much ignored on its release.

Allen plays Ray Winkler, officially the world's lamest looking criminal. Allen and his friends (Michael Rapaport, Tony Darrow) plan to break into a bank and get rich. How? Well, it's a complicated plan. Ray's wife, Frenchy, (Tracey Ullman) is to rent a pizza shop and make cookies as a coverup for the men drilling in the basement. However, to Ray's disarray, the pizza shop is already rented out. Ray checks it out and realises that he knows the guy who rented it. Turns out they were cellmates. The guy (Jon Lovitz) joins them into the plan. Ray turns out to be a huge dumbass and can't make the tunnel under the bank. On top, however, Frenchy is having a huge success with her cookies. She hires her cousin May (Elaine May) to help her. The timeline then jumps a year and Ray and Frenchy have become extremely wealthy. They own a huge chain of cookie shops and are now part of the nouveau rich. They meet with David (Hugh Grant), whom Frenchy hires to teach her about culture. Without revealing more, let's just say it screwed up.

Woody is his usual, neurotic self and as usual gives a solid if unimpressive performance. Ullman, as his stripper-turned-cookie-mogul wife, is very good and very funny. It's a shame she isn't in movies more. The rest of the cast is also good, with standouts being Elaine May and Jon Lovitz even though he's not on screen very long.

Small Time Crooks starts out as a funny, slapstick comedy but then takes a turn when they become rich. Now, the title is Small Time Crooks. I was expecting some crookery. I saw some crookery, but not enough. It should have been called Cookie Mogul or something. I realises that it wouldn't have been very good as an all-out caper comedy but about 20 minutes of more crookery wouldn't have hurt. There's also the fact that this movie lags at times, enough to hurt it. And Hugh Grant is unimpressive in a role that could've been more.

Woody Allen is an acquired taste. You may not like it or you may worship it. Small Time Crooks is actually a good way of getting introduced to Allen. 7/10


11 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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