Synopsis for
"Chico and the Man" Too Many Crooks (1976)

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Chico (Freddie Prinze) is annoyed to be awakened by Eds (Jack Albertson) loud hammering as he fixes a car, but Ed blames Chico's heavy promotion of the garage for the additional business. When Chico heads off to get more sleep, a man, Charlie, enters and attempts to rob Ed, but proves to be a rather incompetent thief. He laments that he is bad at everything and tells Ed that he used to be a stand-up insult comic before losing his job, and he and Ed end up bonding over their former theatre days and Ed gives him twenty dollars to start his life over. Touched, Charlie says he is "all heart" and promises to pay him back. He leaves, but is quickly brought back by Officer Harroway, who assumes he stole the money. Chico manages to outwit him, and Harroway is forced to admit that Eds actions were "noble." After swindling Ed out of another $20, Charlie leaves.

The next day, Chico notices a small piece in the newspaper about the "Good Samaritan" garage owner, which pleases Ed until another man shows up to rob him, followed shortly by a second, as they read that Ed is an easy mark. The two robbers end up bonding over the "false advertisement," but Chico offers them a meal and conversation, and they agree. They are soon joined by a dozen more would-be thieves, and Ed comes downstairs in shock and is greeted fondly by the group. A woman of ill repute enters as well, followed by Harroway, who says the gathering is illegal and tells Ed to break it up. Just as he attempts to throw everyone out, Charlie returns and says he won money at the racetrack and got a new stand-up gig, all thanks to Ed's help. He tries out his insult comedy on several of Ed's "guests," including the woman and a man named Bubba, who is less than amused at his mockery. As the two of them go outside to duke it out, yet another robber enters wearing a stocking mask and brandishing a real gun. He takes Ed into his office and threatens him--or pretends to, as it is really Chico. They stage a phony robbery that scares all the others away, and then congratulate themselves on the scheme. Charlie stops in, still pursued by Bubba, but manages to escape again. As Chico and Ed laugh about the strange events, they are confronted by a final criminal, who demands money because he is "a little short."


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