Concerning a fashionably aristocratic lady who is held up in a smart jewelry shop by a high powered gem thief. Before letting her go he makes a date with her. (Print Ad- Poughkeepsie Eagle-News, ((Poughkeepsie NY)) 17 August 1932) See more »
Based on the Hungarian play "Ekszerrablás a Váci-uccában" by Ladislas Fodor (copyrighted 26 Aug 1931) and on the following Broadway production: "Jewel Robbery" (1932); Comedy, adapted by Bertram Bloch; directed / produced by Paul Streger. Booth Theatre: 13 Jan 1932-Feb 1932 (closing date unknown/54 performances). Cast: Lionel Braham (as "Lenz"), Stuart Casey, Clarence Derwent (as "Franz"), Mary Ellis, Harold Johnsrud, Hazel Nagley, Eugene Powers, Frederick Roland, Louis M. Simon, Basil Sydney, Robert Vivian, Cora Witherspoon (as "Marianne"). See more »
After the baroness pulls a gun on the robber, he distracts her by kissing her, whereupon she drops the gun on his foot. She runs to the other side of the room with the robber limping after her. The gun is on the floor as he starts toward her; when he reaches her he's holding it. See more »
As a matter of fact, I'm opposed to the American school of banditry. I studied in Paris. You have to work harder but you do acquire a certain finesse that is missing from the stick-em-up and shoot-them-down school.
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Ach, du Lieber Augustine
(ca 1768) (uncredited)
Sung a cappella by Lee Kohlmar See more »
Stylish, zesty, sassy, and fun...pure high entertainment
Jewel Robbery (1932)
If you haven't seen why Pre-Code films are a riot—and very very well made— watch this one. Here the sassy, sexy, glammed up heist of a jewelry store becomes a game of manners and courtship. Jewels do in fact get stolen, but that's so not the point of the movie.
Centerpiece is William Powell, the superstar status still to come with his "Thin Man" and "Godfrey" roles. He's in top form, always a bit peculiar but really lovable and suave because of it. One of a kind.
Equal to him is Kay Francis, who is alive on screen like few actresses, and a great foil to Powell's cool. If Powell is still famous, Francis is not, and the reasons are not clear. (She was labeled "Box Office Poison" in a famous 1938 article, but that same piece labeled Joan Crawford and Kate Hepburn as well, both of whom had hardly begun their mature careers.) But Francis is a wonder in her heyday and you may as well start here to get why. (She was for years in the 1930s the highest paid actress bar none.)
So if you aren't convinced to see this yet, take the set design, the tightly engineered photography and editing, and the overall direction by William Dieterle, who is an underrated master of the classic Hollywood years. Again, just see this for proof.
As for the Code and its effect here, listen to the banter, which is fast and loaded with double entendres. No one skips a beat, and the fast swirl never gets confusing. Really a remarkably packed 70 minutes.
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