Once a jewel thief always a jewel thief? Yes and no. Yes if you consider the fact that Michael Lanyard also known as the Lone Wolf once retired from the "trade" but relapses back into his ...
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Once a jewel thief always a jewel thief? Yes and no. Yes if you consider the fact that Michael Lanyard also known as the Lone Wolf once retired from the "trade" but relapses back into his old habits when he is tempted by the emerald pendant of beautiful socialite Marcia Stewart. The trouble (?) is that he falls for the belle and he soon gets more interested in getting the girl than the jewels that adorn her. What he wants now is to return the pendant but a rival gang interfere and force him to take part in a big-time caper. Bad for them, Michael exposes them and hands them over to justice. Michael and Marcia will live happily ever after. Well, all things considered, once a thief...not always a thief!Written by
Michael Lanyard in several movies since the silent ones, follows the formula: Once a safecraker will always be a safecraker, so he is always blamed for things that he is innocent. There are more than 18 movies with Michael Lanyard with several actors and another serie that follows the same formula: since the silent movies: Boston Blackie also more than 18 movies with several actors and always blamed by the police. See more »
When Morfew (Douglas Dumbrille) and his friends enter in the office, he notice a cigarrette burning but almost finished, couple of minutes later when Inspector Crane enters he also noticed the cigarrette but is burning and in the midle of it so he recognized whom was smoking by the initials printed in the cigarrete (ML). See more »
Melvyn Douglas is Michael Lanyard, "The Lone Wolf" from Louis Joseph Vance's series about the elegant jewel thief. The police, in person of Thurston Hall, have him trapped at one crime site. He escapes and goes next door to a masquerade party thrown by Gail Patrick, where they flirt. He also identifies Tala Birell and Henry Mollison as thieves out to steal her family's collection. Later, under the direction of their boss, Douglas Dumbrille, they succeed, and plant evidence that he is the actual thief.
It's a lushly romantic movie, far removed from the decent but rote Columbia series, with Douglas at his most charming, and Miss Patrick her most beautiful. Little humorous bits creep in, with Hall a nut for raising orchids (which he calls 'posies'), and Raymond Walburn as Douglas' timid and fastidious valet.
Even more interesting, director Roy Williams Neill has DP Henry Freulich shoot the movie in low light, playing with Venetian blinds and shadows in a manner that looks like it is mocking the conventions of film noir years before it settled into its wonted styles.
Neill was one of the many A-list directors of silent movies who slid with the coming of sound. In 1928, he was directing at Metro. By 1932, he was directing at Columbia, programmers that showed some style and grace, particularly when he got an actor who had something and he could work with them, whether it was Jack Holt in WHIRLPOOL, or Rathbone and Bruce in the Sherlock Holmes movies he directed in the mid-1940s. He worked with the control of the camera and lighting that veterans of silent movies could exhibit. When film noir finally showed up, he handled it expertly, with his own particular touch.
It's possible that he would have made a full recovery to respectability and big budgets had he not died in 1946 at the age of 59. Or perhaps he was one of those talented directors who could make the most of limited resources, like Richard Thorpe. We'll never know.
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