6.7/10
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191 user 87 critic

Small Time Crooks (2000)

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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.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Allen ... Ray
Carolyn Saxon Carolyn Saxon ... Candy Salesperson
Tracey Ullman ... Frenchy
Michael Rapaport ... Denny
Tony Darrow ... Tommy
Sam Josepher Sam Josepher ... Real Estate Agent
Jon Lovitz ... Benny
Lawrence Howard Levy Lawrence Howard Levy ... Dynamite Dealer (as Lawrence Levy)
Diane Bradley Diane Bradley ... Cookie Store Customer
Crystal Field Crystal Field ... Cookie Store Customer
Cindy Carver Cindy Carver ... Cookie Store Customer
Ray Garvey Ray Garvey ... Cookie Store Customer
Bill Gerber Bill Gerber ... Cookie Store Customer
Olivia Hayman 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Woody Allen Spring Project 1999 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,880,723, 21 May 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$17,071,230, 6 August 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

DreamWorks,Sweetland Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (Mono)| Dolby Digital (Mono)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David makes a comment about having a painting in a closet quietly aging. This is a reference to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. See more »

Goofs

Shown the house where writer Henry James(whom her husband confuses with band leader Harry James) once lived, the culturally challenged Frenchy announces that James was author of "The Heiress" (which she mispronounces as "hair-ess"). In reality, "The Heiress" was the title shared by a movie and a stage play, each inspired by James's novel "Washington Square"; James never wrote anything called "The Heiress". 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

Spoofed in Midgets Vs. Mascots (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Modern Dance
Written by Scott Marshall
Performed by Judith Cohn, Carol Genetti & Scott Marshall
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Woody Lite
30 May 2000 | by EThompsonUMDSee 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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