January 20, 2017
Review #898: Larceny, Inc.
Edward G. Robinson (J. Chalmers "Pressure" Maxwell), Jane Wyman (Denny Costello), Broderick Crawford (Jug Martin), Jack Carson (Jeff Randolph), Anthony Quinn (Leo Dexter), Edward Brophy (Weepy Davis), Harry Davenport (Homer Bigelow), John Qualen (Sam Bachrach), and Barbara Jo Allen (Mademoiselle Gloria) Directed by Lloyd Bacon (#562 - It Happens Every Spring)
A mix of comedy and gangster films, Larceny, Inc. manages to be a fine combination of the two genres by being itself with enough snappy charm from its cast along with some fine lines as well to make for a fine little gem. Easily the best part of the movie is Robinson, in part because of his great screen presence, in a movie all about timing and straight-laced fun. Crawford and Brophy are good accomplices to Robinson, with their own quirks and lines that make them so endearing. One fun scene is their exchange about one of them having a walk onto moving traffic as part of a quick scam...and having him show them how he would bounce off a bumper. Wyman and Carson have some bit of chemistry, but they aren't given too much to do (outside of contributing to the plot), though they certainly don't hurt the movie. Quinn proves to be a decent little villain. Davenport is also pretty decent in a small but key role as a shop owner, with one good little scene where he keep reminiscing over and over as he leaves the store after selling it. Jackie Gleason (of "The Honeymooners" fame and other things) makes a brief appearance as a soda shop clerk, getting a bit of time to be involved in the background. There is something so interesting about seeing how the plot threads of the heist and the business wrap themselves so cohesively, where the laughs never seem to cease up (and even when they do, not for very long). This is an easy movie to have a good time with, in part because even when the movie isn't about getting laughs it still manages to have its own kind of talent and sort of finesse. This is a fine little spoof of gangster films with the right kind of fun and sensible writing that surely delivers on its premise.
Countdown to #900: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2...
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.