Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
Edward G. Robinson once more turns his gangster image on its head in a gleeful romp based on the Broadway farce penned by Laura Perelman and S.J. Perelman. Robinson plays Pressure Maxwell, who emerges from Sing Sing planni... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Peter Ingemi | Worcester County, Massachusetts United States | 12/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Larceny Inc is a witty little World war II era store of a con man (Edward G. Robinson) who plans on going straight but needs 25g's (25k in today's parlance) to buy into a dog track. When his legit attempts to raise the dough fail he falls back on Anthony Quinn's plan to hit a bank that he rejected just before leaving Sing Sing.
Unfortunately two things get in his way. He purchases a luggage store adjacent to the bank with plans to tunnel in, but his attempts to keep people out of his business are foiled by his daughter (Jane Wyman) determined to keep him strength, his fellow merchants that he accidentally champions against city hall and Anthony Quinn who doesn't take kindly to someone co-opting his idea.
You will find several familiar faces in supporting roles from Jack Carson, Broderick Crawford, Ed Brophy and an extremely young Jackie Gleason behind a pharmacy counter.
If you are looking for one of the great movies of all time you are looking in the wrong place, but if you want a solid funny "Christmas" movie that stands up to repeated watching then it is worth your time and money.
5 star comedy, 3 star package
Douglas M | 11/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Edward G Robinson was a very funny comedian and at the height of his career at Warner Brothers, he made 3 farces which sent up in some way his image as a gangster. The best was the first, "A Slight Case of Murder" but "Larceny Inc" released in 1942 is not far behind.
Robinson plays an ex-con who buys a luggage shop next to a bank. Having failed to raise capital for a dog track by going in through the front door of the bank, he decides to enter into the back by drilling through into the vault via the cellar of the shop. This is a set up for a really funny farce as business in the luggage shop booms and Robinson becomes the hero of his neighbours. The film has a Damon Runyan feel and a great supporting cast led by the indispensible Ed Brophy as Robinson's sidekick, Jane Wyman as his very pretty step daughter, Broderick Crawford as a particularly dense thug and best of all, Jack Carson, as the Hotchkiss man, the prototype of every fast talking salesman. There are so many funny scenes, but Brophy ("It comes in 10 delicious colours") and Robinson ("What do you expect for nine seventy five?") are standouts when they make a sale.
The print of the film is excellent and there are a generous list of mediocre extras. The short film, directed by John Huston, was an Oscar nominee and neat recruitment propaganda. James Stewart, a decorated airman, narrates. The newsreel, without soundtrack, shows a base ball match at Sing Sing which ties in nicely with the film. The cartoons are typical Warner's fare with that touch of cynicism which made their product so much better than the other studios' output. An early Bugs Bunny appears in one.
The dud of the package is the dreadful commentary. Two erudite academics/historians, one from Harvard no less, analyse the film with absolutely no sense of humour. "Larceny Inc" is a rollicking farce, filled with cardboard 2 dimensional figures, filmed with no other purpose but to entertain and generate big box office. These absurd historians analyse the film as an example of changing American values, an insight into capitalism among other things. What a load of hogwash. Furthermore, there is no information about the wealth of marvellous character actors which fill the screen. These guys seriously need to get down off their pedestal.
The DVD is best value if purchased as part of the Warner Brother's Gangster Collection Volume 4."