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Warner Brothers Pictures Gangsters Collection Vol. 4
Edward G. Robinson, Jayne Wyman, Jack Carson
Directed by Lloyd Bacon
Black and White
Warner Brothers 1942
Warner Home Video 2008
Larceny Inc is not your usual gangster movie DVD. This Edward G Robinson movie is a crime comedy and quite a good one. Based on the play by Laura and S.J. Perelman, Larceny Inc is a fun movie with solid actors, a great script, and quite a few laughs.
Robinson had a talent for comedy. Here, he plays Pressure, a man who can talk the suit of your back and does. When he and his cronies (Broderick Crawford as Jug and Edward Brophy as Weepy) get released from prison he decides to buy a dog track in Florida and go straight, To get the money, he decides to rob a bank, to rob the bank, he needs to tunnel into it, to tunnel into it he buys the luggage store next door.
Unfortunately or fortunately the luggage business turns out to be very busy and very profitable: This in part due to the efforts of Pressure’s daughter (Jayne Wyman) who wants her father to go on the straight and narrow right now.
Larceny, Inc is quite an original movie. It is smart, well-acted, and wonderfully written. It manages to remain a gangster movie nonetheless because it plays everything straight. What gets the laughs here is the situations the characters get themselves into and all the incidents that stop Pressure from tunneling into the bank.
Things get a little more dramatic when another con, played by Anthony Quinn, shows up but even then Larceny Inc remains quite funny. Even the silliest situations, such as the Santa Claus scenes, both make sense in an absurd comic way.
The ending to this movie is lame.
This movie is part of the Warner Brothers Gangsters Collection Volume 4 that includes Kid Galahad (Edward G. Robinson and Bette Davis), The Little Giant (Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, and Helen Vinson), The Amazing Dr. Rittenhouse (Robinson and Humphrey Bogart), and Invisible Stripes (Bogart, George Raft, and William Holden). This gangster movie DVD collection also includes a documentary on the forties’ gangster flick.
Larceny Inc is a Warner Night at the Movies release. It comes with a newsreel with no sound for some reason, two Warner Brother Cartoons –one black and white Porky Pig and The Wabbit Who Came To Supper. It also features an Air Force recruitment reel with Lieutenant Jimmy Stewart, and a really boring commentary track.