Movie Review: Larceny, Inc (1942)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1942 movie starring Edward G. Robinson and Jane Wyman.

Synopsis: A group of ex-convicts decide to make an honest living by buying into a dog track business. However, in order to do that, they need $25,000. When the bank refuses to give them a loan, they decide to steal the money instead. This ultimately results in the ex-cons purchasing the luggage shop next door to the bank so they can tunnel into the vault through the basement.

A Good Classic Comedy

I came across this movie at random this morning and, since everyone else was still in bed, decided to take the time to watch it. Since I hadn’t seen the movie before and wasn’t sure what genre it was in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But, it turned out to be a very entertaining and funny movie.

The part that I really thought was hilarious was how they purchased a luggage store that was struggling to stay in business because of the lack of foot traffic and, as soon as they made the purchase, business started booming. Considering their plan required them to have privacy, the non-stop intrusions were quite the challenge and, at the same time, it wasn’t overly hard to notice there was money going in their cash register.

Of course, the fact it was Wyman’s character, Denny, calling the shots that brought those customers in was equally as entertaining. I love how she got to play a character that was beautiful, charming yet, in some ways, just as devious as the criminals. Having her in that capacity definitely improved the overall film, though I honestly was a little disappointed by her choice for a love interest.

The twist at the end involving the group deciding to go legit only to have things get complicated when one of their ex-prison mates showing up to throw a wrench into things was also surprisingly entertaining. It was a little predictable. But, at the same time, it did keep things exciting and offered a couple unexpected twists that even managed to surprise me.

Final Opinion

There were some parts of this movie that did prove to be somewhat predictable. However, overall, the movie was very entertaining and there were just enough twists and turns at the end to keep me from correctly guessing how the film would end. It’s a classic movie I would definitely recommend taking the time to watch at least one time.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 02/08/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/28/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system here does not have Larceny, Inc. among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. So I must settle for not seeing this film now or in the near future. And yet it sounds so intriguing, what with the luggage store actually turning out to be a profitable business that should allow them to leave the criminal lives that they so wish to.

How would Larceny, Inc. fare as a colorized reboot or remake these days? Who would be able nowadays to project what Robinson and Wyman achieved as screen presences?

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