Larceny


1h 29m 1948

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Velvet Fleece by Lois Eby and John Fleming (New York, 1947).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

In Miami Beach, when a confidence racket run by Silky Randall and smooth con-artist Rick Maxon goes awry, Randall plans another scheme in Mission City, California, near Pasadena. Randall proposes to bilk wealthy war widow Deborah Owens Clark by playing on her strong sentiment for her dead war-hero husband Jim. Randall suspects that Rick is romancing his girl friend Tory on the sly, but when confronted, Rick is evasive, even after Randall reveals that he intends to send Tory to Cuba for the duration of their next job. Rick finds Tory waiting at his apartment and she demands that he accompany her to Cuba, but he refuses and leaves for Los Angeles. Upon his arrival, Rick checks into a boardinghouse and lets the manager know he is a friend of local hero, Jim Clark. The manager, who runs a patriotic youth organization, asks Rick to speak at the club's meeting that night and Rick agrees. At the meeting, Rick is introduced to Deborah, who admits to being moved by his talk. Pretending to have known Jim, Rick plants the idea of erecting a war memorial youth building in his honor and Deborah immediately agrees. Back in his room that night, Rick is visited by Randall's henchman, Max, who informs him that Tory is missing, having evaded her Cuba flight, and that Randall suspects she is with Rick. After Max departs, Rick receives a delivery from the local pharmacy, and discovers in the cap of the enclosed bromide bottle a note from Tory arranging a meeting. When Rick arrives at her cottage and is cool to her romantic overtures, she threatens to expose him to Randall, but promises to stay hidden if Rick visits her regularly. Max is waiting for Rick in his room and takes him to Randall, who informs him that he must push Deborah to choose the most expensive site possible for the war memorial. He again questions Rick about Tory and Rick denies knowing her whereabouts. Randall pretends to accept Rick's disavowal, but when he leaves, assigns Max to follow him. The next day Deborah arranges to visit a property manager who can show her and Rick several sites for the proposed memorial. Despite receiving another summons from Tory, Rick takes Deborah to a party, where he gets her to agree to the top building site, valued at $100,000. Some time later, in her enthusiasm over the memorial, Deborah declares she will pay for the entire project, but knowing the money will go directly to the property manager, Rick assures her that he will make the arrangements and convinces her to write him a personal check instead. He then goes to see Tory, who is outraged at having been ignored and bitterly jealous about Rick's involvement with Deborah. She grabs the check from Rick and while they are struggling over it, Deborah walks in on them, having followed Rick in order to return his keys. When Deborah departs, Rick is upset, so Tory tells him that she can pretend to be Jim's ex-girl friend who was blackmailing Rick. He scoffs at the idea, but Tory sends Deborah a note that convinces her. When Rick returns to upbraid Tory about the note, she turns on him, demanding that he marry her or she will reveal the truth to Deborah, whom she has invited to the cottage. When Deborah arrives, Tory threatens her and Rick with a gun, and during the ensuing brief struggle, Deborah is knocked out. Rick goes along with Tory, but when they embrace he turns the gun on her and kills her. Randall and Max burst in, but unknown to them, Rick has called the police. He stalls Randall by claiming that they can set Deborah up for Tory's killing. When the police arrive, Randall pretends to be a detective, but as Deborah regains consciousness, Rick confesses to the entire set-up. As the police take him away, Rick tells Deborah to forget she ever met him.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Velvet Fleece by Lois Eby and John Fleming (New York, 1947).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 29m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Four original cast members from the film, John Payne, Joan Caulfield, Shelley Winters and Dan O'Herlihy reprised their roles on the Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of Larceny on October 11, 1948. Portions of the film were shot on location in Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Van Nuys, Santa Monica and downtown Hollywood, California.