Movie Mirrors Index

Jewel Robbery

(1932 b 68')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Adapted from Ladislaus Fodor's play, a witty charmer steals jewels and woos a baroness at the same time.

In Vienna a professor demonstrates his electric-ray burglar alarm but is informed the store has been robbed. Marianne (Helen Vinson) tells rich Baroness Teri von Hohenfels (Kay Francis) of the jewel robbery. Teri is tired of marriage. She and Marianne admire a diamond. Paul (Hardie Albright) complains that Teri forgot to meet him but wants to marry her. Baron Franz von Hohenfels (Henry Kolker) buys the diamond for Teri. A robber (William Powell) comes in with a gun and men to rob the store while chatting to music. The watchman comes in and is told to come back later, carrying bags out to the car. The robber has the store owner smoke a funny cigarette. Witnesses are locked in a safe, but Teri refuses to smoke or go in a safe. The robber takes her ring, and she slaps him. The robber tips the watchmen, gives him the cigarettes, and leaves in a car.

Paul tells Marianne that the police did not believe Teri, who says she fainted. The watchman smokes, giggles, and can't identify a suspect. The police Commissioner (Clarence Wilson) smokes one and gets stoned with the watchman. Teri and Marianne find roses in Teri's home, and Teri tells her about the robber. Teri finds her safe open and her ring returned. She admits that she let the robber get away, and Marianne leaves. The robber puts on music and asks Teri for tea and talk. She gives him cognac and tries to give the ring back; but he refuses to take it. Teri threatens him with a pistol but drops it on his foot. The robber says he is staying all night in her bedroom, and he hid the diamonds in her safe. Maid Berta (Ruth Donnelly) says a detective wants to see Teri, and the robber sees police in the yard. The detective (Alan Mowbray) says he followed a man with a bag there and finds Teri's ring and the bag in the safe. The robber grabs the bag but is captured. He and Teri are arrested.

The robber says the detective is his friend Fritz and welcomes Teri to his place. They dine, and she says he must use force. He picks her up and drops her on the bed. Teri asks to see his jewels. The robber asks her to fly away with him to Nice. Teri leaves to pack, and the robber realizes a jewelry case is gone. Teri goes back up the stairs as police arrive. Teri refuses to go, and the robber ties her up before fleeing on the roof. The robber leaves in the police Commissioner's car. In the final scene Teri says she is going to Nice.

This sophisticated robber transcends the American crimes of "stick 'em up and shoot 'em down" but apparently is obsessed with the glittering objects. Yet his charm is enough to pull a baroness away from her rich husband and young lover. This film introduced the nameless marijuana to theater audiences, and the studio was sent letters asking what it was.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index