7.4/10
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35 user 8 critic

A Night Before Christmas (1942)

Larceny, Inc (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 2 May 1942 (USA)
Three ex-cons buy a luggage shop to tunnel into the bank vault next door. But despite all they can do, the shop prospers...

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Everett Freeman (screenplay), Edwin Gilbert (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward G. Robinson ... 'Pressure' Maxwell
Jane Wyman ... Denny Costello
Broderick Crawford ... Jug Martin
Jack Carson ... Jeff Randolph
Anthony Quinn ... Leo Dexter
Edward Brophy ... Weepy Davis
Harry Davenport ... Homer Bigelow
John Qualen ... Sam Bachrach
Barbara Jo Allen ... Mademoiselle Gloria
Grant Mitchell ... Mr. Aspinwall
Jackie Gleason ... Hobart (as Jackie C. Gleason)
Andrew Tombes ... Oscar Engelhart
Joe Downing Joe Downing ... Smitty (as Joseph Downing)
George Meeker ... Mr. Jackson
Fortunio Bonanova ... Anton Copoulos
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Storyline

Three bumbling crooks buy a store so that they can rob the bank next door. When they soon discover the money they can make as legitimate businessmen, they abandon their plan. Trouble is, one of their cohorts, who's escaped from jail, won't let them. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The smoothest talkin' mobster this side of the pen ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Night Before Christmas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Woody Allen loved this film so much he remade it in 2000 as Small Time Crooks (2000). See more »

Goofs

During the montage of several types of sales promotions for the store, Maxwell watches an advertising truck pass by. This sequence shows two close ups of Maxwell, the second is a reversed shot, since the writing on the building behind him is suddenly flipped left-for-right. See more »

Quotes

J. Chalmers 'Pressure' Maxwell: [picking up sample] Crocodile?
Homer Bigelow: No, alligator.
J. Chalmers 'Pressure' Maxwell: [tossing away sample] Oh, domestic.
See more »


Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
Traditional
Sung a cappella by the merchants to honor Maxwell
See more »

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User Reviews

A Real Sleeper
20 October 2000 | by jwhit67720See all my reviews

This film never got much recognition, possibly because wartime comedies were ignored unless they had to do with the armed services or the global crisis, but it is an absolutely delightful comedy. It is reminiscent of an old Italian story called "The Crime of Don Giovanni," involving a Roman cafe owner who was jealous of a competitor next door to him, and decided to tunnel underground to steal dishes from the other restaurant's kitchen. Robinson, Crawford, and the supporting cast are superb!


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