Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


A SLIGHT CASE OF LARCENY (1953). Director: Don Weis.

Two old Army buddies -- one of whom (Eddie Bracken) is married with children, the other (Mickey Rooney) single and with ambitions -- hook up to run a gas station that does good business for a while. Then a big competitor opens a competing station right across the highway and nearly drives them out of business. Rooney comes up with the idea of tapping into the pipeline running below the station and stealing gas, which helps them drive out the competition. The word "slight" was invented for movies like this -- the pic could be retitled A Slight Case of Comedy -- and there's very few laughs in Jerry Davis' screenplay. Both Bracken and Roony are good -- as is Elaine Stewart as the sexy gal Rooney falls for -- but the only thing this really has going for it is Rooney's pure, unfiltered charm and enthusiasm. There's a cute scene when Rooney is sounding off pretentiously and in high-falutin' terms to Bracken's little boy. Not much to this time-waster.

Verdict: Too slight to be memorable aside from Rooney. **.

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