×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Raffles

Previous Goldwyn production of Raffles had Ronald Colman and Kay Francis as main figures in the romantic motivation to dovetail with the crook angle. Here, however, script concentrates on cat-and-mouse by-play between Scotland Yard inspector Mackenzie (Douglas Digges) and the elusive cracksman (David Niven), with the romantic interludes of minor importance. Present version also lacks the sparkle and good humor of the original with Colman.

With:
David Niven Olivia de Havilland May Whitty Dudley Digges Douglas Walton Lionel Pape

Previous Goldwyn production of Raffles had Ronald Colman and Kay Francis as main figures in the romantic motivation to dovetail with the crook angle. Here, however, script concentrates on cat-and-mouse by-play between Scotland Yard inspector Mackenzie (Douglas Digges) and the elusive cracksman (David Niven), with the romantic interludes of minor importance. Present version also lacks the sparkle and good humor of the original with Colman.

As weekend guest of Lord and Lady Melrose (Lionel Pape, May Whitty) Raffles discovers his buddy and brother of his sweetheart needs funds quickly to prevent being cashiered from the army. Under the nose of the Scotland Yard inspector, he plans to pilfer the hostess’ necklace, but eventually finds he has to lift the gems from a thief who had the same idea.

The E.W. Hornung tale [The Amateur Cracksman] has moments of interest and suspense in its present telling, but overall is able to generate only slight reaction for a familiar yarn. Niven is adequate as Raffles, with Digges providing interesting, amusing and important characterization as the inspector. Olivia de Havilland has slight footage as the romantic interest opposite Niven.

Raffles has been given Class A production values throughout, but on the entertainment side its a lower A.

Raffles

Production: Goldwyn. Director Sam Wood, William Wyler; Producer Samuel Goldwyn; Screenplay John Van Druten, Sydney Howard; Camera Gregg Toland; Editor Sherman Todd; Music Victor Young; Art Director James Basevi

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 70 MIN.

With: David Niven Olivia de Havilland May Whitty Dudley Digges Douglas Walton Lionel Pape

More Film

  • Backtrace Review

    Film Review: 'Backtrace'

    “You can’t kill me! I died seven years ago!” It’s very much to the credit of Matthew Modine that he persuasively sells this melodramatic scrap of dialogue, and every other aspect of his trickily written lead character, in “Backtrace,” a better-than-average VOD-centric thriller that likely wouldn’t work nearly so well without the veteran actor’s totally [...]

  • Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    Film News Roundup: 'Lawnmower Man' Director Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    In today’s film news roundup, “Elijah” gets a director, a French fry documentary starts shooting and “Uglydolls” moves its release date forward. PROJECT LAUNCH Brett Leonard, best known for directing ”The Lawnmower Man” and “Virtuosity,” will direct the supernatural feature film “Elijah,” based on the Old Testament prophet. The project is set up at Winter [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]

  • SONDRA LOCKESONDRA LOCKE - 1986

    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • 'Dead Women Walking' Review: Uncompromising, Powerful

    Film Review: 'Dead Women Walking'

    The sober and gripping “Dead Women Walking” focuses on the final days of a series of female inmates facing the death sentence. Divided into nine chapters, each inching its way inexorably closer to the moment of execution, the drama turns the fragmentation of its approach to a powerful advantage. Not only do the individual stories [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content