• U.S.

Cinema: Bodies & Bum Mots

1 minute read

The Happy Thieves (United Artists). Some movies, as they say in the trade, are released; others escape. This one, completed last April, seemed of such dubious character that it was promptly confined in the company’s vaults. Now at large, it will probably make moviegoers scream—occasionally with amusement, mostly for the dogcatcher.

The delay at least makes the film more timely. Its hero is an objet d’artful dodger (Rex Harrison) of the sort that stole Goya’s Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London (TIME, Sept. 1). With the help of a dumb broad (Rita Hay worth) and a clever painterfeiter (Joseph Wiseman), Rex artnaps a Velásquez from a castle in Spain. But a sinister grandee (Grégoire Aslan) steals it back, and before long bodies are dropping almost as fast as bum mots (“I want so much to be a first-class crook for you, darling”). Rita, 42 when this picture was made, and Rex, 53, are both old enough to know better.

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