July 3: William Dieterle’s Jewel Robbery – A Pre-Code Comedy with a Certain Finesse – 35mm Archival Print

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Tuesday, July 3 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
Directed by William Dieterle • 1932
The zonked-out Viennese cousin of Trouble in Paradise, this pre-Code caper comedy from the versatile William Dieterle mines surprising emotional depth while exuding near-constant animalistic arousal. Bored baroness Kay Francis tolerates her stodgy husband as a periodic source of new diamonds and nothing more. One of their regular shopping trips comes to a stylish halt when debonair robber William Powell and his gang hold up the jewelry store. Abhorring the common title of ‘thief,’ Powell prefers a more sedate business transaction, playing a Strauss waltz while emptying the cabinets and dispensing marijuana cigarettes to his lucky victims. (“I’m opposed to the American school of banditry,” Powell quips. “I studied in Paris. You have to work harder but you do acquire a certain finesse that is missing from the stick-em-up and shoot-them-down school.”) No wonder Francis falls head over heels and gleefully accedes to being tied up. Another assembly line product from the Warner Bros. factory that plunders sets from other movies and runs barely over an hour, Jewel Robbery nonetheless manages to put forward a credible and full-bodied treatise on romantic love and sexual compatibility. (KW)
68 min • Warner Bros. • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Swank
Short: Laurel & Hardy in “Night Owls” (James Parrott, 1931) – 19 min – 16mm

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