12 Days of Christmas: Larceny, Inc.

It's that time of year when there seems to be nothing on TV but the same old Christmas movies that they play every year.

There's nothing wrong with these films - films like It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, any one of the many versions of A Christmas Carol that are out there, A Miracle on 34th Street, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Babes in Toyland, etc. They just get a little repetitive as they seem to play on every channel.

Over the next twelve days, for those who want to watch something seasonal but off the beaten path, here in no particular order are some alternative choices that while they all having something to do with Christmas, they aren't the normal holiday film.

First up is Larceny, Inc. (1942). The film stars Edward G. Robinson as J. Chalmers 'Pressure' Maxwell - an ex-convict that decides he wants to go straight. While he was in jail, another convict played by Anthony Quinn told Robinson about his plan to tunnel in and rob a bank. Robinson dismisses it because he wants to fly straight. Once out he tries to get a bank loan so he can purchase a dog track in Florida. He's refused so he buys a luggage store that's right next door to the bank. He puts Quinn's plan into action by getting his lackeys to start tunneling into the bank.

There's a problem. It's the Christmas season and although the business that Robinson bought was a dying store, he has inadvertently turned it into a thriving business. And they can't drill if there are customers in the store. Meanwhile it's Christmas Eve and Quinn has gotten word that Robinson has stolen his idea.

The movie was based on the play The Night Before Christmas and this was one of the three gangster comedies that Robinson made with director Lloyd Bacon along with Brother Orchid and A Slight Case of Murder.

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