Crooks Anonymous (1962)

  |  Comedy, Crime

Crooks Anonymous (1962) Poster

Forsdyke, a pathological petty thief subjects himself to a strict correction course run by a wealthy ex-con Widdowes and his Crooks Anonymous organization. Forsdyke's young and innocent ... See full summary »

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21 October 2011 | Chase_Witherspoon
Honesty is the best policy
Kleptomaniac (Phillips) wants to marry his girlfriend (Christie) but it's conditional on him going straight. After being tempted to pull off a safe cracking job, he's caught in the act and offered salvation via the benevolent guardian angel society known as "Crooks Anonymous" (when you're tempted to offend, just dial "uncrook" for assistance), led by former thief Wilfrid Hyde-White. Phillips proves to be a willing if troubled case, with guardian angel Stanley Baxter ready to test his honesty with ruses that Phillips routinely fails. But it turns out that not everyone is as rehabilitated as they portray.

Novel tale is amusing and Phillips is a likable comedian, ably supported by impressionist Baxter, light leading man Michael Medwin and other British notables; Norman Rossington features prominently as a department store night watchman toward the end of the film, and James Robertson Justice is memorable if brief as the store's ill-tempered owner. Her fans should also enjoy seeing fresh-faced Julie Christie in her film debut.

No belly laughs or side-splitting antics, but Baxter's impersonations and the set-ups for which Phillips falls are all capable of coaxing a giggle or two if you're in the right mood.

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