Never Steal Anything Small (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

Never Steal Anything Small (1959)

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Movie Info

Only one of three films directed by screenwriter Charles Lederer, known for movies as disparate as The Thing (1951) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), this crime comedy-drama-musical obviously defies categorization. Mixing James Cagney as a gangster out to control a big union, with musical numbers and cute songs is about like mixing onions and vanilla pudding. Jake MacIllaney (Cagney) wants to be elected president of Longshoreman's union 26 and, being a top mob boss, is used to getting his way. He is not past almost any stunt or method of coercion to get votes. Dan Cabot (Roger Smith) is Jake's lawyer, and after Jake meets Cabot's wife Linda (Shirley Jones), he sets his sights on conquering her affections. Disregard the husband, he can be taken care of. Setting this to music introduces some entertaining songs (I'm Sorry -- I Want a Ferrari) but the seriousness of the mobster's immorality and power is hard to reconcile with a perky tune about not stealing the small stuff.

Cast

James Cagney
as Jake MacIllaney
Shirley Jones
as Linda Cabot
Roger Smith
as Dan Cabot
Cara Williams
as Winnipeg
Royal Dano
as Words Cannon
Anthony Caruso
as Lt. Trevis
Horace McMahon
as O.K. Merritt
Horace MacMahon
as O.K. Merritt
Jack Albertson
as Sleep-Out Charlie
Bob Wilke
as Lennie
Jack Orrison
as Osborne
Sanford Seegar
as Fats Ranney
Ed McNally
as Thomas
Gregg Barton
as Deputy Warden
John Halloran
as First detective
Eddie Parker
as Policeman
Rebecca Sand
as Coffee vendor
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