Victory Pictures Studio could always be counted on to deliver a quality product (well no, they couldn’t) and AMATEUR CROOK (1938) proves it (well…No! It doesn’t).
AMATEUR CROOK was worthy enough in someone’s eyes to be released under two other titles; JEWEL THIEF, and CROOKED BUT DUMB. If I read CROOKED BUT DUMB on a theater’s marquee, I’d give it a try.
I can’t truthfully say I recommend viewing many of the films I cite. A goodly number of them are awful in spite of the affection I may feel for them. But if you stumble across AMATEUR CROOK, an hour of your time will be rewarded with a few tawdry wonders.
- A diamond as big as a chicken egg is pawned by a wealthy man who has clearly never required the services of a pawnbroker previously. He does this for no discernible reason except to provide a “McGuffin” for us to follow for sixty minutes.
- Former Olympian Herman Brix (before he morphed into Bruce Bennett) plays a starving artist. He gives one of his classic deer-in-the-headlights performances. This was during his deer-in-the-headlights period which lasted for much of his career.
- Mr. Brix participates in the worst screen fistfight I’ve ever witnessed. Worst. Fistfight. Ever.
- Mr. Brix’s character in one scene improvises instantly a most brilliant plan for escaping the police. He exclaims; “I’ve got it! Let’s go out the back way!!”
- Then, later in the film, he repeats the same plan. Hey, if it ain’t broke…
- And yes, it works both times. I can only assume police work has improved greatly since 1938.
- Did I mention; Worst. Fistfight. Ever.
I loved it.