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Jewel Robbery
Theatrical Film Poster
Directed byWilliam Dieterle
Written byErwin S. Gelsey
Based onLadislas Fodor (play)
Bertram Bloch (English adaptation)
StarringWilliam Powell
Kay Francis
CinematographyRobert Kurrle
Edited byRalph Dawson
Music byBernhard Kaun
Leo F. Forbstein
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • August 13, 1932 (1932-08-13)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States

Jewel Robbery is a 1932 American pre-Code comedy-mystery film, directed by William Dieterle and starring William Powell and Kay Francis. It is based on the 1931 Hungarian play Ékszerrablás a Váci-utcában by Ladislas Fodor and its subsequent English adaptation, Jewel Robbery by Bertram Bloch.


Viennese Baroness Teri von Horhenfels (Kay Francis) relieves the boredom of her marriage to her rich but dull older husband (Henry Kolker) with love affairs. One day, she meets both her husband and a current lover, Paul (Hardie Albright), at an exclusive jewel shop, where the Baron is to buy her an extravagant 28-carat (5.6 g) diamond ring. While he and the shop owner retire to haggle over price, her tedium is lifted by the arrival of a suave jewel thief (William Powell) and his gang. In turn, he is entranced by her beauty and uninhibited, even cheeky, personality. He locks her husband and Paul, a young cabinet minister she has already tired of, in the vault, and forces shop owner Hollander (Lee Kohlmar) to smoke a marijuana-laced cigarette that soon makes him forget his troubles. However, she persuades Powell to leave her free, but not before he takes her ring.

Teri returns home, envied of her adventure by her equally bored but less reckless friend Marianne (Helen Vinson). They are frightened to discover that an intruder has broken in and opened her safe. However, they become puzzled when they find that nothing is missing, then enchanted to discover the ring has been returned. Marianne departs hastily, anxious to avoid becoming entangled in an obvious potential scandal. The thief then appears, explaining there is no safer place to hide his new cache, which he had also hidden in her safe; Teri tries to return the ring, since keeping it would raise uncomfortable questions. When he refuses to take it back, she accuses him of using her to hide out from the police. Police detective Fritz (Alan Mowbray) arrives, flushes out the robber, and takes the two into custody.

However, it is all a ruse. Fritz is a member of the gang. The thief had used the fake arrest to transport Teri to his house without protest for a night of romance. She is intrigued. Instead of plunging into love-making she insists on being wooed. He shows her safe upon safe of jewels from previous heists. Aware Vienna has become too hot for him, he asks her to meet him in Nice, but she hesitates. Just then, the real police arrive and storm the place. He ties Teri up to divert suspicion then flees. After she is "rescued", she announces slyly to her husband and friends she needs a vacation away from Vienna to recover from all the Nice.



The pairing of William Powell and Kay Francis was the fifth of their seven films. Powell, who had recently married Carole Lombard, did not want to do the film initially, but gave in because he saw the role as an amusing one.[2]


The New York Times gave the film a lukewarm review, calling it a "nervous, brittle comedy",[3] placing the blame on Kay Francis ("her performance is one in which her usual intelligence and sincerity are strangely absent").[3]

See also


  1. ^ Jewel Robbery Archived April 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed March 16, 2014.
  2. ^ D'Onofrio, Joseph. "Jewel Robbery",; accessed September 13, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Hal Erickson (2011). "Jewel Robbery (1932) From the Viennese". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2008.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 July 2022, at 08:38
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