The Great Jewel Robber (1950)

91 mins | Drama | 15 July 1950

Director:

Peter Godfrey

Writer:

Borden Chase

Producer:

Bryan Foy

Cinematographer:

Sid Hickox

Editor:

Frank Magee

Production Designer:

Stanley Fleischer

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working title was After Nightfall . Gerard Dennis, the real-life jewel thief on whose exploits the film is based, stole more than one million dollars from society homes during 1947 and 1948. In Feb 1949, he was sentenced to Sing Sing Prison for eighteen years to life. Mayor Stanley Church, a personal friend of producer Bryan Foy, headed the nationwide search for Dennis. Some scenes in the movie were shot on location in Glendale, CA. According to the NYT review, the film ends with voice-over narration warning against crime. Bob Williams' character is called "Lt. Kelly" in contemporary reviews of the film, but the copyright records and CBCS list his character as "Capt. ... More Less

The film's working title was After Nightfall . Gerard Dennis, the real-life jewel thief on whose exploits the film is based, stole more than one million dollars from society homes during 1947 and 1948. In Feb 1949, he was sentenced to Sing Sing Prison for eighteen years to life. Mayor Stanley Church, a personal friend of producer Bryan Foy, headed the nationwide search for Dennis. Some scenes in the movie were shot on location in Glendale, CA. According to the NYT review, the film ends with voice-over narration warning against crime. Bob Williams' character is called "Lt. Kelly" in contemporary reviews of the film, but the copyright records and CBCS list his character as "Capt. Ryan." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Jun 1950.
---
Daily Variety
9 Jan 1950.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jun 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Jun 50
p. 12.
Harrison's Reports
17 Jun 50
p. 94.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 49
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Sep 49
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Jun 50
p. 346.
New York Times
4 Aug 50
p. 13.
The Exhibitor
21 Jun 50
p. 2837
Variety
14 Jun 50
p. 22.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
of New Rochelle
Charles Lang
Herschel Dougherty
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Stills
Gaffer
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Props
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
After Nightfall
Release Date:
15 July 1950
Production Date:
mid August--26 September 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 July 1950
Copyright Number:
LP276
Duration(in mins):
91
Length(in feet):
8,229
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13904
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Canadian jewel and fur thief Gerard Dennis is turned in to the police by the father of Marion Blain, a young woman who believes that Dennis is in love with her. After he escapes from a prison farm, Dennis convinces Marion that he will marry her and then takes the money she gives him and joins Peggy Arthur. Peggy then gives him money to buy a forged passport and drives him across the Canadian border to Buffalo, New York. Peggy and Dennis contact Brad Morrow, a crooked bartender, and they plan to rob the home of a vacationing wealthy man. When the homeowner returns unexpectedly, Peggy and Brad, who are waiting outside, desert Dennis. He manages to escape with the valuables, but when he attempts to double-cross Peggy and Brad, he is badly beaten, and is taken to a hospital with a broken jaw. There, his nurse, Martha Rollins, falls in love with him. On his release from the hospital, Dennis marries Martha, who believes that he is willing to reform, and the couple moves to New Rochelle. Unknown to Martha, however, Dennis uses information he gains from her and continues robbing wealthy homes. When he is shot during a robbery, Martha performs the necessary surgery and tries again to convince him to give up his life of crime. Despite her efforts, when Dennis recovers from his wounds, he takes a quantity of stolen jewels to New York City, where he intends to sell them. In New York, he meets Brenda Hall, an attractive fur model, and begins an affair with her. Martha discovers Brenda in Dennis' room, but Dennis ... +


Canadian jewel and fur thief Gerard Dennis is turned in to the police by the father of Marion Blain, a young woman who believes that Dennis is in love with her. After he escapes from a prison farm, Dennis convinces Marion that he will marry her and then takes the money she gives him and joins Peggy Arthur. Peggy then gives him money to buy a forged passport and drives him across the Canadian border to Buffalo, New York. Peggy and Dennis contact Brad Morrow, a crooked bartender, and they plan to rob the home of a vacationing wealthy man. When the homeowner returns unexpectedly, Peggy and Brad, who are waiting outside, desert Dennis. He manages to escape with the valuables, but when he attempts to double-cross Peggy and Brad, he is badly beaten, and is taken to a hospital with a broken jaw. There, his nurse, Martha Rollins, falls in love with him. On his release from the hospital, Dennis marries Martha, who believes that he is willing to reform, and the couple moves to New Rochelle. Unknown to Martha, however, Dennis uses information he gains from her and continues robbing wealthy homes. When he is shot during a robbery, Martha performs the necessary surgery and tries again to convince him to give up his life of crime. Despite her efforts, when Dennis recovers from his wounds, he takes a quantity of stolen jewels to New York City, where he intends to sell them. In New York, he meets Brenda Hall, an attractive fur model, and begins an affair with her. Martha discovers Brenda in Dennis' room, but Dennis placates her and promises to rejoin her in New Rochelle the following day. When he fails to do so, Martha takes his photograph to the police and tells them his assumed names. In the meantime, Dennis has checked out of his hotel and returns to New Rochelle. When he learns what Martha has done, he beats her and escapes from their apartment as the police close in. On the train to Los Angeles, Dennis meets wealthy Mrs. Arthur Vinson, a Beverly Hills divorcée. After they arrive in Los Angeles, Dennis becomes her houseguest. Later, during a party, he robs her home and guests. Posing as a gem salesman, he tries to dispose of the jewelry and is almost caught in a police trap. Just ahead of the police, Dennis boards a plane for New York. In Cleveland, Dennis steps off the plane to say goodbye to a casual pickup and is arrested. Dennis escapes again after he and the detectives arrive in New Rochelle. Under police fire, he runs into a large office building and after a chase, scales the exterior of the building. When he reaches the ground, he is arrested by Det. Sampter of the New Rochelle police and he is later sentenced to serve eighteen years to life in prison. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.