Harry in Your Pocket (1973)

PG | 102-103 mins | Drama | September 1973

Full page view
HISTORY

The film's working title was Harry Never Holds , a line that is spoken several times throughout the story, signifying that "Harry" immediately passes on his take from picking a pocket to someone else, thus eliminating the possibility of him being caught in possession of stolen goods. Ric Rondell's onscreen credit reads: "Assistant director/Production manager," and Barry R. Stern's credit reads, "Assistant director/Auditor." As noted in an acknowledgment of thanks in the onscreen credits, Harry in Your Pocket was shot entirely on location in Seattle, WA, Victoria, BC and Salt Lake City, UT. Onscreen thanks was also given to Western Airlines, Inc.
       Production notes in the film's pressbook confirm the actual locations within those cities that figured prominently within the film. Some of the sites used in the Seattle sequences were: The Rainier Suite in the Washington Plaza Hotel, the Monorail, the Space Needle, the Brasserie Pittsbourg (Seattle's oldest restaurant and the place where "Casey" meets "Ray Houlihan" and "Sandy Coletto") and Pioneer Square; the British Columbia sequences utilized the exterior gardens, as well as interiors of the Empress Hotel; and Salt Lake City locations included the State Capitol Building (where Casey is arrested) and the Salt Palace amphitheatre (where Harry is arrested).
       The film includes several montages showing the workings of Harry and the others as they pick pockets. There is also a lengthy montage on the Queen of Victoria , the ferryboat to Victoria, interrupted by periodic comments by Harry and Casey on the increased use of credit cards over cash. Several pickpocketing terms are used repeatedly throughout the film: cannon, the person who actually picks the pocket; stall, a cohort ... More Less

The film's working title was Harry Never Holds , a line that is spoken several times throughout the story, signifying that "Harry" immediately passes on his take from picking a pocket to someone else, thus eliminating the possibility of him being caught in possession of stolen goods. Ric Rondell's onscreen credit reads: "Assistant director/Production manager," and Barry R. Stern's credit reads, "Assistant director/Auditor." As noted in an acknowledgment of thanks in the onscreen credits, Harry in Your Pocket was shot entirely on location in Seattle, WA, Victoria, BC and Salt Lake City, UT. Onscreen thanks was also given to Western Airlines, Inc.
       Production notes in the film's pressbook confirm the actual locations within those cities that figured prominently within the film. Some of the sites used in the Seattle sequences were: The Rainier Suite in the Washington Plaza Hotel, the Monorail, the Space Needle, the Brasserie Pittsbourg (Seattle's oldest restaurant and the place where "Casey" meets "Ray Houlihan" and "Sandy Coletto") and Pioneer Square; the British Columbia sequences utilized the exterior gardens, as well as interiors of the Empress Hotel; and Salt Lake City locations included the State Capitol Building (where Casey is arrested) and the Salt Palace amphitheatre (where Harry is arrested).
       The film includes several montages showing the workings of Harry and the others as they pick pockets. There is also a lengthy montage on the Queen of Victoria , the ferryboat to Victoria, interrupted by periodic comments by Harry and Casey on the increased use of credit cards over cash. Several pickpocketing terms are used repeatedly throughout the film: cannon, the person who actually picks the pocket; stall, a cohort of the cannon who diverts the attention of a potential victim, or mark; poke, meaning what is taken from the pocket; and wire mob, the name of a pickpocketing ring.
       Technical advisor Tony Giorgio, who also has a small role in the film as one of the detectives in Harry's Seattle hotel suite, was, according to reviews, a well-known magician and "sleight-of-hand" artist. Wesley Uhlman, who is listed in the onscreen cast, and can be seen briefly in the film, was mayor of Seattle from 1969 through 1977. In the airport sequence, during which Casey picks a man's pocket, then throws it down and slides it toward his mark and his companions after Harry reproaches him, shows the group speaking in sign language to a security guard. According to an 18 Jul 1972 DV news item, the people in the group were deaf-mutes hired to "play themselves" in the film. Although HR production charts include Spike Africa in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Modern sources include Karen Kearney in the cast.
       According to various news items, the film had simultaneous world premiere screenings on 17 Aug 1973 in Seattle, WA and Salt Lake City, UT. Harry in Your Pocket was the first and only film directed by producer-director Bruce Geller (1930--1978), who created and frequently wrote for the popular 1960s television series Mission: Impossible and Mannix . According to a 26 Apr 1974 HR news item, the film was being re-released on 8 May 1974 at the United Artists' Cinema 3 theater in Westwood under the title Harry Never Holds . It has not been determined if the film was re-released in additional cities under that title. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Jul 1973.
---
Box Office
3 Sep 1973
p. 4620.
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1972.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jul 1972.
---
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1973.
---
Films and Filming
Feb 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 1972
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 1972
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1973.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 1973
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 1974.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
12 Sep 1973.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Sep 1973
Section IV, pp. 14-15.
New York Times
24 Sep 1973
p. 39.
Playboy
Dec 1973.
---
Variety
22 Aug 1973
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Key grip
1st cam asst
2d cam asst
Cam and lenses
Title background
Best boy
Best boy, dolly
Lamp op
Stills
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Sets & props
2d prop man
COSTUMES
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title background
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Cinemobile tech
Transportation
Scr supv
Tech adv
Auditor
Prod secy
Exec secy to Alden Schwimmer
Prod asst
Unit pub
SOURCES
SONGS
"Day by Day by Day," words by Bruce Geller, music by Lalo Schifrin, sung by Josh Adams.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Harry Never Holds
Release Date:
September 1973
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Seattle, WA and Salt Lake City, UT: 17 August 1973
Los Angeles opening: 12 September 1973
New York opening: 23 September 1973
Production Date:
early July--mid August 1972
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 July 1973
Copyright Number:
LP42752
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
DeLuxe
Lenses/Prints
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
102-103
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the waiting room of the Seattle train station, Sandy Coletto is amused to observe the inept technique of novice pickpocket Ray Houlihan. As Ray takes a seat next to Sandy, she secures her purse, then, when Ray clumsily steals her wristwatch, she runs after him, demanding its return, while criticizing his abilities. While they are arguing, someone steals Sandy's purse and suitcase, leaving her destitute. Feeling responsible, Ray offers to give her his last two hundred dollars, with no strings attached. Later, after they have made love in his hotel room, Ray sheepishly admits that the two hundred dollars actually is money he expects to receive from his fence. Although the fence will only give forty-five dollars for the cheap items Ray has, he suggests that Ray contact Casey, a recruiter for a high-class pickpocket ring known as a "wire" mob. Meanwhile, Harry, a successful pickpocket, arrives at the Seattle airport and is met by Casey, a dapper, older man with a taste for cocaine, who adheres to the classic pickpocketing tradition. When Ray and Sandy later meet Casey at a local restaurant, he is skeptical of their potential, saying that Harry is a first class "cannon," who merely needs some "stalls" to divert the attention of the "marks" whom Casey identifies. On the elevator up to Harry's hotel suite, Ray tries to steal Harry's wallet, not knowing who he is, but Harry quickly grabs his hand before being introduced by Casey. In the suite, Harry expresses doubt about the large and clumsy Ray, but is impressed by the attractive Sandy, whose cool demeanor will make her a good stall. ... +


In the waiting room of the Seattle train station, Sandy Coletto is amused to observe the inept technique of novice pickpocket Ray Houlihan. As Ray takes a seat next to Sandy, she secures her purse, then, when Ray clumsily steals her wristwatch, she runs after him, demanding its return, while criticizing his abilities. While they are arguing, someone steals Sandy's purse and suitcase, leaving her destitute. Feeling responsible, Ray offers to give her his last two hundred dollars, with no strings attached. Later, after they have made love in his hotel room, Ray sheepishly admits that the two hundred dollars actually is money he expects to receive from his fence. Although the fence will only give forty-five dollars for the cheap items Ray has, he suggests that Ray contact Casey, a recruiter for a high-class pickpocket ring known as a "wire" mob. Meanwhile, Harry, a successful pickpocket, arrives at the Seattle airport and is met by Casey, a dapper, older man with a taste for cocaine, who adheres to the classic pickpocketing tradition. When Ray and Sandy later meet Casey at a local restaurant, he is skeptical of their potential, saying that Harry is a first class "cannon," who merely needs some "stalls" to divert the attention of the "marks" whom Casey identifies. On the elevator up to Harry's hotel suite, Ray tries to steal Harry's wallet, not knowing who he is, but Harry quickly grabs his hand before being introduced by Casey. In the suite, Harry expresses doubt about the large and clumsy Ray, but is impressed by the attractive Sandy, whose cool demeanor will make her a good stall. Because she refuses to work without Ray, Harry reluctantly agrees to hire them both. After Harry tells them his rules and adds that they will always travel first class and receive twenty percent of the take, Casey, who handles the finances, gives Ray and Sandy money for new clothes and haircuts. As they leave, Sandy hands Casey his gold cigarette case, which he is startled to discover she had lifted from his pocket. Although Casey privately tells Harry that he thinks Sandy may be trouble, Harry assures him that she will be fine. The next day, Harry and Casey teach Ray and Sandy the fundamentals of picking pockets: first Casey identifies potential "marks," then Sandy acts as the "stall" by distracting the marks as Harry, the "cannon," quickly lifts their wallets. Within a few seconds, Harry immediately passes off the "pokes," or wallets to Ray, who later passes them to Casey. Harry insists that he never holds the poke for more than ten seconds, which is why he never has been arrested. During the day, as they move the training onto the Seattle streets, Harry points out a group of plainclothes policemen, whom he calls "the cannon squad," then is left holding a stolen wallet by Ray, who is not fast enough to take the handoff from Harry. Back at the hotel, a furious Harry tears up two one hundred dollar bills, telling Ray that it was his take and admonishing him that "Harry never holds." Despite Harry's anger, he and Casey keep Sandy and Ray on and take them shopping the next day for expensive clothes and accessories. That night, when Harry and Sandy enter his suite, they find two police detectives, who cordially tell Harry that he has been in their town long enough and suggest that he move north to British Columbia. After they leave, a shaken Sandy asks if this happens often, and Harry replies, "once in a while." The next day, the four check out of their hotel and take a ferry to Vancouver Island. During the voyage, Ray and Sandy have a romantic picnic while Casey laments to Harry that the increased use of credit cards is ruining their profession. Once on the island, they drive to Victoria, where they check into the elegant Empress Hotel, then spend the afternoon picking pockets, taking in $1,420, which Casey pronounces a very good day. Unknown to Harry, Ray and Sandy have fallen in love and talk about accumulating a stake so that they can get married. As the weeks pass, the group continues to have success, but Ray is beginning to chafe at being relegated to stalling and privately asks Casey to train him in the old traditions. Ray also confronts Casey with his cocaine use, prompting Casey to admit that Harry’s loyalty to him is Harry's one weakness. Although initially reluctant, Casey takes Ray under his wing, and Ray soon perfects his technique. Unknown to Harry, on their own time, Ray becomes a cannon, with Sandy as his stall. Some time later, they leave Victoria and travel to Salt Lake City. One day, when Harry sees that Ray is wearing an expensive watch, he becomes suspicious that he has been skimming, but Casey assures him that he is not. The next day, though, when Harry enters Sandy and Ray’s room while they are out, he finds papers, photographs and other souvenirs from his marks. When Ray and Sandy return, Harry confrtons Ray about keeping evidence of his crimes, they all argue, after which Ray and Sandy leave. When alone, Casey tells Harry that the young couple are good people and that they could have turned him in for cocaine at anytime but never did. After Sandy convinces Ray to continue working with Harry so that they can make enough money to get a fresh start, Ray gives Harry the money from the sale of his watch and they decide to work together again. The next day, after Harry lifts a wallet and Ray does the handoff to Casey, the mark immediately realizes that his wallet is missing and spots it in Casey’s outer coat pocket. After a policeman is summoned, Casey is arrested and taken away without saying anything. Back at the hotel, Ray and Sandy argue because he feels that she and Harry blame him for not properly making the handoff and lashes out, saying that Casey was “stoned.” Later, when Sandy goes to see Harry, she hears him making arrangements on the phone for Casey to have a lawyer. After he hangs up, he reveals that Casey had cocaine in his possession and thus is facing severe federal charges. He is so sad and worried over his elderly friend that Sandy hugs him and starts to cry. Later, after they have made love, they listen silently as Ray knocks on Harry’s door. After he walks away, Harry asks if she cares, and she admits that she does. Because Harry does not have enough money to cover all of Casey’s expenses, Ray agrees to work with Harry one more time, and Harry tells him not to blame himself for Casey. They then drive to a large, indoor horseshow arena where Harry is sure they will find easy marks for some fast money. Unknown to them, Harry, who has been identified by the police because of his association with Casey, has been seen on closed circuit cameras by a security man who has been alerted that Harry is in the area. When Harry signals Sandy that he has found a mark, his signal is observed by a security team. After Sandy stalls the mark, Harry picks his pocket, but, sensing that he is being watched, Harry holds onto the wallet instead of handing it off to Ray. Harry is stopped immediately by the security people, who handcuff him after finding the wallet. Harry remains passive as he is escorted out the building, but momentarily glances at Sandy and Ray, who sadly watch. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.