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HISTORY

The onscreen literary source credit reads: "Based upon the celebrated adventures of The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung." The print viewed did not include a director's credit. Some reviews credited both Harry d'Abbadie D'Arrast and George Fitzmaurice with direction, while other reviews credited either D'Arrast or Fitzmaurice. Many news items confirm that D'Arrast was selected to direct the picture several weeks before filming began, and worked on the production through the initial weeks of shooting. In early Mar 1930, he was replaced by Fitzmaurice, who directed a final week or more of principal photography, as well as retakes. MPN and Var news items in early Mar 1930 reported that D'Arrast would retain sole onscreen credit as the director. It has not been determined at what point a decision was made by Samuel Goldwyn to release the film without a directing credit, or if the credit was removed after its initial run.
       According to a Screenland production article, the cricket scenes were filmed at the Midwick Country Club, located in Alhambra, CA. The film marked the American screen debut of British actor Bramwell Fletcher (1904-1988). Modern sources include Robert Adair and Florence Wix in the cast. For information on other screen adaptations of E. W. Hornung's popular novel and play, consult the entry below for the 1939 Samuel Goldwyn production Raffles , directed by Sam Wood and starring David Niven and Olivia de ... More Less

The onscreen literary source credit reads: "Based upon the celebrated adventures of The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung." The print viewed did not include a director's credit. Some reviews credited both Harry d'Abbadie D'Arrast and George Fitzmaurice with direction, while other reviews credited either D'Arrast or Fitzmaurice. Many news items confirm that D'Arrast was selected to direct the picture several weeks before filming began, and worked on the production through the initial weeks of shooting. In early Mar 1930, he was replaced by Fitzmaurice, who directed a final week or more of principal photography, as well as retakes. MPN and Var news items in early Mar 1930 reported that D'Arrast would retain sole onscreen credit as the director. It has not been determined at what point a decision was made by Samuel Goldwyn to release the film without a directing credit, or if the credit was removed after its initial run.
       According to a Screenland production article, the cricket scenes were filmed at the Midwick Country Club, located in Alhambra, CA. The film marked the American screen debut of British actor Bramwell Fletcher (1904-1988). Modern sources include Robert Adair and Florence Wix in the cast. For information on other screen adaptations of E. W. Hornung's popular novel and play, consult the entry below for the 1939 Samuel Goldwyn production Raffles , directed by Sam Wood and starring David Niven and Olivia de Havilland. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Exhibitors Herald-World
2 Aug 1930
p. 26.
Film Daily
11 Dec 1929
p. 8.
Film Daily
17 Dec 1929
p. 29.
Film Daily
27 Jul 1930
p. 10.
Hiollywood Filmograph
26 Jul 1930
p. 16.
Life
29 Aug 1930
p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
25 Jul 1930
p. A7.
Motion Picture News
8 Mar 1930
p. 3.
Motion Picture News
2 Aug 1930
p. 88.
New York Times
25 Jul 1930
p. 20.
New Yorker
2 Aug 1930
p. 54.
Screenland
Jun 1930
p. 99.
Variety
5 Mar 1930
p. 68.
Variety
30 Jul 1930
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Tech dir
Tech dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung (London, 1899) and the play Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung and Eugene Presbrey (New York and London, 12 May 1906).
DETAILS
Release Date:
26 July 1930
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 24 July 1930
Copyright Claimant:
Samuel Goldwyn, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 July 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1469
Physical Properties:
Black and White
Sound, also silent
Movietone
Duration(in mins):
70
Length(in feet):
6,509
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Raffles, a clever, suave safecracker known as the amateur cracksman, has successfully eluded Scotland Yard for months, but after falling in love with Lady Gwen, he decides to go straight. When his close friend Bunny comes to his flat and attempts suicide in desperation over a large gambling debt, though, Raffles reluctantly decides to go through with a final robbery to save him. Gathering at the country house of Lady Melrose, who is fascinated by the handsome Raffles, he decides to steal her fabulous diamond necklace and hatches an elaborate plan to take the necklace while the house’s burglar alarm is disabled. The plan is put in jeopardy when Scotland Yard Inspector McKenzie arrives at the house after learning that burglars are planning to rob Lady Melrose. Using this information to his advantage, Raffles changes his plans and takes the necklace from the burglar Cranshaw, then returns to London. Cranshaw is subsequently arrested and informs the police that Raffles is the infamous cracksman and has the necklace. McKenzie hatches a plan to allow Cranshaw to escape so that the police can follow him to Raffles’ flat. Gwen overhears the plan and immediately returns to London to warn Raffles. The inspector follows Cranshaw, but Raffles has meanwhile convinced the burglar to run away instead of waiting to be arrested again. When McKenzie arrives at Raffles’ flat, he accuses him of the burglary. In front of Gwen, Raffles readily admits to being the amateur cracksman, but when Lord Melrose arrives to retrieve his wife’s necklace, Raffles offers to return it in exchange for the reward Melrose is offering. Planning to use the reward to pay off ... +


Raffles, a clever, suave safecracker known as the amateur cracksman, has successfully eluded Scotland Yard for months, but after falling in love with Lady Gwen, he decides to go straight. When his close friend Bunny comes to his flat and attempts suicide in desperation over a large gambling debt, though, Raffles reluctantly decides to go through with a final robbery to save him. Gathering at the country house of Lady Melrose, who is fascinated by the handsome Raffles, he decides to steal her fabulous diamond necklace and hatches an elaborate plan to take the necklace while the house’s burglar alarm is disabled. The plan is put in jeopardy when Scotland Yard Inspector McKenzie arrives at the house after learning that burglars are planning to rob Lady Melrose. Using this information to his advantage, Raffles changes his plans and takes the necklace from the burglar Cranshaw, then returns to London. Cranshaw is subsequently arrested and informs the police that Raffles is the infamous cracksman and has the necklace. McKenzie hatches a plan to allow Cranshaw to escape so that the police can follow him to Raffles’ flat. Gwen overhears the plan and immediately returns to London to warn Raffles. The inspector follows Cranshaw, but Raffles has meanwhile convinced the burglar to run away instead of waiting to be arrested again. When McKenzie arrives at Raffles’ flat, he accuses him of the burglary. In front of Gwen, Raffles readily admits to being the amateur cracksman, but when Lord Melrose arrives to retrieve his wife’s necklace, Raffles offers to return it in exchange for the reward Melrose is offering. Planning to use the reward to pay off Bunny’s debt, Raffles then escapes through a secret opening in a grandfather's clock. Donning McKenzie's distinctive coat and scarf, Raffles manages to elude the police guards surrounding his building. After his escape, Gwen, who loves Raffles more than ever, plans to meet him later in Paris. +

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

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