Once a Thief (1950)

87-88 mins | Drama | 7 July 1950

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HISTORY

According to publicity information contained in the copyright files, Once a Thief was filmed on location at the Los Angeles County Jail.
       Parts of the film were shot on location in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles, CA, mostly in the 400 block of W. Second Street. The Angels Flight funicular is glimpsed in the ... More Less

According to publicity information contained in the copyright files, Once a Thief was filmed on location at the Los Angeles County Jail.
       Parts of the film were shot on location in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles, CA, mostly in the 400 block of W. Second Street. The Angels Flight funicular is glimpsed in the background. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
15 Jul 1950.
---
Daily Variety
26 Jun 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
26 Jun 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 49
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 49
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
1 Jul 50
p. 365.
New York Times
19 Jan 51
p. 21.
Variety
28 Jun 50
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A W. Lee Wilder Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Prod des
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Process photo
PRODUCTION MISC
Elec supv
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 July 1950
Production Date:
November 1949 at Nassour Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Merit Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 July 1950
Copyright Number:
LP187
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87-88
Length(in feet):
7,935
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
19274
SYNOPSIS

After fugitive Marjorie "Margie" Foster is apprehended by police in Los Angeles, she recounts the story of how she began stealing jewelry in San Francisco with her partner, Pearl: One day, after she is chased by an angry shopkeeper, Margie runs into a bus depot and is forced to board a bus bound for Los Angeles. There, Margie decides to turn over a new leaf and becomes a waitress at Eddie's Café. When a patron named Flo cannot pay for her meal, Margie gets her a job at the café. After work, Margie goes to the tailor's to pick up a dress and sees that it is ripped. Margie then drops her savings passbook on the floor, and shop owner and womanizer, Mitch Moore, picks it up and notices the balance, $866. Mitch promises to buy Margie a new dress, and then borrows money from his attendant, Gus. Later, they go out to dinner, and Mitch leaves without paying. When Mitch's last sweetheart, Nickie, threatens suicide, Mitch visits her apartment. By the time he arrives, however, Nickie has killed herself, leaving a suicide note attached to her last ten dollars, which Mitch quickly stuffs into his pocket. Later, after Margie accepts Mitch's proposal, he confesses that he may lose his business due to debt. Later, Margie and Flo raise $1,000 to help him. Mitch then sneaks into Margie's apartment and rummages through her bureau drawers until he finds a jeweled watch, a remnant from Margie's criminal days. He tries to pawn it, but the pawnbroker reveals that it is stolen. Meanwhile, at work, Margie sees ... +


After fugitive Marjorie "Margie" Foster is apprehended by police in Los Angeles, she recounts the story of how she began stealing jewelry in San Francisco with her partner, Pearl: One day, after she is chased by an angry shopkeeper, Margie runs into a bus depot and is forced to board a bus bound for Los Angeles. There, Margie decides to turn over a new leaf and becomes a waitress at Eddie's Café. When a patron named Flo cannot pay for her meal, Margie gets her a job at the café. After work, Margie goes to the tailor's to pick up a dress and sees that it is ripped. Margie then drops her savings passbook on the floor, and shop owner and womanizer, Mitch Moore, picks it up and notices the balance, $866. Mitch promises to buy Margie a new dress, and then borrows money from his attendant, Gus. Later, they go out to dinner, and Mitch leaves without paying. When Mitch's last sweetheart, Nickie, threatens suicide, Mitch visits her apartment. By the time he arrives, however, Nickie has killed herself, leaving a suicide note attached to her last ten dollars, which Mitch quickly stuffs into his pocket. Later, after Margie accepts Mitch's proposal, he confesses that he may lose his business due to debt. Later, Margie and Flo raise $1,000 to help him. Mitch then sneaks into Margie's apartment and rummages through her bureau drawers until he finds a jeweled watch, a remnant from Margie's criminal days. He tries to pawn it, but the pawnbroker reveals that it is stolen. Meanwhile, at work, Margie sees a drunken Pearl stagger into the café. Afraid that Pearl will recognize her, Margie quickly goes home. A short time later, Flo also returns home, and Margie decides to confess her secret to Flo. When Margie goes over to the drawer to show Flo the watch, she realizes that it is missing. Mitch then puts the watch back and postpones their wedding, using his debts as an excuse. Now driven to steal for Mitch's sake, Margie resumes shoplifting with Pearl. When they are caught and sentenced to a women's prison, Margie thinks that Pearl turned her in. While visiting the prison with Flo, Mitch tells Margie that he has found a lawyer to appeal her conviction, but he will require a $200 retainer fee. Sometime later, Flo raises the money, while Margie begins working for the female prison dentist, Dr. Borden. During a subsequent prison visit, Flo advises Margie to forget Mitch, and Margie thinks that Flo turned her in so she could have Mitch for herself. After Margie makes up with her, Pearl drinks some of the doctor's medicinal alcohol. Later, when the doctor notices the empty bottle, she goes to call the guard, but before she can reach the phone, Margie knocks her out. She then disguises herself as the doctor and escapes. The police look for Margie at Mitch's shop, but when they uncover his bookmaking operation instead, Mitch confesses to turning Margie in. Upon learning about Mitch's betrayal, Margie robs a liquor store of $200 so she can bail him out of jail. She then drives him to a deserted area, where she pulls the gun out of her purse and kills him. +

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.