Raffles (1930 film)


Raffles (1930 film)

Infobox Film
name = Raffles


image_size =
caption =
director = George Fitzmaurice
Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast (uncredited and replaced by Fitzmaurice)
producer = Samuel Goldwyn
writer = Eugene Wiley Presbrey (play)
E. W. Hornung (play and novel)
Sidney Howard
narrator =
starring = Ronald Colman
Kay Francis
music =
cinematography =
editing = Stuart Heisler
distributor =
released = July 24 1930
runtime = 72 minutes
country = USA
language = English
budget =
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0021281

"Raffles" is a 1930 film starring Ronald Colman as the popular title character, a gentleman who is also secretly a notorious jewel thief. Kay Francis plays the woman with whom Raffles falls in love. It is based on the 1906 play "Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman" by E. W. Hornung and Eugene Wiley Presbrey, which was in turn adapted from the 1899 novel of the same name by Hornung.

Oscar Lagerstrom was nominated for a Academy Award for Sound, Recording.

Another Raffles film was made in 1939 starring David Niven in the title role. It was branded as a loose remake of the 1930 film.

Plot

Gentleman jewel thief Raffles (Ronald Colman) decides to give up his criminal ways as the notorious "Amateur Cracksman" after falling in love with Lady Gwen (Kay Francis). However, when his friend Bunny Manders (Bramwell Fletcher) tries to commit suicide because of a gambling debt he cannot repay, Raffles decides to take on one more job for Bunny's sake. He joins Bunny and Gwen as guests of Lord and Lady Melrose, with an eye toward acquiring the Melrose necklace, once the property of Empress Joséphine.

Complications arise when a gang of thieves also decides to try for the necklace at the same time. Inspector Mackenzie of Scotland Yard (David Torrence) gets wind of their plot and shows up at the Melrose estate with his men. Burglar Crawshaw breaks into the mansion and succeeds in stealing the jewelry, only to have Raffles take it away from him. Crawshaw is caught by the police, but learns his robber's identity.

Meanwhile, both Gwen and Mackenzie suspect that Raffles is the famous jewel thief. When the necklace is not found, Mackenzie insists that all the guests remain at the mansion, then quickly changes his mind. Gwen overhears Mackenzie tell one of his men that he intends to let Crawshaw escape, expecting the crook to go after Raffles and thereby incriminate him. She follows Raffles back to London to warn him.

Crawshaw does as Mackenzie anticipated. However, Raffles convinces Crawshaw that it is too dangerous to pursue his original goal with all the policemen around and helps him escape. Then, Raffles publicly confesses to being the Amateur Cracksman. When Lord Melrose shows up, Raffles reminds him of the reward he offered for the necklace's return (conveniently the same amount that Bunny owes) and produces the jewelry. Then, he outwits Mackenzie and escapes, after arranging with Gwen to meet her in Paris.

Cast

*Ronald Colman as Raffles
*Kay Francis as Gwen
*Bramwell Fletcher as Bunny Manders
*Frances Dade as Ethel Crowley
*David Torrence as Inspector Mackenzie
*Alison Skipworth as Lady Kitty Melrose
*Frederick Kerr as Lord Harry Melrose
*John Rogers as Crawshaw
*Wilson Benge as Barraclough, Raffles' servant

Production

According to Robert Osborne, this was the last film that Samuel Goldwyn made in both a silent and talking version.


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