Jewel Robbery (1932)

Publication Year: 

Images retrieved from: on July 20th, 2014, on July 20th, 2014.

This is a Trailer, the full movie or the marijuana scenes aren't available online.

It's become a cliche by now to say that movies from the "pre-Code" era (roughly 1930-34) were ahead of their time in their irreverent attitudes, but William Dieterle's comic fantasy for Warner Bros. takes the cliche to the extreme. For all I know, this romance between swanky Kay Francis's bored rich girl and William Powell's omnipotent gentleman thief (he prefers "robber") is Hollywood's earliest pothead comedy. No, the whole film isn't about people getting high, but Dieterle milks the weed for all the laughs he can get. The reason why is that Powell gives his victims reefers to smoke, on the then-current assumption that only a few puffs will so stupefy you that you'll be incapable of or uninterested in calling the police after he and his massive gang leave the crime scene. After they invade one of Vienna's ritziest jewelry stores and clean it out, Powell offers one of his special cigarettes to one of his captives. In a minute he's giggling like he was auditioning for Reefer Madness. The deal is that you accept the reefer of get locked in a safe, but Francis insists on neither. She's infatuated with the robber, but wants to keep her wits about her, and promises not to call the gendarmes, claiming afterward to have fainted. Meanwhile, Powell foists the rest of his pot on the idiot security guard whom he'd convinced to watch his swag while he finished his business in the store. This fool then spreads them around until a stuffy official is found babbling that he's Napoleon and practically forcing a joint down an assistant's throat. Needless to say, the man enjoys it. As Cab Calloway asks, did you ever see that funny reefer man? If not, you will here in perhaps the unlikeliest of settings: a semi-Lubitschian landscape down to sharing Kay Francis, who was targeted by those elegant rogues Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins in Trouble in Paradise that same year. Did Hollywood take Francis for an easy mark? From [July 20th, 2014]