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Bach Movies



Small Time Crooks








Film: May 2000
DVD: Dec 2000; Jul 2004 (4-DVD)
VHS: May 2001


Woody Allen


Woody Allen


Woody Allen ( Ray); Carolyn Saxon (Candy Salesperson); Tracey Ullman (Frenchy); Michael Rapaport (Denny); Tony Darrow (Tommy); Sam Josepher (Real Estate Agent); Jon Lovitz (Benny); Lawrence Howard Levy (Dynamite Dealer - as Lawrence Levy); Diane Bradley (Cookie Store Customer); Crystal Field (Cookie Store Customer); Cindy Carver (Cookie Store Customer); Ray Garvey (Cookie Store Customer); Bill Gerber (Cookie Store Customer); Olivia Hayman (Cookie Store Customer); Laurine Towler (Cookie Store Customer)


A loser of a crook and his wife strike it rich when a botched bank job's cover business becomes a spectacular success.

Dishwasher and small-fry criminal Ray hits on a plan with his partners in crime to re-open a local pizza place and dig through to the bank down the street. As his wife can't cook pizza but does great cookies, that's what they sell. While the no-hope tunnellers get lost underground, the cookie operation really takes off and the team find themselves rich business people. But the other local money isn't quite ready to accept them. (Jeremy Perkins)

Ray Winkler is a "small time crook" with big dreams. Recruiting his wife and some fellow bumblers, he leaves his job as a dishwasher to open a cookie store next to a bank. And while his wife operates the cookie store, he and his cohorts work in the basement on breaking into the bank. Wealth comes from an unexpected direction, helping fulfill his dreams. But there is an ancient curse about getting everything you wish for. (Greg Bulmash)

After a run of serious-tinged comedies like Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, and Sweet and Lowdown, Woody Allen turns to pure farce with the lightweight, appealing Small Time Crooks, the sunniest film Allen's made in years. Doing a 180 from his nebbishy intellectual persona, Allen plays a less-than-smart ex-con named Ray, who can't even keep a dishwasher job and is perennially supported by his wife Frenchy (Tracey Ullman). When Ray hatches a plot to lease a storefront near a bank and tunnel into the bank's vault, Frenchy is skeptical about putting their life savings behind the scheme, especially after meeting Ray's dim-bulb trio of support (Michael Rapaport, Jon Lovitz, and Tony Darrow, all sublimely ridiculous) and learning she's supposed to provide the front by opening up a cookie store. Soon enough, their get-rich-quick scheme pays off, but not the way they anticipated, and they're suddenly swimming in money and bad taste. All of Allen's farcical shenanigans are basically a setup for a look at Ray's and Frenchy's diverging paths--she wants culture and upper-class acceptance, he wants pizza in front of the TV and poker with his pals. Soon, the lowbrow Frenchy enlists a fortune-digging art broker (Hugh Grant) to make her a lady, and Allen plans a high society robbery with the help of Frenchy's dimwit cousin (Elaine May, who makes an art form of comic stupidity). It's absolutely refreshing to see Allen making a blithely happy film after wrestling with angst over the past few years; watching Allen play a dumb schlemiel is a treat that's been sorely missed. And in Ullman he's found a leading lady who can match him line for line; she wisely resists the urge to overplay Frenchy's crassness and comes up with a finely modulated characterization that makes her relationship with Ray the film's warm, heartfelt core. We'd almost forgotten Woody Allen could be this fun and goofy; it's good to see that part of him back in form. (Mark Englehart,

Woody Allen's star-powered comedy follows the misadventures of an ex-con dishwasher and his manicurist wife. Their get-rich-quick scheme to rob a bank leave the characters rolling in dough--but not the kind they had in mind. (




94 min (Film) / 95 min (DVD, VHS) / 418 min (4-DVD)

J.S. Bach's Music:

Sarabande (Mvt. 4) from Suite for solo cello No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
Jesse Levy (Cello)


Film: Color (Technicolor), DTS (Mono) / Dolby Digital (Mono)
DVD: See below.
VHS: See below.


Film: DreamWorks SKG; Sweetland Films (presents)
DVD: Dreamworks Video; Concorde; TFI
VHS: Dreamworks Video; Concorde


4-DVD Set includes: Woody Allen Four Movie Comedy Collection (Anything Else / The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion / Hollywood Ending / Small Time Crooks)

Watch selections:

Buy movie at:

DVD: [Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1] | [PAL, Region 2] | [PAL, German, English, Region 2] | [Full Screen, NTSC, Region 2]
4-DVD: [Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1]
VHS: [PAL] | [Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC] | [PAL, German] | [Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC]


Source/Links: IMDB
Contributor: Aryeh Oron (November 2007)

Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach


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