Jewel Robbery proves memorable thanks to William Powell’s introduction. He plays a gentleman thief who robs a jewelry store frequented by a restless baroness, played by Kay Francis. After robbing the store and clientele of their valuables, Powell gives the staff, Francis, and her entourage marijuana cigarettes to stone them into supplication. When the cops arrive, everyone is giggle happy and Powell and his crew have disappeared. Ah, pre-code Hollywood.
The robbery ignites a romance between Powell and Francis and the pair spend the rest of the film exchanging snappy dialog as he tries to woo her and she plays hard to get. Both pack ample charm, but Francis has this annoying habit of delivering her lines while looking toward the camera. A distracting affectation.
Powell shines as the gentleman bandit. He oozes urbane charm and handles the witty innuendo with aplomb. When Francis, looking into his vault, asks him to “Show me your jewels, will you?” his timing is perfect.
- Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 4, Warner Bros., 2012↩