Jewel Robbery. 1932. USA. Directed by William Dieterle. 68 min.
Screenplay by Erwin S. Gelsey. With William Powell, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson. Though unfortunately eclipsed by Ernst Lubitsch’s Trouble in Paradise, a true masterpiece made in the same year and also starring Kay Francis, Jewel Robbery is a wonderfully urbane and risqué pre-Code comedy about a suave jewel thief (Powell) who, having learned the refinements of his trade in Paris, flaunts them in Vienna by stealing an Austrian baroness’s 28-carat diamond—and her heart—right under the noses of her dullard husband and her most recent love conquest. The film is a delight from beginning (a sexily suggestive bubble-bath sequence) to end (an expertly concocted gag involving “reefer madness”). Preserved by The Library of Congress; courtesy Warner Bros.