Small Time Crooks movie poster
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Small Time Crooks movie poster

Small Time Crooks - Movie Synopsis & Plot

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Ray Winkler (Woody Allen) is an ex-con with big dreams and an inability to hold down dishwashing jobs. His wife, Frenchy (Tracey Ullman), is a sardonic manicurist who reins Ray in, attempting to keep him grounded in reality. So when Ray comes to Frenchy with a half-baked plan to rob a bank, she's dead set against it: no way is she giving up their life savings so he can work with three dimwitted guys in a harebrained scheme. Yet Ray, with his neurotic charm, wins her over and even convinces her to run the front for their operation: a cookie store. Soon enough, their get-rich-quick scheme to rob a bank leaves them rolling in dough-but not the kind they had in mind.

Woody Allen's latest comedy, Small Time Crooks, is a farce that recalls the earlier footloose and fast-paced comedies, such as Take the Money and Run and Sleeper, that helped Allen launch his career as a writer and director. Allen and Tracey Ullman star as the husband-and-wife team who take a bite out of crime and get more than they bargained for.

The story of the Winklers' master plan, combined with the opportunity to work with Allen, were the key ingredients that enticed such world-class comedic stars as Ullman, Hugh Grant, and Elaine May to the project. The film marks Ullman's third teaming with Allen, while it was the first time May and Grant had collaborated with the multiple Oscar-winning director, screenwriter, and actor. The ensemble cast of Small Time Crooks also includes (in alphabetical order) Tony Darrow, George Grizzard, Jon Lovitz, Michael Rapaport, and Elaine Stritch.

"What I was going for was a funny movie," says Allen. "Although I guess you could say if there's a theme to the film, it might be 'be careful what you wish for."

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