A Touch of Larceny
|A Touch of Larceny|
|Directed by||Guy Hamilton|
|Produced by||Ivan Foxwell|
|Written by||Paul Winterton (novel)
Ivan Foxwell (screenplay)
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Edited by||Alan Osbiston|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
March 16, 1960
A Touch of Larceny is a 1959 British comedy film directed by Guy Hamilton and starring James Mason, George Sanders, Vera Miles, Harry Andrews, Rachel Gurney, and John Le Mesurier. It is based on a diverting and mildly cynical novel, The Megstone Plot (1956), by Paul Winterton under the pseudonym Andrew Garve.
A naval war hero but a bit of a scoundrel, Commander Max Easton has a position with the Admiralty but spends most of his time playing squash and pursuing women.
He meets Sir Charles Holland and a companion, an American woman, Virginia Killain. As soon as Holland is away for a few days, Max makes a play for Virginia, but she is engaged to be married to Holland and is offended by Max describing him as "dull."
Max can tell that Virginia is also impressed by Holland's wealth. To make money, he comes up with a dastardly scheme. He will drop clues and hints leading others to believe that he is a traitor, in league with Russia, and will disappear. When he is publicly branded this way, Max intends to return and sue the press for libel.
Virginia is amused by this at first, then annoyed when she realizes Max has actually gone through with it. The plan backfires, though, when Max becomes marooned on an island and cannot get home.
After he finally is rescued, Max learns that Holland has revealed to the Admiralty everything that Virginia has told him about this hoax. Max manages to free himself from this situation, then charms Virginia by saying he plans to sell his story to the same press he originally intended to swindle. Against her better judgment, she finds Max irresistible.
- James Mason - Commander Max Easton
- George Sanders - Sir Charles Holland
- Vera Miles - Virginia Killain
- Oliver Johnston - Minister
- Robert Flemyng - Commander John Larkin
- William Kendall - Tom
- Duncan Lamont - Gregson
- Harry Andrews - Captain Graham
- Peter Barkworth - Sub Leuitenaint Brown
- Rachel Gurney - Clara Holland
- Martin Stephens - John Holland
- Waveney Lee - Marcia Holland
- Charles Carson - Robert Holland
- Junia Crawford - Susan
- Henry B. Longhurst - Club Member
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