A Touch of Larceny

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A Touch of Larceny
A Touch of Larceny FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Guy Hamilton
Produced by Ivan Foxwell
Written by Paul Winterton (novel)
Ivan Foxwell (screenplay)
Starring James Mason
George Sanders
Vera Miles
Music by Philip Green
Cinematography John Wilcox
Edited by Alan Osbiston
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 1959 (1959-12) (UK)
  • 16 March 1960 (1960-03-16) (U.S.)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English, Russian

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 novel, The Megstone Plot (1956), by Paul Winterton under the pseudonym Andrew Garve.

The film was nominated for the BAFTA award for Best British Screenplay but it lost to The Angry Silence.


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.


See also[edit]

1959 in film

External links[edit]