The Law of Contact

Inside the Law (May 8, 1946)

Inside the Law

Released on May 8, 1942: A mob of con artists headed by grandma and grandpa commit the perfect crime when they rob a bank, but later decide to go straight.

Directed by Hamilton MacFadden

The Actors: Wallace Ford (Billy), Frank Sully (Jim Burke), Harry Holman (Judge Mortimer Gibbs), Luana Walters (Dora Mason), Lafe Mckee (Pop Cobb), Barton Hepburn (Paul Kane), Danny Duncan (Peter Clifford), Earl Hodgins (Police Chief), Rose Plumer (Mom Cobb), Robert Frazer (bank official), Wheaton Chambers (minister), Charles Williams (auctioneer).


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An elderly man and woman are heading a mob of assorted characters that include pick-pockets, safe crackers, and con artists. As the movie opens we watch as several of them walk into an auction and sit among the bidders. Soon they cause a commotion and start fighting, and when the dust settles and the mobsters leave, everyone in the room discovers that they are missing their watches and jewelry. Next we see the mobsters assembling in a hotel room and putting all of their loot in a pile. After some discussion they decide to head west to Los Angeles where they believe the pickings will be easier. On the way they come upon a drunk who stops and staggers around them. Of course, before the drunk can get back into his car, they have picked his pockets clean. When they examine their bounty from the drunk, they discover that he has a letter of introduction to a small town bank nearby as a new employee. After thinking a bit, they decide that they might try to rob the bank from the inside by pretending to be this man and getting a job at the bank.

When one of the fellows goes in to claim his new job, he discovers that he is supposed to be a banking expert hired to improve the bank and make it prosperous. When he finds this out, he first suggests that all of the old dowdy employees be let go in favor of his personally trained staff. The bank owner quickly agrees and the rest of the mob enters and takes over every job in the bank. They intend to take all of the deposits and run as soon as they can get to them. Their luck seems to be too good to be true when the bank owner gives a piece of paper to the head mobster and tells him it is the combination to the safe, and he should try it to make sure he can open the safe. Sure enough he can open it, but when he looks inside, there is no money! When asked about it, the owner tells him that the bank is failing badly, and needs new customers, and that is why the new man was hired. He is supposed to be an expert at making banks successful. So our band of mobsters decides to work the bank back to health and then rob it. They are very successful, and the bank is once again full of cash, but something comes over most of them and their whole world changes.

It is Sunday morning, and one of the mobsters tells them that if the bankers don't go to church, the town will never keep their money in the bank, so they all get gussied up and head to church. Soon the ambiance of the small town and friendly church overtake them, and they decide to go straight, just run the bank as employees and settle down to normal, legal lives. But there is a fly in the ointment . . . Jim, one of the mobsters, decides to steal the money and run with it, which puts them all in jeopardy of being discovered as career criminals and ruining their plan to go straight.

Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn and settle in for a 'feel-good' whacky crime drama that has more laughs and good times than a barrel full of monkeys.