Petticoat Larceny (1943)

Petticoat Larceny (1943)

B-movie child star Joan Carroll plays a minor in the care of Ruth Warrick like the previous year in Obliging Young Lady (1942). Paul Guilfoyle (One Crowded Night (1940)) plays “Tinhorn” Foster the notorious figure and Al Bridge & Cliff Clark policeman from the Falcon Series appear uncredited.

A precocious little girl radio star Joan Mitchell (Ms. Carroll) is bored with the stories’ scripts she’s given to read and decides to write her own. At the same time her guardian aunt’s (Ms. Warrick) boyfriend who’s a publicist for the radio show wants to have Joan pretend kidnapped for publicity. However the studio brass nix the idea while encouraging Joan’s writing idea.

So Joan decides that getting involved with real criminals would be one way to learn to “walk the talk” and find the right dialogue for her stories. Coincidentally her house is being robbed that night by an inept burglar. She decides to help him even opening and helping to pilfer her own safe. When she is found missing (oxymoron anyone?) the next morning her aunt suspects that Joan has been kidnapped. Of course the studio brass and then the press & police believes the publicist is just pulling the stunt he proposed without permission.

Meanwhile Joan joins the burglar’s equally inept gang by making up a name which sounds like a notorious fellow “Tinhorn” Foster of whom they’ve heard. She tries unsuccessfully to help the crooks do a job after which (and unbeknownst to her) the gang decides to go straight in order to keep her from a life of crime. They decide to post bail for “Tinhorn” in order to reunite Joan with (who they think is) her father.

Of course “Tinhorn” figures out the scam knows who Joan is decides he can get a ransom and really does kidnap the girl. The police (led by actor Clark) insists that the publicist take them to Joan and in order to be released he agrees. He is then able to “hook up” with the inept gang of criminals shake the policeman in tow and rescue Joan from “Tinhorn” and his real gang of criminals (one of which is actor Bridge).

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