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Encyclopedia > Harry in Your Pocket
Harry in Your Pocket

original film poster
Directed by Bruce Geller
Produced by Bruce Geller
Alan Godfrey
Written by James Buchanan
Ronald Austin
Starring James Coburn
Michael Sarrazin
Trish Van Devere
Walter Pidgeon
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cinematography Fred J. Koenekamp
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) 1973
Running time 103 min.
IMDb profile

Harry in Your Pocket, written by James Buchanan and Ronald Austin and directed by Bruce Geller, is a 1973 film, starring James Coburn, Michael Sarrazin, Trish Van Devere and Walter Pidgeon. Bruce Geller (October 13, 1930 – May 21, 1973) was an American composer, screenwriter, and television producer. ... Bruce Geller (October 13, 1930 – May 21, 1973) was an American composer, screenwriter, and television producer. ... This article is about the President of the United States. ... James Coburn in Sam Peckinpahs Cross of Iron (1977). ... Michael Sarrazin was born on the 22nd of May 1940 in Quebec Canada. ... Trish Van Devere (born March 1943) is an American actress, who was married to George C. Scott until his death. ... Walter Pidgeon Walter Pidgeon (September 23, 1897 – September 25, 1984) was a Canadian actor. ... Lalo Schifrin Lalo Schifrin (born on June 21, 1932) is an Argentine Jewish pianist and composer, most famous for composing the burning-fuse theme tune from the Mission:Impossible television series. ... The current United Artists logo (a variant was used during the 1980s). ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... This article is about the President of the United States. ... Bruce Geller (October 13, 1930 – May 21, 1973) was an American composer, screenwriter, and television producer. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... James Coburn in Sam Peckinpahs Cross of Iron (1977). ... Michael Sarrazin was born on the 22nd of May 1940 in Quebec Canada. ... Trish Van Devere (born March 1943) is an American actress, who was married to George C. Scott until his death. ... Walter Pidgeon Walter Pidgeon (September 23, 1897 – September 25, 1984) was a Canadian actor. ...


The movie was filmed in Seattle, WA and the former mayor of Seattle, Wes Uhlman made a cameo appearance. City nickname Emerald City City bird Great Blue Heron City flower Dahlia City mottos The City of Flowers The City of Goodwill City song Seattle, the Peerless City Mayor Greg Nickels County King County Area   - Total   - Land   - Water   - % water 369. ...


Plot Outline: A would-be criminal is taken in by a professional pickpocket, who teaches him how pickpockets work in teams. Pickpocketing is a crime, a form of larceny which involves the stealing of money and valuables off the person of a victim without them noticing. ...

Ray (Michael Sarrazin) is a small-time hustler who tries to steal the watch of Sandy (Trish Van Devere) in a train station. She realizes what is happening, and somewhat amused at how clumsy he is, after he leaves, chases him to confront his theft. Unfortunately she forgets her suitcases, which have now been appropriated by a more skilful thief. (All that one had to do was walk up, pick up the unattended suitcases, and walk away.) Feeling guilty for causing her to become destitute, Ray promises to get her enough money to be able to resume her trip. Michael Sarrazin was born on the 22nd of May 1940 in Quebec Canada. ... Trish Van Devere (born March 1943) is an American actress, who was married to George C. Scott until his death. ...


The two of them discover an interest in each other and begin a romance. Ray still wants to try to find a way to pay her back for the misfortune he has caused her, so he tries to find out if there is another way he can get some money to do so.


One of the high points of the film is the realistic use of the jargon of professional pickpockets, and such terms are used in this article. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Ray and Sandy go to see a fence who operates out of a van, who tells him about a "cannon" (a professional pickpocket) who is recruiting for a "stall" (a third party who causes the victim (the "mark") to be distracted so the cannon can rob them), and gives Ray the address of the hotel where he is staying. They meet Casey (Walter Pidgeon), an old man who decides to have them go meet his partner. In the elevator, the old man gives Ray the eye, and suggests non-verbally that he attempt to pick the pocket of another occupant of the elevator. Ray, again, is relatively unskilled, and gets caught by the mark. We then discover that the "victim" of this pickpocket attempt is Harry (James Coburn), Casey's partner, and this was a test to see if Ray has the guts to get involved in this sort of business. In law enforcement, a fence is an individual who knowingly buys stolen property for later resale in a (usually) legitimate market. ... Walter Pidgeon Walter Pidgeon (September 23, 1897 – September 25, 1984) was a Canadian actor. ... James Coburn in Sam Peckinpahs Cross of Iron (1977). ...


As it turns out, Harry and Casey decide to hire the two of them for a combined 20% share of whatever the team takes in, and will train them how to act as "stalls". A stall is someone who distracts a mark so that the cannon (the pickpocket) can then "dip" (take) the mark's wallet (the "poke") while the mark is distracted somewhere else. They are also taken out to buy good quality clothes as they will be in relatively wealthy areas and should fit in.


The two discover how to be a good stall, by learning how to gracefully bump into people. They are to turn over everything they collect, from which they will get their share; Casey will "skim" (remove cash and other valuables from) the pokes and take care of disposing of anything valuable that isn't cash, as well as getting rid of evidence.


Harry also teaches them about laws, such as the law of gravity being a problem in that if a pickpocket isn't careful the wallet can fall, and "Mr. Law," i.e. the police. Then he tells them about the most serious law is "Harry's Law", which reads simply, "Harry never holds." This means that when Harry has taken a poke from a mark, he will not retain the poke for longer than the absolute minimum time it will take to hand it off to Ray or Casey. At one point, Harry decides to give Ray a refresher course. In one scene, Ray stalls a mark, Harry walks past, but Ray isn't ready to take the poke from Harry, thinking that he missed the mark's poke. Back at their hotel room, Ray is talking to Sandy about how he's surprised that Harry missed the victim. Harry walks in the room shortly thereafter and throws a wallet at Ray. Ray opens it, and discovers to his absolute amazement it's the mark's poke. Harry had so barely touched the mark that neither Ray nor Sandy realized that Harry had gotten it. Ray looks in the wallet and discovers it contains about a thousand dollars. Harry snatches the wallet back in anger, and says, "Yeah, and I held the poke all the way over here. " He pulls out some cash from the wallet he took. "This is your share." He rips the bills into pieces as he pronounces each word slowly. "Harry. Never. Holds." drops the torn bills on the carpet, and walks out.

lobbycard set
lobbycard set

Later, Casey has the two of them come back to see him and Harry. Initially, Harry and Casey weren't sure if they should keep the two young people, because of Ray's inexperience and that Sandy has never really been involved in anything criminal. As the two of them walk out, Sandy hands Harry his wallet; apparently she had successfully stolen it while he was distracted, and suggests he should think again. After they leave, Casey wonders if they should just pay them off and let them go as "that one's trouble". Harry points out that if they fire Ray, Sandy (to whom he is obviously attracted) will leave. Casey says to Harry, "It's her I was talking about."


Harry and Casey decide that the "lesson" that Harry has given Ray (and indirectly, Sandy) about how fast Harry is has stuck, and decides not to fire them.


In one scene, Harry invites Sandy up to his room for a drink. Sandy accepts, to the somewhat displeasure of Ray, who is of the belief that Sandy is probably going to have sex with Harry. She explains to him that she's really only going up for a drink, and leaves for a few minutes with Harry. Upon arriving at Harry's room, they discover that there are already two men in the room. The men have a friendly, low-key discussion in which they "recommend" that Harry leave town and go someplace else since he's probably made enough money. As the two men leave, one of them points to her drink, and says, "Is she over 21?" to which Sandy replies, "23. And I've got ID." The man turns to Harry, and as he walks out says, "Just another thing to worry about, Harry." Sexual intercourse, also called coitus, or simply, to have sex is the human form of copulation. ... China ID card, front (top) back (bottom). ...


After they leave, Harry tells Sandy that the two men (who in reality were actual former pickpockets hired as technical consultants to the film) are from the "cannon squad", (police detectives who investigate pickpocketing incidents). Harry informs her (and to tell Ray) that they will have to pack and leave, (so even if he wanted to try to seduce her, there isn't enough time).


The movie continues as Harry and his team travel from city to city, and engage in various schemes where they successfully liberate funds from dozens of relatively well-off men. In one scene, Sandy, wearing a very short tennis dress, "accidentally on purpose" drops a case of tennis balls. As unsupecting marks run around trying to help her catch them, Harry walks by and steals their pokes without them even realizing what has happened.


We also discover some of the unfortunate circumstances when the marks discover their pokes are gone. In one hilarious scene, two men get into a fight because one of them thinks the other stole his wallet, while the other man, who is innocent, is clueless as to why the other man is trying to examine his pockets, and fights back.


At one point, Ray has been doing exceptionally well, not making any mistakes, and tries to approach Harry about teaching him how to "dip" (be a professional pickpocket). Harry turns him down flat. Ray wheedles Casey, who was Harry's teacher, into secretly teaching him without Harry knowing about it.


Harry Later discovers the subterfuge due to Ray having some expensive jewelry and other items he couldn't possibly have been able to earn from his and Sandy's share of the money they skim from the marks. Harry first suspects Ray is "holding out" and keeping some of the money from the pokes Harry is dipping, then discovers the real reason, that Casey taught Ray how to dip and he and Sandy have been freelancing. Harry is upset because if Ray is working outside he's supposed to turn in the money he gets from that as well. Ray decides harry was right, pawns his watch and gives Harry the money he got for it.


In Salt Lake City, the team are trying to dip pokes, and as Harry takes one, passes it to Ray, who subsequently passes it to Casey. Casey, however, is not paying attention and the poke is clearly obvious, sticking out of his coat. The mark realizes his wallet is missing, and spots it — in Casey's outside coat pocket. Casey is arrested and taken away. On talking to Casey's lawyer, Harry discovers the case is going to be a lot more expensive and problematic than a simple pickpocketing case because Casey was also carrying cocaine. Salt Lake City redirects here. ...


The trouble that has befallen them has made them so emotional that Sandy becomes attracted to Harry and they make love.


The three decide to do one very quick score at a horse show being held at a nearby convention center. Sandy will stall, Harry will dip the marks, and hand off to ray who will skim the pokes, and as soon as they've got enough to bail out Casey, they're gone. However, the Cannon Squad is watching carefully, and have a file on Harry. Harry has never been arrested, so they can't do anything unless they catch him in the act. Most likely, they will catch Harry's stall rather than Harry, since they are aware of Harry's Law as well.


At one point, Harry successfully dips a mark, but then realize that the Cannon Squad are right there. Breaking his own rule, he decides not to pass the poke onto Ray, but holds it and tries to get to a trash can to get rid of the evidence. He is unsuccessful and is caught. Harry has chosen to let himself be arrested rather than let Ray take the fall.


The film ends as Harry is taken away in handcuffs, while Ray and Sandy watch helplessly.


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