Never Steal Anything Small
Directed byCharles Lederer
Written byCharles Lederer
(Screen Story and Screenplay by)
Based onThe Devil's Hornpipe by Maxwell Anderson and Rouben Mamoulian
Produced byAaron Rosenberg
StarringJames Cagney
Shirley Jones
CinematographyHarold Lipstein
Edited byRussell F. Schoengarth
(as Russell Schoengarth)
Color processEastmancolor
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • February 11, 1959 (1959-02-11)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States

Never Steal Anything Small is a 1959 American CinemaScope comedy-drama musical film directed by Charles Lederer and starring James Cagney and Shirley Jones. It is based on the play The Devil's Hornpipe by Maxwell Anderson and Rouben Mamoulian.


Jake Macllaney will do just about anything to win the presidential election of longshoreman union Local 26. When he encounters young upright attorney Dan Cabot and Cabot's attractive wife Linda, Macllaney breaks up their marriage, pursues Linda, and pins a grand larceny rap on Dan. And all set to music!



Filmed in color, this musical was directed by Charles Lederer. It is about racketeers infiltrating the labor movement. Cagney plays a dishonest but charming union boss. This was Cagney's final musical film. Jones, who plays a happily married woman whom the labor leader wants to steal away, performs a lively musical number, spoofing television commercials. The film features a duet by Cagney and Williams on "I'm Sorry, I Want a Ferrari."

See also