Small Time Crooks |


Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, ...

DESIGN A KNOCKOFF Allen and Ullman are a couple of wannabe ''Crooks'' (John Clifford)

As usual, Allen is keeping the details of his new movie under wraps. ”I’m very wary of divulging the plot,” says Ullman. ”[If I do], a poison dart may wind up stuck in my leg at a bus stop.” This much we know: Allen’s 32nd feature takes place in Manhattan (big surprise), and it’s his last film with longtime producing partner Jean Doumanian (after shooting ”Small Time Crooks,” Allen signed a three-picture deal with DreamWorks). This reported $30 million caper comedy also marks the director’s return to slapstick.

Allen and Ullman play a married couple who join a trio of bumbling hoods (Jon Lovitz, Michael Rapaport, and ”Mickey Blue Eyes”’ Tony Darrow) to knock off a bank. Grant costars as an upper-cruster who tries to school the couple in the ways of the elite – no small feat. Allen says that the only things his low-life, ex-con character is interested in are ”sports and drinking beer and watching television and making his little score.” Though Allen admits this isn’t much of an acting stretch: ”Certain things come natural to me, and that is one of them.”