The Clumsiest Criminals in Film History

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Ken Pile from “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988)
> Portrayed by: Michael Palin

Ken Pile teams up with his gangster partner, George, and two American con artists to steal a cache of diamonds. Like all partners in crime, they all end up betraying each other and only Ken knows how to access the diamonds hidden in a safe deposit box. Ken, an animal lover, tries to kill the only witness to the crime, but accidentally kills her dogs and the woman dies of a heart attack. Trying to get him to reveal where the diamonds are, one of the Americans eats Ken’s pet fish.

Source: Courtesy of Embassy Pictures

Leo, Max from “The Producers” (1967)
> Portrayed by: Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel

Corrupt Broadway producer Max Bialystock convinces skittish accountant Leo Bloom to participate in his scheme to finance a flop. By duping investors, a flop could make more money, Max says. But to their surprise their musical, “Springtime for Hitler,” turns out to be a hit, and the fraudsters end up in jail.

Source: Courtesy of Continental Distributing

Professor Marcus from “The Ladykillers” (1955)
> Portrayed by: Alec Guinness

“Professor Marcus” and his team of criminals pretend to be musicians as they rent rooms from an eccentric old lady Mrs. Wilberforce. But they’re really planning a heist. After robbing a van, the Professor and his partners have Mrs. W. retrieve the money. She is unaware the loot is from a robbery. When she catches wind of their plan, Mrs. W. tells them she will go to the police. The criminals decide to kill her, but they are anything but “lady killers” as they end up killing each other instead.

Source: Courtesy of DreamWorks Distribution

Ray Winkler from “Small Time Crooks” (2000)
> Portrayed by: Woody Allen

Small time crook Ray Winkler wants to rent a pizzeria so he and his team can tunnel under it to a nearby bank. The robbery fails, but Ray’s wife, Frenchy, opens a cookie business in the building and makes millions. Ray and Frenchy split, and Ray tries to steal a valuable necklace at a party by making a duplicate. Ray gets the real and fake necklace mixed up and gives the fake one to Frenchy when he tries to reconcile with her. All ends well as the two end up together after all.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Robert Lewis from “A Life Less Ordinary” (1997)
> Portrayed by: Ewan McGregor

When janitor Robert is fired by his company, he kidnaps the boss’s daughter, a spoiled 20-something named Celine. A busted bank robbery and much bickering between Robert and Celine ensue before the two realize they’re in love.

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