Meet A.J. Raffles, a charming English cricketer who hobnobs by day with British society, but robs them at night as a gentleman thief. First published in 1898 as a series of short stories, Raffles soon became one of the most popular fictional characters of his time. Adapted to the stage as Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman, the play was filmed twice during the silent era before Samuel Goldwyn acquired it as a sound vehicle for Ronald Colman. An Oscar - nominated box~office smash, Raffles would be remade with David Niven, who, like Colman, was perfectly cast as the debonair thief. Raffles (1930): A safecracker (Colman) falls for a peer (Kay Francis) and vows to go straight, but soon attempts one last job to save a friend from disgrace. Raffles (1939): A burglar (Niven) gives up crime, only to stage one last robbery to help the brother of the woman (Olivia de Havilland) he loves.