The author unveils before our eyes a crook movie, a genre that is unidentified albeit strongly present in Polish and international film tradition (he points out that the term may also refer to a characteristic film character). According to the working definition of the term, it is a genre of suspense-adventure film whose story, told in a lively manner, exhibits the unexpected situations and colourful events of the life of film heroes. The represented world of a crook film combines fictional elements with the widely known and familiar realities of a given place and time, designed to lend credence to it. The buffo tone and tongue-in-cheek humour, closely connected with the conventionality of unreal events and the presence of comedy convention, top the list of characteristic features of the genre. The author sketches the outline of the history of a crook film but focuses first of all on Polish examples. He also writes extensively on a crook, the character so strongly rooted in domestic film tradition.