As criminals assemble for a convention, a policeman investigates and is abducted. A young woman finds his whistle and blows it. The full forces of the law assemble. The confrontation ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Elsa
Joe Beckett ...
P.C. Spiffkins
Dorice Fordred ...
Maggie
Marie Wright ...
Landlady
...
Burglar
Norman Haire ...
Crook
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Storyline

As criminals assemble for a convention, a policeman investigates and is abducted. A young woman finds his whistle and blows it. The full forces of the law assemble. The confrontation between order and disorder ensues, with our heroine caught up in it. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Comedy | Crime

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May 1928 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

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First film for Charles Laughton. See more »

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Edited into H.G. Wells Comedies (1928) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A spoof crime melodrama superbly devised and performed.
8 December 2001 | by (Moscow, Russia) – See all my reviews

So perfect are the performances in this silent send-up of crime melodramas that the rare intertitles are redundant. The plot is simple - Elsa, the innocent heroine (not quite innocently) blows the policeman's whistle she finds outside the house in which the criminals' convention is assembling. The entire police force, the armed forces, all respond to her alarm and she is caught up in the shooting match between police and criminals, her hat an increasingly battered target in the violent turmoil around her. Consistently with its genre, our heroine unknowingly captures the criminals and, rather than being charged with improper use of a police whistle, is rewarded with a broken umbrella.

All but one of the characters can ham their parts with abandon, and do so to great effect. Only Elsa Lanchester must play it straight, if dramatically, and she succeeds so well. The bemused innocence of her expression, every carefully modulated gesture, every movement of her body, tell us that Elsa is at a loss, yet make her interesting, hinting at a subversive mischievousness that is never more than implied. The cinematography is excellent, the sequence of policemen successively blowing their whistles being an example. This film seems as funny, as completely enjoyable now as it was seventy-three years ago.


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