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Oliver Lane is "The Solitaire Man," a renowned jewel thief who is ready to retire and marry Helen, his partner in crime and his one true love. Their plans are shattered when another member of their gang, Bascom, walks in with a stolen necklace. Helen will not marry Oliver until the necklace is returned. Oliver's attempt to return the jewels later place the whole gang under suspicion for the theft and for the murder of a Scotland Yard inspector. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <DanNGM@aol.com>
A gang of British jewel thieves & charlatans - possibly including THE SOLITAIRE MAN himself - endure a tumultuous plane trip from Paris to London with a cunning inspector from Scotland Yard.
Unfortunately obscure, this is a very enjoyable little crime caper film which deserves to be rediscovered. The plot is a bit dense, but the real attractions of the movie derive from the interaction of its ensemble cast of six sterling performers, especially when all are enclosed in the confined space of the airplane cabin.
In a role that compares nicely with his classic performance in TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932), Herbert Marshall is suave and sophisticated as an international man of mystery. Gifted with one of the Century's finest speaking voices, he puts a polish on his character that's irresistibly intriguing. Especially exciting is his violent interaction with Lionel Atwill, adding yet another portrait to his cinematic gallery as the Inspector. It is great fun to watch & hear these two superb actors go at one another in a war of words.
Lovely Elizabeth Allan shows spunk as the romantic interest, while the picture boasts two of the era's finest character actresses - grandmotherly May Robson as a hard-boiled old dame, and Mary Boland as a loudmouthed banker's wife from Peoria. (Robson's remarks about Devonshire cows & Boland's suggestion for getting rid of a body at 2,000' are both priceless.) Further down the cast list is the always reliable Ralph Forbes, an excellent actor who should have become a major star, playing a young shell-shocked socialite.
Lucile Gleason & Robert McWade enliven the opening scenes as a rich American couple in Monte Carlo who have more money than sense. Movie mavens will recognize chubby Harry Holman in the uncredited role of Boland's henpecked husband Elmer.
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