A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
While holidaying in Switzerland, Lawrence and his wife Jill are asked by a dying friend, Louis Bernard, to get information hidden in his room to the British Consulate. They get the information, but when they deny having it, their daughter Betty is kidnapped. It turns out that Louis was a Foreign Office spy and the information has to do with the assassination of a foreign dignitary. Having managed to trace his daughter's kidnappers back to London, Lawrence learns that the assassination will take place during a concert at the Albert Hall. It is left to Jill, however, to stop the assassination. Written by
During the shoot-out when Peter Lorre goes over and stands by the window, the pane closest to his right shoulder is broken; only half of it remains. The shot cuts away and then back, and now the pane is intact. See more »
Tell her they may soon be leaving us. Leaving us for a long, long journey. How is it that Shakespeare says? "From which no traveler returns." Great poet.
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Vintage Hitchcock that is a little too stiff for it's own good
Whilst on holiday in Switzerland to compete in winter sports the Lawrence family inadvertently meet a spy who is killed in front of them. He passes information to them relating to an assassination but, before they can pass on the information their daughter is kidnapped for their silence. Back in London they decide to start looking for the kidnappers and prevent the assassination themselves.
Hitchcock's strength here is that an wholly unlikely plot which is full of holes is masked by a sense of wit and good feeling that covers the flaws. The whole thing falls down under scrutiny and as a thriller it doesn't really cut it as well as I'd hoped it certainly doesn't compare to The 39 Steps. However the film is very classy and very, very British.
I expect to American audiences nowadays that the very polite gentleman like approach of the film is very strange but it works quite well. The final shoot out lacks excitement simply because it is unrealistic in the extreme but it's still quite enjoyable and has it's moments. Lorre is good as the villain but lacks the smarmy qualities he brought to later films. Leslie Banks is very good as the solid British hero and Best is good as his sassy (if underused) wife. Wakefield has a good comedy role as Banks' side kick.
Overall the age of the film means it feels very stagy and very stiff but there's still much to enjoy with good settings, comedy and vintage Hitchcockian touches.
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