When Emil travels by bus to Berlin to visit his grandmother and his cousin, his money is stolen by a crook who specializes in digging tunnels. Emil must get the money back as it is for his ... See full summary »
Run time on the 2013 BFI DVD issue (alongside the 1931 German original) which is apparently restored from the sole surviving copy is only 59 minutes. It is unclear from the DVD booklet account whether this means 12 minutes of footage has been lost or whether the original length was only 59 minutes and therefore a fair bit shorter than the 1931 German original. See more »
(at around 27 mins) "The Man In The Bowler Hat"/Sam Pinker gets in a taxi, and when it drops him off at his hotel, the registration is ALN 287. A couple of minutes later, ALN 287 reappears behind Polly and "The Flying Stag" as they cycle and scoot respectively along the Embankment. See more »
Emil and the Detectives was first adapted for the screen in Germany in 1931, and was quickly followed in 1935 by this version made in England and then subsequently missing for many years - it eventually turned up in the collection of a film buff in the USA.
The story probably needs no introduction; Emil is sent to London to stay with his grandma and cousin Polly with six pounds in his pocket, by way of the train to Charing Cross. But first he encounters the mysterious and creepy man in the bowler hat, who is up to no good. And in London he seeks the help of a gang of children led by The Organiser and The Professor to right the wrongs.
With John Williams as Emil, Marion Foster as Polly, Bobby Rietti as The Professor, and George Hayes as the OTT villain, this film benefits from good London locations - surprisingly not changed much from 1935 - strong direction from Milton Rosmer, and a good dose of humour.
A little scary for very young audiences, perhaps, but very watchable and nicely restored by the British Film Institute.
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