Erich Kästner's beloved novel has been adapted for film or television six times since its publication in 1929; this 1935 British version was the first in English. Believed lost for decades,...
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Emil goes to Berlin to see his grandma with a large amount of money and is offered sweets by a strange man that make him sleep. He wakes up at his stop with no money, it is up to him and a group of children to save the day.
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 »
Erich Kästner's beloved novel has been adapted for film or television six times since its publication in 1929; this 1935 British version was the first in English. Believed lost for decades, it was recently rediscovered by the BFI and has now been restored. The film moves the action from Berlin to London, where Emil goes to stay with his grandmother and cousin. Thereafter, the tale of Emil's adventures with a gang of streetwise London children faithfully follows the original plot.
This film received its first telecast Saturday 24 February 1940 on New York City's pioneer, and still experimental television station W2XBS. 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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