Rather predictable, but it's light enough to enjoy
A typical crime comedy from the 1930s, THE LAD is based on a play by Edgar Wallace and centres around the usual country mansion where various crooks and men with false identities are lurking around the premises. The plot is about the hunt for an expensive diamond necklace which is hidden somewhere in the household; half of the criminal population of the locality turn up and adopt various guises in a bid to find it.
This is something of a showcase for popular comedian of the time Gordon Harker, playing a likable ex-con who ends up posing as a detective. The material with the criminal gang members is fun stuff and the early prison scenes with their flashbacks are well directed. The film does become a bit bogged down in the middle section, with too much screen time occupied by the rather dull private lives of the aristocracy, but it picks up for the end.
THE LAD co-stars Michael Shepley (more subdued than he was in A SHOT IN THE DARK, and left on the sidelines for the most part), the lovely Geraldine Fitzgerald, and future Darth Vader Sebastian Shaw (RETURN OF THE JEDI). It's a likable enough time waster for those who want undemanding entertainment.
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