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The Crimes of Stephen Hawke (1936)

A crazed killer known as "The Spinebreaker" is terrorizing London with a series of grisly murders. The police seem powerless to stop him.

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(scenario), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Tod Slaughter ...
Marjorie Taylor ...
D.J. Williams ...
...
Graham Soutten ...
Nathaniel (as Ben Soutten)
Gerald Barry ...
George M. Slater ...
Charles Penrose ...
Norman Pierce ...
Landlord
Flotsam and Jetsam ...
Themselves
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
B.C. Hilliam ...
Himself (as Flotsam)
Malcolm 'Mr. Jetsam' McEachern ...
Himself (as Jetsam)
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Storyline

The film begins in a BBC studio with the 100th edition of "In Town Tonight". Flotsam and Jetsom open with a "topical number". Then there is an interview with a distinguished actor, which dissolves into a performance of one of his famous melodramas about a wicked moneylender etc. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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Details

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Release Date:

May 1936 (UK)  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Doom Asylum (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

In Town To-Night
(uncredited)
aka "Knightsbridge March"
Music by Eric Coates
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User Reviews

 
Getting to grips with greed
24 June 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Meandering tale of meek money lender Steven Hawke (Slaughter) who moonlights as a callous killer nicknamed "The Spine Breaker" for his bone crushing exploits. When his alter ego is exposed, he's forced to flee London, pursued by a relentless hunter but must make a daring return after hearing news that his daughter has been coerced into marrying a blackmailing prison warden.

Great comical thrills with the inimitable Tod Slaughter delivering his trademark psychopath with pompous relish. Eric Portman is the principal adversary and preferred suitor to the twisted killer's beloved daughter (Taylor), demonstrating the thespian skills for which he became better known throughout the next three decades.

If you're unaccustomed to the Tod Slaughter experience, then this I'd regard to be one of the better samples to gain a taste of the stage-borne flavour with which he interprets his twisted characterisations. The dialogue is poetic, loaded with double-entendres, witty quips and of course, hopelessly clichéd plot. Despite the low budget, it works like a charm, such is Slaughter's unique charisma and presence.


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