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Robert Emmett Tansey
London's jewel thieves are under the thumb of a mysterious fence, who ruthlessly exposes any thief who crosses him. Desperate, Scotland Yard re-hires ex-Inspector Barrabal who, as a known drunkard, is ideally suited to go undercover with a faked criminal record (which may spoil his chances with lovely Carol Stedman). Interested parties: Larry Graeme, cat burglar; his girl, sexy dancer Tamara; Collie, sardonic reporter. Then murder makes apprehension of the Squeaker urgent. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I caught the film on the Studio channel after setting my TiVo to record anything with Alastair Sim in. As the film progressed I went from smiling at it's old-fashioned mannerisms to a real enjoyment of the storyline and the characterisation. Edgar Wallace crime novels sold in their millions in the thirties and forties and would have guarenteed a healthy audience at the cinema. The plot is quite simple: a 'fence' is operating in London and covering his tracks by framing his criminal associates ('squeaking' on them). A sacked detective with a drinking problem is given a chance to redeem himself by exposing 'The Squeaker'. Of course he falls in love with the scoundrel's respectable and innocent fiance in the process. Alastair Sim, one of my favourite actors of this era, plays an investigative reporter with a rather over the top scottish accent. Also of interest are what appear to be a music hall double act (sadly uncredited) as bell-boys in the numerous club scenes. The club scenes are an excuse to show off the minor plot character Tamara; a chanteuse in love the the squeaker's last victim. The dramatic denouement is The Squeaker's confession following unendurable psychological pressure applied by the suave, dapper Inspector Barrabel(played by Edmund Lowe - he looks rather like a poor man's Errol Flynn). Produced by the great Alexander Korda, this is highly entertaining.
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