|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Inspector Pemberton is called to a Lord's house in order to investigate
a missing cigarette case. There he meets the Lord's secretary named
Kate who the Lord's daughter thinks stole the case. Smitten, Pemberton
ponders how he can meet her again, only to find out that she is
actually Kate Westhanger, the leader of a band of thieves. Going around
to her hide out Pemeberton attempts to "woo" the girl and get her to go
straight, however when that fails he challenges her to a contest,
promising to prevent whatever the job is she is working on. Thus begins
a game of cat and mouse as Pemberton and Kate crack wise while trying
very hard to win their bet.
A typical Edgar Wallace based film in that its actually a romantic comedy/mystery more than a straight mystery. The repartee between the leads is very good and often on par with the best American films and had anyone had the inclination this might have turned into a neat little British Thin Man series.
To be honest he mystery itself is much too complicated for a 75 minute movie (the print I saw was a bit choppy in spots and is clearly missing a few minutes). Certainly there are simply too many characters with most of Kate's ten man gang fading into the background. The result of too much plot and too many characters is that the film as a whole bogs down at times. The film is never bad, it just doesn't remain at the same level as the romantic rivalry.
Flaws aside this is a really good film. Its the perfect thing to be part of a rainy night on the couch watching movies. (It would actually make a nice double feature with the Gaunt Stranger another Wallace adaptation) 7 out of 10 over all. better in spots
This mystery/comedy is thoroughly engaging with breezy banter between Inspector Pemberton (Hulbert) and crime boss Kate Westhanger (Tobin) that is delightful. Of course, the notion that Tobin is a big time crime boss is absolutely absurd. Hey, it's a fun movie so who cares? The first Jack Hulbert movie I saw was "Bulldog Jack" at a film festival many years ago and I thought he was great and this movie, while not as good as Bulldog Jack, nonetheless is still a nice showcase for Hulbert. It was a treat seeing so many familiar faces such as Withers, Aylmer, Sullivan, Genn but especially Wontner who some critics assert was best ever portrayer of Sherlock Holmes on film (endless arguments about this are really fun but also pointless). As a previous reviewer pointed out, the plot is a bit complicated and there are too many crooks to keep track of, but there is sufficient action (the train sequences are quite good) and the dialog snappy enough to keep the movie moving at a good pace.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
He can't arrest her because he has no evidence. She knows he knows what
she's up to, so she has to stay one step ahead of him. It's a clever
game of cat and mouse where each gets their chance to be both. Jack
Hulbert has that toothy grin that makes us Americans laugh at British
stereotypes, but if only we had half of their way of thinking. Even the
most common of British accents to us comes off to us as deliciously
eccentric, and yet to them, it just reveals where whoever they are
talking to came from. British films, too, seemed to have an advancement
that American films of the time (as delightful as they are) all seemed
to be the same song with different twists in the music to make it
As this is a film about Scotland Yard, American audiences should know a bit of history to be able to follow the plot and style of the characters. Genevieve Tobin, a star of pre-code romantic comedies, is the heroine here, out to outwit Hulbert whom she can't help be charmed by. Arthur Wontner, Francis L. Sullivan, Google Withers and Felix Aylmer are among the cast of British actors I instantly recognized. There's plenty of intrigue, comedy, romance and amusing twists and turns that keeps the film moving. As I've noticed about other British films of this period, they often seem a decade ahead of American films technologically, often seeming more ahead in their time.
This contains all the usual ingredients of an Edgar Wallace film.A gang led by an out of the usual gang leader who commit crimes that baffle the police.The film ending up in a frantic chase using an unusual form of transport.The leading roles are played by Jack Hulbert and Genevive Tobin.Hulbert is slightly more restrained in his mugging than in most of his films.Tobin is a scarcely believable gang leader.Unfortunately it seems to be the case that the only way that English film makers were going to get their films shown in the States was if one of the leads was American.now where that could be a bonus with Edward G Robinson or Marlene Dietrich in a leading part it is very much a detriment when a lesser actress is involved.This film was made as an independent production for General film distributors at a very low ebb in the British film industrys fortunes.Hulbert doesn't even mention this book in his biography.
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