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Reporter Robert Beatty is heavily involved in uncovering a killer who telegraphs his victims via a radio show
Twenty Questions was a popular game that originated in America. It went on the radio in early 1946, and one year later a British version was aired. In this British mystery, a killer is bumping off victims while providing sophisticated clues to the names of his victims as entries in the Twenty Questions game. Robert Beatty plays a reporter who is on top of the case. Another competitive reporter, Rona Anderson, is his love interest.
The police are depicted as fairly incompetent, going off on false ideas of who the killer may be, despite the fact that they have been given a connection to someone who served in India and was imprisoned there. He's taking his revenge on the judge, the prosecutor, and so on.
An alert viewer will figure out who the killer is, well in advance of his detection by Beatty or the police.
Interspersed in the movie are excerpts from the radio show, except that we see the quick-witted panellists and moderator. This is amusing and would have attracted the radio audience to the film.
There are some outstanding British noirs, edited to bring out the suspense. British films released to American audiences have sometimes been cut so as to remove dead spots that dissipate suspense and have no direct bearing on the story. The British cuts, by contrast, quite often contain little bits or interchanges that are meant to be humorous but have little to do with the story. Those Americans who venture into the Britnoir waters should be aware that on occasion they are going to run into unedited films where the story seems needlessly to stop and start and where suspense is the victim of humor that may not seem either pertinent or amusing.
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