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Richard M. Grey
Plenty of humour in this fast-paced John Creasey adaptation
SALUTE THE TOFF is the first of two John Creasey thriller adaptations directed by Maclean Rogers and starring John Bentley. The Toff is an upper classic crime fighter who has his own manservant and goes around solving crime in a polite way, although he's good with his fists when he needs to be. I thought the sequel to this film, HAMMER THE TOFF, had the edge, although this is still serviceable enough.
SALUTE THE TOFF is one of many films made at Nettlefold Studios, although has more location work and scene changes than most. The story begins with a missing boss and a pretty young secretary (Carol Marsh, who you may remember getting vampirised in Dracula) enlisting the aid of our sleuth to find out what's going on. The action involves the hunt for some missing papers and a rather complex insurance fraud.
The villains are a rather underdeveloped lot but on the other hand, the Toff enlists some great comic relief in support. The pub landlord and his boxing enthusiast allies are great fun and Roddy Hughes gets some great lines as the constantly put-upon servant Jolly. Bentley breezes through the thing with effortless charm, Valentine Dyall plays in support as a detective, and Marsh is simply lovely. Nothing much to dislike about this one, then.
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