When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.
When Secret Service agent David Somers is fired, he takes a quiet job with the Fentons at their country estate - cataloging butterflies, hence the title insect. David grows fond of Jess ... See full summary »
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However did 1950s police manage without the help of amateur sleuths?
Rex Banner, played by Peter Reynolds, is the proprietor of a news agency and having an eye for a good story, becomes an amateur sleuth to find out who murdered his friend Gospel Joe and as a consequence, who was responsible for the theft of the Delavine diamonds sometime earlier. Joe had information about the theft and had asked to see Rex but just as Rex finds his friends body the police arrive and he is initially treated as a suspect.
I found this film quite entertaining for a mid-1950s second feature with interesting characters, good acting, decent plot and a dash of humour. Peter Reynolds, who was often condemned to playing shifty villains in British films, is able and smooth in the role of detective, keeping several steps ahead of the clueless police. I have to say that any film with Honor Blackman, playing his delicious wife, will automatically get my vote. Bit-part spotters will be pleased to see two of Britain's most prolific here. Firstly Michael Balfour reprises for the umpteenth time the hero's sidekick, helping out with a spot of research for Rex and being on hand at the finale. Then the unsung Hal Osmond lifts an otherwise routine scene with a colourful cameo as the 'old man' with the cough. In my opinion THE DELAVINE AFFAIR is a slightly above average film for the genre.
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