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Breakaway (1955)

 |  Crime  |  1956 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 37 users  
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Suave, if a trifle elderly, private eye Duke Martin is on the trail of a secret formula and a kidnapped girl.



, (story) (as Manning O'Brine)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Conway ...
Michael Balfour ...
Paula Grant / Paula Jackson
Brian Worth ...
Johnny Matlock
Bruce Seton ...
Freddie Mills ...
Alexander Gauge ...
John Horsley ...
Michael Matlock
Paddy Webster ...
Diane Grant
First Kidnapper
Larry Taylor ...
Second Kidnapper
Frederick Schrecker ...
Professor Dohlmann
Marianne Walla ...
Miss Freda Dohlmann
Russell Westwood ...
Berlin Man


Suave, if a trifle elderly, private eye Duke Martin is on the trail of a secret formula and a kidnapped girl.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

1956 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Herttua yllättää  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Follows Murder on Approval (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Private detective Tom Conway in the middle of a search for film of a valuable formula
18 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Breakaway" is a fast-moving, complex detective story done with occasional dark (or noir) night scenes. John Colicos, who was soon to do a great deal of TV work in America, has a small part as a kidnapper. Honor Blackman has a part as the sister of the woman kidnapped; she looks about as glamorous as the 1950s staid fashions allowed. Michael Balfour provides comic relief, kept to reasonable bounds and not harming the film at all. Bruce Seton plays the nightclub owner and heavy out to lay his hands on a valuable formula on a roll of film. Both he and his intermediary (Brian Worth) who got it in Berlin want to cut out their bosses and sell it for themselves. The sister of Blackman and girl friend of Worth finds herself in the middle and kidnapped. Tom Conway as usual delivers his lines coolly, sharply and beautifully, while conveying wit and sarcasm subtly through his facial expressions. He's the main reason for watching something like this, but Seton also adds interest as does Balfour. Blackman doesn't inject much beyond her looks. Colicos doesn't get a chance to project as much menace or deviousness as he later showed.

It's really a low-budget effort in the interior sets but we get some nice exteriors of London, a nice airport sequence in a hangar, and some vintage automobiles. The main mystery is over who has the film or where it is and who the main instigator is. At the end, despite watching closely, I still did not know for sure who had it because we were not shown this on the screen. But Conway told us who had it.

The story keeps us going mainly by quite a lot of action and characters for such a short movie.

It's a pretty good movie of its sort, usually called a Brit noir, even if that's a bit of a stretch in this case.

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