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Agree with all previous comments. I first saw this film on TV 20 years ago on a wet Sunday afternoon and loved it. I recorded it on VHS the next time it was shown on telly, bought it when it came out on commercial VHS and have just placed an advance order on Amazon for the DVD version which is due out in February 2008.
It's a glimpse into a lost world - 1950s Britain - and all the more charming for it. A surprising amount of location shooting adds to the authenticity. Facsinating to see the Royal Festival Hall, for example, standing alone before the South Bank was developed. I even went on a pilgrimage to Long Acre to check out Stone & Company Ltd - it's still there and looks exactly the same (the building that is)! The detective work is logical, methodical and low-tech. Scraping some clothes fibres of a car radiator is about the height of the forensic work.
Some nice touches of humour too. Example: Jack Hawkins complaining that his Sergeant is running off to a payphone to call his girlfriend. "You haven't seen her," comes the reply, "she's worth three shillings for three minutes." That must have had them blushing in the 50s.
Things only slow a bit when we're dealing with the Hawkins domestic front but that's a small complaint and was no doubt intended to inject a little social realism.
Find yourself a quiet afternoon, make yourself a cup of tea, crack open the custard creams and enjoy.
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