(1939) Anthony Hulme, Evelyn Foster, Ernest Sefton, C. Denier Warren. An Inspector from the yard (Hulme) goes on holiday with reporter pal. When they stop in a small village, they discover ... See full summary »
C. Denier Warren,
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This is the first film based on Francis Durbridge's long-running BBC Radio serial. A gang has been executing a daring series of smash and grab robberies. A policeman on the case appears to commit suicide, but crime novelist and amateur sleuth, Paul Temple, suspects foul play. With the help of the victim's sister, reporter Louise Harvey (who uses the pseudonym "Steve Trent"), Paul sets about tracking down the notorious diamond robbers... Written by
Routine detective investigation, the first in a four-film series
The first of four film adaptations concerning the mild-mannered gentleman detective, Paul Temple. Not to be confused with Simon Templar, of course; Temple is a far lesser creation, who doesn't seem to do a great deal apart from plod his way around crime scenes and drink a lot. He started out on the radio before appearing in this four-film series.
The plot of this one charts a gang of jewel thieves who ruthlessly murder anybody with a chance to expose them. There are a couple of neat set-pieces here, like an apparent suicide in a pub which turns out to be a murder, but as a whole it's oddly unexciting. When the main characters fail to get worked up about sudden death and murder right under their very noses (a character is even bumped off in the courthouse!) the viewer is unable to either.
SEND FOR PAUL TEMPLE just about gets by with some mild atmosphere and some not-bad performances, although the entire cast was unknown to me. But it really pales in comparison to contemporary cinema, in particularly the film noir genre which was raging across the pond, which is no surprise given the low budget and rather limited nature of the film.
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