Alan Dobie, with Jeannie Carson's help, uses seven keys to find a money stash
"Seven Keys" is an above-par Brit crime story. These are often classified under the Britnoir umbrella label, but although that label is convenient, many are not noirs including this one. They are, however, often dandy little crime stories, and this is one of those.
This story is tight and moves right along without needless patter and diversions from quirky or irascible side characters. Apart from one scene, there is little such humor grafted onto this story. It starts in a prison where Alan Dobie inherits 7 keys from an inmate who dies, a man he barely knew. Dobie is a burglar and very smart, which seems to be why the man left him the keys. It was so that he'd locate the money, clear his name and punish those who were responsible for taking it from him. This requires some detective work and that's what Dobie attempts to do, with the help of the dead man's former secretary, Jeannie Carson.
I can't recall having seen Dobie before although he appears in "The Chairman", which I've seen. He's not a regular of these Britnoirs. Dobie does a very good job here. He's professional and single-minded in his quest. He's also interested romantically in Carson, but she won't tumble to a burglar. Dobie is not menacing, yet he's serious in his detective work and has a lighter touch around Carson. Dobie's coolness and reserved manner work well in this film against Carson's somewhat more combative stance.
The actual plot is intriguing as Dobie pursues his leads.
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