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Inspector Hornleigh (1939)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Mystery | 14 August 1939 (UK)
Inspector Hornleigh and his assistant Sergeant Bingham are called in to investigate a murder that involves the theft of government secrets.


Eugene Forde


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Complete credited cast:
Gordon Harker ... Inspector Hornleigh
Alastair Sim ... Sergeant Bingham
Miki Hood Miki Hood ... Ann Gordon, Owner Pheasant Inn
Wally Patch Wally Patch ... Sam Holt aka Keyhole Charlie
Steven Geray ... Michael Kavanos
Edward Underdown Edward Underdown ... Peter Dench the Chancellor's Secretary
Hugh Williams ... Bill Gordon, Ann's Brother
Gibb McLaughlin ... Alfred Cooper, Pheasant Inn Porter
Ronald Adam ... Wittens, Pheasant Inn Manager
Eliot Makeham ... Alexander Parkinson, Leather Worker


When a landlady finds one of her tenants murdered, Inspector Hornleigh is sent to investigate. Hornleigh's assistant, Sergeant Bingham, soon finds an attaché case that had been stolen from the murdered man. When Hornleigh examines the case, inside it he finds a bag that was used to carry important government documents. The documents have been taken, and to make things even more confusing, a duplicate of the stolen bag soon turns up. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | See All (1) »


Comedy | Mystery


Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The first of three "Inspector Hornleigh" films, all starring Gordon Harker and Alastair Sim. See more »


Inspector Hornleigh: You pestiferous elongated flat-footed bald-headed bunch of haggis. Why didn't you stay on your own native heath tossing yer sporran... instead of unloading yourself on the long-suffering English?
See more »


Followed by Mail Train (1941) See more »


Rock a Bye
Music by 'Lee Sims (I)'
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User Reviews

Comic Duo of Harker, Sim Work Well Together
18 May 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

The comic duo of Gordon Harker and Alastair Sim make "Inspector Hornleigh" an entertaining and watchable light mystery story. The plot itself has a couple of good touches - for example, getting good mileage out of a pair of similar briefcases - but it is the two main actors who make the film worth watching.

Harker (who plays Inspector Hornleigh) began his career with good supporting roles in three of Alfred Hitchcock's silent movies, and had a good sense of comic timing that he puts to good use here as the inspector in charge of a baffling case. Sim was an idiosyncratic, entertaining character actor who is best known for his wonderful portrayal of Scrooge in the 1951 version of "A Christmas Carol". Here he is Sgt. Bingham, the Inspector's earnest but inept sidekick, a good role for his distinctive talents.

"Inspector Hornleigh" is fairly routine as a mystery, but it is made very watchable by this entertaining comic pair who work well together. It is little known today, but in its time it was considered good enough that it led to two sequels. It is worth seeing if you like mysteries with some comic touches.

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Release Date:

14 August 1939 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Inspector Hornleigh See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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