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23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 1956 (UK)
A blind American writer living in London stumbles upon a criminal conspiracy involving kidnapping and extortion.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Nigel Balchin (screenplay by), Philip MacDonald (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Van Johnson ... Phillip Hannon
Vera Miles ... Jean Lennox
Cecil Parker ... Bob Matthews
Patricia Laffan ... Miss Alice MacDonald
Maurice Denham ... Inspector Grovening
Estelle Winwood ... Barmaid at The Eagle
Liam Redmond ... Joe
Isobel Elsom ... Lady Syrett
Martin Benson ... Pillings
Natalie Norwick ... Janet Murch
Terence de Marney ... Det. Sgt. Luce
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Storyline

Famed American playwright Phillip Hannon is in London making revisions to his play currently running in the West End. He is doing this mundane work rather than write a new play since he has retreated from life following the recent and permanent loss of his sight. That retreat from life includes breaking off his engagement to his former secretary, Jean Lennox, who still loves him. One evening at his local pub, he overhears a conversation between a man and a woman that he knows involves criminal activity, what he surmises to be the kidnapping plot of a child in exactly one week's time. The local police patronizingly dismiss his report as the overactive imagination of a blind writer. With Jean and his faithful manservant Bob Matthews by his side - the former with some reluctance on Phil's part - Phil goes on a search to uncover the plot using what little pieces of information he has at hand, which includes the man's name being Evans, the woman, who is involved under duress, working as a ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen's most unusual crime-challenge! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1956 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

23 Paces to Baker Street See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,375,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (optical prints)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The department store visited by Alice MacDonald and Bob Matthews is a genuine shop, Barkers of Kensington. The 135-year-old art-deco establishment closed in January 2006. See more »

Goofs

The blind Philip Hannan doesn't "look" at things he's picking up, or people he's talking to. People who have lost their sight still do this, though people blind from birth may not. See more »

Quotes

Phillip Hannon: [blind man] Well how does it look? Is it beautiful?
Bob Matthews: Yes... yes, very beautiful - view, buildings.
Phillip Hannon: [sarcastically] You make it all so vivid, I can almost see it.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Nursemaid Who Disappeared (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice And Twisted
6 February 2006 | by robertconnorSee all my reviews

On a visit to London, an apparently recently blinded American playwrite over-hears a highly suspicious conversation which may or may not mean a kidnapping... together with his manservant and former secretary he begins to try and put the pieces together.

For 1956 this is a surprisingly twisted piece, involving both highly unconventional villain and target/victim. Delicious shots of mid-50's London (check out Barker's of Kensington), a serviceable performance by Johnson, Miles decorative but wasted (except in one scene), the glorious Parker, and Winwood hamming it up to the hilt, all add up to an enjoyable sub-Hitchcockian romp. Yes it owes a debt to 'Rear Window', but then 'Wait Until Dark' owes a debt to this!


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