Monday, March 05, 2012


Robert Armstrong, a American tourist in London, wants to get a taste of real English life; while he's wandering around in a thick London fog, he winds up in a big, seemingly deserted house and finds a dead body in a chair. He races out to the street and bumps into Englishman Tyrell Davis, but when they return to the house, the body is gone and the man of the house (Henry Stephenson) and his wife insist they've been there all along. Stephenson's niece, Helen Mack, who has only just arrived for a visit from Canada and hasn't seen her uncle in years, tries to comfort Armstrong, when who should show up but the corpse in the chair (Ralph Bellamy) who tells the two that he's a secret agent who is about to expose Stephenson as a fraud and a thief. Bellamy gets Armstrong, Mack, and a friendly cat burglar (Roland Young) to help him, but soon it becomes clear that Bellamy may not be a good guy at all. Who can Armstrong and Mack trust? Is anyone telling the truth? This is a light-hearted thriller which reminded me a Hitchcock film from the year before, NUMBER SEVENTEEN, with its limited sets (a couple of row houses), people sneaking in and out of said houses, nobody being quite who they seem to be, and even a bungling burglar. Armstrong, who was fairly wooden in KING KONG, is peppier here, and he and Mack make a nice pair; Young is fun as always. The plot twists are fairly predictable but are still fun to follow. (Pictured are Armstrong and Mack, with Bellamy in the mirror.) [TCM]

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