Saturday, July 16, 2011

Inspector Hornliegh (1939)

Landlady: If I'd a known that was going to happen I would have cleared him him out straight I would.

Inspector Hornliegh: Well I don't think he had this in mind when he came here.

(Exchange over the first dead body)

First of three films about Inspector Hornliegh (played by Gordon Harker) and his assistant Seargent Bingham (played by Alister Sim). It's a too brief a series that is full of witty lines and clever twists, and had the films been made in the US they might have stretched out for more than the three outings.

In this first film the Inspector is called into to investigate the murder of a lodger who had only taken his room three days earlier. He lived alone and had no visitors that anyone knew of prompting Hornliegh to state "If he lived alone,, had no visitors and there was no murder weapon the murder was a blinking miracle."

The murder weapon turns up shortly there after, as does a motive, a duplicate attache case that mirrors one being used by a high up government official to carry around his notes on the budget. In short order it becomes clear that some one is looking for inside information to make a killing financially. I'll leave you to discover what happens next and whodunnit.

A really neat little mystery the film stands out more for the characters and witty one liners tha the mystery itself. Sure it's fine to watch the mystery unravel but it's way more fun watching Harker and Sim deliver some very droll lines. Frankly I wanted to quote more from the film then I did, but it got to the point where I might as well could have posted the script.

I have no idea why these films aren't better known in the US. I suspect because never were screened as series, the second film was called Mail Train in the US so know one really knew that there was more than one film.

I really like the lot of them. They are on par with some of the best program mysteries from the same period out of Hollywood.

The first film is available at Amazon through one of the studios on demand service. The others are available from collectors. They are worth the effort to track down.

(Tomorrow is another Hornleigh adventure)

No comments:

Post a Comment