Monday, January 7, 2013

Dark Streets of Cairo (1940)

After archaeologists (Ralph Byrd and Eddie Quinlan) find the Seven Jewels of the Seventh Pharaoh, bad guy George Zucco plans on making a killing by switching the jewels with fakes and selling them to one of his clients. What he doesn't take into account is that his minions are idiots and that their missteps put an already suspicious police inspector on his trail.

Breezy comedy mystery thriller romance set in Cairo is full of stereotypes, low brow humor and just a touch of suspense. Never intended to be a great movie, the film is very much a wonderful time killer. It's a film full of great character actors skulking about, causing mischief and cracking wise and thus putting a smile on the face of the audience.

Actually saying this is a mystery is a stretch since we know who did what and why. Is it a crime film? yea, well, it is but the crooks aren't all that smart, going through way too many twists to just get the jewels and get some money. Even by the standards of these sort of films these guys are working a tad too hard.

The real joy here is the cast, Zucco, Byrd, Quillan (who I normally hate), Rod LaRoque and Henry Brandon all are at the top of their game and seem to be having fun. Their fun translates into the audience.

If you run a cross this film take the time to see it.

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