Bait (1949)

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Cat and mouse games!
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UK / 68 minutes / bw / Advance, Adelphi Dir & Pr: Frank Richardson Scr: Mary Benedetta, Francis Miller Story: Bait (n.d.; play) by Frank Richardson Cine: Ernest Palmer Cast: Diana Napier, John Bentley, John Oxford, Patricia Owen (i.e., Patricia Owens), Kenneth Hyde, Sheila Robins, Willoughby Goddard, Douglas Trow, Richard Gatehouse, Jack Gracey, Wolf Tauber.

Having lost heavily one night at cards, a quartet of seemingly respectable characters hatch a plot to earn some money. Young Tom Hannaford (uncredited, but I think Tauber) has been “escorting” rich and none too bright Nina Revere (Robins) in the temporary absence of her husband. Tonight she was wearing a pair of diamond earrings that his friend Jim Prentice (Hyde), an executive for insurance firm Varley & Varley, values at £12,000.

Nina (Sheila Robins) says goodnight to toyboy Tom (Wolf Tauber?).

Jim (Kenneth Hyde) examines the earrings.

John Oxford as Bromley.

Eleanor (Napier), forceful leader of the quartet, instructs Tom to borrow the earrings on the pretext of getting them cleaned at Cartier. She, Eleanor, will take them to upscale fence John Hartley (Goddard) and extract £8,000 from him for the items. Thereafter, the gang of four—which includes Continue reading

Mystery Junction (1951)

UK / 61 minutes / bw / Merton Park, Anglo-Amalgamated Dir & Scr: Michael McCarthy Pr: William H. Williams Cine: Robert LaPresle Cast: Sydney Tafler, Barbara Murray, Pat Owens (i.e., Patricia Owens), Martin Benson, Christine Silver, David Davies, Charles Irwin, Philip Dale, Pearl Cameron, John Salew, Ewen Solon, Denis Webb, Cyril Smith, Sydney Monckton, Stanley Rose.

Mystery Junction - 0 opener

Every now and then the UK’s cheapie studio Merton Park could produce a gem, and this is arguably one of them. Mystery Junction may not be a diamond or an opal, but at the very least it’s a fine piece of costume jewelry. In Sydney Tafler, Barbara Murray, Ewen Solon, Patricia Owens, Martin Benson and others it had the kind of cast that most B-movies could only dream of.

Snowy, snowy weather. Elderly spinster Miss Jessica Owens (Silver) is on the train from Pickering to Stanton and points beyond when she realizes that the man sharing her compartment is none other than Larry Gordon (Tafler), author of the thriller to which she has been glued ever since the train left Pickering two hours ago. Of course, he signs her book for her and, with that distinctive smile that authors produce when (a) the good news is that they’re being fawned on and (b) the bad news is that this is likely to be tiresome, he starts answering a few of her questions along the lines of “Where Continue reading

Paper Orchid (1949)

UK / 85 minutes / bw / Ganesh, Columbia Dir: Roy Baker (i.e., Roy Ward Baker) Pr: John R. Sloan Scr: Val Guest, Arthur La Bern Story: Paper Orchid (1948) by Arthur La Bern Cine: Basil Emmott Cast: Hugh Williams, Hy Hazell, Garry Marsh, Sidney James, Ivor Barnard, Andrew Cruickshank, Walter Hudd, Ella Retford, Hughie Green, Vida Hope, Frederick Leister, Vernon Greeves, Patricia Owens, Rolf Lefebvre, Ray Ellington Quartet.

 

Paper Orchid - 0a other opener

Stella Mason (Hazell), whose journalistic credentials are that she’s the daughter of the editor of a provincial newspaper, the Littlehampton Trumpet, bluffs her way into a job at the Daily National on the pretext that she once saw the National’s proprietor, Lord Croup, in Littlehampton with a floozie. Her tale should have gotten her booted out of the National’s offices but, at her interview with widowered Chief Editor Frank “Mac” McSweeney (Williams), it’s evident that she’s caught his eye:

Mac: Tell me, have you had any experience?
Stella: Oh, yes, I’ve had lots of experience.
Mac: Yes, I’m sure you have, but I mean . . . I mean newspaper experience.

Mac takes her on, on probation, for a month, even though he has severe doubts about employing a female journalist: so far as he’s concerned, journalism is a man’s job. The idea that the newspaper industry is infested with this sexist idiocy is reinforced throughout the movie, with even the proprietor’s widow, Lady Croup (Retford), later pronouncing that Continue reading