Sunday, 10 January 2010


An early film by the very talented Thorold Dickinson who would later make such memorable films as GASLIGHT and THE QUEEN OF SPADES. I grew up about three miles away from The Arsenal Stadium at Highbury, London, but I confess that I've never been in the stadium and have only ever seen it in the distance from the top deck of a bus, further I've never seen a football/soccer match live. Having no particular interest in the sport this film has minimal attraction for me and that is only historical. Arsenal were Britain's premier football club before the Second World War and this film must have done fantastic business in north London when released. The film is a rather routine effort enlivened only by the performance of Leslie Banks (Count Zaroff himself) as an eccentric detective. Anthony Bushell who is mudered early in the film later went on to co-direct Olivier's RICHARD III and Hammer's TERROR OF THE TONGS. Very much of its time and rather dull unless you are a soccer or Leslie Banks fan or like policemen in ballet dresses. Rating **

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