Sunday, July 17, 2011

Inspector Hornliegh Goes For It (aka Mail train) (1941)

Inspector Hornliegh and Sargent Bingham return in the final outting a war time story that has them chasing after Nazi spies.

The story has the pair going undercover on a military base where they are searching out the source of coded short wave messages. Loose lips sink ships or in this case blow cover, as Bingham's innocent words in an effort to pick up a bar maid ends up with the pair mentioned in enemy dispatches. Thrown off the case they still pursue leads and it isn't long before someone turns up dead.

A slightly more jokey mystery this is a good, if uneven, follow up to the previous Inspector Hornliegh films. The problem with the film is that the film is more jokey than previous entries, with the sequences with Bingham being played too much for laughs. To be certain the laughs are often tinged with tension, but the problem is that the lighter tone works against the mystery making the film feel like it's moving in fits and starts instead of being the blended whole it actually is.

On the other hand the thrills when they come, the final mail train sequence for example, are expertly handled making for one hell of an exciting conclusion.

Taken on its own terms the film is quite good and definitely worth searching out. (I got my copies of today's and yesterday's films from R&B Enterprises.)

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