Review: ‘London by Night’

A workmanlike script [from the play The Umbrella Man by Will Scott], the dialog of which is both intelligent and punchy, goes a good distance in making London by Night the meritorious melodrama it is. There's no redundance, no sappiness and no language that would be out of keeping with the characters or the setting.

A workmanlike script [from the play The Umbrella Man by Will Scott], the dialog of which is both intelligent and punchy, goes a good distance in making London by Night the meritorious melodrama it is. There’s no redundance, no sappiness and no language that would be out of keeping with the characters or the setting.

Entire locale is a certain section of London and much of the action is out-of-doors. Background throughout, in homes, shops, a pub and elsewhere, also add to the note of authenticity.

Among the virtues of the picture is the skillful manner in which suspense is sustained. Suspicion is pointed in various interesting directions and one of the novelties of the plot is that two murders were of imaginary victims.

Remarkable thing about the picture is that, while its players are not widely known, with minor exceptions the performances are extremely good. In the top spots, George Murphy acquits himself creditably as a romantic lead, while Rita Johnson digs herself deeply into audience favor in a role that calls for less work than allotted Murphy. Eddie Quillan’s drunk bit is excellent and his English accent worthy. Another whose work is more than ordinarily competent is George Zucco, who plays a Scotland Yard inspector.

London by Night

Production

M-G-M. Director William Thiele; Producer Sam Zimbalist; Screenplay George Oppenheimer; Camera Leonard M. Smith; Editor George Boemler; Music William Axt

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1937. Running time: 70 MIN.

With

George Murphy Rita Johnson Virginia Field Leo G. Carroll George Zucco
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