Review: ‘The Squeaker’

Typically fine Korda production, starring Edmund Lowe in an adaptation from the Edgar Wallace play. Despite the fact that Wallace's son Bryan is credited with the scenario, the screenplay is by Edward O. Berkman, and there now remains not a single line, joke or wisecrack by the original author.

Typically fine Korda production, starring Edmund Lowe in an adaptation from the Edgar Wallace play. Despite the fact that Wallace’s son Bryan is credited with the scenario, the screenplay is by Edward O. Berkman, and there now remains not a single line, joke or wisecrack by the original author.

Barest framework of Wallace Sr remains, but it has been changed from a whodunit to a newer formula, that of revealing early the identity of the arch-criminal who for years baffled Scotland Yard, and interest in the film is wholly dependent on how the Yard unravels the crime.

Role of Inspector Barrabal has been built up into a romantic lead for Edmund Lowe and he fulfills this purpose to a nicety. That of the villain, played by Sebastian Shaw, is not carried through convincingly. Audience is asked to believe that a ruthless criminal, who doesn’t even stop at murder, breaks down and confesses in a cowering, hysterical manner when confronted with the corpse of his victim.

There are only two feminine roles of consequence in the cast. Ann Todd is the lead in a colorless part, and Tamara Desni is a cabaret singer in love with the murdered man. Fine piece of character work on the part of Robert Newton, eventually murdered, is outstanding.

The Squeaker

UK

Production

London. Director William K. Howard; Producer Alexander Korda; Screenplay Edward O. Berkman; Camera Georges Perinal; Editor Jack Dennis, Russell Lloyd; Music Miklos Rozsa; Art Director Vincent Korda

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1937. Running time: 79 MIN.

With

Edmund Lowe Sebastian Shaw Ann Todd Tamara Desni Robert Newton Alastair Sim
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