SEXTON BLAKE, BRITISH CRIME SOLVER
MEET SEXTON BLAKE
- This 1944 film opens with a bizarre and intriguing murder. Late one night along the London waterfront, a man is desperately tugging at the hand of another man -- a corpse, the audience soon discovers. There clearly is something very important about the dead man's hand, as the living man goes so far as to take out a saw and start removing it. Soon after achieving his prize, he falls from a bridge to his own death. The body is hauled aboard a passing ship, and when they search the body they discover the grisly severed hand. Blake is soon on the scene, using his keen powers of detection to determine that the hand belonged to a photographer from another country. Blake retires to his digs, but it's not long before a new client appears at his door. By coincidence, this man -- an arms manufacturer -- wants Blake to investigate the death of a friend, who just happens to have been a foreign photographer. Blake and his assistant Tinker delve into the case, which leads them to a mysterious villain named Slant Eyes and an espionage plot involving a new alloy for use in airplanes that is of enormous value to both sides in the war. SPECIAL NOTE: The first 8 minutes of this movie are filmed at night and picture tends to be dark. This was the way the movie was filmed and the director intended and is not a fault of the movie.
THE ECHO MURDER
- That daring pulp-novel detective Sexton Blake is back again in The Echo Murders. David Farrar stars as Blake, a Sherlock Holmes wannabe who takes on a gang of Nazi spies. While solving a series of baffling murders, Blake is captured and beaten by the bad guys, but emerges from his ordeal none the worse for wear and with hardly a crease in his trousers. In one scene, our hero uses acid to burn off the ropes that bind his hands, miraculously doing no harm whatsoever to his wrists. Of interest is the presence in the cast of future British leading man Dennis Price, who like David Farrar seems to be grateful to have the work.