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Harry Morell (Theo Shall) has just made a groundbreaking invention -
and then the papers are stolen from his office while he was lured out into
the street by a dead man, Hewitt (Hans Halden) - who soon proves to be not
dead at all. Inspector Brown of Scotland Yard (Ernst Karchow) is totally
baffled by all of this, and only a certain Jimmy Ward (Hermann Speelmans)
can somehow be linked to the case - but actually, there is no direct
evidence against him, so he might just have been at the wrong place at the
wrong time ... or indeed has he? Fact is, he soon follows the trail of the
papers to a waiting car, occupied by none other than Morell's fiancée
Maria (Trude Marlen), and he's quick to promise her to visit her in her
hotel this evening - apparently to blackmail her.
Truth is of course,
Maria is in league with Baranoff (Edwin Jürgensen) and her own sister
Lola (Elisabeth Wendt), who all work for a spy ring hell-bent on getting
Morell's papers out of the country, but now that she has been blackmailed
by Ward, she hides the papers from the others as sort of her life
insurance. Ward is quick to realize Maria is not one of the bad guys in
this piece, only a pawn, so by pretending her hotel's on fire, he forces
Maria to give up the whereabouts of the papers ... but they are gone -
which is slightly odd because Maria claims nobody but her knew about the
papers' hiding place (not that it would have been all that hard to find
though). Here the film loses me because Ward then figures somebody will
break into Maria's room to steal the papers (?), and somebody does, and
drops the papers (don't even ask), so Ward gets his hands on the papers
and returns them to Morell - but it's found out that the papers have been
copied and are fake and therefore worthless (no idea - why would anybody
copy fake papers, and if they're not fake and copied still, why would they
be worthless?). Oh, and did I mention Hewitt was in the meantime killed
for real by a poisoned cigarette, which Ward then gets his hands on?
for the finale, Ward figures he will be shot that very evening in his
home, and so he is - but he has taken all the proper precautions to not
die from it, and now he just waits who will show up at his doorstep to see
if he's really dead ... and everybody shows up, Maria, Lola, and Baranoff
plus an accomplice, and of course inspector Brown.
Now for no apparent
reason, Ward hands Hewitt's poisoned cigarette over to Maria to smoke
(actually, not the real one, just a decoy), and figures whoever will save
her is the killer (because ...). Lola saves her, but not out of sisterly
love - it turns out she is not her sister -, but ... I don't know. She
then hits Ward over the head with a bottle, but is quickly arrested by the
inspector, as are Baranoff and accomplice, only Maria is allowed to go
free because she was forced to join the others ... and looks very innocent
of course. While Ward's out cold though, inspector Brown checks his ID and
finds out he's actually Sherlock Holmes. And it's Sherlock Holmes too who
eventually finds the real papers: Inside the fake fur of Lola's poodle.
the most part, this is a decently paced murder mystery/espionage flick
that cleverly enough loosens things up a bit every now and again comedy
(if not essentially good one) and that does feature a mostly decent cast.
What pretty much ruins the film though is that narrative logic is thrown
out of the window every now and again (see above), which makes it
impossible to actually follow the story properly.
In other words,
definitely not the worst (light-weight) murder mystery I've ever seen, but
it could have done with a better script. And pulling Sherlock Holmes out
of the hat towards the end seems somewhat ... cheap, actually.