Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Shop on Sly Corner (1947)

This effective British thriller directed by George King is one of the films brought out on the Odeon Entertainment label. Though the sound could do with some extra restoration, the image is good and it was nice to see this well-produced and slightly unusual crime thriller.

The Shop on Sly Corner features Oskar Homolka as Desius Heiss, a Frenchman who cannot go back to France, for reasons which are at first unclear. He is a kind and generous man, running an antique shop very successfully without over-charging his shoppers or under-paying those selling to him. However he has a sideline that runs very much against his image - and when his shop assistant Archie Fellows (Kenneth Griffiths) finds out, he begins to blackmail him. While Heiss is a sympathetic character (his actions are sometimes at odds with the law, but he does follow a code of conduct and his past sufferings explain his attitudes to some extent), Archie Fellows is an utterly odious character - he make Othello's Iago look like a boy scout. Heiss will do anything to stop his daughter, the talented violin soloist Margaret (Muriel Pavlow) from finding out about his shady side, but eventually Fellows makes one demand too many.

Scotland Yard's Major Elliot (Garry Marsh) ends up investigating the case, and is an old friend of Heiss. It all leads to a conclusion that seems fitting and unfair at the same time. There were a few plot twists, and even though I saw many of them coming, the film is tightly plotted, well acted and keeps the suspense levels racked up all the way to the end. A fine crime drama, though not at all your usual "cops and robbers" affair. The Shop on Sly Corner is also notable for featuring Diana Dors in her debut (though uncredited) appearance as Mildred, Archie's girlfriend at one point.

Derek Farr, Kathleen Harrison and Irene Handl also appear in this film.

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Avanano said...

I am not such kinda person that interested in old movie, but i do like your reviews..

CaptainD said...

Well thank you! It took me a while to appreciate older movies to be honest, some are really great, others... not so good.