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"Midnight Episode" - British Murder Mystery
released on December 31, 1950
The Actors: Stanley Holloway (Professor Calvin Lancier Prince ), Leslie Dwyer (Albert), Reginald Tate (Chief Inspector Lucas), Meredith Edwards (Detective Sergeant Taylor), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Mister Knight the landlord), Joy Shelton (Sheila Arnold), Raymond Young (David Miller, Silver Slipper club manager), Leslie Perrins (Charles Mason), Sebastian Cabot (Benno, cafe owner), Campbell Copelin (the General), Natasha Parry (Jill Harris), Helena Carroll (nurse), Darcy Conyers (house surgeon at hospital), Edna Morris (woman in cafe), Stringer Davis (Police Sergeant), William Simons (Michael Arnold), Joseph Chelton (thug)
The Silver Slipper and the Wallet
In 1950's London people would line up . . . er . . . excuse me . . . . In 1950's London people would queue up for a play outside a theatre, and while waiting they would be entertained by street performers who would sing, tell jokes, stand on their head, or whatever their talent might be, in exchange for the odd coin tossed at them by the people in queue. The Professor, played by Stanley Holloway, is an older gentleman down on his luck who quotes from Henry VIII, to many yawns and very few coins. On this night he is standing outside the front door of The Silver Slipper nightclub next to the theater when a car rushes up and screeches to a stop. The Professor opens the car door for the driver like a doorman would, hoping for a coin in exchange, but the driver slouches over and almost out of the car. The Professor realizes that the man is dead, and he pushes him back into the car, shuts the car door and goes in search of a Bobby. As the Professor and a cop return to the car, it suddenly lurches into action and speeds off into the night! After the copper walks away assuming that the Professor is a bit whacky, the old gentleman looks down and sees a wallet . . . obviously dropped from the dead man's pocket. The Professor picks it up and our detective murder mystery has begun! We discover that the dead man was the owner of the Silver Slipper nightclub, and there are two men who might like to see him dead. First there is his club manager, a young fellow who has secretly married his daughter . . . and then there is the fellow who claims that the club owner was in the process of selling the nightclub to him. Both men want to find the dead man's wallet very badly, knowing that proof of their innocence in his death is contained in that wallet. The Scotland Yard Chief Inspector and both men are certain that the Professor has the wallet, and his life is now in danger . . . but wait just one minute . . . when the Professor is conked on the head and his room searched, both of the suspects have a rock-solid alibi for the time of the midnight episode . . . and there are no more suspects at all . . . yet someone . . . someone we will certainly not suspect . . . someone is after the Professor and the wallet, and will stop at nothing to get that wallet! Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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Make them laugh, make them cry, and back to laughter. What do people want to go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise . . . Mary Pickford
Some of my Favorites:
Probably my all time favorite movie, My Man Godfrey in 1936 not only gives us an comedic peek at the wealthiest and poorest during the Great Depression, but also was the vehicle for Carole Lombard to create the movie icon of the 'dumb blonde screwball comedy' that is a popular theme even today.
Meet John Doe - 1941: The Frank Capra classic set in the Great Depression era that pits the common man against the political masters. You can't be a fan of old movies until you watch Frank Capra's old movies. This one premiered seventy years ago, and it still stirs our emotions and thoughts now. It is as timely as if it were produced today.
Angel and the Bad Man - 1947: One of the great teachers of the Secret Law of Attraction is Dr. Joe Vitale . . . but before he was even born actor John Wayne paid for and produced this Cowboy Western that featured The Law of Attraction.
The Time of Your Life - 1948: James Cagney financed this strangely different feel-good movie, and he plays the part of Joe, a barfly that tries to live his life by making everyone around him better. I watch this one often, and try to become more like Joe every day.
Painted Faces - 1929: Comedy legend Joe E. Brown is a circus clown in a surprisingly serious role as a juror in a Christmas week murder trial who tells the other jurors a story that will change their verdicts in a pre-code drama that could not have been made a few years later.
Charade - 1963: It doesn't get much better than Cary Grant and Audry Hepburn in a tale of death, deception, spies and lost wealth as a woman tries to sort out the good guys from the bad guys in this cold-war spy thriller love story.