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"Meet Sexton Blake" - British WWII Detective Spy Adventure
released on February 5, 1945
The Actors: David Farrar (Sexton Blake), Manning Whiley (Raoul Sudd), Dennis Arundell (Johann Sudd), John Varley (Tinker, Blake's confidential assistant), Betty Huntley-Wright (Nobby Clark), Gordon McLeod (Scotland Yard Superintendant Venner), Kathleen Harrison (Mrs. Bardell, Blake's housekeeper), Cyril Smith (Inspector Belford), Magda Kun (Yvonne), Ferdy Mayne (Slant-Eyes), Charles Farrell (Skipper), Roddy Hughes (hotel desk clerk Ferraby), Philip Godfrey (James Baird, ship's mate), Tony Arpino (Torch), Charles Rolfe (Mario Carloni), Billy Howard (policeman), John Powe (Cockney Chink), Mark Jones (barman), Jack Vyvian (Hawkins), Henry Wolston (Assistant Commissioner), David Keir (Jimmy Kunn), Elsie Wagstaff (Mrs. Baird), Robert Brooks Turner (Constable), Alfred Harris (hospital doctor), Margo Johns (hospital nurse), Olive Walter (Mrs. Ivy Watkins), Jean Simmons (Eva Watkins)
The Severed Hand & The Dead Detective
World War II is raging in Europe and London is under attack . . . There are spies all around us and much intrigue and secrecy. Our adventure opens on the dark streets of London on a bridge above the Themes . . . we see a man lurking over a body . . . and then two men struggling . . . One of the men falls over the bridge and drops onto the deck of a small boat passing underneath. The man is dead, and curiously enough he has a hand in his coat pocket . . . Not his own hand, but a bloody hand cut at the wrist from another person. Famous detective Sexton Blake is enjoying a pint at a nearby pub with the Superintendent of Scotland yard, and thanks to a tip from Blake's personal assistant Tinker, Sexton Blake and the man from Scotland Yard go down to the docks and check out the dead man with the severed hand in his pocket. The next day a man visits Sexton Blake and wants to pay him to investigate the sudden death of his girlfriend's brother, who was found dead . . . and with one of his hands brutally cut from his arm. Famous detective Sexton Blake instructs his assistant to follow the man, because they are about to embark on their most dangerous and adventurous crime hunt ever. Tinker follows the man to his hotel, and another shady man is also following . . . at the hotel a mysterious woman approaches the man, and Tinker later follows the woman, as does the other stranger who is following . . . . This leads to that and the woman evades both Tinker and Sexton Blake, and the shadowy stranger who is also trying to follow her. But before long Sexton Blake and Tinker are knocked out and when they awaken they are gaged and tied in a dark room. Two foreign fellows demand that they tell everything they know or be killed . . . Well . . . Sexton Blake and his assistant Tinker don't know very much yet . . . So one of the men shoots Tinker and he drops to the floor, and a second later a shot rings out and the famous detective Sexton Blake drops to the floor . . . What the heck is going on? . . . We have just begun a great British detective spy adventure and both of our leading men are lying dead on the floor . . . What kind of story are these amazing Brits laying out for us now? I've never seen a crime drama where the leading character, with his name in the title of the movie no less, is brutally shot dead in the first few minutes of the drama . . . . Hell's Bells . . . . Where can this mystery be going now? . . . 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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2014 was an exciting year for me, and I want to say thank you to every visitor that enjoys these old movies as much as I do. Four years ago I found myself with the knowledge to create nice web pages, along with a stack of old public domain movies that I owned and enjoyed. I decided to share them with the world . . . I thought that the 150 or so movies that I had collected were all the public domain movies in existence, but soon discovered more, and with good research and the help of the internet I am still discovering lost classics to share. Thanks to the amazing people at the Dream Network I am able to share more than 2,000 almost forgotten classics, with many more sitting on my shelf waiting their turn to be added to this web site. In 2014 the number of friends visiting the site and enjoying the movies tripled, and I am very grateful. One day in 2014 I got an e-mail note from Sir Robert Rietty, a British actor and voice-over specialist who wanted to thank me for sharing movies featuring himself and his famous acting teacher father Victor Rietti. We became e-mail friends, and I was able to find even more of his movies that were in public domain and share them with him and you, and Sir Robert was gracious enough to share behind-the-scenes stories about some of his experiences. I have also been honored to meet and become friends with Canadian director Rex Bromfield, a longtime friend of Richard Burton. Rex shared two experiences with Burton that have never been made public before, and I shared them with you in my reviews of the 1973 Welsh productions starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Divorce His and the sequel Divorce Hers. I was also fortunate in discovering Adrian, a film collector in England, and I have been able to purchase many old British films that I, and indeed most folk outside Britain have never seen or heard of. I cannot describe with words how much joy I have enjoyed building this web site and sharing the movies that I love with the rest of the world. Thank you all for sharing in my journey and exploring the stories produced during the first years of motion picture history. The past four years have been an incredible journey, but I suspect that the best is yet ahead of us, so stick around and visit often . . . And don't be shy about sending me a note, I cherish every one and respond to all of them.
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