Midnight Menace, or Bombs Over London (July 1, 1937)

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Midnight Menace, Bombs over London
 

Released on July 1, 1937: A group of arch-criminal businessmen employ a mad scientist to build remote control automatic airplanes that will bomb London at midnight on November 5 unless a cartoonist from a London newspaper can stop them.

Produced by Angus MacLeod

Directed by Sinclair Hill

The Actors: Charles Farrell (Briant Gaunt), Margaret Vyner (Mary Stevens), Fritz Kortner (Minister Peters of Grovnia), Danny Green (Socks, American henchman), Wallace Evennett (Smith, bowler-hat henchman), Monti DeLyle (Pierre, knife throwing henchman), Dino Galvani (Tony, slender henchman), Arthur Finn (Mac, newspaper editor), Laurence Hanray (Sir George, lead conspirator), Arthur Gomez (delegate Baron von Kleisch), Raymond Lovell (Harris), Evan John (Doctor Marsh), Reynes Barton (conference president), Terence O'Brien (secret agent Fearns), Dennis Val Norton (Vronsky, Peters' aide), Billy Bray (Banks), Sydney King (Graham Stevens), Andreas Malandrinos (Zadek), Victor Tandy (Groves)

 

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War and Peace, and the Cartoonist

When World War II began, and for years afterward, war was a serious and deadly thing to behold in motion pictures, but before that war began it was different. Once World War II began actors in war movies and story plots became very serious, very deadly, and any comedy in those movies was intended to break the tension of the serious stories of battle. This movie, made when peace was still presumed to be eternal, takes a very different tone. I wouldn't describe the acting as 'over the top' or like the extreme over-acting of the first years of motion pictures, but it is different . . . . Melodramatic might be the word to use. The story involves a newspaper political cartoonist, and the movie itself seems to have an old-fashioned comic book feel to it. The story and pace of the action also reminds me of the one-reel serials that would be shown every week in the theatres before the main picture. The bad guys are a bit too serious and dastardly to be 'real' . . . . But for me it is not a bad thing, it is a fun thing . . . . Like watching a comic book story on the screen . . . . Very cool . . . We have arch-criminals, remote-control bomber planes, an evil scientist creating miraculous inventions of death, conspirators from around the globe working for the mysterious group of businessmen bent on plunging the world into chaos. . . . Versus one cartoonist for a London newspaper and the pretty girl who writes the society column. London is faced with destruction on November 5 when five planes operated by an evil scientist by remote control will bomb London into dust . . . . Unless one newspaper cartoonist and one pretty girl . . . and a mysterious secret service dude can save the day . . . . . er . . . I mean save the night. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Margaret Vyner
Margaret Vyner
Terence O'Brien makes his entrance
Terence O'Brien makes his entrance
Arthur Finn and Charles Farrell
Arthur Finn and Charles Farrell
Arthur Finn
Arthur Finn
Arthur Gomez
Arthur Gomez
Arthur Gomez
Arthur Gomez
Charles Farrell and Fritz Kortner
Charles Farrell and Fritz Kortner
CHarles Farrell and Margaret Vyner
CHarles Farrell and Margaret Vyner
Charles Farrell and Terence O'Brien
Charles Farrell and Terence O'Brien
Danny Green and Fritz Kortner
Danny Green and Fritz Kortner
Danny Green
Danny Green
Dino Galvani
Dino Galvani
Evan John and Fritz Kortner
Evan John and Fritz Kortner
Evan John
Evan John
Fritz Kortner and Charles Farrell
Fritz Kortner and Charles Farrell
Fritz Kortner and Charles Farrell
Fritz Kortner and Charles Farrell
Fritz Kortner and Dennis Val Norton
Fritz Kortner and Dennis Val Norton
Fritz Kortner and Margaret Vyner
Fritz Kortner and Margaret Vyner
Fritz Kortner as Minister Peters of Grovnia
Fritz Kortner as Minister Peters of Grovnia
Fritz Kortner
Fritz Kortner
Laurence Hanray
Laurence Hanray
Margaret Vyner and Terence O'Brien
Margaret Vyner and Terence O'Brien
Margaret Vyner
Margaret Vyner
Reynes Barton
Reynes Barton
Terence O'Brien and Charles Farrell
Terence O'Brien and Charles Farrell