Inspector Hornleigh on Holiday (1939)

The second film in the Inspector Hornleigh franchise sees our hero enjoying a miserable rainy holiday in Brighton, which luckily is interrupted by a mysterious death. This film feels slightly more entertaining than the first one, but again it is the two main actors, Gordon Harker and Alastair Sim, who have to carry this film. +++ +++ [click title to read review]

Le coup du parapluie (1980)

A carefree, philandering actor, who is also a bit of a hapless fool, wants to get cast in the role of a hitman, but instead is accidentally hired as a real hitman for an actual assassination plot. And now everyone is out to get him. This film is entertaining, but not great. In fact, it barely qualifies as “good”. Gert Fröbe elevates the film somewhat by his sheer screen presence and the larger-than-life persona of the racist arms-dealer he plays. +++ +++ [click title to read review]

Inspector Hornleigh (1939)

The first of the three Inspector Hornleigh films is mildly entertaining, but nothing special. It lives almost exclusively off the actors in the two central roles: Gordon Harker and Alastair Sim. +++ +++ +++ +++ [click title to read review]

Der Herr mit der Schwarzen Melone (1960)

Der Herr mit der Schwarzen Melone is a Swiss crime-comedy with very little going on. Walter Roderer perfectly encapsulates the shy and awkward lead character, and there are other great actors in the cast, but the plot is too thin and the story simply meanders towards its eventual conclusion. +++ +++ [click title to read review]

Casino Royale (1967)

Casino Royale is a comedy spoofing the character and world of James Bond as seen in the first four Bond films, especially the franchise’s obsession with nubile young women. The film consists of a number of “episodes” split up between five-and-a-half directors; and one of the lead actors was fired half-way through the film. Still, while the plot is nonsensical and incoherent, there are some enjoyable elements to be found here; but they are few and far between. +++ +++ [click title to read review]

Whistling in the Dark (1941)

A writer and actor of radio detective dramas gets into trouble when real-life crooks try to employ his creative mind for their own nefarious purposes. This is the first of Red Skelton’s three “Whistling in …” films. It is for the most part rather nicely paced and entertaining enough, even though Skelton’s antics seem not entirely the right choice for the character and genre. +++ +++ [click title to read review]

Topper Returns (1941)

Cosmo Topper is back, and so is his uncanny propensity to attract ghosts.
This third and final film gets away from the original books and takes the franchise genre-wise in an entirely new direction: a haunted house murder-mystery case. +++ +++ [click title to read review]

Spione im Savoy Hotel (1932)

Famous German radio presenter Alfred Braun (played by himself) turns detective when an important document is stolen. Featuring the Comedian Harmonists as well as a trio of Italian clowns, this film is an odd concoction made of many elements, none of which really work. +++ +++ [click title to read review]

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