12 February 2015 | MikeMagi
Modern directors who don't know how to make a movie in less than two hours could take a lesson from this fast-paced 84 minute thriller, shot in 1934. The tale centers on a killer who uses a cane-sword to skewer policemen, warning Scotland Yard of each murder before it occurs. Unfortunately, jewel thief Robert Montgomery happens to be heisting a diamond just as another bobby is slain -- and becomes the principal suspect. The only way he can clear his name is to catch the maniac, pausing from time to time to dally with Elizabeth Allan as the police commissioner's fetching daughter. As the mystery moves crisply along, there are no long tracking shots, lingering looks at people's faces or endless glimpses of scenery. Instead, Montgomery's bonhomie, Allan's saucy appeal, a clever, amusing script and tight editing make Mr. X a pleasure to watch.