17 September 2007 | celebes
Low budget early British film
This was just shown on Turner Classic Movies, the first time its been shown on television in the US. It was made by Teddington Studios, the British studio then under the control of Warner Brothers. It was a "quota quickie", a film made under the British Cinematograph Films Act of 1927- created to counter the dominance of American films in Britain.
The film is a simple (if properly restrained British) love story. It begins as an unemployed car salesman, Peter Middleton, who has lost the last of his money in cards, takes a street orphan under his wing and pretending the orphan is his son, persuades a softhearted landlady to rent him a room, although he has no money.
The next day, while trying to con the chauffeur of a fancy motorcar, he meets the rich young Cynthia Hatch. However, intrigued by his audacity, she hides her identity from him when he mistakes her for a working girl and to impress her, he pretends that the car is his. And so, in the best scene in the movie, she convinces him to take her to a fancy restaurant that he, of course, he can't pay for. There she puts him up to going to the powerful Mr. Hatch (her father, still unknown to him) to pitch a scheme for petrol (gas) stations. He promises that he will make good and then hire her as his secretary.
However, her scheme backfires when her father rejects him and he goes to work for the competition. He holds her to her promise, and she finds herself working for her father's chief competitor.
Its all wrapped up neatly in a little more than an hour as the young entrepreneur gets the best of his future father-in-law and wins the girl. As the girl, Nancy O'Neil is quite good and Ian Hunter is good, if a little stiff, as the lead. After this film, he went to Hollywood, where he may be best known for playing King Richard in "The Adventures of Robin Hood".
It was directed by Michael Powell, who went on to make "Black Narcissus" and "The Red Shoes", among other classics.