"Blake of Scotland Yard" is a cheap B-movie made by a 4th-rate studio. It's not entirely bad...though it's also not particularly good or worth seeing. The biggest problem is that the movie has lots of action and cops doing undercover work--but little in the way of acting or characters.
This mystery film stars Ralph Byrd—a man later known for playing Dick Tracy. It begins with a meeting of representatives of the League of Nations. They are to watch a test by Sir James in which he will demonstrate a machine that will supposedly make war obsolete—a plot very similar to the one from "Arrest Bulldog Drummond"--made two years after "Blake of Scotland Yard".
Sadly, this wonderful device is stolen by a goofy guy named 'The Scorpion' and his gang. The Scorpion is pure B-movie corn--a masked guy who, when not wearing a REALLY cheesy mask, runs around like a chimp who insists on always blocking his face from the camera. This is just silly and his identity COULD have been kept from the audience with competent direction...though I think there was no evidence of competence during the entire film.
There are many way overdone scenes. One is a silly bit involving two of the most unconvincing drunks in film history. They made Foster Brooks' old drunk act seem subtle by comparison!! However, the worse bit was the character of a severely mentally challenged guy in the last portion of the movie. He is handled as insensitively as you possibly can do it. The guy is practically portrayed like an animal--making guttural noises, grunting and running about like a gorilla (wow--more simian-inspired moments in the film). The film should get some sort of award for setting back the public's acceptance of the mentally retarded at least 50 years with this awful bit. I wanted to laugh at it, but also realized such sick characters are no laughing matter--just sad and pathetic.
Overall, a stupid film that is bad even for a low-budget B. Ralph Byrd's being in it isn't too surprising, as he appeared in MANY craptastic Bs over the years. Only of interest to weirdos like me who will watch most any B movie!
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