Checkmate (1935)

  |  Crime


An under-cover detective lodges with a family as he tries to foil a gang of jewellery thieves.

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23 May 2016 | Leofwine_draca
5
| Three well-known actors in a quota quickie
Although this British crime film is a slow moving quota quickie, it's worth watching thanks to the efforts of the central cast members, a number of whom were or would be famous in their time. It's one of those films that seems to have very little in the way of plot or relevance in the first half an hour, but gradually picks up to a generally fun if over the top climax.

CHECKMATE concerns the activities of a rather dull family presided over by the ever-present Felix Aylmer as a rather stuffy old fellow. One of the daughters has a relationship with the slightly dodgy Donald Wolfit, noted Shakespearean star and renowned barnstormer. Meanwhile, a new lodger in the house (PLANET OF THE APES star Maurice Evans) is raising suspicion, with those indoors suspecting that he may not be who he says he is.

Eventually via some low key events, all is revealed. This is an actor's film really, heavy on the dialogue but light on action. A little comedy relief would have made it more presentable, although that sped-up fight scene is laughable in itself.

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