THE SQUEAKER (murder on diamond row) (1937 U.K.) D: WILLIAM K. HOWARD W: EDWARD BERKMAN P: ALEXANDER KORDA
After some pearls are stolen, Scotland Yard make it a prority to catch the titular underworld figure, a silent, mysterious fence who rats on other thieves. Edmund Lowe (apparently reprising a stage role) is an alcaholic former detective given a chance to crack the case undercover. He gets a confession in the jarring final reel by intimidating the main suspect in a slightly macabre way, the only part that comes close to conveying the dark streaks of Edgar Wallace`s fiction (it`s based on one of his books, and son Bryan Edgar worked on the "scenario"). Otherwise it`s a passable but routine b/w crime caper (with a loud, excitable score from Miklos Rozsa, an early credit). Notable are German Tamara Desni as a beautiful (and rather good) nightclub singer and dancer, and Alastair Sim as a comic-relief lazy newspaper reporter. With Sebastian Shaw, Ann Todd, Robert Newton, Allan Jeayes, Stewart Rome, Gordon McLeod, Syd Crossley, Alf Goddard, Danny Green, Fred Groves, Bill Shine, Ben Williams and an uncredited Michael Rennie as a medical examiner. Also available is a very different German adaptation from 1963. Other German versions were in 1931 and 1959 (for tv). An earlier British version (1930) was directed by Wallace himself (who passed away in `32). Howard also directed a 1932 adaptation of SHERLOCK HOLMES.

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