BLIND ADVENTURE (director: Ernest B. Schoedsack; screenwriters: Robert Benchley/Ruth Rose; cinematographer: Henry W. Gerrard; editor: Ted Cheesman; music: Roy Webb; cast: Robert Armstrong (Richard Bruce), Ralph Bellamy (Jim Steele), Helen Mack (Rose Thorne), Roland Young (Holmes the Burglar), John Miljan (Regan), Tyrell Davis (Fairfax), Henry Stephenson (Major Thorne), Beryl Mercer (Elsie the Maid, Desmond Roberts (Harvey, thug), Charles Irwin (Bill, thug); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David Lewis; RKO; 1933)
“It’s goofy fun as a mild diversion.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Ernest B. Schoedsack (“The Son of Kong”/”Mighty Joe Young“/”The Four Feathers”)directs this incoherent crime drama programmer set in foggy London, that’s meant to be more comical than suspenseful.It’s written byRobert Benchley and Ruth Rose.
The self-made rich unsophisticated American Richard Bruce (Robert Armstrong) vacations alone in foggy London and takes a walk to get away from the stuffy posh hotel he’s staying at. While lost he wanders into a strange house to ask for directions and finds a corpse. Running outside, Bruce bumps into passerby Fairfax (Tyrell Davis). They return to the house and find no corpse, but house owner Major Thorne (Henry Stephenson). Also suddenly showing up is Rose Thorne (Helen Mack), an orphan just arrived from Canada who never before saw her uncle and aunt. Her uncle is convinced Bruce is crazy. When Bruce insists on calling the police to clear things up, he overhears the uncle and Fairfax talking about how they hid the corpse instead of calling the police. While Rose and Bruce await in the study, the corpse appears with a bandage around his head. He claims to be Jim Steele (Ralph Bellamy) and works for Scotland Yard on this secret assignment. He asks Rose and Bruce to bring his lighter to Regan (John Miljan ), his boss, and in it will be a secret message. The couple try to escape via the roof but need help to get to the street from a goodhearted burglar named Holmes (Roland Young), who they discover on the roof. Holmes also takes them in the fog to Regan’s hideout and leaves them. When Bruce hands the lighter over to Regan, he learns the lighter contains the major’s damaging letters that he’s a traitor and that Steele is part of Regan’s dangerous gang of kidnappers and blackmailers. With the help of the resourceful Holmes, Bruce gets untied and Rose is removed from a bodybag being transported to another location. It all ends well, with the baddies taken by the real police, the spy ring broken and Bruce getting the girl.
For what it is, it’s goofy fun as a mild diversion but lacks polish and good production values.
REVIEWED ON 7/2/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ