Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Radio Cab Murder - 1954 film review

Radio Cab Murder is a rather likeable 1954 British B-movie, typical of its era, and short enough not to grow tedious. The aim was to give an impression of authenticity and topicality, rather like the Scotland Yard TV series of the same vintage. Of course, the drawback of such an approach is that, years later, the material seems dated. But if it's a period piece, it's an entertaining one.

Jimmy Hanley is a driver for Radio Cabs who witnesses a robbery and gives chase to the villains before they escape him. He becomes something of a hero, but he's also a man with a past. After leaving the army, he had become a safecracker, and has served time in prison for his crimes. But now he's going straight, with a girlfriend at Radio Cabs HQ.

His new life becomes increasingly dramatic when the police conclude that a gang of robbers are planning to recruit him to help with their next job. He agrees to help trap the crooks, and his supposed dismissal from Radio Cabs is contrived. Sure enough, the bad guys, led by the ubiquitous Sam Kydd, enlist his aid for their proposed robbery. But the information they give him is phoney, and when he relays it to the police, they are duly led astray.

The bank robbery duly takes place, and I must say I thought the bad guys were remarkably cavalier about leaving their fingerprints all over the scene of the crime. Evidently there are limits to attempts at authenticity. Sam Kydd does his usual sound job, and there's a small part for Frank Thornton, who would later become famous as Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served? All in all, a good piece of light entertainment, still very watchable.

No comments: