Movie Diary 8/22/2018

The Ghost Camera (Bernard Vorhaus, 1933). Cheeky and inventive, this British quota quickie is full of unexpected camera angles and bouncy storytelling. Delightful Henry Kendall (the lead in Hitchcock’s Rich and Strange) finds that someone has tossed a camera in his car; developing the roll of film inside, he thinks one of the images depicts a murder being committed. He tracks down the locations in the photos as well as a mystery woman, who happens to be Ida Lupino. Vorhaus has fans as a neglected auteur, and this movie would seem to be a prime piece of evidence (American-born, he worked in England for a decade before returning to Hollywood, where he did a few interesting noirs, such as The Amazing Mr. X, aka The Spiritualist). David Lean edited.

The Delavine Affair (Douglas Peirce, 1955). Another amateur-sleuth movie with another breezy hero, played by the amazingly coiffed Peter Reynolds. He plays a hotdogging freelance reporter who tries to solve the murder of a friend, occasionally with help from his droll wife, Honor Blackman. The movie really missed a bet by not have the future 007 consort Blackman in more scenes with Reynolds, because they’re very Thin Man-ish together, and the movie generally has an agreeable all-of-this-nonsense-is-an-excuse-for-good-fun vibe. Gordon Jackson plays a fellow who spends a lot of time with Blackman, and the movie’s got a lot of interesting folks in small roles. Cheap, but fun.

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