Crackerjack (1938 film)

Last updated

Crackerjack
"Crackerjack" (1938 film).jpg
U.S. poster
Directed by Albert de Courville
Produced by Edward Black
Written by A.R. Rawlinson
Basil Mason (adaptation)
Michael Pertwee (uncredited)
Based onthe novel Man With 100 Faces
by William Blair Morton Ferguson [1]
Starring Tom Walls
Lilli Palmer
Noel Madison
Music by Louis Levy
Cinematography Jack E. Cox
Edited byR. Wilson
Production
company
Distributed by General Film Distributors (U.K.)
Gaumont British Picture Corporation of America (U.S.)
Release date
  • October 1938 (1938-10)(United Kingdom)
  • 31 October 1938 (1938-10-31)(United States)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Language English

Crackerjack is a 1938 British comedy crime film directed by Albert de Courville and starring Tom Walls, Lilli Palmer and Noel Madison. It was made at Pinewood Studios [2] with sets designed by Walter Murton. The film was released in the U.S. as Man With 100 Faces.

Contents

Plot

Three men rob a millionaire of diamonds aboard an airliner in flight. When Police Superintendent Benting tries to intervene, Jack Drake, another passenger, knocks him out to save him from being shot. The thieves force the pilot to land so they can dump the passengers. However, the men find the diamonds have already been stolen by someone else (Drake).

Drake is a sort of modern-day Robin Hood. He donates the proceeds of his latest robbery to fund the stalled construction of the "New Social Institute". He even writes a book, "Crackerjack": The true story of my exploits., which becomes a bestseller. Everybody is reading it, including the people at Scotland Yard and Baroness Von Haltz, and wondering if it is fact or fiction. The baroness tells her maid Annie that certain passages somehow remind her of Drake, who broke her heart.

By coincidence, she is residing in the same hotel as Drake. He goes to see her, but she does not forgive him for leaving her without a word in Berlin. He explains that he was forced to leave suddenly, but she is not mollified.

Meanwhile, Drake instructs Burdge, his secretary, to send a cheque for £10,000 to the Buckingham Hospital for a new wing, even though Burdge informs him he is overdrawn at the bank. Drake tells him that the wealthy Mrs. Humbold's pearls will provide ample funds. The Humbolds are hosting a masquerade ball that night, and the baroness will be there.

At the ball, part of the entertainment is a group called the "Four Gangsters", who have been tied up and replaced by a gang of real gangsters, the same thieves from the aeroplane caper. Sculpie, their leader, kills an unarmed man who foolishly tries to resist. Afterward, however, Sculpie is furious to learn that the pearls he took from Mrs. Humbold are fakes. Once again, Drake has the real ones.

An advertisement in the newspaper asking for Crackerjack's help intrigues Drake. He arranges to meet the person in trouble, who turns out to be the baroness, although he speaks with her indirectly, not face to face. She asks him to retrieve letters being used as blackmail by Hambro Golding. Drake is especially interested when she informs him that the letters prevent her from marrying. He promises to attend to the matter the next night. Unaware that Golding is actually a member of Sculpie's gang, she innocently informs him that Crackerjack will try to burgle his safe for the non-existent letters (Golding told her that Crackerjack had stolen his ring, a family heirloom). Sculpie is delighted. However, when the baroness returns for her forgotten handbag, she overhears the gang discussing Crackerjack's fate.

Suspecting that Drake is Crackerjack, she tries to stop him by making a dinner engagement with him, but when he does not show up at the appointed time, she makes Burdge take her to Golding's place. Drake is caught, but manages to turn the tables on the gang. He has also arranged for the police to raid the house as well. Drake gets away and flies off with the baroness to get married.

Cast

Related Research Articles

<i>Dead End</i> (1937 film) 1937 film by William Wyler

Dead End is a 1937 crime drama film directed by William Wyler. It is an adaptation of the Sidney Kingsley 1935 Broadway play of the same name. It stars Joel McCrea, Sylvia Sidney, and Humphrey Bogart. It was the first film appearance of the Dead End Kids.

<i>The Ladykillers</i> 1955 crime comedy film directed by Alexander Mackendrick

The Ladykillers is a 1955 British black comedy crime film directed by Alexander Mackendrick for Ealing Studios. It stars Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner and Katie Johnson as the old lady; Mrs. Wilberforce.

<i>Kiss Me, Kate</i> Musical

Kiss Me, Kate is a musical written by Bella and Samuel Spewack with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and off-stage between Fred Graham, the show's director, producer, and star, and his leading lady, his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi. A secondary romance concerns Lois Lane, the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill, who runs afoul of some gangsters. The original production starred Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison, Lisa Kirk and Harold Lang.

<i>Mrs. Parkington</i> 1944 film by Tay Garnett

Mrs. Parkington is a 1944 drama film. It tells the story of a woman's life, told via flashbacks, from boarding house maid to society matron. The movie was adapted by Polly James and Robert Thoeren from the novel by Louis Bromfield. It was directed by Tay Garnett and starred Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon appearing together as husband and wife for the fourth time.

Lady Byron Wife of Lord Byron

Anne Isabella Noel Byron, 11th Baroness Wentworth and Baroness Byron, nicknamed Annabella and commonly known as Lady Byron, was an English mathematician and the wife of poet George Gordon Byron, more commonly known as Lord Byron.

Lilli Palmer actress (1914-1986)

Lilli Palmer was a German actress and writer. After beginning her career in British films in the 1930s, she would later transition to major Hollywood productions, earning a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance in But Not for Me (1959).

<i>Hurricane Gold</i> book

Hurricane Gold is the fourth novel in the Young Bond series depicting Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond as a teenager in the 1930s. The novel is set in Mexico and the Caribbean. It was first published in the UK in September 2007.

Minder on the Orient Express is a comedy/thriller television film made in 1985 as a spin-off from the successful television series Minder. It was first broadcast on Christmas Day 1985, as the highlight of that year's ITV Christmas schedule.

<i>Crime Unlimited</i> 1935 film by Ralph Ince

Crime Unlimited is a 1935 British crime film that was made as a Quota quickie. It was directed by Ralph Ince. The film marked the English-language debut of Lilli Palmer.

Jack La Rue American actor

Jack La Rue was an American film and stage actor.

<i>Oliver Twist</i> (1982 TV film) 1982 television film directed by Clive Donner

Oliver Twist is a 1982 American-British made-for-television film adaptation of the 1838 Charles Dickens classic of the same name, premiering on the CBS television network as part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Stars include George C. Scott, Tim Curry, Cherie Lunghi, and introducing Richard Charles as Oliver, in his first major film role.

<i>A Womans Face</i> (1938 film) 1938 film by Gustaf Molander

A Woman's Face is a 1938 Swedish drama film directed by Gustaf Molander, based on the play Il etait une fois by Francis de Croisset. The cast includes Ingrid Bergman in the lead as a woman criminal with a disfigured face.

<i>Romance on the Run</i> 1938 film by Gus Meins

Romance on the Run is a 1938 American comedy crime film directed by Gus Meins and starring Donald Woods and Patricia Ellis.

<i>Lady Gangster</i> 1942 film by Robert Florey

Lady Gangster is a 1942 Warner Bros. B picture film noir directed by Robert Florey, credited as "Florian Roberts". It is based on the play Gangstress, or Women in Prison by Dorothy Mackaye, who had spent ten months of a one-to-three-years sentence in San Quentin State Prison. Lady Gangster is a remake of the pre-Code film, Ladies They Talk About (1933). Jackie Gleason plays a supporting role.

<i>The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders</i> 1965 film by Terence Young

The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders is a 1965 British historical comedy film directed by Terence Young and starring Kim Novak, Richard Johnson, and Angela Lansbury. It is based on the 1722 novel Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe.

Muriel George Actress, singer

Muriel George was an English singer and film actress. She appeared in some 55 films between 1932 and 1955. She also appeared on the variety stage and sang on radio with her second husband Ernest Butcher for thirty years. Her hobbies were gardening and antiques. By her first marriage, to Robert Davenport, an author and lyricist, she had a son, the critic John Davenport.

<i>The Doorway to Hell</i> 1930 all-talking Pre-Code crime film directed by Archie Mayo

The Doorway to Hell is a 1930 American pre-Code crime film directed by Archie Mayo and starring Lew Ayres and James Cagney in his second film role. The film was based on the story A Handful of Clouds, written by Rowland Brown. The film's title was typical of the sensationalistic titles of many Pre-Code films. It was marketed with the tagline "The picture Gangland defied Hollywood to make!"

<i>Beware of Pity</i> 1946 film

Beware of Pity is a 1946 British romantic drama film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Lilli Palmer, Albert Lieven and Cedric Hardwicke. It is based on the novel of the same name by Stefan Zweig. A paraplegic young baroness mistakes compassion for love. The film's costumes were designed by Cecil Beaton. It was made by Two Cities Films at Islington Studios. The film was not a great popular success outside the Soviet Union.

<i>Yellow Dust</i> (film) 1936 American film directed by Wallace Fox

Yellow Dust is a 1936 American western film directed by Wallace Fox from a screenplay by Cyril Hume, John Twist, and John Francis Larkin. The film stars Richard Dix and Leila Hyams, with a supporting cast including Moroni Olsen, Jessie Ralph, Andy Clyde, and Onslow Stevens. RKO Radio Pictures premiered the film in New York City on February 22, 1936, with a nationwide release on March 13.

References

  1. "Man with 1000 Faces (1938): Credits". American Film Institute.
  2. Wood p.98

Bibliography