Crook's Tour

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Crook's Tour
Directed by John Baxter
Written by Barbara K. Emary
Max Kester
John Watt
Produced by John Corfield
Starring Basil Radford
Naunton Wayne
Greta Gynt
Abraham Sofaer
Charles Oliver
Cinematography James Wilson
Edited by Michael C. Chorlton
Music by Kennedy Russell
Distributed by Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors
Release date
  • 24 May 1941 (1941-05-24)(U.S.)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Crook's Tour is a 1941 black and white British film directed by John Baxter featuring Charters and Caldicott. [1] It is adapted from a BBC radio serial of the same name. [2]



Charters and Caldicott are touring the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) with fellow Britons. After their vehicle breaks down they meet a caravan and a local sheikh invites them to dinner. After a glass of wine the sheikh offers to lend them two camels and tells of his fears that someone is spying on his oilfield.

They return to Baghdad where they go to a night club. Here two spies are expected and a Mata Hari type figure (the glamorous La Palermo) delivers a note (hidden on a record) to them in error, because they order exactly what the true spies are meant to order (as a code). When the real spies arrive (two Americans) and make the same order the mistake is realised.

Meanwhile our two heroes are flying to Istanbul. Here they are directed to a false hotel. La Palermo is to sing there to let them know something is up. They plan to kill the pair. They put them in a room with a booby trap bathroom... just a large hole dropping into the Bosporus. Charters slaps someone on the back, believing it to be Caldicott, and he falls in. Fearing reprisal for this accidental death they catch a plane to Budapest. Charters' sister Edith arrives in Budapest and struggles to track their hotel. La Palermo breaks into Caldicott's room to try to find the record. The next evening they track down La Palermo singing in a local night club, singing "Gypsy Lover".

The pair give the record to an English contact but are astounded when he says he does not play cricket.

They take a train eastwards to the edge of Hungary. They climb to a hilltop castle where La Palermo is. They are caught and are shot by firing squad, but La Palermo has organised blanks in the guns and they all escape together. A driver rushes all three to an airport then they take a boat across the Adriatic before going back to London. La Palermo kisses Caldicott as their train approaches London.



The film is available as a supplement on The Lady Vanishes Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray. [3]

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  1. "Crooks Tour (1940) - John Baxter | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related". AllMovie .
  2. "Return of Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne in 'CROOKS' TOUR'". 16 August 1941. p. 30 via BBC Genome.
  3. "The Lady Vanishes - Criterion Collection". DVD Talk .