As I pointed out in my ramble about The Night Won’t Talk (1952) British film director Daniel Birt reverted to B-movies before his early death in 1955 at the age of 48 following a career in documentaries and feature films. Meet Mr Malcolm (1954) was certainly not up there with his best work.
|Carrington-Phelps uses his charm on the maid.|
This pedestrian and cliché ridden story involves estranged husband and wife Colin and Louie Knowles played by Richard Gale and the familiar face of Sarah Lawson. Louie has asked her crime writer husband to investigate the disappearance of her boss Mr Durant, who she has worked for as a personnel assistant for just over a month. Mrs Durant (Adrianne Allen) does not want the police involved but she is forced to change her mind when her husband’s body is found at the bottom of a cliff, is it murder or just an unfortunate accident? The local police, which consists of an Inspector and a police Sargent (played by the reliable Nigel Green who you will remember as Mayor Dolby in The Ipcress File 1965), have asked the crime writer to stay on until the inquest is over which means that he has now been virtually reunited with Louie. You may well asking if we have any suspects, well its obvious that Durant was murdered as Corsair Pictures are not going to make a film about a man who fell off a cliff! There’s Durant’s stage stuck daughter Andrea who married a man who her father never approved of, and there’s an old tramp called Whistler Grant (Meredith Edwards) that seems to live at the bottom of the garden. I think your realise that there’s more to our whistling tramp than meets the eye. Appearing late on in the story is Andrea’s theatrical agent Carrington-Phelps, an over the top performance from John Blyth who was seen in many TV programmes right up to the end of the 1980’s.
This rambling murder mystery is both silly and corny; the main problem is the script with its lightweight characters. Based on a novel by Roger East, who was a writer for 1960’s TV series Maigret, with a screenplay adapted by our old friend, Corsair’s in house screenwriter, Brook Williams. Overseeing the camerawork and the lighting was Hone Glendining, with the musical batten wielded by Frank Chacksfield and made at the Viking Studios in London. Not the best example of the B-movie genre.