7.0/10
36
4 user 2 critic

Blue Bottles (1928)

As criminals assemble for a convention, a policeman investigates and is abducted. A young woman finds his whistle and blows it. The full forces of the law assemble. The confrontation ... See full summary »

Director:

Ivor Montagu

Writers:

Frank Wells, H.G. Wells (story)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Elsa Lanchester ... Elsa
Joe Beckett Joe Beckett ... PC Spiffkins
Dorice Fordred Dorice Fordred ... Maggie
Marie Wright Marie Wright ... Landlady
Charles Laughton ... Burglar
Norman Haire Norman Haire ... Crook
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Storyline

As criminals assemble for a convention, a policeman investigates and is abducted. A young woman finds his whistle and blows it. The full forces of the law assemble. The confrontation between order and disorder ensues, with our heroine caught up in it. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1928 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Angle Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film for Charles Laughton. See more »

Alternate Versions

2000 video version with music improvised and performed by Neil Brand. Issued by the British Film Institute on "History of the Avant-Garde Britain in the Twenties" See more »

Connections

Edited into H.G. Wells Comedies (1928) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A spoof crime melodrama superbly devised and performed.
8 December 2001 | by snauntonSee all my reviews

So perfect are the performances in this silent send-up of crime melodramas that the rare intertitles are redundant. The plot is simple - Elsa, the innocent heroine (not quite innocently) blows the policeman's whistle she finds outside the house in which the criminals' convention is assembling. The entire police force, the armed forces, all respond to her alarm and she is caught up in the shooting match between police and criminals, her hat an increasingly battered target in the violent turmoil around her. Consistently with its genre, our heroine unknowingly captures the criminals and, rather than being charged with improper use of a police whistle, is rewarded with a broken umbrella.

All but one of the characters can ham their parts with abandon, and do so to great effect. Only Elsa Lanchester must play it straight, if dramatically, and she succeeds so well. The bemused innocence of her expression, every carefully modulated gesture, every movement of her body, tell us that Elsa is at a loss, yet make her interesting, hinting at a subversive mischievousness that is never more than implied. The cinematography is excellent, the sequence of policemen successively blowing their whistles being an example. This film seems as funny, as completely enjoyable now as it was seventy-three years ago.


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