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Emil and the Detectives (1935)

Emil goes to Berlin to see his grandmother with a large amount of money and is offered sweets by a strange man that make him sleep. He wakes up at his stop with no money. It is up to him and a group of children to save the day.

Director:

Milton Rosmer

Writers:

Cyrus Brooks (adaptation), Margaret Carter (dialogue) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Williams John Williams ... Emil Blake
George Hayes ... The Man In The Bowler Hat - Sam Pinker
Mary Glynne ... Mrs. Blake
Clare Greet ... Grandma
George Merritt ... PC
Marion Foster Marion Foster ... Polly
Donald Pittman Donald Pittman ... Gussy
Robert Rietty Robert Rietty ... Professor (as Bobby Rietti)
John Singer John Singer ... Tuesday
Derek Blomfield ... Jerry
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Storyline

Erich Kästner's beloved novel has been adapted for film or television six times since its publication in 1929; this 1935 British version was the first in English. Believed lost for decades, it was recently rediscovered by the BFI and has now been restored. The film moves the action from Berlin to London, where Emil goes to stay with his grandmother and cousin. Thereafter, the tale of Emil's adventures with a gang of streetwise London children faithfully follows the original plot.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Family

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Emil See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emil's home village with its distinctive windmill in opening sequences is never named, but there are references to it being somewhere in Kent from Emil's conversations and the station announcer who lists some rural stations on the route to Charing Cross via Sevenoaks. See more »

Goofs

(at around 27 mins) "The Man In The Bowler Hat"/Sam Pinker gets in a taxi, and when it drops him off at his hotel, the registration is ALN 287. A couple of minutes later, ALN 287 reappears behind Polly and "The Flying Stag" as they cycle and scoot respectively along the Embankment. See more »

Connections

Version of Emil and the Detectives (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Man in the Bowler Hat
29 January 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Emil (played by John Williams -- no relation) is sent by his mother to visit his grandmother in London. In the train, the Man in the Bowler Hat (George Hayes -- no relation) tells him a lot of tosh about London, and offers him a sweet. Emil accepts, and falls asleep. When he wakes, he discovers the six pounds his mother gave him for his keep are missing. He follows the Man in the Bowler Hat, and runs into a gang of kids. They proclaim themselves the Detectives and help him follow his prey.

It's the second movie version of Erich Kastner's story, and the first in English. Although it lacks the charm of the German version, it's a well-told kid's adventure story directed by Milton Rosmer, and the camerawork is excellent. It suggest a juvenile version of Hitchcock, with a lovely expressionist sequence as Williams fall asleep.

Kastner specialized in children's stories. Besides this one, there have been several versions of DAS DOPPLETE LOTTCHEN, best known in English as THE PARENT TRAP.


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