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A quaint but charming Edgar Wallace tale
spanishflea5022 June 2002
I caught the film on the Studio channel after setting my TiVo to record anything with Alastair Sim in. As the film progressed I went from smiling at it's old-fashioned mannerisms to a real enjoyment of the storyline and the characterisation. Edgar Wallace crime novels sold in their millions in the thirties and forties and would have guarenteed a healthy audience at the cinema. The plot is quite simple: a 'fence' is operating in London and covering his tracks by framing his criminal associates ('squeaking' on them). A sacked detective with a drinking problem is given a chance to redeem himself by exposing 'The Squeaker'. Of course he falls in love with the scoundrel's respectable and innocent fiance in the process. Alastair Sim, one of my favourite actors of this era, plays an investigative reporter with a rather over the top scottish accent. Also of interest are what appear to be a music hall double act (sadly uncredited) as bell-boys in the numerous club scenes. The club scenes are an excuse to show off the minor plot character Tamara; a chanteuse in love the the squeaker's last victim. The dramatic denouement is The Squeaker's confession following unendurable psychological pressure applied by the suave, dapper Inspector Barrabel(played by Edmund Lowe - he looks rather like a poor man's Errol Flynn). Produced by the great Alexander Korda, this is highly entertaining.
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8/10
An Excellent British Crime Thriller!!!
kidboots1 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"The Squeaker' was the first Edgar Wallace book that I read and I thought it was the best book I had ever read (I was 10 years old at the time)!!!! Edgar Wallace was the Master of the "I never would have guessed it was him/her" ending!! Aside from being one of the most popular authors of his day, he was also one of the most prolific writers ever to put pen to paper, writing about 170 books and literally hundreds of short stories during the twenties. He usually took 9 days to finish a book but one was written in four days and another was done over a weekend. His books weren't masterpieces, but he knew what the masses wanted - characters were black and white, never grey!!! evil characters were often quite bizarre, there were lots of "secret" organizations and the minor characters were usually clerks, cockneys, race track touts -people that ordinary British readers could identify with. There were even characters inserted for comic relief - his books were made for the movies!!

When work started to dry up for some Hollywood stars, many went to Britain to re-energise their careers - this certainly worked for Edmund Lowe. Alexander Korda and American director William K. Howard made "The Squeaker" a top class production and debonair Lowe didn't seem out of place in the London setting.

Scotland Yard is baffled by "The Squeaker" - a shadowy fence, who, when his demands aren't met by desperate robbers, thinks nothing of sending the police particulars of their whereabouts. Inspector Barrabel (Edmund Lowe) once the best policeman in the force - now a down and out drunk has been picked up as a suspect in a jewel robbery. He is offered an under-cover job to track down "The Squeaker" - as long as he stops drinking. He goes to his friend Larry Graeme (Robert Newton) but he is not accommodating. He has just had a run-in with the squeaker and was not able to get his price - he was planning on making a new life for himself, together with Tamara (Tamara Desni), a singer at the local club. (Desni sings "He's Gone" and "I Can't Get Along Without You").

Now, going by the name of Captain John Leslie, Barrabel goes to see Mr. Sutton (Sebastian Shaw) a renowned philanthropist, who has a habit of helping men down on their luck. He also makes the acquaintance of Carol (Ann Todd) who is immediately attracted to him. Before too long, the film establishes who the squeaker is - he sends a letter to New Scotland Yard ousting Larry Graeme as the jewel thief. Larry is bought to the Yard but escapes - he knows who the squeaker is but is shot before he can identify him. The stage is now set for an "all the usual suspects" line up and the film is very clever at how they get the guilty party to confess. Alister Sim, a great British character actor, has a part as a quirky reporter, Joshua Collie.

Highly Recommended.
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The Squeaker
Drago_Head_Tilt27 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
After some pearls are stolen, Scotland Yard make it a prority to catch the titular underworld figure, a silent, mysterious fence who rats on other thieves. Edmund Lowe (apparently reprising a stage role) is an alcaholic former detective given a chance to crack the case undercover. He gets a confession in the jarring final reel by intimidating the main suspect in a slightly macabre way, the only part that comes close to conveying the dark streaks of Edgar Wallace's fiction (it's based on one of his books, and son Bryan Edgar worked on the "scenario"). Otherwise it's a passable but routine b/w crime caper (with a loud, excitable score from Miklos Rozsa, an early credit). Notable are German Tamara Desni as a beautiful (and rather good) nightclub singer and dancer, and Alastair Sim as a comic-relief lazy newspaper reporter. With Sebastian Shaw, Ann Todd, Robert Newton, Allan Jeayes, Stewart Rome, Gordon McLeod, Syd Crossley, Alf Goddard, Danny Green, Fred Groves, Bill Shine, Ben Williams and an uncredited Michael Rennie as a medical examiner. Also available is a very different German adaptation from 1963. Other German versions were in 1931 and 1959 (for TV). An earlier British version (1930) was directed by Wallace himself (who passed away in '32). Howard also directed a 1932 adaptation of SHERLOCK HOLMES.

Movie reviews at: spinegrinderweb.com
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8/10
A good example of a 30's British crime thriller
dshadowh28 April 2010
I just watched this tonight on channel 2 here in Australia. I can't improve on the previous chap's review (spanishflea50), as I think he summed it up very well. The only thing I can say is that I enjoyed it as well, and as I watched it, I thought this has to be have been written by Edgar Wallace (I'm a bit of a fan of his books) from the pace & style of the story to even the title, so I came to the IMDb site to find out who wrote it. Unfortunately, Edgar Wallace had been dead for ~ 4years by the time this film was released, but it is based on a novel & a screenplay he wrote for the 1930 version of the film. It would be great to be able to see the 1930 version which was actually directed by Wallace.(IMDb for 1930 -'The Squeaker')
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6/10
Interesting British crime drama
Paularoc7 April 2015
Scotland Yard is baffled and frustrated by a jewel fence and informer known as "The Squeaker." In an effort to catch the elusive criminal they re-hire former Inspector Barrabal (Lowe), a brilliant police officer who left the force because of excessive drinking. Suspicious of a businessman who has a penchant for hiring petty ex-convicts, Barrabal goes undercover pretending to be an ex-con. The ending is a bit hokey but it did nicely wrap things up. Lowe does an adequate job as the polished and pleasant Barrabal. I best remember Lowe from the films he and Victor McLaglen did together (What Price Glory? and its sequels and Guilty as Hell). He was better in those movies. And poor Ann Todd - she has a totally thankless (and unmemorable) role in this movie. But, more than making up for this waste, are Robert Newton as a jewel thief (Larry Graeme) who knows who The Squeaker is, and Alistair Sim as the reporter (Joshua Collie) covering The Squeaker's exploits. Newton's character is one thief I kinda hoped would get away with it. As most would agree, Sim is an actor than can make every role, even a small one, memorable. To my recollection, I've only seen one other movie based on Edgar Wallace's work - The Terror. Sim is in that movie as well and is a riot. This movie may not be quite as good as that one but it never drags and holds one's interest to the end. Especially Sim and Wallace fans should see.
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5/10
"You can't roll around in the mud for six months without getting dirt in your ear."
mark.waltz10 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is an intriguing British crime drama (with a ton of comical overtones and a bit of song and dance) dealing with a mysterious fence of stolen jewelry (only known as "the squeaker") who reports to the police the names of the jewel thieves who refuse to do business with him (or her). Even the robbers themselves don't know exactly who "the squeaker" is, so when one of the suspected thieves (Robert Newton) is arrested, they make an escape so they can expose the mysterious party.

Veteran matinee idol Edmund Lowe is as dashing as William Powell and Ronald Colman, playing a disgraced Scotland Yard agent who after spending time in prison, is given an agency job to help expose "the squeaker", and finds himself involved with the pretty Ann Todd who was earlier fooled as to his identity.

Spouting a thick Scottish accent, Alastair Sim steals every moment he's on screen as a vivacious reporter, and the talented Tamara Desni performs several musical numbers as Newton's girlfriend. The film is attractively filmed but has some slow stretches. It's still worth seeking out with its complex plot and superb technical aspects, as well as some great sets and costumes.
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7/10
Worth seeing!
JohnHowardReid14 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
SYNOPSIS: London police nail a fence known as "The Squeaker" who anonymously tips off the bobbies to crooks who will not meet his price.

NOTES: A re-make of a 1930 movie directed by Edgar Wallace himself from his own screenplay. Percy Marmont, Anne Grey, Gordon Harker and Nigel Bruce were cast. (The Carlton DVD rates at least nine out of ten).

COMMENT: This Edgar Wallace thriller has a marvelously atmospheric Rozsa score which is worth the price of admission alone. Plus a couple of songs, "He's Gone" and "I Can't Get Along Without You" by the lovely Tamara Desni. Plus Robert Newton in a typically rattled role, but managing to look suave and elegant as well.

Nonetheless, despite its sterling production qualities, the movie does look somewhat old-fashioned these days - an impression that is heightened by the rather stilted dialogue provided by Edward O. Berkman in his screenplay. And the finale did not convince me at all. I cannot believe that the man built up to be such a mastermind could so easily become rattled.

Howard's direction is at its best when people are moving, rather than speaking. Photography by Georges Perinal is most attractive. And speaking of "attractive", Miss Todd looks very fetching indeed.
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6/10
Could have been better
hwg1957-102-26570413 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
'The Squeaker' is based on a novel by the prolific Edgar Wallace and concerns a man who squeaks. That is he informs Scotland Yard about jewel thieves who don't do business with him leading to their arrest. Eventually the Squeaker is tracked down and made to confess a murder. The plot is unsurprising and the identity of the Squeaker becomes apparent early on. It moves along steadily interspersed with some unmemorable musical numbers that hold up proceedings now and then.

Edmund Lowe is bland as the hero and Ann Todd is only the token romance but Robert Newton who has a good share of screen time as a jewel thief is good and Alastair Sim with an extreme Scottish accent is fun. Bill Shine with his lugubrious face has a few choice moments.

It would have benefited from a faster pace and more interesting characters. Even the main villain is rather dull.
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