23 Paces to Baker Street

23 Paces to Baker Street

Director: Henry Hathaway, Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker

Cast: Henry Hathaway, Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker

     
 
Van Johnson portrays a blind American writer living in London. Blessed with an acute hearing sense, Johnson overhears a kidnapping plot but neither his friends nor the authorities believe him, chalking up his story as the product of a writer's imagination. Disgruntled, Johnson vows to scuttle the kidnapping himself -- with the assistant of his fiancée Vera Miles.

Overview

Van Johnson portrays a blind American writer living in London. Blessed with an acute hearing sense, Johnson overhears a kidnapping plot but neither his friends nor the authorities believe him, chalking up his story as the product of a writer's imagination. Disgruntled, Johnson vows to scuttle the kidnapping himself -- with the assistant of his fiancée Vera Miles. Despite his handicap, Johnson puts the pieces together using sounds as evidence and guidance. Ultimately Johnson finds his life in danger when he corners the criminal in a dark alley. 23 Paces to Baker Street was one of several ''50s 20th Century-Fox films shot on location in London to take advantage of Fox's "frozen funds" -- money earned by the studio in England which by law could only be spent in that country.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
23 Paces to Baker Street is a moderately engaging thriller that lacks only that mysterious "Hitchcock" touch. Not that director Henry Hathaway has done a shabby job in bringing Paces to the screen. His work is stylish enough and he creates an atmosphere so thick you can practically touch it. The fogs, the mists, the shadows, the angles -- they're all there, and so is a very good sense of suspense and a fine ability at creating tension. Yet for all this skill, Hathaway somehow doesn't made the proceedings as fun, as ghoulishly delightful, as we want them to be. If the story itself were grittier, that would be fine; but the "depths" of the story are not real, just an excuse for the dramatics and the fireworks that they entail. The screenplay also has a few slow spots, but on the whole it's a respectable piece of work. And Van Johnson, Vera Miles and Cecil Parker are very good, forming a trio that we're glad to spend time with; Miles is especially good. There's also some very fine support, especially from Patricia Laffan, a nifty Leigh Harline score and appropriately moody camerawork from Milton Krasner. Everything is good, the whole film works -- but it still manages to not come together in the way that one keeps hoping it will.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/26/2013
UPC:
0024543873822
Original Release:
1956
Rating:
NR
Source:
Fox Mod
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
32,899

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Van Johnson Phillip Hannon
Vera Miles Jean Lennox
Cecil Parker Bob Matthews
Patricia Laffan Miss Alice MacDonald
Maurice Denham Inspector Grovening
Estelle Winwood Barmaid
Liam Redmond Mr. Murch/Joe
Isobel Elsom Lady Syrett
Martin Benson Pillings
Natalie Norwick Janet Murch
Terence de Marney Sgt. Luce
Queenie Leonard Miss Schuyler
Charles R. Keane Policeman
Lucie Lancaster Miss Marston
Ashley Cowan Lift Operator
Leslie Sketchley English Cop
Ben Wright Hotel Porter
Reginald Sheffield Bespectacled Man
Arthur Gomez Mr. De Mester
Robert Raglan Police Inspector
Howard Lang Doorman
Walter Horsbrugh Shop Assistant
Charles Stanley Photographer
Yorke Sherwood Cabby
Cameron A. Grant Pinball Player
Maggie McGrath Demonstrator
Michael Trubshawe Actor

Technical Credits
Henry Hathaway Director
C. Fay Babcock Set Decoration/Design
Nigel Balchin Screenwriter
Edmond F. Bernoudy Asst. Director
James B. Clark Editor
Henry Ephron Producer
Bernard Freericks Sound/Sound Designer
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Milton Krasner Cinematographer
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry M. Leonard Sound/Sound Designer
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Maurice Ransford Art Director
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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