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23 Paces to Baker Street 1956
Description: Philip Hannon, a blind playwright living in London, overhears part of a conversation , that leads him into a desperate race, to search a kidnapped child. When he gets no support from the police, he along with his butler, and his ex fiancée, attempt to track down the crooks.
Released: N/A Director: Henry Hathaway Writers: Nigel Balchin (screenplay by), Philip MacDonald (novel) Actors: Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker, Patricia Laffan Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
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23 Paces to Baker Street Reviews:

I just caught this film on cable and I was drawn into it. This is a very Hitchockian kind of thriller. Blind mystery writer overhears kidnapping plot, but of course no one wants to trust him except his 2 nice friends, one who wants to marry him. It had a a several chuckles along with suspense. Particulary when playwriters friend/aid is sent on a epic chase through London following a suspect. Playwriter of course nearly gets himself killed trying to figure out the pending kidnapping himself. A several colourful characters a nice mystery plot, a lovelorn but smart girlfriend, a bitter playwriter who no one takes seriously and a very intelligent twist makes a very nice movie. I want for more great quiet mysteries like this.


Hathaway was a brilliant director.He did never,until the very end ("the last safari")produce anything truly mediocre:from "the witching hour" to "True Grit "and "Nevada Smith,his work encompasses such classics as "lives of a Bengal lancer" "Peter Ibbetson" "House on 92 th street" "kiss of death" "niagara" "Legend of the lost",sorry if I cannot mention them all.Influenced by Hitchcock's "rear window" (Vera Miles was a Hitchcockesque actress although she had yet to work with him in 1956 ),"23 paces to Baker street" ,on the another hand ,had on powerful influence on Frederick Knott whose "wait until dark" was transferred to the screen by Terence Young with Audrey Hepburn in 1967: the stage of the "broken lights" was stolen from Philip McDonald.("Now we are equal;not scared of the dark,are you?") "23 paces to Baker Street" could appeal to folks who enjoyed the two films I mention above;it takes zone in a foggy London,with plenty of suspense and a plot which is sometimes a bit complicated and far-fetched but it does not matter:you watch it just like you read Agatha Christie's books.


If you have worn out all your Hitchcock videos and need a nice method to fill in a several hours on a rainy afternoon, this is the film for you. A blind play-write over hears a fiendish conversation and is determined to intervene. Armed with his trusty man-servant and pretty American female companion, this flick delivers on many levels, right up to the twist at the end.They don't seem to create films like this one anymore. Mores the pity. A gotta see for all suspense fans, plus a lovely glimpse into 50's London.Scored it as 8/10.



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