Alfred Hitchcock directs this one about a man falsely accused of murder and now he’s on the run. The movie is based on Josephine Tey’s 1936 book “A Shilling For Candles.” It was the second in her Inspector Alan Grant series. There’s no Inspector Grant in the movie. Look for Alfred holding a camera as Robert escapes from the courthouse.
Actress Christine Clay is arguing with her husband. He accuses her of playing around and she lets him have it. He gives her a cold stare and walks out. The next day her body washes ashore. Robert Tisdall discovers the body and runs for help.
While he’s running two girls come by and see the body. When the police get there the girls say Robert was running away. He says he was going for help. Christine didn’t drown. She was strangled with the belt from a raincoat. Robert is arrested.
While being questioned he passes out. Helping is Erica (Nova Pilbeam) the daughter of the Chief Constable. His lawyer doesn’t seem interested and just before a hearing is to begin Robert escapes during a mixup. Erica is outside and two cops get in her car as they search for Robert. The car runs out of petrol and the cops hitch a ride with a pig farmer.
When they’re gone Robert shows up. He helps Erica push the car to a petrol station and even pays for it. He wants to get back to a bar where lorry drivers hang out. He says his raincoat was stolen when he was there and he wants to see if the bartender remembers anything about it. Erica goes in first.
When one man starts to talk about the coat a brawl starts as the other drivers want him to keep his mouth shut. Outside he tells Robert and Erica about a tramp named Old Will who has the coat. Knowing her father will be worried about her Erica stops at her aunt’s place where a birthday party is going on for the aunt’s seven year old daughter.
They almost fool auntie but as they drive away she calls Erica’s father. The cops recognize her and the chase is on. There’s a nice scene where they drive into an abandoned mine works. As things move along it looks like a pack of matches may be the clue Robert needs.
It isn’t one of Hitchcocks’ best early movies but it’s always worth checking out early Hitchcock.