House Of Blackmail (1956)

Alexander Gauge

Alexander Gauge

Starts out with some promise thanks to Alexander Gauge as a blackmailer but when he’s bumped off he takes the movie with him.

Billy Blane is being blackmailed by John Markham (Alexander Gauge). Billy got caught forging a check and now Markham wants five thousand pounds or else he’ll turn him in. He doesn’t have it so he’ll have to call on his artist sister Carol (Mary Germaine). She says she’ll drive out to Markham’s place before turning over any cash.

On the way she sees a man in the road. It’s raining and she picks him up. He says he’s Jimmy (William Sylvester). They stop at a cafe for some coffee and hear a bulletin over the radio about an escaped prisoner. She’s sure that’s Jimmy. She says she’ll give him fifty pounds to do a job for her.

Markham waits at the house. With him are some of his blackmail victims including Dr.Walich, his daughter Emma the maid, American Peter Carter and Bassett the butler. He likes listening in at keyholes.

Carol and Jimmy show up and she demands to see the proof Markham has about Billy. He shows her and she starts to write a check. Jimmy is posing as her fiancee and a lawyer. Markham says they have to stay the night. He wants cash and they’ll go to the bank in the morning. He even has an alarm system attached to the doors and windows so no one can get out.

Later that night Carol gives Jimmy a gun and a flashlight. For fifty pounds she wants him to break into Markham’s safe and get the papers proving Billy’s guilt. He does the job. The paper’s are gone. They hear screams from downstairs. Emma has found Markham’s body. He’s been shot dead.

Carter takes over and says they’ll wait for the milkman to show up in the morning and send him for the police. They can’t call them since the phone line has been cut. As things crawl along all of Markham’s blackmail papers are found burned in the fireplace. Everyone is a suspect.

Gauge made a good villain but when his character is eliminated the movie sinks into boredom. It also relies on coincidence and the ending is pretty dumb. This is one to avoid.

Alexander Gauge played Friar Tuck on “The Adventures Of Robin Hood” (1955-60)

 

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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