Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Raw Hyde

Hyde Park Corner (1935) is a funny sort of movie, a British time-travel romance mystery comedy. Once you realize that it is built around it's two stars, it makes a little more sense.

One star is Gordon Harker, who plays two comic policemen. The first is a "peeler", one of John Peel's Bow Street Runner's in Victorian London. He is staking out a gambling house by Hyde Park when the owner loses the deed to his house over a crooked deck. The other star is Binnie Hale, playing a popular singer visiting the house.

After the raid, we jump to the modern (1930s) day, where Binnie is a shoplifter and Harker is the copper who nabs her. Somehow (there's a lot of "somehow" in this movie), they wind up back at the same London house in Hyde Park. There's another crooked card game, etc, etc.

Once you stop paying attention to what's going on and just accept that it's a framework to allow Harker to be a cop and Binnie Hale to be a cockney, it all works out fine. Harker is pretty standard as a "What's all this then?" comic copper, but I enjoyed him. Hale is interesting as a comedian, not as pretty as you might expect, a little older and coarser. She makes a fun shoplifter.

I can't believe it, but I've queued up another film they made together, Phantom Light. I'll probably never get around to watching it, though.

1 comment:

Roderick Heath said...

I like The Phantom Light. Low-budget and cramped like a lot of '30s British cinema, but it has atmosphere and Michael Powell's direction is obviously the work of someone going places.