Friday, June 11, 2010

At least it's not Madame X

If you've seen enough of those Madame X style movies, you might enjoy a similarly-titled movie from a completely different genre: The Mystery of Mr. X, tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM ET on TCM.

Robert Montgomery doesn't play Mr. X, but a gentlemanly jewel thief in London. He's got a problem though, in that while he's involved in his latest jewel heist, stealing jewels from a mansion safe, a serial killer of London bobbies commits his latest murder just outside the mansion. Montgomery is no fool, and realizes that the police are going to suspect there's only one criminal, and that if they find the jewel thief, they'll have the cop killer as well.

What's a burglar to do? In Montgomery's case, the answer is meet the police commissioner's daughter (Elizabeth Allan), charm her, and use that relationship to get information from the commissioner himself. After all, the commisioner (Henry Stephenson) and his underling Lewis Stone suspect Montgomery might be a thief. Montgomery knows the only way anybody is going to find the real murderer is if he goes out and does it himself. After a bit of thinking, Montgomery believes he's figured out the killer's modus operandi, and where the next killing is going to take place....

It's a movie with a fairly simple plot, and it's somewhat interesting that Montgomery was still making B movies by this time. Still, he pulls off the movie effortlessly, helping to make it a fast-paced little mystery that, while having absolutely nothing groundbreaking about it, is never less than eminently entertaining. It's the sort of movie I could watch every time it shows up on TCM, just because it's that much fun.

Unfortunately, you have to watch it when it shows up TCM, because you can't watch it on DVD -- it hasn't been released yet, not even by the Warner Archive.

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