Aka Tears For Simon and 999 Scotland Yard – increasingly tabloid titles is never the sign of a film that’s done well.
An 18-month-old baby is kidnapped by Kensington Gardens (cue some ropey script observations about Peter Pan). There are similarities to the same year’s infinitely superior The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Drably directed by Guy Green, an excellent cinematographer (4 films for David Lean) but a jack-of-all-trades director (I’ve seen Sea Of Sand, The Angry Silence and The Magus and they’re nothing to write home about).
Three reasons to see this: the performance of David Farrar as the cop investigating; the cinematography of Harry Waxman in Eastman Color (he also did Sapphire, Twisted Nerve and The Wicker Man); and lots of London locations.
The routine script is by Janet Green (no relation) who did the snatched-from-the-headlines scripts of Sapphire and Victim (in the latter capacity she was also a character in a recent Radio 4 drama). In both of those she had a better director in Basil Dearden. Here the headline is: ‘Can a career woman be a mother as well?’
But she has a good way with a sarcy comment from the supporting women, who include Barbara Windsor, Joan Sims and Thora Hird (women’s roles are upped with her involvement).
Alas, the main woman – Vienna-born Julia Arnall – is pretty dire, with her awkward Austrian-crossed-with-Rank-charm-school accent.
Equally bad (tho surprisingly top billed with Farrar) is the husband, American David Knight, who previously made a couple of obscure Anthony Asquith movies.