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earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:After watching A NIGHT IN MONTMARTRE (1931), I turned to my copy of David Quinlan's 'British Sound Films' and was astonished to see a rating of just 1 out of 6! Perhaps he hadn't actually seen the film, as I found it rather an entertaining piece, with attractive art design and some nice camerawork to boot. Hugh Williams plays a penniless artist who owes money to his foul, blackmailer of a landlord (Franklin Dyall), who has threatened to write to his father about his money troubles and is of course implicated when the swine gets his just desserts a few minutes later. An attractive cast (Heather Angel, Kay Hammond*, Austin Trevor etc.) boost the rather silly story, which gets pottier when Williams's father (Horace Hodges), who happens to be an amateur detective on the side, turns up. The main setting is a cabaret / night club with rather seedy lodgings above.
Taken from a play co-written by Miles Malleson, A NIGHT IN MONTMARTRE is an agreeable, lightweight mystery with elements of comedy and a nice performance from Kay Hammond as a permanently sozzled young lady of easy virtue. I noticed Binnie Barnes in the cast list, and presume she is the one who does a high-kicking song in her stockings....
*the English actress, not to be confused with the one who played Mary Todd in Griffith's ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1930)
I'm surprised by Quinlan's low rating also. I watched this two years ago and reviewed it here as follows:
" "A Night in Montmartre" (1931). I'll begin by saying that the IMDb lists the film without the article at the beginning, but the film definitely has the article 'A' before 'Night' on its credits. This one stars Horace Hodges, Hugh Williams, Franklin Dyall, Heather Angel (in only her second film - and the reason I bought the DVD in the first place), Kay Hammond, Austin Trevor, Arthur Hambling, Reginald Purdell, and Binnie Barnes (in only her third film, second feature). This is a fine little mystery, and though there are red herring after red herring, you'll never figure this one out! We aren't given the nuts and bolts to figure it out until the last moments, and that's just great! Horace Hodges doesn't appear until about two thirds of the film in, and then he acts a great deal like a detective in a twenties play, with the bumbling Englishman's humor on top. A decade later this character would probably have been played by Nigel Bruce. Hodges is the father of Hugh Williams, an artist who's having some success, but who suddenly is confronted by a dead body in his room. He and Heather Angel remove the body, but he's accused eventually anyway. For the record, he didn't do it, but I'll make you watch the film to find out who did. It's well worth your time if you love early English mystery films. Hugh Williams was a fine leading man in many early British talkies. Heather Angel is a dear in this one, as she always was. Here she has a chance to be a tad more expressive than in many later films. Her very early films show a great deal of talent - a talent which I feel was rather wasted later. I thought Franklin Dyall was probably the guilty one from the beginning, before I watched the film, but was I wrong! Cinematography in this film is gorgeous! Many scenes are works of art - makes the film watchable from this point of view alone."