The Avenging Hand (1936)
Article 5544 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Frank Richardson and Victor Hanbury
Featuring Noah Beery, Kathleen Kelly, Louis Borel
What it is: Comic crime movie
An American gangster in England turns detective when an innocent man is murdered at a swanky hotel.
I’m covering this movie because it appeared on my suggestions list; these are movies that have been suggested by others for me to cover. On my own judgment, I wouldn’t be covering this one; despite a title that may hint at the horrific and a certain very slight resemblance to an “old dark house” movie, there is no fantastic content to be found. The movie is fairly confusing at times and is sometimes clumsily edited, but it gets by as a result of Noah Beery’s performance as the gangster-turned-detective; he’s obviously relishing the role and his sense of fun is passed on to the viewer. The uncredited James Harcourt is also entertaining as the murder victim, a simple man given his first taste of luxury who gets endless pleasure just riding the elevator. Between the two of them, they enliven what would otherwise be a very dull crime thriller.