Inspector Hornleigh on Holiday


1h 30m 1939

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 1, 1939
Premiere Information
London opening: Nov 1939
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Stolen Death by Leo Grex (London, 1936) and the BBC radio character "Inspector Hornleigh" created by Hans Wolfgang Priwin.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Film Length
7,872ft

Synopsis

Inspector Hornleigh and Sergeant Bingham of Scotland Yard are on holiday at the Balmoral House in Brighthaven when Captain Fraser, the man they play snooker with, leaves to tend to his Royal Navy commander, who has become ill. In his hasty departure, he misuses nautical terms, which makes Hornleigh highly suspicious. That night, a car with a man matching Fraser's description crashes off Blackcomb cliff, and Hornleigh and Bingham are summoned to the scene to identify the body. Witnesses state that shortly after the car drove off the cliff, a second car was heard leaving the scene. The police chief asks Hornleigh and Bingham to help with the investigation, and Hornleigh explains his suspicion of murder, as Fraser had recently taken out a large life insurance policy. Disguised as a sailor, Hornleigh attends the reading of Fraser's will and learns that Mrs. Bracer, Fraser's nurse and housekeeper, has inherited £20,000. Hornleigh follows Mrs. Bracer back to at her shop, and hears that she received a telephone call while she was out. Hornleigh congratulates her on her good fortune, and, while she helps a customer, copies down the phone number. Meanwhile, Bingham has followed Miss Meadows, who claims to be Fraser's cousin, to her house. Bingham enters the house through the basement, then goes into an empty room when the phone rings. Bingham answers the phone, and learns that the caller is Hornleigh, who has dialed Mrs. Bracer's number. As Bingham hangs up, he sees Fraser lying in a nearby chair, fatally wounded. As he dies, Fraser says, "Chelsea Bridge and..." and drops a signet ring on the floor. Bingham rushes outside as Hornleigh and his men arrive, only to discover that Fraser's body has suddenly disappeared. Hornleigh sends Bingham to Chelsea Bridge, while he visits Mr. Griggle of the Institute of Heraldry. Griggle tells him that the coat of arms on the ring is that of the Stonewallis family, whose only surviving member is Richard Anstrather Stonewallis. At Stonewallis' home, Hornleigh is told that Stonewallis has recently died, so they dig up Stonewallis' grave and find Fraser's body. In reviewing the facts, Hornleigh decides that the Chelsea Bridge and Social Club is the key. At the club, a man named Wilhurst is talking into a wireless radio while Mrs. Bracer and Miss Meadows play cards. Hornleigh and the police listen in on the radio transmission as the boss, a man named Bradfield, calls in. The police radio operator attempts to trace the transmission, but fails. Hornleigh deduces that Bradfield has been providing bodies that resemble members of the club so that they can collect on their life insurance policies while still alive, and sets a trap at the hospital where Stonewallis died. Bingham, who closely resembles one of the members of the club, pretends to be terminally ill, and when Bradfield, disguised as the hospital matron, learns of Bingham's condition, he prepares another scam. As the police raid the club, Wilhurst frantically attempts to alert Bradfield on the radio. Back at the hospital, Hornleigh recognizes Bradfield, and the two struggle. Before Bradfield can be subdued, however, Hornleigh is shot in the leg. With the case solved, Hornleigh finds himself being admitted to the hospital for the remainder of his vacation.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 1, 1939
Premiere Information
London opening: Nov 1939
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Stolen Death by Leo Grex (London, 1936) and the BBC radio character "Inspector Hornleigh" created by Hans Wolfgang Priwin.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Film Length
7,872ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Box Office lists the running time as 76 min, probably in error. According to modern sources, the cast includes Morland Graham (Griggle), Megs Jenkins (Maid), Irene Handl (Boarder) and Derek Farr. For information on other films featuring the character "Inspector Hornleigh," see the entry above for Inspector Hornleigh.