23 Paces To Baker Street (1956, Van Johnson, Cecil Parker)

23 Paces To Baker Street

Supremely entertaining thriller 23 Paces To Baker Street stars Van Johnson as a blind playwright who overhears a kidnapping plot in a pub. He approaches the police, but as his only clue is the perfume one of them wore, the coppers are unimpressed. Determined to stop the crime, Johnson teams up with his fiancée (Vera Miles) and secretary (Cecil Parker), and the detectives set out to bring the villains to book.

Director Henry Hathaway and cinematographer Milton Krasner make excellent use of London locations to push the plot, and Nigel Balchin’s ingenious and exciting screenplay creates strong and mounting suspense, all of which builds up to Hathaway’s tense climax. Of the acting, Variety said “Johnson puts plenty of conviction into his blind man role… and Miss Miles adds a refreshing charm as well as some sound histrionics.”

UK / 1956

Director: Henry Hathaway
Writer: Nigel Balchin, based on the novel by Philip MacDonald

Cast: Van Johnson, Cecil Parker, Vera Miles, Patricia Laffan, Maurice Denham, Estelle Winwood, Liam Redmond