Inspector Hornleigh Goes To It (1941)

On May 17, 1941, Twentieth Century – Fox released the third and last Inspector Hornleigh feature film, Inspector Hornleigh Goes to It (1941).  The series blends comedy and crime drama to create a unique product.  Gordon Harker plays Inspector Hornleigh, while Alistair Sims reprises his role as Sgt. Bingham.

The film opens with Inspector Hornleigh dictating his memoirs to Sgt. Bingham.  Inspector Hornleigh expects to be assigned to a “Fifth Column” or internal treason case, which will add to his memoirs.  However, his rival Inspector Blow gets the case.  Inspector Hornleigh and Sgt. Bingham are assigned to stop a theft ring within the British Army.


Gordon Harker and Peggy Ashcroft being directed in a 1940 public information film Harker is standing in the boat.

While investigating the theft ring, Sgt. Bingham starts dating a local girl named Daisy.  When Inspector Blow shows up at the base to tell Hornleigh that someone knows two Scotland Yard men are investigating a theft, their suspicions fall on Daisy.

Inspector Hornleigh and Sgt. Bingham trace Daisy’s movements to a local dentist.  They discover that Daisy has a dentist appointment after every date with Sgt. Bingham.  Bingham protests Daisy’s innocence but Inspector Hornleigh responds, “Either she is what I think she is or the way you kiss ’em knocks their teeth in.”

After the dentist is killed, Inspector Hornleigh realizes he is investigating something bigger than a theft ring.  Hornleigh has discovered the “Fifth Column” group.  His investigation will take him to a prep school and eventually a mail train.

This film was made during World War II, so Twentieth Century-Fox included a disclaimer at the beginning of the film to inform viewers that safe guards existed to prevent the situation outlined in the plot from actually happening.  Tensions with the general public would have been high during this time.

The film itself runs about 83 minutes.  While it is the third film in the series, it may be the best plotted of the three films.  I’ve also reviewed Inspector Hornleigh and Inspector Hornleigh on Holiday.

What do you think of the this film?  How does it stand up with the other films? You can leave a comment or ask a question about this or any post in the comment section below, on my Facebook pageTwitter profile and Google+ page.


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