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The Hour of 13 (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Romance | 21 November 1952 (USA)
A jewel thief tries to mislead police who suspect that his theft of a valuable emerald is related to the serial murder of eleven policemen.

Director:

Harold French

Writers:

Philip MacDonald (novel), Leon Gordon | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Lawford ... Nicholas Revel
Dawn Addams ... Jane Frensham
Roland Culver ... Connor
Derek Bond ... Sir Christopher Lenhurst
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Ernie Perker
Michael Hordern ... Sir Herbert Frensham
Colin Gordon ... MacStreet
Heather Thatcher ... Mrs. Chumley Orr
Jack McNaughton Jack McNaughton ... Ford
Campbell Cotts Campbell Cotts ... Mr. Chumley Orr
Fabia Drake ... Lady Elmbridge
Michael Goodliffe ... Anderson
Moultrie Kelsall ... Magistrate of Court
Peter Copley ... Cummings
Richard Shaw Richard Shaw ... The 'Terror'
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Storyline

Nicholas Revel (Peter Lawford) is a young man any dowager in London welcomes to her parties. He has taking ways, and the Calgurie Emerald is one of the things he takes. This daring theft brings unexpected complications, amongst them the daughter, Jane Frensham (Dawn Addams), of the head of Scotland Yard, Sir Herbert Frensham (Sir Michael Hordern) and a maniacal killer loose in London. Revel sets a trap for the madman, with himself as bait, in a fog-shrouded stalk where one of them has to die. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From M-G-M's treasure chest of mystery novels! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sign of the Eagle See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$873,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Nicholas Revel: [to Ernie] The safest place in the world is a crowd.
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Connections

Version of The Mystery of Mr. X (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well made thriller
4 September 2015 | by PanamintSee all my reviews

This film features quick, effective editing of sometimes rapid-fire scenes that were obviously well thought out and sequenced with care. The black and white cinematography is good and I believe the whole production is finely crafted. The potential for any real emotional depth of feeling is somewhat stifled overall by the recurring criminal murder subject matter, which is persistently heavy and serious throughout the movie. However, the related jewel thief angle is lighter in tone and is done in an intricate cat-and-mouse manner that I really enjoyed.

After the early pretty-boy stage of his career delivering Technicolor "first kisses" to teenage actresses and such, and before his post- 1960 period of boozy hipster parts culminating in his final downward spiral into drug abuse and drunkenness, Peter Lawford did a lot of TV and made some films on both sides of the Atlantic including this one. In "The Hour of 13" (a title of significance to the story, to be explained late in the film) Lawford portrays a charming jewel thief. He does a workmanlike job, is very charming and handsome as always, and is fine as long as you don't stop to ponder how superbly Rex Harrison would have played the part.

Dawn Addams is perfectly cast as the intelligent, classy daughter of Michael Hordern's Scotland Yard inspector. Other first rate British actors contribute solid performances.

The Victorian London streets, fog and ambiance are well done. The era is depicted as a real time and place, not a nostalgia trip, and is devoid of any mimicry or denigration of Victorian stereotypes.

The general viewer will probably enjoy this film as I did if they can appreciate older, very British movies and are interested in seeing Peter Lawford at this stage of his career.


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