The Limping Man (1953)

75-76 mins | Mystery | 11 December 1953

Director:

Charles de Lautour

Producer:

Donald Ginsberg

Editor:

Stan Willis

Production Designer:

Cedric Dawe

Production Company:

Banner Pictures, Ltd.
Full page view
HISTORY

Following an opening title card with the name and logo of Eros Films, Ltd. (the film's British distributor), the brief scene inside the airplane is shown. Following that scene, the remaining credits appear as the airplane lands and the sniper prepares to shoot "Kendall-Brown." The onscreen credit for Anthony Verney reads "from 'Death on the Tideway' by Anthony Verney." No publication date for the story has been located, and sources variously call it a novel and a short story. Cast names in the opening credits differ slightly in order from the end credits. Credits for the children watching television read "The Children...Max & Louise Boisot." Dancer Lionel Blair performs a routine in which he dances on a floor piano, picking out the notes as Charles Bottrill accompanies him on the xylophone. The Limping Man marked the motion picture debut of actress Jean Marsh, who had no dialogue in the film. ...

More Less

Following an opening title card with the name and logo of Eros Films, Ltd. (the film's British distributor), the brief scene inside the airplane is shown. Following that scene, the remaining credits appear as the airplane lands and the sniper prepares to shoot "Kendall-Brown." The onscreen credit for Anthony Verney reads "from 'Death on the Tideway' by Anthony Verney." No publication date for the story has been located, and sources variously call it a novel and a short story. Cast names in the opening credits differ slightly in order from the end credits. Credits for the children watching television read "The Children...Max & Louise Boisot." Dancer Lionel Blair performs a routine in which he dances on a floor piano, picking out the notes as Charles Bottrill accompanies him on the xylophone. The Limping Man marked the motion picture debut of actress Jean Marsh, who had no dialogue in the film.

Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 Dec 1953
---
Daily Variety
17 Dec 1953
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 1953
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Dec 1953
p. 2119
The Exhibitor
13 Jan 1954
p. 3678
Variety
30 Dec 1953
p. 6
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Adpt for the screen by
Adpt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Lighting cam
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus dir
SOUND
Dubbing ed
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the story Death on the Tideway by Anthony Verney (publication undetermined).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"I Couldn't Care Less," music and lyrics by Hugh Raker and Arthur Wilkinson; "Hey Presto!," music and lyrics by Cyril Ornadel and David Croft.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
11 December 1953
Production Date:
at Merton Park Studios, London
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Auerbach Productions
28 December 1953
LP3284
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75-76
Length(in feet):
6,861
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

As American Franklyn Pryor eagerly waits for his London-bound plane to land, he reflects that it has been six years since he left London. When the passengers disembark, Frank asks the man behind him for a light at the exact moment that a sniper shoots and kills the man. Later, Scotland Yard Inspector Braddock and his assistant, Cameron, question Frank, who never knew the man and is only mildly interested when Braddock says that the passenger, Kendall-Brown, carried expertly forged papers. Frank is allowed to leave after explaining that he will be in London for several months and was supposed to be met by an old friend, Pauline French, who never arrived. After giving Braddock the name of his hotel, as well as Pauline’s address, Frank calls her apartment, but she is out. Soon Braddock and Cameron go to the London house that a sharp-eyed police scientist recognized in a photograph among Kendall-Brown’s things. Braddock shows the photograph to Kendall-Brown's landlady and asks if she knows the woman in the picture. Although she does not know the woman’s name, the landlady reveals that she often visited the year before and had just been there that morning. While the police search his room, Pauline, who is the woman in the photograph, comes to the main door and asks the landlady if Kendall-Brown has returned. When the landlady says “no,” but that the police are upstairs, Pauline rushes away and goes to her flat, where Frank is waiting. A surprised Pauline says that she had sent a telegram suggesting that he delay his trip, but she is genuinely happy to see him ...

More Less

As American Franklyn Pryor eagerly waits for his London-bound plane to land, he reflects that it has been six years since he left London. When the passengers disembark, Frank asks the man behind him for a light at the exact moment that a sniper shoots and kills the man. Later, Scotland Yard Inspector Braddock and his assistant, Cameron, question Frank, who never knew the man and is only mildly interested when Braddock says that the passenger, Kendall-Brown, carried expertly forged papers. Frank is allowed to leave after explaining that he will be in London for several months and was supposed to be met by an old friend, Pauline French, who never arrived. After giving Braddock the name of his hotel, as well as Pauline’s address, Frank calls her apartment, but she is out. Soon Braddock and Cameron go to the London house that a sharp-eyed police scientist recognized in a photograph among Kendall-Brown’s things. Braddock shows the photograph to Kendall-Brown's landlady and asks if she knows the woman in the picture. Although she does not know the woman’s name, the landlady reveals that she often visited the year before and had just been there that morning. While the police search his room, Pauline, who is the woman in the photograph, comes to the main door and asks the landlady if Kendall-Brown has returned. When the landlady says “no,” but that the police are upstairs, Pauline rushes away and goes to her flat, where Frank is waiting. A surprised Pauline says that she had sent a telegram suggesting that he delay his trip, but she is genuinely happy to see him and they passionately kiss. Later, as Frank looks at her trophies for marksmanship, he mentions that a passenger on his plane was shot to death. Meanwhile, Braddock and Cameron go to see Helene Castle, a performer whose autographed picture was found in Kendall-Brown’s room. Helene, who had read about his death in the newspaper, reveals that she was married to him but they had been separated for three years. When they show her the photograph, she identifies Pauline, who is also an actress, and says that she was womanizer Kendall-Brown’s "latest." The next day, Pauline takes Frank for a ride in her boat and they end the day on the east side of the Thames at the Spread Eagle pub. After the pub owner takes Pauline aside for a private conversation, Frank is perplexed by the arrival of a limping man, who seems to threaten her. The barmaid then mentions Kendall-Brown’s murder and says that Pauline knew Kendall-Brown. When Pauline returns, Frank asks her if she knew him, and she admits that she did, but when Frank offers his help, she becomes upset and rushes off alone. Later that afternoon, Braddock and Cameron question Pauline at her flat. Although she admits having known Kendall-Brown, she says that she had not seen him in a long time, until Braddock confronts her about being seen by the landlady the previous day. They also ask about Frank, who Pauline says is only coincidentally involved. After the police leave, they return to Scotland Yard, where Frank, who has been summoned, is waiting. They tell Frank that Pauline’s abilities as a marksman make her a suspect, but also mention irregular footprints and indentations made by a cane found near a spent rifle shell at the edge of the tarmac. Frank immediately thinks of the limping man at the pub, but says nothing. Braddock, who senses that Frank is holding something back, has him followed after warning him against seeing Pauline until Kendall-Brown’s murder is solved. Frank immediately goes to Pauline’s, where a party has been arranged in his honor, and privately tells her that he is being followed. When Frank begs her to tell him what is going on, she finally breaks down and confesses that she got involved with Kendall-Brown after Frank returned to America at the end of the war and let him use her boat to smuggle contraband into England. When she eventually tired of him, he blackmailed her over foolish letters she had written and was supposed to return them to her for 2,000 pounds the day he was killed. She adds that Helene now has the letters and sent George, the limping stage door keeper at the theater, to the Spread Eagle to demand the money. Pauline fears that her career will be ruined and she could be jailed if the letters were made public. Frank and Pauline then leave and elude the police by using the fire escape and exiting through a downstairs flat. When they arrive at Helene’s theater, Pauline enters alone and is escorted by her to a downstairs prop room where Kendall-Brown suddenly appears. He explains that the man on the plane was a friend bringing papers to him. He claims not to know why the man was shot but says that because he now cannot leave England using his own name, Pauline must take him across the channel in her boat. Just then, George, who is looking for a hidden bottle of whiskey, appears. Seeing Kendall-Brown and Pauline, he begins to yell, but Kendall-Brown knocks him unconscious. A moment later, Frank comes into the theater looking for Pauline, followed soon after by Braddock and Cameron, who admonish him for interfering. The unconscious George is discovered, just as the stage manager starts calling for Helene to take the stage. Pauline breaks free from her, runs into Frank and Braddock, and tells them that Kendall-Brown is still alive. When Helene tries to deny everything, saying that she, herself, had identified his body, Braddock reveals that he knew she had lied because the police never rely on a single identification. Just then, Kendall-Brown, wearing George’s trench coat, hat and cane, walks through the theater to the upper balcony. Frank goes after him and a fistfight ensues. As Kendall-Brown tries to push Frank over the balcony with his cane, Frank suddenly awakens on the plane as Kendall-Brown, the passenger behind him, gently prods him with an umbrella and thanks him for the loan of a magazine. When the plane lands, Frank is given wishes for a good time in London by the plane’s friendly crew, who look like Braddock, Cameron and Helene, and is greeted lovingly by Pauline, who is waiting outside the terminal.

Less

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

Night Moves

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Matt Stepanski, a student at ... >>

Stagecoach

The American folk songs adapted for the score included the traditional ballads "Lily Dale," "Rosa Lee," "Joe Bowers," "Joe the Wrangler," "She's More to Be Pitied Than Censured," "She ... >>

The Hurricane

Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post (28 Dec 1935--1 Feb 1936). A 5 Dec 1935 HR ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.