Synopsis

Charters and Caldicott, touring in the Near East, are mistaken for German agents and handed in error a gramophone record which contains vital information for Britain's enemies.

Director

John Baxter

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by herbqedi 9 /10

Very British "road movie" as much fun as any later made by Hope & Crosby

Coldecot & Charters ride again in a brisk romp through the desert and Europe. The production values are strictly "B-" but that's all part of the fun. Greta Gynt, sings well, acts well, and is gorgeous as the femme fatale who is some sort of agent - but for which side? The other supporting roles are also quite well played. Coldecot's fiancé is very funny in each of her scenes. My favorite scene is when Charters accidentally knocks a fellow he had presumed to be Charters into the Bosperous straits as a door in their hotel marked bathroom is really a deathtrap leading to the water below. Coldecot argues that the door should be marked Bosperous, not bathroom. That type of humour abounds throughout - taking the absurd and the dangerous in stride and bantering about it as if it were normal. I found this movie a lot of fun and a highly enjoyable way to spend my time.

Reviewed by dglink 7 /10

Foreign Countries are so Full of Foreigners

Charters and Caldicott, those delightfully self-absorbed cricket fans of Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes" and Reed's "Night Train to Munich" return in a film all their own. The very British pair of gents are traveling through the Middle East, when their tour bus runs out of gas. Quite annoyed to spend a night in the middle of the desert, the quite proper Englishmen do not even have a change of clothes for dinner. When they reach Baghdad, the pair come into possession of a phonograph record with a coded message and unwittingly become involved with a nest of German spies. Blithely unaware of their predicament, they bumble along to Istanbul and barely escape falling into the river through a hole in the floor behind a hotel door marked "Bathroom." Caldicott is miffed of course; the door should be marked "Bosphorus." The plot is light with enough holes to shame Swiss cheese and irrelevant to the fun, which lies with the witty dead-pan interplay between Basil Radford as Charters and Naughton Wayne as Caldicott. International politics are of no concern to the pair, especially when compared to cricket scores, and their travels are just a journey from one pesky inconvenience to another. Charters and Caldicott are the tourists who should never leave home, because foreign countries are so full of people who neither speak English nor understand the importance of cricket.

Charters and Caldicott are like a droll Abbott and Costello, minus the slapstick, and "Crook's Tour" resembles an Abbott and Costello movie. Like Abbott, Caldicott is a magnet for attractive women; despite his unlikely engagement to Charters's horse-faced sister, he returns the flirtatious interest of blonde Greta Gynt as La Palermo. Unfortunately, the movie also resembles the Abbott and Costello flicks with unwelcome musical intrusions, and, although the film is a relatively short 80 minutes long, La Palermo warbles a couple forgettable tunes that only slow down the action and take screen time from the stars. Despite the amusing leads, director John Baxter is no Hitchcock or Reed, and the film is more routine programmer than classic. However, the team of Radford and Wayne make the trip worthwhile.

Reviewed by trev-11 N/A

A Classic that should be on Video

After the Lady Vanishes (1938) Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne reprised

their roles as the cricket mad rather inept upper class Englishmen Charters and Caldicott. They bumble through Europe their stiff accents and manners getting themselves into trouble and rubbing people up the wrong way. They are on a

Railway Station and they stop to show respect to the Ruritanian states national anthem. They stand rigid to all 23 verses which no one else takes any notice of and miss the train. They set out to conquor a mountain and they get covered in muck have all sorts of accidents but eventually the British bulldog comes out and they get there. Turning the corner at the summit they find a road and they follow it until they come to a sign. Getting out the phrase book it is deciphered as Bus Stop and just then it draws up. The road went up the other side of the mountain. Hilarious if only to look at Charters and Caldicott's deadpan

expressions. Charters and Caldicott reprised the roles twice more in the Night Train to Munich which returns to spies and Millions like us a wartime morale

boosting film.

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