A day in the life of a busy Scotland Yard inspector, courtesy of Mr. John Ford.
Well made and well photographed, but sadly not one of Ford's better films. There is far too much going on--all of the various capers Gideon investigates (crooked detective, pay heists, thugs out to kill a stool pigeon, serial rapist, rich toffs robbing a bank) could each make an entire film, but are here barely developed and remain unsatisfyingly shallow. The bucolic 1950s sitcom image of Gideon's homelife also jibes uneasily with the rest of the film. Part of the problem lies in that Ford apparently cut the film from 118 to 90 minutes; that likely accounts for much of the lack of development. Hawkins and most of the supporting cast are fine, but they are badly let down by several very poor supporting performances (Hervey and Potter are the biggest offenders here).
The film still remains very watchable, but the end result is rather disappointing. Production design by Ken Adam--love those miniature buses outside Gideon's window!
And isn't the moose in the Chief's office the same one that bedeviled Basil Fawlty two decades later?