“London Blackout Murders”

image. Can you imagine JOHN ABBOTT, one of Hollywood’s well known character actors,in a film in which he is the star and plays a vigilante!
At the time of this film in 1942, Abbott was only 37 but looks about 67! It’s that permanently depressed look he has.
LONDON BLACKOUT MURDERS is an odd little film in which Abbott runs a tobacconist shop. After a bomb raid, Mary McLeod, whose home has been destroyed,is given a room above the shop and Abbott is quite helpful to her.
He is a pipe smoker and we see him killing a businessman in a bomb shelter underground – using a hyperdermic needle concealed in his pipe.
You now know he is a murderer but his reason is unknown.
He has an arrangement with a nosey neighbour (Anita Sharp-Bolster) who is paid to look after some dogs. She leaves the dogs in Abbott’s shop while she goes to the local pub!
There are two more murders and Mary becomes suspicious. She’s having trouble sleeping and Abbott takes her a sleeping pill. The end of Mary ,you think.
By some silly coincidence,Abbott is trapped when a cop (Lloyd Corrigan) just happens to be present at the next murder.

At his trial,Abbott admits guilt and it turns out he is a man on a mission, killing traitors to the Allied cause!
He also killed his wife,but that was because she drove two men to suicide!
Mary is alive and well and Abbott tries to pass on his lethal pipe to her Dutch boyfriend but he says no thank you!

As I said, an odd little film which lasted 52 minutes.
John Abbott is good in the right part eg Woman in White ,but he seemed all wrong in this.
I was interested to read he was due to star on stage in HARVEY but pulled out before the first night on Broadway.
He was also Will Scarlet in ROGUE OF SHERWOOD FOREST. I can’t see it!

Anita Sharp-Bolster could compete with Margaret Hamilton in a battle of battle-axes. She probably had her biggest role in this film and she had some good dialogue.

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