Murder on Diamond Row


1h 17m 1937

Brief Synopsis

London's jewel thieves are under the thumb of a mysterious fence, who ruthlessly exposes any thief who crosses him. Desperate, Scotland Yard re-hires ex-Inspector Barrabal who, as a known drunkard, is ideally suited to go undercover with a faked criminal record (which may spoil his chances with lovely Carol Stedman). Interested parties: Larry Graeme, cat burglar; his girl, sexy dancer Tamara; Collie, sardonic reporter. Then murder makes apprehension of the Squeaker urgent.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Squeaker
Genre
Crime
Release Date
Dec 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
London Film Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Great Britain
Screenplay Information
Based on the play The Squeaker by Edgar Wallace (London, 29 May 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Several men rob Wainright Bros. of £5,000 worth of diamonds, but have to sell them for a mere £500 to the fence known as "The Squeaker." Later, at the Leopard Club, Larry Graeme, a jewel thief, visits his lover, Tamara, a dancer at the club. That night Larry steals the Van Rissik pearls, worth £50,000, but refuses to sell them to the Squeaker. Joshua Collie, a reporter for the Post-Courier , writes that the Squeaker can be caught by following the trail of the diamonds, not the criminals. During a line-up of suspects, superintendent Marshall recognizes Barrabal, a former police detective who has become an alcoholic. Barrabal promises to stay on the wagon for a job, and is assigned to the Squeaker case. Using the name of Captain Frank Leslie, Barrabal gets a job with Frank Sutton of E. G. Stedman & Co., a shipping concern. Sutton has a well-known sympathy for men down on their luck, and offers them jobs. When Sutton learns from the police that Barrabal is a known criminal with many aliases, he tells his girl friend Carol Stedman, whose father owns the company. Carol had felt sorry for Barrabal, but now believes he lied to her. When Larry threatens to turn Sutton in, Sutton sends a letter to Scotland Yard fingering Larry for the pearl theft, and signs it "The Squeaker." The Squeaker has a history of turning in thieves to the Yard if they will not sell their booty to him at a low price. Larry is picked up by police, but escapes rather than reveal the identity of the Squeaker. Larry arrives at a party on the Stedman estate, where Carol and Barrabal are falling in love. Pulling a gun on Sutton, Larry plans to turn him in, but Sutton shoots him first. After Inspector Elford questions the guests about the shooting, Barrabal is arrested as a ruse. Carol refuses to flee with Sutton, and they are called down to the Yard. There Sutton learns that "Leslie" is Barrabal, and is finally unnerved into confessing that he is the Squeaker, after he is shown Larry's body and the imprisoned men he turned in. Sutton confesses that he employed ex-convicts in order to pin the crimes on them when he was threatened by exposure. Barrabal is then reinstated as inspector, and Marshall finally allows him to have another drink.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Squeaker
Genre
Crime
Release Date
Dec 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
London Film Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Great Britain
Screenplay Information
Based on the play The Squeaker by Edgar Wallace (London, 29 May 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to Variety, scenarist Bryan Wallace was the son of author Edgar Wallace. The review also noted that all the play's dialogue had been eliminated, and only the barest plot framework remained from the original. The play was, according to the review, modernized for its adaptation to the screen by revealing the criminal early in the picture to emphasize the unravelling of the crime, and by building Barrabal's role into a romantic lead. In Great Britain, the title of the film was The Squeaker, which in underworld slang means informer. The title was changed for American release only a week prior to distribution. Four minutes were cut from the British version before its American release.