A gang of street boys foil a master crook who sends commands for robberies by cunningly altering a comic strip’s wording each week, unknown to writer and printer. The first of the Ealing comedies. –IMDb
Director Charles Crichton’s film career began as an editor in 1935 with Alexander Korda’s London Films, and in that capacity he worked on such productions as Sanders of the River (1935), Things to Come (1936) and Elephant Boy (1937) (which introduced Sabu to movie audiences). He soon left London Films for Ealing Studios, and rose quickly through the ranks, making his directorial debut with For Those in Peril (1944). Meticulous to the point of being referred to as a “perfectionist”, Crichton came into his own at Ealing, a studio noted for its comedies, and among his best known are the quirky but charming The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) and the wildly popular The Lavender Hill Mob (1951). He tried his hand at drama—outside of Ealing—with Hunted (1952), starring Dirk Bogarde. When Ealing closed its doors in 1959, Crichton’s film work petered off, and he turned more and more to television, becoming a prolific director of crime and adventure series. His occasional forays back into feature… read more
The first of what became the Ealing trademark series is a delightfully antic caper with a cast including seemingly every boy (and one or two girls) in post war London. Fascinating use of dour and grim bombed-out city locations behind a balmy and childish (and I mean that in the best possible way) story. Alistair Sim's smarmy character makes a meal of the script's juiciest line: "Oh how I hate adventurous minded boys!"