|Directed by||Eugene Forde|
|Written by||Bryan Edgar Wallace (Screenplay), Gerald Elliott (Dialogue), Richard Llewellyn|
|Based on||The character 'Inspector Hornleigh' created by Hans Wolfgang Priwin|
|Produced by||Robert Kane|
|Cinematography||Philip Tannura, Derick Williams|
|Edited by||James B. Clark (Supervising Editor), Douglas Robertson (Film Editor)|
Argyle Television Films, Inc.
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox|
|7 March 1939 (UK)|
14 June 1939 (USA)
Inspector Hornleigh is a 1938 British detective film directed by Eugene Forde, starring Gordon Harker and Alastair Sim, with Miki Hood, Wally Patch, Steven Geray and Edward Underdown. The film was shot at Pinewood Studios in England. The screenplay was co-written by Bryan Edgar Wallace.
- Gordon Harker as Inspector Hornleigh
- Alastair Sim as Sergeant Bingham
- Miki Hood as Ann Gordon
- Wally Patch as Sam Holt
- Steven Geray as Michael Kavanos
- Edward Underdown as Peter Dench
- Hugh Williams as Bill Gordon
- Gibb McLaughlin as Alfred Cooper
- Ronald Adam as Wittens
- Eliot Makeham as Alexander Parkinson, leather worker
- Peter Gawthorne as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (uncredited)
- Charles Carson as Chief Superintendent (uncredited)
- Vi Kaley as Landlady (uncredited)
- Julian Vedey as Cafe Proprietor (uncredited)
The film is a spin-off from a popular BBC radio series of the 1930s, Inspector Hornleigh Investigates, created and written by Hans Wolfgang Priwin, which ran on the BBC from 1937 to 1940.
The screenplay was not written by Priwin and the leading characters are somewhat modified. The actor who played Inspector Hornleigh on the BBC, S.J. Warmington, is replaced by comedian Gordon Harker, and is given a bumbling sidekick, played by Alastair Sim, solely as comic relief. The BBC series was a serious detective drama, but in the film the two leading characters play the script for laughs, and the casting of two well-known comedy stars in the parts indicates that this was the director's intention. The rest of the cast behave as if they are in a straight drama, highlighting the behaviour of Harker and Sim.
To emphasise that this was a comedy film series, and to enhance the comedy double-act between Harker and Sim, the subsequent films in the series were be written by the comedy writers Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat.
Although the film was released in 1939, it carries a copyright notice dated 1938. It was made by Argyle Television Films, but was given a cinema release in the UK.
- The New York Times called the film "a neat bit of British detective fictionizing, as tailor-made as a Bond Street jacket, now on view at the Rialto."
- TV Guide wrote, "though the film is well-plotted and well-acted (Sim is hilarious), the thick English and Scottish accents were often incomprehensible to American audiences. Aside from that, the suspense is nicely built towards a good denouement."
- Vintage 45 wrote, "this works as a mystery and the occasional snide remarks between Hornleigh and Bingham work to lighten things up a bit. The movie is fun and clever."
- "BFI | Film & TV Database | INSPECTOR HORNLEIGH (1938)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Search Results - BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
- Nugent, Frank S. (15 June 1939). "Movie Review - Inspector Hornleigh - THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; Elisabeth Bergner Plays a Dual Role in 'Stolen Life' at the Rivoli-Tarzan Returns to Cauitol-'Inspector Hornleigh' Offered at the Rialto". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Inspector Hornleigh Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
- "Inspector Hornleigh (1938) | Vintage45's Blog". Vintage45.wordpress.com. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2014.