THE DIPLOMATIC CORPSE. Rank, UK, 1958. Robin Bailey, Susan Shaw, Liam Redmond, Harry Fowler, André Mikhelson. Director: Montgomery Tully.

   Robin Bailey, known best to me for playing Charters in the British TV series Charters & Caldicott, is a newspaper reporter in this one, along with Susan Shaw, who works the paper’s woman’s news desk. To tell you the truth, though, she seems to have more a nose for news than he does. Shaw is a pretty blonde who ought to have had a greater movie career than she seems to have had (even looking at her IMDb list of credits, they all seem to be minor – I don’t recognize any of them).

   Dead is an attaché for a foreign embassy in London. While the viewer knows who the villains are as soon as they appear on the screen, it takes our stalwart detective pair a little longer, even with the reluctant assistance of a Scotland Yard detective, whose hands are tied because, as everyone knows, embassies are not legally on British soil.

   Which as it so happens, without really giving anything away, I hope, is the key to the case, as a purely legal matter, although I do think the bad guys give up way too easily.

   The Diplomatic Corpse is a minor film from any perspective, but its mere 60 minutes running time makes it seem that it’s moving faster than it really is. It’s stagy and severely handicapped by a lack of more than the three or four sets than are actively used, all indoor. Even when Susan Shaw’s character is caught impersonating the switchboard operator in the embassy and locked in an upstairs bedroom, it doesn’t move the needle on the suspense meter more than one small notch, if that.

   And yet, and yet, after all this carping, as minor as this movie is, I enjoyed watching it. Whatever the story and production may be lacking, the actors were pros at the job and they seemed to having a good time. That counts for a lot.