DARK STREETS OF CAIRO. Universal Pictures, 1940. Sigrid Gurie, Ralph Byrd, Eddie Quillan, George Zucco, Katherine DeMille, Rod La Rocque, Sig Arno, Yolande Mallott, Lloyd Corrigan, Nestor Paiva. Director: László Kardos.

   A very minor crime thriller taking place in Egypt (of course) in which the comedy relief takes up nearly as much playing time as does the story itself, that of a gang of crooks anxious to get their hands on a set of seven jewels dug up in a pharaoh’s tomb by an American archaeological expedition.

   Stealing the show from beneath the nominal hero, Ralph Byrd, is of course George Zucco as the ruthless head of the bad guys. The rest of the players are all along for the ride, including Eddie Quillan as Byrd’s goofy sidekick, Jerry Jones. Lots of secret doors and underground passages, eyes looking out from a mummy case, a knife-throwing act, and a trio of good-looking women, but nothing that would give this film more than a luke-warm recommendation from me.

   On second thought, that may be too harsh. I did watch it all the way through. That always counts for something.