THE RIVERSIDE MURDER. Fox Film Co. UK, 1935. Basil Sydney (Inspector Philip Winton), Judy Gunn, Zoë Davis, Alastair Sim, Ian Fleming, Tom Helmore, Martin Lewis. Screenplay by Selwyn Jepson, based on the novel Les Six Hommes Morts by André Steeman. Director: Albert Parker.

    Most of this rather well done mystery movie takes place in an “old dark house,” British style. Someone is killing off the members of a financial pact in which those still alive at the appointed date and time will share in each others’ fortunes over the length of the pact.

   The local inspector (Basil Sydney) thinks he can handle the case without having to call Scotland Yard in, but can he handle the bubbling interference of a young female reporter (Judy Gunn) who always seems to be one step ahead of him? She’s as much of a challenge as solving the murders is.

   Long time readers of detective stories will not be challenged all that much by the plot, but it’s still a lot of fun to see it played out as capably as it is here. And fans of one Alistair Sim will not want to miss him in this, his very first film. He plays the inspector’s sergeant and second-in-command on the case, a semi-comic role that doesn’t depend on him being a total nincompoop, either, as those in the same position in many US films of the same variety oh so often turn out to be.