MURDER AT THE WINDMILL. Grand National Pictures, UK, 1949. Released in the US as Murder at the Burlesque by Monogram Pictures (1950). Garry Marsh (Detective Inspector), Jon Pertwee (Detective Sergeant), Jack Livesey, Eliot Makeham, Jimmy Edwards, Diana Decker, Donald Clive. Screenwriter/director: Val Guest.

   The Windmill Theater, that is, a real life performance hall in London, known at one time for a nude girls revue, permitted by the authorities as long as the girls did not move. This being a movie, the closest it comes to anything as risque as that is the inclusion of a fan dancer as one of the acts, with very large feathery fans.

   The movie begins as the theater is closing down for the night, and the cleanup crew finds a dead man sitting in the front row, killed by a bullet shot by someone on the stage, or so the inspector from the Yard quickly deduces.

   His method of finding the killer? Have all of the acts from that night’s program recreated onstage, even if it takes all night.

   And as an immediate result, most of the movie’s 65 odd minutes are taken up by singers, dancers, one lone comedian, complete with trombone, and the aforementioned fan dancer. This is not a bad thing, mind you, as many of the performers on stage are members of the actual singers and dancers at the Windmill at the time of the movie’s making. Finding the killer – for of course this really is a mystery movie – doesn’t happen until the end of the very last repeated number.

   Of some note, perhaps, is seeing Jon Pertwee, a future Doctor Who, as the rather diffident police sergeant on the case, or at least he is in comparison to Garry Marsh as the blustery inspector in charge. It all makes for very light family entertainment, especially resonant to those who still remember the era, now long gone by. You needn’t go out of your way for this one, but on the other hand, it’s easily found on YouTube.