Professor Jordon’s House

Hannay finds the estate and rings the bell.  The maid answers the door.  He asks for the Master and says to ask him if he knows Miss Annabella Smith.  Remember, she is the spy who was murdered in his flat in London.   He enters, the police show up, and the maid answering the door denies any strangers are there.  That’s a clue to the audience only that perhaps Hannay is in trouble.

Hannay introduces himself to Professor Jordan as Mr. Hammond and that he knows Anabella Smith, and is coming on her behalf.  There is a party going on, and Hannay is introduced as Mr. Hammond to a variety of people, including the local sheriff.    The people know about the murderer being in Scotland.  And Professor Jordan knows he is Hannay and asks if Annabella was killed.  He also asks why Hannay is here in Scotland.  He answers by saying she was coming to see you.   That the foreign agent who killed her is headed up by a man who had part of his little finger missing.   He reveals that part of his (Professor Jordan’s) little finger is missing and that he is about to convey some very vital information out of the country.

Jordan shoots Hannay, and Hannay falls with a thump, presumably dead.   It turns out the bullet hits the hymnbook that was in the farmer’s “Sunday” coat.   Hannay escapes to the sheriff.    He turns himself in to the police who have been after him.   The other two men who killed Smith are outside the police station.  Something is fishy.  Professor Jordan obviously controls lots of people in this town, including the sheriff.    Hannay escapes through the window.

He loses himself in a parade and the woman on the train (Pamela) turns up again, and turns him in again.   Hannay pleads with her to call England and Scotland Yard.  She says no.     She and Hannay are in a car being taken somewhere, by the police, because the police need her at the station to identify Hannay.   It is a suspicious situation.   They miss a turn that would go to the station they said they were heading to and Pamela, familiar with the territory, knows this.,   Hannay does not, but she tells the police they missed the turn,  Hanny figures out that they are not the police, but part of Professor Jordan’s agents.

Pamela and he are now wondering – and Hannay says “I bet your Sheriff principal has the top joint of his little finger missing.”  Pamela overhears something that makes her believe Hannay is telling the truth.  Handcuffed together, Pamela and Hannay escape.

The police are still on their tracks as he stays at an inn with Pamela, posing as newlyweds or lovers,  and the police show up to ask the innkeeper about new travelers.  But they are supposedly in the good graces of the wife and she sends off the police.  Pamela now decides Hannay has been speaking the truth.  Eventually, they make it back to England.  The haunting Mr. Memory musical theme is still in Hannay’s head as he has been whistling it in various scenes.  Is Pamela the first Spy Girl (ala “Bond Girl”)?  If so, she is tough and self-sufficient, and a model for future spy women.  Think Ursula Andres as Honey Rider in Dr. No.

For spy movie fans, this movie has continuous action – not the kind of special effects action scenes in modern spy films – but continuous action that creates tension onscreen and in the viewer’s mind.


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