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Maurice Meister (Wilfrid Lawson), a lawyer who has his hands in all
kinds of illegal operations, receives a message from the Ringer, a
serialkiller who has dedicated his life to only kill criminals who can't
be brought to justice for whatevr reason. With Meister, the Ringer has
some personal beef, though, because Meister drove his sister to suicide.
police are on the job to guard Meister's life soon enough, but there are
two major problems with the whole affat: 1) the Ringer is supposed to be
dead, and 2) nobody knows what the Ringer looks like. The policemen
investigating the case, Wembury (Patrick Barr) and Doctor Lomond
(Alexander Knox), soon find a way to circumvent these problems, by getting
the only man who has ever seen the Ringer, petty criminal Hackett (Sonni
Hale), out of prison to help them identify the man, and they get hold of
the Ringer's wife Cora Ann (Louise Henry) to find out whether or not the
Ringer actually is dead.
All of this of course helps very little, nor
does Inspector Bliss (John Longden), a cop from Australia who is said to
have shot the Ringer but who behaves very suspiciously, or the fact that
while Meister's house is heavily guarded, he has neglected to tell the
police about a secret passageway he uses for his smuggling operations,
through which whoever wants can enter or leave the house undetected.
the time Meister is supposed to be murdered, Wembury and Lomond pay him a
personal victim with a few cops to make sure nobody else gets hold of him
- but then the light goes out, and when it comes on again, Meister is
dead. And the killer is ... Doc Lomond to everyone's surprise, who has
planned his operation to the t ... but then Bliss is able to identify him
because he has received a telegram that the real Lomond has been found
dead. To escape arrest, Lomond takes a pill to kill himself ... but
later somehow gets away with his wife in a stolen ambulance ...
little murder mystery that is pretty good at keeping one guessing without
throwing too many red herrings into the mix, and without pulling a killer
out of the hat in the finale - actually, the solution of the movie makes
sense for a change, which isn't the case too often with Edgar
That all sait, The Gaunt Stranger is not a
great movie, not even a genre classic, just good entertainment.