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23 Paces to Baker Street [Import]

1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Fox Mod
  • Release Date: Feb. 26 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

When a blind man overhears a kidnapping plot, the only thing more difficult than foiling it is getting someone to believe him. Without the help of friends or the authorities, the man, along with his fianc?, pieces together the clues of the mystery, all of which are sound.

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Most helpful customer reviews

By B. Chandler TOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 9 2013
Format: DVD
The movie is based on the book "Warrant for X" by Philip MacDonald. So it has a lot of the same characters as in the movie "The List of Adrian Messenger" (1963).

The story has changed a tad form the book. Van Johnson plays a blind playwright (they never say how he got blinded) At first being blind seems like a gimmick but you soon get swept up in the film and the great acting by Van Johnson and it seems perfectly normal.

Phillip Hannon (Van Johnson) over hears two people plotting something sinister but being blind he does not know what they look like. He tells the authorities but they fluff him off. So with the help of his man Bob Matthews (Cecil Parker) and his ex-betrothed Jean Lennox (Vera Miles) they track down their only lead Miss Alice MacDonald (Patricia Laffan who played Devil Girl From Mars"). We watch as Phil has to use his skills to find the plotters before it is too late.

I watch this movie about once a month like clockwork. I know most of the dialog by heart. At one point Phil tells Bob to call Miss Lennox a taxi; I cannot help myself and say "Miss Lennox you are a taxi".

All kidding aside you will also find yourself watching it again and again for the nuances and some things that seem missing as if they cut something out here and there.

Warrant For X (An Anthony Gethryn Mystery)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Another Fox pan and scan! March 2 2013
By Hank - Published on
Format: DVD
This great Cinemascope film is another issue from Fox in pan and scan. Why they keep doing this is of course beyond
any one's comprehension.
I thankfully have Fox's official Spanish release in all its 2.35 widescreen glory.
As I have remarked in previous reviews, why do Fox keep on issuing 2.35 films in 1.33 pan and scan?
The 5 stars are of course for the film itself.
I have just found out that it has been issued in the U.K. in 2.35 ratio and is available from This is obviously the one to buy.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Underrated Suspense Film Noir. April 5 2010
By Glow Worm - Published on
Excellent Hitchcockian mystery thriller about an emotionally volatile & embittered mystery writer (Van Johnson) who is blind and overhears a partial conversation he believes is related to the planning of a kidnapping. Due to the skepticism of the authorities he becomes obsessed with trying to solve the case by himself. Complicated characters with an unconventional villian and targeted victim. Filmed on location there is a wonderful 1950s London ambience to the picture.
Great cast and exciting entertainment. Directed by film noir master Henry Hathaway--also underrated.

"23 Paces To Baker Street" is the perfect film to watch on a long rainy afternoon, so pour yourself a cup of tea (or whatever) and enjoy this neglected gem.

Sorry, but I cannot vouch for the print quality of this film. Buyer beware.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
More pan & scan awfulness from News Corporation March 5 2013
By samantha - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can't believe I fell for it again-- maybe because I love anything Van Johnson and Vera Miles are in and I've wanted this movie for years. It's nice of News Corporation (multimedia conglomerate owner of the proud 20th Century Fox film library) to include the original poster art-- with "CinemaScope" blaring across the cover. But push play and sure enough it's Pan & Scan. Absolutely no respect for its customers, after all the complaints about previous DVD issues in this series. They should be boycotted. But I want these movies so badly I'll probably buy pre-widescreen era releases-- I just refuse to buy anything that's widescreen era from this joke of a company. Long live Warner Archive-- and News Corp can go to you know where.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Why Pan & Scan? BUMMER! March 4 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: DVD
I want to let everyone who is interested in this excellent film
to know that I just called 20th Century Fox (1. 888. 223. 4369)
and was told this film will be released in widescreen. I spoke to
a young woman who said, according to her information, it will not
be released in pan & scan. I am not all that sure that we can take
that as fact, but that's what she told me.

I just had it confirmed today (3/5/13) that this great film will
be released in pan & scan. I urge everyone who is angry to call Fox:
1. 888. 223. 4369 Complain to Fox so they will re-consider
this terrible policy. They keep shooting themselves in the foot!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
23 PACES TO BAKER STREET but only one pace from great film Jan. 17 2011
By Hui Shen ben Israel - Published on
23 PACES TO BAKER STREET (1956) is a tour-de-force for both director Henry Hathaway and star Van Johnson. (Not forgetting the original novel by great prolific writer Philip MacDonald.) This is what I like to call "near-noir", and pretty darned good for all that. It was ignored, I think, because it came out the same year as Ford's THE SEARCHERS. Philip Hannon (Johnson) is a blind WWII vet living in London. As a writer, he lives well but he is angry and bitter about losing his sight in the war. Just for those characteristics alone he speaks to every generation, but he shows a fierce independence and pluck that goes beyond all that. He has learned not to let anyone else know he's blind. All he needs is a regular walking stick, which he uses for echolocation. He has the ears of a dog and Einstein's brain.

In fact he was somewhat inspired by real-life 19th century traveler Lieutenant James Holman of the Royal Navy, known as the "Blind Traveller". Holman's bio, A SENSE OF THE WORLD (vid. my review) always reminds me of 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET, and vice-versa. The title refers to Hannon's knowledge of London; he helps a stranger who has lost his glasses, stops at a certain street and tells the man, "From here it's exactly 23 paces to Baker Street." The man never suspects Hannon can't see. His intrepid and extremely humorous butler, Bob (Cecil Parker) is a perfect complement to Hannon - and here I see the genesis of certain television detectives. Hannon must also balance his relationship with semi-girlfriend Jean (Vera Miles). A revelatory scene shows just what blindness means when Jean inadvertently shuts a balcony door. When Hannon gets upset and runs right into it, he screams horribly about people changing things in his environment.

One day Hannon overhears a kidnapping plot at his favorite restaurant (owned by the delightful and slightly wonky-looking Immortal, Estelle Winwood). Ultimately, in a true "Ironside" moment, Hannon lures the kidnapper-murderer to his apartment, which is pitch dark. This means nothing to Hannon - darkness is his ally - and with his dozens of dictaphones he frightens the murderer into submission. This is why I believe 23 PACES inspired the Japanese film series ZATOICHI, the blind masseur who often traps his enemies in the dark, and says, "Darkness is my friend."

You will love 23 PACES, guaranteed, and wonder why this beautiful, evenly-paced film was such a sleeper. It'll astonish you how inspired it really is. I always say this is Van Johnson's 2nd greatest performance of his career, with his greatest being that of the reporter in STATE OF THE UNION.

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