Blind Adventure is a genial, nearly successful comedy thriller. Robert Armstrong, playing an unexpectedly wealthy working class American who’s vacationing in London, heads out into the fog and finds himself on a wild night. He encounters espionage, British society, a damsel in distress (Helen Mack) and trifle.
Armstrong and Mack are wonderful together (they soon reunited in Son of Kong, along with director Schoedsack and writer Ruth Rose) and the film’s failures are mostly disappointing because it should have launched a franchise for the pair. They’re Nick and Nora, but a year early and less blue blooded. They also have a fabulous third wheel in Roland Young, a burglar they meet.
Rose’s script has some good lines and a brisk pace. It’s not a comedy revolution—though its Marx Brothers influences are interesting in the context of a straight comedy thriller—but it should have been made into a better film.
It’s Schoedsack who primarily fails here. While the film’s modest budget is obvious (any London sights would be obscured by the dense fog), Schoedsack is still essentially inept. His comedy direction is atrocious—he holds the reaction shots to jokes maybe three times longer than he should, so long one wonders if there’s going to be a second joke.
Ralph Bellamy and John Miljan are both good in small roles. Beryl Mercer has a scene and a half with Armstrong and they’re quite funny.
But Armstrong and Mack are just magical; they deserved better treatment than Adventure gives them.