Feature Drama | 1940 | Silent | B/W
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Harry Pound foils the villains who try to rig a contract. Amateur story film made during World War Two.
Titles - "Kirkham Film Service Distributors, HAVB Film" "H. A. V. Bulleid presents William (Bill) Orpher in Pound on Rates with J. T. H. Ashmore : Eileen Watkins".
A man with a hat rooting through a scrap yard or building site. He knocks over a plank of wood which falls to the ground. He hides. A man peeps out of a window to see what the disturbance was. Not seeing anything, he moves away from the window. The hiding man runs away.
Close-up of a piece of paper which reads "Report of Findings at the premises of Mr Gregson, builder". A man in a suit and a hat sits writing at a desk. He reclines with a pipe in his mouth. He has the look of a private detective. Close-up of the paper with his signature - "Harry Pound". He passes the report to a secretary opposite for filing. Intertitle - "File this under J, Miss Maurice, Jerry - Building". As the secretary files the report she looks inside. Harry taps his pipe on the table.
Three men talk around a desk in a gloomy room. They are an undesirable looking threesome. One sits down and has a patch over one eye. The two others stand either side of the desk talking. Intertitle - "If we fail to get the town hall contract we're finished". The older man standing leans in and slams his hand down on the desk. Intertitle - "We shall not fail, I shall instruct the committee".
The town hall committee meeting, a group of men sit around a long table discussing. A distinguished gentleman sits at the top of the table with two quotes from builders in front of him. One reads G. King and Sons and the other reads L. Gregson. They discuss which builder to go with. Intertitle - "Definitely Gregson". A woman agrees. Intertitle - "Cheaper by £475". The man from the office pipes up. Intertitle - "Gregson is a Jerry - building adventurer and I've got evidence to prove it". There is more talk and the head of the committee folds his papers. Intertitle - "We shall meet here for final decision at 8pm on Friday". Back at the office the Harry is sat at his desk with a man to his right and Miss Maurice to his left. He looks pensive. Miss Maurice nervously fiddles with her pen and her dress. She stands up and asks to leave early because her mother is ill. He permits her to leave but then instructs his the man beside him (Scottie) to follow her. Miss Maurice walks quickly along the street with Scottie behind her. They pass signs on the pavement which read "regal", "palace" and "plaza". She goes into a door and the window sign reads "Builder and Contractor". A man walks up to the building an looks around him before going in. Scottie runs to a telephone booth. Harry picks up the phone in his office, then takes his camera from his desk and leaves the office.
The three men from the rival building firm and Miss Maurice are sat around a desk. Miss Maurice hands the men a piece of paper. Harry meets Scottie on the corner outside the builders. He sneaks around the back of the building and sees the men and Miss Maurice at the table. He carefully places his camera on the ledge and takes a photograph. The men hear the click and one of them gets up. Harry throws his camera to Scotty who runs onto the street and he hides. The man comes running around the back but doesn’t see him. Harry throws a plank of wood as a decoy. The man runs towards the sound and Harry trips him up with another bit of wood. He then makes his way back to the office. Back in the office Harry sits down and Scotty emerges from the dark room with the photograph he has just developed.
The men in the gloomy room again. Intertitle - "The photograph must be recovered, Pound must fail to attend the meeting tomorrow".
Harry and Scotty talk. Intertitle - "I shall now engage a trustworthy secretary". He pulls his hat down over his head and leans back in his chair. Scotty smiles.
A clock showing 9.35am. A woman tucked down under the covers of her bed. Close-up of the phone by her bed. She reaches out and turns the alarm clock over. Harry is in his office on the phone waiting for her to pick up. She reaches out and picks up the phone, and pulls the receiver under the cover with her. She sits up when she hears Harry's voice. Intertitle - "Yes Harry, Yes Harry, Yes Harry" Harry speaks to her with his feet up on his desk. Intertitle - "O.K. then, six o' clock this evening". He hangs up and she lies back down on the bed.
Close-up of a clock at five to six. Scotty comes into the office where Harry is sat at his desk. He stands and they adjust their shirts. Scotty is lacking a tie. Scotty leaves and Harry's wife enters the office. He shows her the photograph and she puts it in her bag. Intertitle - "This is our vital evidence for tomorrow's meeting". He puts the negative in an envelope with "Her Majesty's Secret Service" written on it. Intertitle - "I've got to attend a short meeting til about 6.30". She sits at the desk, he gives her a newspaper and leaves. He walks around a corner and meets Scotty who is now wearing a tie and they walk together. Big piles of sand bags line the streets. Skulking around a corner is the man with the patch over his eye who watches the two men. When he sees them going to the meeting he heads to Harry's office. In the office Harry's wife bends down to pick something up from under the desk. The man with the patch enters the office. Under the desk she hears him as he enters and starts to search the desks. She creeps over to the door and locks it and then sits confidently down in the chair. The man now notices her and goes over to her. Intertitle - "You don't seem scared Miss". She laughs. Intertitle - "Not in the least, this isn't a movie you know". She continues to read the paper while the man frantically searches the desk. The man leans into her trying to intimidate her. Intertitle - "Where's the negative?". He grabs her and shakes her until Scotty disturbs him at the door. He pushes past Scotty and makes a break for it. Harry arrives and they congratulate his wife.
Close-up of a calendar, Friday 8th May 1940. Written on the calendar is "8pm Building Committee". A car pulls up Harry and his wife get out. From the bushes the man with the patch comes over from the car and pours something from a watering can into the exhaust pipe. A woman gets out of a car with some golf clubs. The man with the patch waits for her to leave and he jumps in her car. Harry and his wife sat inside…. having a drink. He pulls out the incriminating photograph. They have a toast and then look over at a clock which says 6.35pm. They leave the table leaving the photgraph behind on the table! On the way to the meeting, they break down and have to flag down a passing car. The driver lets Harry borrow the car and he stays to help his wife fix the car. While he is bent over the engine, Harry's wife sees that it is the man who came into the office looking for the photograph. She hits him on the head and drags him into the car. She gets the car going and jumps in. She catches up with her husband who has stopped and is talking to two gentlemen and the woman whose car was stolen. Harry's wife gets out of the car and the man with the eye patch make his escape. The two men and the woman chase after him across a field. Harry and his wife get in the car to race to the meeting. Close-up of a clock which now says five to eight. The car speeds along the road. Shot of the town hall where the people are gathered for the meeting. Close-up of Harry's empty seat. Behind the chairman are posters for the Red Cross. Point of view shot of the car racing along the road. They get to the meeting and Harry realises he has lost the picture. His wife pulls out a picture from her purse and gives it to him. He puts it in his hat and walks into the meeting. He puts the hat down on the desk and the … man looks worried. He gets up and leaves the meeting. Harry passes the photograph over to the chairman who laughs when he sees it is a picture of sheep. With the plan foiled, Harry leans back and tilts his hat.
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