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The Hour of 13 (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Romance | 21 November 1952 (USA)
A jewel thief tries to mislead police who suspect that his theft of a valuable emerald is related to the serial murder of eleven policemen.


Harold French


Philip MacDonald (novel), Leon Gordon | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Peter Lawford ... Nicholas Revel
Dawn Addams ... Jane Frensham
Roland Culver ... Connor
Derek Bond ... Sir Christopher Lenhurst
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Ernie Perker
Michael Hordern ... Sir Herbert Frensham
Colin Gordon ... MacStreet
Heather Thatcher ... Mrs. Chumley Orr
Jack McNaughton Jack McNaughton ... Ford
Campbell Cotts Campbell Cotts ... Mr. Chumley Orr
Fabia Drake ... Lady Elmbridge
Michael Goodliffe ... Anderson
Moultrie Kelsall ... Magistrate of Court
Peter Copley ... Cummings
Richard Shaw Richard Shaw ... The 'Terror'


Nicholas Revel (Peter Lawford) is a young man any dowager in London welcomes to her parties. He has taking ways, and the Calgurie Emerald is one of the things he takes. This daring theft brings unexpected complications, amongst them the daughter, Jane Frensham (Dawn Addams), of the head of Scotland Yard, Sir Herbert Frensham (Sir Michael Hordern) and a maniacal killer loose in London. Revel sets a trap for the madman, with himself as bait, in a fog-shrouded stalk where one of them has to die. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From M-G-M's treasure chest of mystery novels! See more »


Crime | Mystery | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 November 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sign of the Eagle See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$873,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Nicholas Revel: I will bet you a dozen roses if you show this note to your father, he'll give it his deepest consideration.
Jane Frensham: I'm not a gambler, Mr. Revel.
Nicholas Revel: I think you are, Miss Frensham... or you wouldn't be here.
See more »


Version of The Mystery of Mr. X (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

The mystery hour
17 October 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Love murder/detective mysteries, particularly ones in period settings (Agatha Christie springs to mind), loved the idea for the story and while not usually a fan of Peter Lawford the intriguing cast (have always liked Michael Hordern) promised a lot. 'The Hour of 13' was one of those films that seemed like it would be right up my alley.

'The Hour of 13' turned out to be enjoyable, diverting and well done, was hoping that would be the case and it was. It will never be one of my favourites and it doesn't blow the mind, but there is a lot to enjoy and fans of the genre won't be too disappointed. Also liked that 'The Hour of 13' didn't try to do too much, knew what it wanted to be and didn't try to be more than it needed to be.

Sure, there could have been more suspense and dread and parts are a little too heavy on the seriousness making one feel that the lightness seen in other parts was more consistent and that one could invest emotionally a bit more.

Occasionally, the pace could have been tighter.

However, 'The Hour of 13' is a handsome-looking film, with atmospheric and handsomely crafted period detail, an appropriate moodiness in the photography and lighting and editing that is never sluggish or frenzied. The music is suitably haunting and while the direction is not especially distinctive it still keeps things interesting.

Much of the time, the script is thoughtful and doesn't get limp or confused. The story may not be much new but has a nice atmosphere and it avoids over-simplicity and convolution, more often than not engaging. The villain does carry off the right amount of menace. The characters carry the film well as do the cast. Lawford's performance is one of his better ones, and classy Dawn Addams and authoritative Michael Hordern are standouts of the accomplished supporting cast.

Concluding, enjoyable fun and works nicely as a film of its genre. Just don't expect anything exceptional. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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