The Ringer (1931 film)

The Ringer is a 1931 British crime film directed by Walter Forde and starring Patric Curwen, Esmond Knight, John Longden and Carol Goodner. Scotland Yard detectives hunt for a dangerous criminal who has recently returned to England.[1] The film was based on an Edgar Wallace story The Gaunt Stranger, which is the basis for his play The Ringer.[2] Forde remade the same story in 1938 as The Gaunt Stranger. There was also a silent film of The Ringer in 1928, and a 1952 version starring Donald Wolfit.[3]

The Ringer
Directed byWalter Forde
Produced byMichael Balcon
Written byEdgar Wallace (novel)
Sidney Gilliat
Angus MacPhail
Robert Stevenson
StarringPatric Curwen
Esmond Knight
John Longden
Carol Goodner
CinematographyAlex Bryce
Edited byIan Dalrymple
Distributed byIdeal Films
Release date
April 1931
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

It was made at Beaconsfield Studios.[4]


Critical reception

The New York Times wrote, "at the Cameo is a picturization of the late Edgar Wallace's play The Ringer. This film, which hails from England, is the sort of melodrama that provides more amusement than excitement";[5] while in The BFI Companion to Crime, Phil Hardy wrote, "this is the best version of this oft-filmed play...Directed by Forde with a slickness and pace unusual in British films of the period, especially considering the film's stage origins...Hokum, but enjoyable."[6]



  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927–1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

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