Salute the Toff
Salute the Toff is a 1952 British crime film directed by Maclean Rogers and starring John Bentley and Carol Marsh. The film was based on the 1941 novel of the same name by John Creasey, the sixth in the series featuring upper-class sleuth Richard Rollison, also known as "The Toff". This film and another Toff adaptation, Hammer the Toff, were shot back-to-back at Nettlefold Studios in the summer of 1951. They were released to cinemas in January and May 1952 respectively.
|Salute the Toff|
|Directed by||Maclean Rogers|
|Produced by||Ernest G. Roy|
|Written by||John Creasey|
|Edited by||Jim Connock|
|Distributed by||Butcher's Film Service|
Neither film was thought to have survived and both were classed as "missing, believed lost", although there was a degree of hope that they might be lurking as yet uncatalogued in British TV archives. Both films are included on the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" list of missing British feature films. This changed in 2013 when Salute The Toff was finally released on DVD from Renown Pictures Limited.
The Honourable Richard Rollison (Bentley) is a well-known private detective who has friends and contacts in all echelons of society from the wealthy West End set to the lowest East End hovels. He likes to take on cases on behalf of underdogs, and is feared by the criminal underworld for his fearsome reputation of always getting his man.
Young secretary Fay Gretton (Marsh) comes to Rollison, worried that her employer has not shown up for work for several days and cannot be contacted. Rollison breaks into the man's flat and finds a body – not that of Fay's missing boss, but the son of a millionaire businessman. The missing man is the prime suspect, and it is up to Rollison to get to the bottom of the case, aided by his East End contacts. After a series of dramatic events, including Fay being abducted and tied up, the truth is finally revealed, the missing man is found, and Rollison proves that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
Salute the Toff appears to have received a favourable reception from reviewers. Kine Weekly described it as "a sturdy, comprehensive yarn", while the Daily Film Renter called it "a deep and varied plot of robbery and murder, calculated to keep audience attention alert, a popular winner in the mystery and murder category". Today's Cinema enjoyed the film, but pointed out that sophisticated fare was not on the menu by classing it as a "bustling crime and detection action of the brand beloved by the masses".