Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Definitely no relation to the horror-film series of the same name, the British Friday the 13th is a variation of the "Bridge on the San Luis Rey" theme, set in motion by a London bus accident. Two passengers are killed and two injured in the crash, but the screenplay (co-written by Hitchcock-contributor Sidney Gilliat) keeps the audience in suspense as to the identities of the victims. In a series of flashbacks, the viewer is introduced to the passengers and the various trials and tribulations they were dealing with before the accident. The characters include a chorus girl en route to a date with a man she doesn't love; a henpecked husband whose wife was cheating on him; a blackmailer who'd been bleeding an unfortunate young man dry; a wise-guy crook who was about to be caught by a nasty detective; and so on. Extraordinarily well cast for a mid-1930s British film, Friday the 13th affords excellent acting opportunities for the likes of Jessie Mathews, Ursula Jeans, Frank Lawton, Ralph Richardson, Max Miller, O.B. Clarence and Emlyn Williams, among many many others. While American critics were impressed by the film, British reviewers were less kind, commenting that the constant switch from one character to another only results in confusion (PS: It doesn't).
bus, accident, blackmail, chorus-girl, crash, detective, extramarital-affair, lightning, thief