Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Italian historical melodrama The Cuckoo Clock was acquired for US distribution by MGM-who promptly shelved the film for several months in reflection of mounting anti-Mussolini sentiments in the US. Vittorio De Sica heads the cast of this complex mystery, in which a huge, American-manufactured cuckoo clock is purchased by a European banker for the express purpose of smuggling gold into England. After agreeing to help the banker in his scheme, an elderly nobleman (secretly a spy) is murdered and his body is stuffed into the clock. The captain of the ship transporting the clock is accused of the killing, but during a spectacular courtroom trial the actual culprit reveals his guilt-and his essentially patriotic motives. Set during the early 19th century, The Cuckoo Clock is lovely to look at but a bit thin dramatically.
agent [representative], aristocracy, boating, captain [military], corpse, double-life, exile, false-accusation, gold, innocence, investigation, jury, killing, love, love-triangle, murder, name-clearing, niece, scheme, smuggling, soldier