23 Paces to Baker Street

Synopsis: Famed American playwright Phillip Hannon is in London making revisions to his play currently running in the West End. He is doing this mundane work rather than write a new play since he has retreated from life following the recent and permanent loss of his sight. That retreat from life includes breaking off his engagement to his former secretary, Jean Lennox, who still loves him. One evening at his local pub, he overhears a conversation between a man and a woman that he knows involves criminal activity, what he surmises to be the kidnapping plot of a child in exactly one week's time. The local police patronizingly dismiss his report as the overactive imagination of a blind writer. With Jean and his faithful manservant Bob Matthews by his side - the former with some reluctance on Phil's part - Phil goes on a search to uncover the plot using what little pieces of information he has at hand, which includes the man's name being Evans, the woman, who is involved under duress, working as a n
Director(s): Henry Hathaway
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
103 min


You didn't make the world,

and neither did I.

And if we had, I'm not so sure we

would have made it any different.

Correction. Drop that whole speech

and substitute... um...



What is there to be sorry about?

We didn't make the world.

And if we had, what a mess we would

have made of it, being what we are.

Sorry. What is there to be sorry

about? We didn't make the world.

And if we had, what a mess we would

have made of it, being what we are.

Oh Bob, I've been redoing that

speech at the end of act II.

Type it and send

it to the theater.

That'll mean Pearce

learning some new lines.

He never learned the old lines. So

new one's won't make any difference.

Most of the time opening night

I thought he was in

some other play, and I wished I

was in some other theater.

That's no business of mine,

but you've got a play

that's a smash hit in New York. It looks

like being one here. Why not leave it alone?

What do you suggest I do instead?

Take a walk around the National

Gallery or sit here and rot?

Or maybe go back to New York and Rot.

Get it over to the theater right away.

Good afternoon.

Is this Mr. Hannon's apartment?

That's right.

I wonder if I might see him.

Would you please tell

him, Jean Lennox is here?

Is he expecting you?


Excuse me, but... are you

a friend of Mr. Hannon?

Well, I think of myself as one.

Won't you wait inside?

Excuse me a moment madam.

Ask Miss Lennox to come in.

Will you come in, please, Miss Lennox.

Hello, Phil.

Hello, Jean.

What are you doing in London?

Oh, just a vacation. I wanted

to drop in and say hello...

and congratulate you on

getting such wonderful notices.

You came 3,000 miles for that?

No, of course not.

Phil, why didn't you let me know

when you were leaving New York?

You know the answer to that.

Johnny and Pat are in London.

Have you called them?

I haven't called anybody,

I've been busy working.

Phil, I don't see why you

insist on acting this way.

Jean, we've been all

over this a dozen times.

When a thing is finished,

I like to forget it.

Let's talk about something else, shall we?

Do you like the apartment?

It's lovely.

Come and look at this beautiful view.

Houses of Parliament over there.

There's Big Ben watching over us.

They're doing some work

on him, as you can see.

Charing Cross station.

Over there we have Waterloo Bridge

and St Paul's Cathedral.

We even have some prehistoric ruins

that date right back to 1941.

Don't be so bitter Phil. It doesn't help.

Bitter? Me? I'm a successful

playwright who's just had a hit!

A big hit.

What have I got to be bitter about

I'm alright as long as

people leave me alone.

I wish people would leave things

where they're supposed to be.

I have to go out now, Jean.

Were you going someplace?

No. Just back to the apartment I guess.

Oh you've taken an apartment? Well, I

must come and see your view some time.

Bob, I'm going out.

Shall I come along?

No, I'm only going to the pub.

- The Eagle?

- Yes.

Are you sure you don't...

Quite sure! Quite sure.

Look, if you must do something, you

can call a cab for Miss Lennox.

And when you've finished

typing up that new stuff,

You can pick me up in the car at the

Eagle, and drive me to the theater.

Goodbye, Jean.

Goodbye, Phil.

Nice of you to look me up.

Do you want a cab, Miss Lennox?

Oh, no, thank you. I can manage.

- You mustn't do that, you know.

- What?

Well fuss over him like that.

He'll go crazy if you do that.

I don't like him out alone.

I know, but he must if he

thinks he can. Where is this bar?

It's two streets down,

across the road.

Across the road?

Yes. You can see it from here.

Allow me.

Oh thank you.

Have you worked for him long?

Only since he came over here the last time.

Nearly two months.

Is he drinking?

Well, not exactly drinking,

but not exactly not!

Have you known him a long time,

Miss Lennox?

Well, yes. I was his secretary for

three years in New York and here...

and here... wherever he wanted to go.

We were engaged to be married.

And then it happened.

He didn't like having me around.

So I was fired.

I'm sorry.

What's it to be this evening dear?

Scotch, please, double.

Soda or water?

Neither. Straight.

You're American, aren't you?


Then you'd like a bit of ice in it eh?

No thanks. I've learned

to like it your way.

Here we are, then.


What makes you so tired, dear?

It'd be a long dreary story, one

I'm sure you've heard many times before.

But not from a young fellow like you.

Will that do?

That'll do fine. Thank you.

I don't want nothing to do with it,

Mr. Evans. I don't like the sound of it.

You'll like the money, alright.

It'll be more than this last job.

Much more.

But how do I know what you will do with it?

You needn't have to worry about that.

You just do what I tell you, and take the

money and forget it.

It's dirty somehow, when

people have trust in you.

Would you like me to say a little prayer?

You promised that when I went with His

Lordship that would be the last thing.

This is a much bigger come on...

Mary arrives on the tenth. You go

down to meet her and take it over.

Then we take it off your hands and give you

your money. What is simpler than that?

You don't understand.

I might get to like it.

No time for that.

No. No, Mr. Evans. I won't do it.

I won't!

Oh... now listen.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Nigel Balchin

Nigel Balchin (3 December 1908 – 17 May 1970) was an English novelist and screenwriter particularly known for his novels written during and immediately after World War II: Darkness Falls from the Air, The Small Back Room and Mine Own Executioner. more…

All Nigel Balchin scripts | Nigel Balchin Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "23 Paces to Baker Street" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/23_paces_to_baker_street_1647>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    23 Paces to Baker Street

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.