Matter Of Who, A

2572. A MATTER OF WHO (1961-England). With TERRY-THOMAS, ALEX NICOL, HONOR BLACKMAN. Gap-toothed British character actor Terry-Thomas registers strongly in a straight lead in this entertaining and off-beat detective story. He plays Archibald Bannister, a zealous bureaucrat and self-professed “germ detective” who works for the World Health Organization (WHO!). The plot focuses on the plight of an American oilman named Cooper, who has been traveling through parts of Europe and the Middle East. While in the arms of his beautiful new bride on a plane headed for London, he collapses from a fatal dose of smallpox. Within a few hours, two more cases are reported in different European countries. A rampant outbreak of the dreaded disease surely will hit, unless the carrier of the illness can be identified. Archibald is joined by Cooper’s business partner, and the pair team up to investigate Cooper’s recent activities in the hope of pinpointing the carrier who single-handedly could cause a worldwide smallpox epidemic. Terry-Thomas instills his character with just the right touches of earnestness and determination, while managing to include a few farcical bits to remind the audience of his comical genius. He puts in a first-rate performance in this engrossing medical mystery- adventure. 90 minutes. Comedy-Mystery