Crown jewels, stolen! Murder! Love! This suspenseful movie was directed by Terry Marcel and written by Tom J. Astle (based on a book by Marian Babson). Astle created So Weird and was a writer on Adventures in Wonderland.
I was truly on the edge of my seat. An American museum employee, Stacey, is tasked with transporting her family’s crown jewels to London for an exhibition. She works for and dates an odd fellow named Gordon, and he is in on a plan to steal the jewels. Gordon persuades Stacey to place her jewels in a black hatbox instead of going through the proper procedures and insurance for the trip. She obliges and nervously boards her plane with the blinged-out cargo.
While in flight, Stacey is bothered by two children: an American boy named Marvin and a French girl named Eloise; both are in the care of Alistair, their British babysitter. Eloise notices that she and Stacey have matching hatboxes. Eloise has a doll in hers, and she wants to see what is in Stacey’s box. While Stacey is asleep, Eloise gets into the box and starts playing with the jewels. Once Stacey wakes up and shrieks in horror, everyone on the plane knows what she’s got.
A stewardess eyes the situation suspiciously and (we later learn) orchestrates what appears to be an accidental collision as passengers exit the plane. Hatboxes go everywhere, and the flight attendant assures Stacey that she has the correct box, but Stacey looks dubious. Sure enough, her box has Eloise’s doll inside. Thus begins a wild goose chase for the jewels. Eloise has socks in her box. The owner of the socks has the stewardess’ box… The stewardess has been killed. Alistair, Stacey, Marvin, Eloise, and the shady sock lady break into the attendant’s home to try to find Stacey’s property, and there’s the cold, dead body.
To make a long story short, there are multiple greedy suspects here. Stacey’s cousin is in cahoots with Gordon to switch the real family jewels with fake ones. However, another jewel thief beats the others to it. Children are kidnapped (don’t worry, they escape). Clues are discovered. Love is in the air. The problem is, Alistair is a wannabe detective, and Stacey is angry when he reveals that he wants to crack her case. Of course, Stacey ditches Gordon in the end and falls in love with Alistair, who eventually becomes a real detective.
The kids are so smart in this movie. Eloise is the one who discovers that Stacey’s cousin has jewels (the fake ones) in his home. Marvin is the one who uses sugar packets to mess up the real thief’s carburetor and slow him down. But Alistair is the mastermind behind the final plan: leading the thief and his henchman (who posed as a policeman) to believe that they have the fake jewels. In the end, Alistair and Stacey pull of the trick, trading jewels with the perpetrators and rightfully reclaiming the real artifacts.
I recommend this film if you like family-friendly mysteries. The supporting characters from the plane are a lot of fun, and the story moves pretty quickly as the case unfolds. What a blast to go back to 1991! I’m looking forward to more movies from this era.