Grace Burton & Stephen Pryde

Created by E. Phillips Oppenheim
(1866 – 1946)

GRACE BURTON is a young private detective, struggling to make it on her own, in London.

Her neighbour in the apartment block, STEPHEN PRYDE, is recently unemployed and not quite sure where his next meal is coming from, and she’s had her eye on him. When he’s approached in a local cafe by a stranger who mistakes him for a detective-for-hire, he doesn’t realize Grace has set him up.

Grace convinces Stephen to team up with her to recover some stolen jewels, in the 1914 novel, The Amazing Partnership. Along the way they evidently fall in love, because by the end of the book, they’re engaged and it’s implied she’s giving up the shamus game. Which, actually is a bit of a bummer — here she is, clearly the brains of the outfit, the mover and the shaker, doing most of the detection, and then — suddenly — her big goal is to be married?

Like, you can be smart and powerful, ladies, but when the right guy comes along, know your place?

But in fact, the smart lady eye chucking it all after falling in love with her detecting partner/rival was to become a pretty standard trope by the thirties, with films like Private Detective and the entire Torchy Blane series built on the idea.

The book was popular enough to inspire a silent film a few years later, except that somewhere along the line Pryde became a reporter.

Edward Phillips Oppenheim was a prolific and popular English thriller writer at the beginning of the last century, who over the course of a long and successful career penned over a hundred novels and more than 30 short story collections. Over thirty films, both silent and talkies, were based on his books.

NOVELS

FILMS

  • THE AMAZING PARTNERSHIP
    (1921, Stoll Film Company)
    Premiere: June 1921
    Silent, black & white
    35 minutes
    Based on the novel by , from the novel The Amazing Partnership by E. Phillips Oppenheim
    Screenplay by Charles Barnett.
    Directed by George W. Ridgwell
    Starring Gladys Mason as GRACE BURTON
    and Milton Rosmer as STEPHEN PRYDE
    Also starring Arthur Walcott, Bell Temple, Teddy Arundell, Robert Vallis, Harry J. Worth, Charles Barnett
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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