Another of those curious British b-movies, a brisk black-and-white quickie in which a Clockwork Orange-like gang get more than they bargain for when they torment an old Italian magician (Mitchell). Where Has Poor Mickey Gone? was originally an hour long, but now seems to exist only in a truncated 36-minute version which omits the Ottilie Patterson theme song and the first half of the movie, in which the young hoodlums cause a bit of bother in a nightclub.
In the shortened version, we join the yobs soon after they have been thrown out of this establishment; looking for further thrills, they taunt and attack a courting couple before discovering Mitchell, working late into the night. Before they can give him a beating, the quick-thinking conjuror suggests that he should put on an after-hours display of his skills – and dispatches the gang one by one, using his disappearing cabinet to send them into some undisclosed netherworld. The unsettling closing shot reveals that their souls have been trapped for eternity, captured within the solid figures of a bar football game in a corner of Mitchell’s workroom.
I’ve got a real soft spot for these early 1960s 'bottom half of a double bill' items – in his book 'English Gothic', Jonathan Rigby says that Where Has Poor Mickey Gone? "warrants a seat-throwing response", but there's plenty to savour here, notably a splendid turn from a pre-'Alf Garnett' Mitchell (equally wonderful in his cameo role in The Night Caller a few months later), and that very effective surprise ending.
Director Levy went on to make the Tigon sf clunker Invasion Of The Body Stealers, another film about people mysteriously vanishing, but not half as much fun as this one.