British Mystery Package

INTRODUCTORY NOTE

This catalogue lists a number of feature-length British films which are owned by Films Around The World, Inc. for North American distribution.  In the past, because they were not registered for copyright in the United States, they were either treated as if they were public domain (i.e., they can be exploited on a non-exclusive basis by anybody who can obtain usable physical materials, until they are timely registered, after which a non-licensed user with knowledge of the registration would be subject to damages for copyright infringer), or as irreparably public domain for failure to timely register after "publication" in the U.S..  The U.S. law was thus in direct conflict with the law of most foreign countries which are signatories to The Berne Convention governing international copyright:  For the most part, they do not require either a notice of copyright or registration to effect good copyright; instead, they are automatically "good copyright" for the life or lives of the author(s) plus a specified period of time; in Britain, it is now 70 years.

The Berne Convention provides that the copyright law of the country of origin will control copyright status for the protected work; thus, there was a direct conflict between the foreign laws, which provided that their films were automatically good copyright without registration anywhere, and the U.S. law, which provided that unless a film has a copyright notice and was timely registered it was not entitled to copyright protection, and if it was never timely registered, it would fall into the public domain and could never subsequently attain good copyright status in the U.S.
 
On January 1, 1996, a new Section 104A of the Copyright Act, intended to bring the U.S. law and the laws of foreign signatories to The Berne Convention into line, as to foreign films only, became fully operational.  [This law  has been published in the Federal Register of February 29, 1995, pages 50414-50423, and is followed by the Copyright Office, which has developed forms for the registration of such films in the United States.]

Summary of Law

Copyrights to foreign works which have passed into the U.S. public domain were restored as of January 1, 1996, on two conditions:

    1.  "Each foreign work whose copyright is revived must still be protected by copyright     in its country of origin.

    2.  "And the work's natural U.S. copyright term (75 years, or the life of the author plus     50 years, depending on the work) must not have expired."

Details of Law

Section 104A consists of six pages, in the words of Film Comment Magazine,  of "densely worded type dizzying in their complexity;" highlights are:

    "(1)  On January 1, 1996, the copyrights for qualifying foreign public domain works will     be restored automatically....

    "(2)  104A does provide a limited period of additional usage for "reliance parties" who     have previously exploited a foreign work on the basis of its public domain status.  With     respect to these parties (mass-market video houses, numerous TV channels, et al.), owners     of resurrected copyrights will have to file or serve a "Notice of Intent to Enforce."  After     such a Notice is published or received directly, the reliance party must immediately stop     making copies, but will have a one-year grace period to sell off existing copies or to     continue other uses, such as public showings.

    "(3)  The most troublesome portion of 104A deals with "derivative works" -- i.e., new works that incorporate foreign public domain material (say, a documentary that uses foreign historical footage).  If the documentary was made in the United States, it will be     illegal to continue using it without license from the owner of the footage whose copyright has been revived.  If you don't have one and can't get one, you'll have to edit out the revived footage or withdraw the documentary altogether."

Thus, if the conditions above are met -- which is the case for all of the films listed in this catalogue -- films which are good copyright in Britain, and which were regarded in the U.S. as public domain (for failure to timely register in the U.S.) or the equivalent of public domain (for failure to register in the U.S., even though they could be registered now), have now reverted to good copyright status in the U.S.

In order to confirm that the films are good copyright in Britain, we researched the lives of the persons generally regarded as being the "authors" of a movie:  the Director(s), Producer(s), Screenwriter(s), Cinematographer(s), Composer(s), Art Director(s), and The films on the attached lists are broken down into "Produced After 1947" and Composer(s).  By definition, since all of these people were alive when the movie was made originally, even if they all died in the same year, the "cutoff" for good copyright status would be 70 years later.  Working backwards from 1996, this would mean that a movie would have to have been produced in 1926 in order for it theoretically to fall into British public domain; of course, each year that any one of the author's lived past 1926, would automatically extend the cutoff date by a year.  Since the oldest of the films in this catalog was produced in 1935, this would mean that the earliest possible year in which the film could even theoretically become public domain in Britain, would have been 2005.

In point of fact, most of the author(s) lived well past 1935; indeed, many of them are still alive today.  While we do not have many dates of death, we do have the last year in which they were active enough in the movie business, to have received a credit in a film.  Thus, if writer "X" wrote one of our films in 1941, and was still writing until his last film credit in 1984, we know that he must have been alive in 1984; accordingly, even if the writer died in 1984, our film would still be good copyright in Britain for at least 70 additional years, or until the year  2054.  It would be important to find the actual date of death of the oldest surviving author of that movie as the year 2054 approaches; for our purposes, we have simply concentrated on the last year of activity, unless the same source happened to give the date of death as well.

Chain of Title

These films were purchased from Michael Hyams, who, with his brother, co-owed Eros Film Distribution Ltd., an established U.K. film distributor.  When Michael Hyams retired to the United States, he took with him Western Hemisphere distribution rights to the Eros library.  The films listed below were purchased from him by Films Around The World, Inc., which in turn sold them to Programming Associates, Inc.  All were produced in the U.K.; since each of the films was "co-authored" by at least one person who lived past the year of production, those films were good copyright from the date of that person's (or those persons') death or deaths plus 70 years in Britain; they have thus all thus reverted to good copyright in the United States pursuant to Section 104A as of January 1, 1996.

As part of the purchase agreement, we received 16mm negatives, which on inspection were determined to be of acceptable commercial quality. (They were 16mm instead of the original 35mm because the films were widely licensed for U.S. syndicated television in the 1960s, for which 16mm prints were the required broadcast format.)  Since the distribution rights stem from Eros, we have access to the original 35mm materials in the U.K., should better materials be required.  In addition, because of the legitimacy of the distribution rights, a buyer would ordinarily have access to such sources as the British Film Institute or the BBC, to make duplicates of their materials.

This catalog is arranged in chronological order based on the year of production.

One final note: Beginning after the first seven titles listed – the 1930s vintage horror films starring Tod Slaughter – most of the remaining movies were early productions of Hammer Film Productions:

    “Hammer Film Productions is a film production company in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1934, the company is best known for a series of Gothic "Hammer Horror" films produced from the late 1950s until the 1970s. Hammer also produced science fiction, thrillers and comedies  and in later years, television series. Hammer films were cheap to produce but nonetheless appeared lavish, making use of quality British actors and cleverly designed sets. During its most successful years, Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and considerable financial success. This success was due, in part, to distribution partnerships with major United States studios, such as Warner Brothers.  During the late 1960s and 1970s the saturation of the horror market by competitors and the loss of American funding forced changes to the previously lucrative Hammer-formula, with varying degrees of success. The company eventually ceased production in the mid-1980s and has remained in effective hibernation since. In 2000 the studio announced plans to begin making films again after being bought by a consortium including advertising guru and art collector Charles Saatchi, but no films have been produced since. In May 2007 the company behind the movies was sold to a group headed by Big Brother creator John de Mol. At least [US$]50m ([GBP]25m) will be spent on new horror films after Hammer Film Productions was sold to Dutch consortium Cyrte Investments. The new owners have also acquired the Hammer group's back catalogue. The term "Hammer Horror" is often used generically to refer to other films of the period made in a similar style by different companies, such as Eros Films, Amicus Productions and Tigon British Film Productions.” Wikepedia (emphasis added)


TITLE LIST

1.  MARIA MARTEN OR THE MURDER IN THE RED BARN (a/k/a THE MURDER  IN THE  RED
             BARN) (1935/1938)
2.  THE CRIMES OF STEPHEN HAWKE (1936)
3. SWEENEY TODD THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (a/k/a THE DEMON  BARBER OF
            FLEET STREET)   (1936)          
4.  IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND (a/k/a NEVER TOO LATE) (1937)
5. SEXTON BLAKE AND THE HOODED TERROR (a/k/a THE HOODED TERROR) (1938)
6.  THE FACE AT THE WINDOW (1939)
7.  CRIMES AT THE DARK HOUSE (1940)
8.  DICK BARTON AT BAY (1945)
9.  DICK BARTON SPECIAL AGENT (1948)
10.  DICK BARTON STRIKES BACK (1949)
11.  RIVER PATROL (1948)
12. THE ROSSITER CASE (1949/1950)
13.  ADVENTURES OF P.C. 49: INVESTIGATING THE CASE OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL  (1950)
14.  CELIA (a/k/a CELIA: THE SINISTER AFFAIR OF AUNT NORA) (1950)
15.  THE LADY CRAVED EXCITEMENT (1950)
16.  MAN IN BLACK (1950)
17.  MEET SIMON CHERRY (1950)
18.  ROOM TO LET (1950)
19.  SOMEONE AT THE DOOR (1950)
20.  WHAT THE BUTLER SAW (1950)      
21.  A CASE FOR P.C. 49 (1951)
22.  THE BLACK WIDOW (1951)
23.  THE DARK LIGHT (1951)
24.  TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (1951)
25.  NEVER LOOK BACK (1952)
26.  DEATH OF AN ANGEL (1954)

CATALOG

1.  MARIA MARTEN OR THE MURDER IN THE RED BARN (a/k/a THE MURDER  IN THE RED
        BARN)
1935/1938  B&W  65:30 minutes 
Director:        Milton Rosmer [active until 1971, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writer:            Randall H. Faye [active until 1947, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Film Editor:   Charles Sanders [active until 1986, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cast:                 Tod Slaughter, Hiliary Eaves, Sophie Stewart, Eric Portman, D.J.Williams
                            Antonia Brough, Noel Painton, Clare Greet, Dennis Hoey, Herbert Leonard,
                            Stella Rho, Quenton McPherson, Gerrard Tyrell
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1986 = 2056

SYNOPSIS:    "How honest is the beat of a kindly heart, be the breast above it ever so humble.  CARLOS (ERIC PORTMAN) is only a lowly gypsy, but his love for FARMER MARTEN'S (D. J. WILLIAMS) daughter MARIA (SOPHIE STEWART) is unsullied and his aim is Holy Matrimony.  Not so that of SQUIRE CORDER (TOD SLAUGHTER), a fiend in human dress.  He observes the graces of MARIA and, oh fie upon the dastard, advances upon her,  leering.  Heaven knows she does not wish to yield, but the SQUIRE moves with satanic allure and MARIE, the tender fledgling, is made to suffer a fate worse than death.  Oh the pity of it, that in time her condition becomes delicate and proud FARMER MARTEN righteously sends her from her home in shame.  Suspicion falls upon true-blue GYPSY CARLOS, who is forced into hiding.  Poor MARIA must perforce seek aid from the very man who has despoiled her, the villainous SQUIRE.  Again he leers and has his way; then, his foul deed ever to confront him in the coming birth of her child, lures her to the old red bard and there does her to death.  But stay!  GYPSY CARLOS, ever faithful, sets out to prove what he has long suspected.  In the red barn he confronts the craven SQUIRE with the evidence of MARIA'S mute body.  The SQUIRE confesses his heinous deed, is hailed to prison, and with GYPSY CARLOS springing the trap expiates his wanton crime upon the gallows."

"Fact-based thriller about an evil squire who murders a young woman." Corel All Movie
Guide 2

IMDb Review:    “Of all Tod Slaughter's films, this horror-melodrama about a young girl brought to disgrace by a local squire easily is my favourite. Slaughter plays Squire William Corder, infatuated with a young Maria who is also admired greatly by a roaming gypsy named Carlos(Carlos is very English, however). Squire Corder consentually has his way with Maria, she later becomes pregnant, and Corder kills Maria in the Red Barn to quiet her so he can continue on with his own marriage plans for some much needed capital in order to pay off his gambling debts. Slaughter is a sight for the sorest of eyes. They just do not cut ham this thick anymore! He rolls his eyes, leers, laughs maniacally with the best, and he also has the greatest ability to be totally likable no matter what variety of fiend he plays. At one point in a scene where Maria confronts Corder about needing his help for these very trying circumstances, Slaughter delivers lines like, "No, don't speak" with relish I just have not seen in film very often. Every line Slaughter says seems to come to life and yet we seem to be in on the joke with him. This is a great piece not so much for the mystery...really is no mystery...but simply to watch an actor who should get more credit than he does act like no other. Great fun, great laughs, great Slaughter! “

2.  THE CRIMES OF STEPHEN HAWKE
1936  B&W  65:20 minutes                
Director:                 George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:           Ronald Neame [active until 1986, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writer:                     H.F. Maltby [active until 1979, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cast:                          Tod Slaughter, Eric Portman, Marjorie Taylor, D.J.Williams, Gerald Barry,                                              Charles Penrose, Norman Pierce, Graham (Ben) Soutten
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1986 = 2056

SYNOPSIS:    "STEVEN HAWKE (TOD  SLAUGHTER), moneylender, seems gentle and benign, the very essence of respectability.  No single soul suspects his playful pastime of breaking human spines both for pleasure and for profit, least of all his cherished daughter JULIA (MARJORIE  TAYLOR).  His crimes multiply.  Terror mounts in the City of London.  Public outcry demands action against the fiend known as "The Spinebreaker."  When suspicion falls on STEPHEN he prudently disappears.  MILES  ARCHER (GERALD  BARRY), a police chief, tries to blackmail JULIA into marriage and on learning of this STEPHEN promptly returns and treats the gentleman to his infallible manipulative treatment.  Retribution comes to STEPHEN in the form of a fatal accident, but he leaves the pure and lovely JULIA betrothed to worthy MATTHEW TRIMBLE (ERIC PORTMAN), man of her choice."

"Thriller set in the 1800s about a kindly moneylender who has a mysterious dark side as a killer aptly named the "Spine Breaker." " Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:     A“ crazed killer known as "The Spinebreaker" is terrorizing London with a series of grisly murders. The police seem powerless to stop him.... The film begins in a BBC studio with the 100th edition of "In Town Tonight". Flotsam and Jetsom open with a "topical number". Then there is an interview with a distinguished actor, which dissolves into a performance of one of his famous melodramas about a wicked moneylender etc. “

IMDb Review:    “This time around Tod Slaughter plays Mr. Stephen Hawke, a limping, kind-hearted bespectacled money lender by day with a beautiful, faithful daughter and the friendship of a local shipping agent and son, and by night he is the "spine-breaker," cruelest of all killers as he kills the rich for their money and treasure in a serial-like fashion. As with any Slaughter film, Slaughter is the main focal point of the film. The film is barely over an hour in length, but it has much to offer in plot. We have Slaughter kill a spoiled rich kid, trick a man into bringing an emerald to his home, kill his friend, and run from the vengeance of his son. Throw in some lecherous guy that wants to force Hawke's daughter into marriage and a hunchback for extra measure. The rest of the actors are adequate(or less than so) but they do not detract at all from the presence of Slaughter on film. His build, his speech, his whole demeanor brings life to each and every scene he is in. Is he a great actor? No, but he sure can grab your attention and keep a "grip" on it. As with many other Slaughter films, George King directs in workman-like style if nothing else. The beginning is set up like a radio play with some "entertainers" doing some kind of real bad vocal act prior to Slaughter coming on talking about his "new" old melodrama. Good old-fashioned fun! “

3. SWEENEY TODD THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (a/k/a THE DEMON BARBER OF
               FLEET STREET)             
1936  B&W  67:00 minutes 
Director:                George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:         Ronald Neame [active until 1986, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writer:                  H.F. Maltby [active until 1979, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                  Frederick Hayward [active until 1939, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:             George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cast:                       Tod Slaughter, Eve Lister, Bruce Seton, Stella Rho, Diana Craig, Billy Holland,                                           Norman Pierce, Jonathan Singer, Jerry Vernon, D.J. Williams
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1986 = 2056

SYNOPSIS:    "SWEENEY TODD (TOD SLAUGHTER), a Fleet Street barber, builds up a fortune by enticing sailors into his shop.  'You have a lovely throat for a razor, sir.  I'd like to polish you off.'  No sooner are they in his chair than he drops them through a trapdoor into a vault below, cuts their throats, and robs them.  To dispose of the bodies, his girl friend MRS. LOVATT (STELLA RHO) runs a meat-pie shop next door, and all goes well until SWEENEY flies high and tries to win JOHANNA (EVE LISTER), daughter of a prosperous shipowner.  This excites the jealousy of MRS. LOVATT, and when he plans to dispose of MARK (BRUCE SETON), a sea-captain with whom JOHANNA is secretly in love, MRS.  LOVATT helps MARK to dodge the demon barber's razor.  MARK then rallies his forces together and SWEENEY gets his just deserts, but not before he sharpens his razor on MRS. LOVATT'S tonsils."

"A bone-chiller that still manages to inject humor, this movie was based on an actual event and even spawned Stephen Sondheim's hit play "Sweeney Todd" in 1978.  Slaughter portrays a mad barber who has a deal with a baker to provide fillings for his meat pies.  Unfortunately for the barber's customers, their visit to his basement makes them an integral part of that treat."  Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    ““In the Nineteenth Century, in London, the barber Sweeney Todd invites lonely and wealthy costumers in the port to his barbershop on the nearby Fleet Street and murders them to take their money, while his associate Mrs. Lovatt and owner of a bakery below is barbershop gets rid off the bodies. Sweeney uses his fortune to help the fleet owner Stephen Oakley with the intention to force his daughter Joanna to marry him. However, the beloved Joanna's boyfriend Mark Ingerstreet returns rich from his last voyage and Sweeney decides to kill him and steal his fortune in pearl, making Mrs. Lovatt jealous with the situation.”

IMDb Review:    “There couldn't possibly be a more charming movie. Much of it is incongruous--the "natives attack" scene, the use of "Danny Boy" in the score--but all of it is entirely forgivable. Tod Slaughter and Bruce Seton's performances entirely make this movie. The plot's shortcomings are minimized by the snappy pacing (a short running time doesn't hurt, in this case). Costumes are wonderful, the grotesquerie of what's actually going on is suitably hinted at without on-screen gore; a stickler could complain about various points but it would only be to kill everyone's mood. Once you've watched this you'll see why nobody attempted a remake in seventy years. Burton's version might have cleaner production values, but I doubt it will have any of this film's class.

“Goonfactor: virtually no unintentional gooniness. A model of appropriate goonage. “

4.  IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND (a/k/a NEVER TOO LATE)
1937  B&W  64:44/67.00 minutes 
Director:                     David MacDonald [active until 1976, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writer:                        H.F. Maltby [active until 1979, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                   George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cast:                             Tod Slaughter, Jack Livesey, Ian Colin, Marjorie Taylor, Lawrency Hanray, Joy                                          Russell, Jonathan Singer, D.J. Williams
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1979 = 2049

SYNOPSIS:    "Sadistic SQUIRE MEADOWS, J.P. (TOD SLAUGHTER), a prison governor, has designs upon village maiden SUSAN MERTON (MARJORIE TAYLOR) and bribes the local constable to  bring a charge of poaching against GEORGE FIELDING (IAN COLIN) whom SUSAN loves. This plan to dispose of his hated rival is foiled when TOM ROBINSON (JACK LIVESEY), a poacher friend of GEORGE'S, unexpectedly shoulders the blame. TOM is sent to prison and the thwarted SQUIRE takes revenge by inflicting upon him the most ferocious cruelties under the guise of 'corrective treatment' culminating in consigning poor TOM to the 'black hole.'  Meanwhile GEORGE has gone to Australia to seek his fortune; but the SQUIRE intercepts his letters to SUSAN and after acquiring a mortgage on her father's homestead persuades her to accept his hand in marriage.   GEORGE, now rich, returns to England on the very day of the wedding and with the help of the loyal TOM, recently released from prison, succeeds in putting paid to further villainy on the part of SQUIRE MEADOWS.  The lovers are reunited and the SQUIRE  finishes up by having a taste of the dreaded prison 'treadmill' he has so gloatingly inflicted on others."

"In this melodrama, an old fashioned bad guy is determined to have an innocent young maiden for himself.  To do so, he frames her beloved fiance and gets him sent to jail.  His wicked plot is foiled when the man is freed and the lovers get back together."  Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    “An evil prison administrator cruelly abuses the inmates at his prison, until one day the tables are turned.”

IMDB Review:    “ITS NEVER TO LATE TO MEND is the most traditional of Tod's revived melodramas. It has all the elements and archetypes we expect from the genre. Tod is his usual villainous Squire self. His often comical facial features are better suited to being bewhiskered and having a bushy moustache to twiddle menacingly. As ever, he has his lecherous eye on a virtuous local maiden - Susan, daughter of Farmer Merton. She seeks the penurious local tenant farmer George Fielding (Meadows, Fielding, a slimy solicitor who aid's Tod's schemes called Crawley - the names are not exactly subtle). Tod must be the only wealthy bastard in cinema who never attracts women! But after a failed attempt to convict George for poaching, the young man leaves the country to seek his fortune Down Under. The opening titles reveal Charles Reade's and Queen Victoria's roles in prison reform and it is in the scenes where Tod visits the local gaol in his capacity of Justice of the Peace that we get to enjoy the full magnitude of his hammy villainy. His inspection of the ranks of his "naughty children" and his mocking remarks are a sadistic joy and one can imagine the audience at the Elephant and Castle theatre chuckling along as he speaks. Black comedy is also present in the Uriah Heep-like performance of one convict who makes a great show of demonstrating his penitence but, we see later, has stolen something from the Governor's office. However, the treatment of the 15-year old convict is genuinely disturbing as is John Singer's anguished breakdown.

“The tension is diffused by the lack of a strong protagonist for the Squire. George Fielding is sidelined in Australia for the bulk of the narrative - returning only for the climax. The Prison Chaplain provides only token resistance to Tod's reign of terror at the gaol but appears like the 7th cavalry at the end. The main adversary is local poacher Tom Robinson - gallantly taking the blame instead of George for Tod's trumped-up poaching charge. Tom's decline from the jaunty, confident rogue of the opening scenes to a shell of his former self in prison is quite chilling, but the spiritual comfort the Chaplain lends him means a reversion to his old self.

“Tom thwarts Meadows' attempts to steal George's newfound fortune. As with MARIA MARTEN, Tod has an alarming tendency to go insane at the inopportune moments - usually while holding his enemies at gunpoint as occurs here at the climax His raving madness as he is led away is genuinely alarming and the closing shot is of him relentlessly repeating the films's title as he works away on the "wheel". “

5. SEXTON BLAKE AND THE HOODED TERROR (a/k/a THE HOODED TERROR)
1938  B&W  68:00/70:00 minutes
Director:                        George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:                  Hone Glendenning [active until 1955, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                          A.R. Rawlinson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                      George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cast:                                 Tod Slaughter, George Curzon, Greta Gynt, Tony Simpson, David Farrar,
                                           Marie Wright, Leonard Sharp, Norman Pierce, Charles Oliver, George King
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1966 = 2036

SYNOPSIS:    "SEXTON BLAKE (GEORGE CURZON), famous detective, lives in Baker Street with housekeeper MRS. BARDELL (MARIE  WRIGHT), faithful assistant TINKER (TONY SIMPSON), PEDRO the bloodhound, his stamp albums, his silk dressing gowns and his microscope.  The Hooded Terror, leader of the Black Quorum, most powerful criminal organization of the century, has until recently been running a gambling house in Mayfair, an underground snake-pit in Paris, and is still France's biggest employer of illicit Chinese labor.  GRANITE GRANT (DAVID FARRAR), who calls to give BLAKE news of the Black Quorum, is garrotted before MRS. BARDELL has time to answer his ring at the front door.  A clue found on the body convinces BLAKE that the Hooded Terror is none other than MICHAEL  LARRON (TOD SLAUGHTER), millionaire philatelist.  Also on the track of the criminals is MADEMOISELLE GALLEY (GRETA GYNT), French secret service agent, and she is able to rescue BLAKE when he falls into the clutches of the gang.  But from a place of hiding MICHAEL LARRON has gloated upon the beauty of GALLEY'S face and figure and has vowed to win her for himself.  GALLEY is lured to LARRON'S hideout but before he can wreak his will upon her BLAKE and TINKER decide to storm the palace.  LARRON has only seconds in which to escape -- but GALLEY, who can now identify him as the Hooded Terror, must first be disposed of.  She is left chained in the cellar where, frozen with terror, she watches steel trapdoors open to release a seething mass of giant pythons.  LARRON, wounded, makes good his escape, but his evil plan to kill the lovely GALLEY is thwarted by the timely arrival of BLAKE and TINKER who vow that sometime, somewhere, the Hooded Terror will meet his just deserts."

"Sexton Blake, a British pulp-novel ripoff of Sherlock Holmes, was the principal character in several fast-paced programmers of the 1930s.  George Curzon stars as Blake in SEXTON BLAKE AND THE HOODED TERROR, but the histrionic honors go to chop-licking Tod Slaughter as "The Snake," the elusive head of a group of masked criminals.  The scriptwriters contrive to allow the perfidious Slaughter to escape scot-free at the climax, paving the way for a sequel (that, worse luck, was never filmed).  Greta Gynt plays another of the distressed-damsel roles she was saddled with before graduating to bigger-budgeted productions in the 1940s.  SEXTON BLAKE AND THE HOODED TERROR represented the last of George Curzon's three appearances as Blake; the character would resurface on screen in 1944 in the person of David Farrar."  Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    “Sexton Blake and Tinker foil criminal plot connected with the Tongs, and master-minded by "famous stamp collector" and millionaire.”

IMDb Review:    “Tod Slaughter makes this film great fun to watch. If you ever want to see a Slaughter film out of curiousity of whom this forgotten horror actor is, well...this is one to see. SEXTON BLAKE AND THE HODDED TERROR is made on a low budget, but pulls off with both class and suspense. The actors takes their assignment serious and a variety of scenes makes it fast paced and exciting. The leading lady is Greta Gynt who also played against Bela Lugosi in DARK EYES OF LONDON. This time she is menaced by Slaughter and entrapped in his house of horrors where there is plenty to enjoy for horror fans. Perhaps the film uses too much time to establish the story, but once it gets going there are plenty to enjoy. Some people compare simularities between Bela Lugosi and Tod Slaughter. If there are any, it must be in their enthusiasm and "over the top" performance in low budget horror films. But in many ways that saves the show. Have fun with this "gem" from British cinema and lets hope it will be available restored on dvd asap. “

6.  THE FACE AT THE WINDOW
1939  B&W  63:36/65:00 minutes                      
Director:                  George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:            Hone Glendenning [active until 1955, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                     Randall H. Faye [active until 1947, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                      A.R. Rawlinson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                 George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cast:                            Tod Slaughter, Marjorie Taylor, John Warwick, Aubrey Mallelieu, Harry Terry,
                                       Robert A'Dair, Wallace Evenett, Leonard Henry, Bill Shine, Margaret Yarde
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1966 = 2036

SYNOPSIS:    "Paris, 1880.  A series of unsolved murders, a city panic- stricken, fantastic stories of LE LOUP, a "wolf man." Such is the background of the crime involving robbery and murder committed against the banking house of M. DE BRISSON (AUBREY MALLELIEU) and bringing him to the verge of financial ruin. The rich CHEVALIER DEL  GARDO (TOD SLAUGHTER) comes to the rescue and in so doing meets and covets CECILE (MARJORIE TAYLOR), the banker's lovely daughter. However, CECILE loves LUCIEN (JOHN  WARWICK), a penniless clerk, of whom DEL GARDO promptly disposes by framing him for the bank robbery.  When DE BRISSON discovers DEL  GARDO'S villainy it is the signal for another murder by the "Wolf Man," and CECILE finds her father stabbed to death.  LUCIEN, accused of the murder by DEL GARDO, agrees to meet him in a duel, but DEL GARDO bribes his seconds to knock out his young opponent and throw him into the river to drown.  Fortunately LUCIEN is rescued in time to save CECILE, struggling heroically against DEL  GARDO'S  evil assault on her honor.  CECILE seeks police permission for  a startling scientific experiment on her dead father by which she hopes to prove that DEL GARDO is his murderer.  When the scientist who is to make the experiment is murdered by the "Wolf Man" LUCIEN takes over and nearly tricks DEL GARDO into admitting his guilt. Pursued by LUCIEN and the police, DEL GARDO reaches his home where, caged in an attic, is his half-brother, a creature with the monstrous face and long-drawn howl of a wolf.  LE LOUP, the killer Wolf Man who has served his brother well, is a secret which DEL GARDO has sworn shall never come to light.  Now, as he drags the aged beast to a trapdoor overlooking the river, a hairy arm clutches him by the throat.  The pursuers arrive in time to witness the last of the DEL GARDOS -- the CHEVALIER and his brother LE LOUP -- crash to their death in the swirling waters of the Seine."

"Tod Slaughter has a field day as a killer who terrorizes Paris with the help of his deformed brother."  Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    “Set in France in 1880. A series of murders is attributed to a Wolf Man.”

IMDb Review:    “A deranged killer known as "The Wolf" strikes terror into 1880's Paris. Is it the poor banker out to get money or the rich playboy (Tod Slaughter)? This is the best film from Slaughter that I've seen but his hammy performance, while getting laughs, makes it a bit hard to take the film too serious. The Wolf is a pretty good character and certainly a step up from Werewolf of London but the ending is wildly out of control. An interesting film nonetheless. The look and howl of the "wolf" here is a lot more effective than Universal's Werewolf of London. “

7.  CRIMES AT THE DARK HOUSE
1940  B&W  66:31/69:00 minutes 
Director:                     George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:               Hone Glendenning [active until 1955, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                       H.F. Maltby [active until 1979, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                         Frederick Hayward [active until 1939, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                         Hone Glendenning [active until 1955, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                         Edward Dryhurst [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                    George King [died June 1966, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cast:                              Tod Slaughter, Sylvia Mariott, Hilary Eaves, Hay Petrie, Rita Grant, Geoffrey                                             Wardwell, Margaret Yarde
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1979 = 2049

SYNOPSIS:    Based on Wilkie Collins' gothic suspense story, "The Woman in White," this chiller stars Tod Slaughter as an evil type who kills a man in another country, assumes his identity, returns to England and then keeps on killing to hide his secret.  Pure melodrama with lines such as "After 20 years in the wilds, I feel the need of a wife's comfort and companionship."

"So since when have crimes been committing [sic] in a house with all the lights on?  This chop-licking British melodrama stars the glorious uninhibited Tod Slaughter, playing the unspeakable Sir Henry Glyde.  Disposing of his wealthy wife, Glyde replaces her with a look-alike, a "graduate" from the local insane asylum.  This may sound vaguely familiar to you if you've seen the 1948 Warner Bros. gothic drama "The Woman in White."  Indeed, both the Warner film and CRIMES IN THE DARK HOUSE were based on the same 1860 novel by Wilkie Collins--and both are good gory fun in their own separate ways."  Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    “A madman kills a man who has just inherited a large estate, then impersonates his victim to gain entrance to the estate so he can murder his enemies.”

IMDb Review:    “Crimes at the Dark House is really one of my all-time favorites. Not only it's the best adaptation of Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White (by far superior to the latter Hollywood version), but it's also the more perfect of the eight films produced/directed by George King with the great Tod Slaughter. This actor being one of my favorites, I like practically all of his movies, but the fact is that Crimes at the Dark House has better production values, witty dialogue, a better mobility of the camera, and wonderful actors, including the great Hay Petrie as the sinister Count Fosco, head of an insane asylum. The film has priceless value in keeping on film the performance of Slaughter, a really unique comedian, preserving one of his better characterizations. Sure, other titles like The Face at the Window, Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Crimes of Stephen Hawke, and others, must have their partisans - in fact anything with Tod Slaughter is of interest, but Crimes at the Dark House is MY choice. Curiously, did anybody noticed than the print of this movie has no credited director? the British sources (magazines, books, pressbook) credit George King generally, at least a big full-page color ad of the time credits David Macdonald, but the film itself has no director credit! “

8.  DICK BARTON AT BAY
1945  B&W  68 minutes 
Director:                      Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:                Stanley Clinton [active until 1950, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writer:                          Ambrose Grayson [active until 1950, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                     Henry Halstead [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:               Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                              Don Stannard, Sebastian Cabot, Patrick MacNee, Tamara Desni, George Ford,                                              Meinhart Maur, Percy Walsh, John Arnatt, Richard George, Paddy Ryan,
                                          Campbell Singer
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1962 = 2032

SYNOPSIS:    A British scientist invents a death dealing radar apparatus to make Britain's shores safe from all attack.  The apparatus is stolen by a fanatical anarchist and installed in Beachy Head lighthouse, endangering the lives of the Anglo American Military Mission.  Dick  Barton foils the villains.

"In this entry in the Dick Barton action-adventure series, Barton must stop a deadly group of international crooks from using their death ray to blow up England." Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    “Special Agent Dick Barton has been assigned to recover a kidnapped professor and de-activate a death ray before catastrophe occurs and World War III is declared.”

IMDb Review:    “From the opening seconds you can tell this is in a different class to Special Agent, the first film of the three Dick Barton's. Background music and continuity are more professional and both gel to produce a tension sadly lacking before and the plot is also more cohesive, less slapstick and truer to the spirit of the thing. However the acting qualities are the same as before, Stannard playing Barton as a manly stoic clean-living clean thinking clean talking gentleman British God. See Red Dwarf for similarities to Arnold Rimmer, and his especially his parallel universe version who occasionally cropped up.

“This time Dick and Snowy are embroiled in trying to foil an Iron Curtain attempt to steal fantastic British disintegrator ray machine invention. Was anyone in the cinema really worried at the outcome? Patrick MacNee was hard to recognise as the callow youth at the beginning, but even then he was being cast as an all-round Good Egg. It wasn't released until October 1950, over a year after Stannard's death in a car crash in July 1949.”

9  DICK BARTON SPECIAL AGENT
1948  B&W  70:00 minutes 
Director:               Alfred Goulding [active until 1954, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:         Stanley Clinton [active until 1950, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writer:                    Alfred Goulding [active until 1954, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                    Alan Stranks [active until 1951, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Music:                     John Bath
Editor:                     Eta Simpson
Producer:              Henry Halstead [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:         Henry Halstead Productions
Cast:                        Don Stannard, George Ford, Gillian Maude, Beatrice Kane, Ivor Danvers, Geoffrey
                                   Wincott, Arthur Bush, Alex Ross, Farnham Baxter, Morris Sweden, Ernest
                                   Borrow, Jack Shaw, Campbell Singer, Colin Douglas, Janice Lowthian
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1962 = 2032

SYNOPSIS:    "Was it just coincidence that Barton chose to spend a holiday in the dreamy little fishing village of Echo Bay?  Soon after their arrival, Dick and his party, Snowey, Jock and Jean, discover that some of the villagers do not depend solely on the sale of fish for a living but also indulge in smuggling.  The leader of the smugglers, Doctor Caspar, plans to destroy the 'decadent Western powers' by the spreading of deadly infection germs from small germ-bombs dropped into main water supplies.  After several thrilling encounters with the gang Dick Barton and his henchmen eventually trace the villainous Doctor to a yacht where he is holding Jean a prisoner.  Dick swims out and rescues Jean and they swim back to the shore in time to denounce the gang to the police."

"In this espionage adventure, master spy Dick Barton must thwart the evil plan of a mad scientist who threatens to wage biological warfare on London by dropping bombs filled with deadly germs." Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    “Government agent Dick Barton battles a ring of Nazi spies who are planning to poison the entire London water supply.”

IMDb Review:    “This is one of the worst films to watch as an adult, and as an adult who appreciates Kane, Orphee, Rashomon, Godfather I/II, Donnie Darko etc to name just a handful. You have to try and switch your Cynic Button to Standby for 66 minutes and enjoy it for what it was. I agree it is a laughable and witless film - but it was made for British children and especially the post-WW2 teenagers listening to the weekly BBC radio series - who weren't so demanding as we all have become. Although apparently the BBC were initially surprised that children were listening in their millions, and eventually decided to "tone" the gratuitous sex and mindless violence in DB down. Which of course by todays high standards was on the level of Sesame Street, but losing even that meant the end as the millions turned off. Could you watch old serials such as Nyoka nowadays without laughing - could a serious film buff in the 40's?
“A populist subject for the film - a gang of Nazi smugglers operating in quaint English fishing village, plotting the downfall of all around them. Don Stannard was excellent for the ... unbelievably manly role of Dick Barton - although since Red Dwarf I can't quite get Arnold Rimmer out of my head. And current Tory Party Boss David Cameron too for that matter! Snowy and Jock were both there as DB's sidekicks, played with gusto if not finesse. What I find when I let go is that this sometimes atmospheric film is an enjoyable romp (semi-silent, too!) from proto-Hammer, which strains credulity at every turn but keeps you watching like all Fantasies should do. The whole production was cheap and amateurish which is reflected in the acting. Marvellously refreshing after seeing Requiem For A Dream!

“Therefore I don't think Plan 9's Title is in jeopardy, except maybe from Blazing Saddles - time will tell! “

10.  DICK BARTON STRIKES BACK
1949 B&W 73:00 minutes 
Director:                 Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:           Cedric Williams [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writer:                      Ambrose Grayson [active until 1950, per Corel All Movie Guide 2],
                                      Elizabeth Baron
Music:                        Rupert Grayson, Frank Spencer
Producer:                 Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                       Mae Murray [died 1965, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:            Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                           Don Stannard (Dick Barton), Sebastian Cabot, Jean Lodge, James Raglan, Bruce
                                      Walker, Humphrey Kent, John Harvey, Morris Sweden, Tony Morelli,
                                      George Crawford, Sidney Vivian, Jimmy O’Dea, Larry Taylor
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1965 = 2035

SYNOPSIS:    As a giant "American Overseas" super-Constellation from Prague lands in the U.K., its greeters include both Government agent Dick Barton and an accordion-playing gypsy.  Barton recognizes a friendly secret agent, who whispers that he is following a dangerous foreign agent carrying a secret that dwarfs the secret of the atom bomb, and arranges to meet him in a nightclub.  Barton arrives to hear a pianist playing the gypsy theme and the agent murdered, and tied up by the foreign agent, who leaves an open gas jet and a burning gas lamp -- it is only a matter of time until an explosion will destroy Barton and his assistant "Snowy" White, the only remaining witnesses to the agent's perfidy.  The two manage to break out of a window despite their bonds, just moments before the club explodes.  Fortunately, the foreign agent had explained to Barton that he was heading north for his final experiments that Barton would find "extremely interesting."  A representative of the Prime Minister explains to Barton that something terrible has befallen a village in the north, and that Barton must pursue the foreign agent immediately: "The safety of the nation ... possibly of the entire world ... depends on your success!" Barton and White arrive to find the entire population dead, their brains shriveled in their skulls as they went about their normal work or play, the cause, according to Government scientists, a mysterious atomic cloud.  However, Barton consoles a distraught Tina, a beautiful woman with a foreign accent he meets in a nearby hotel, who is secretary to the Prime Minister's representative assigned to a powerful businessman: "There was no suffering; mercifully, it was instantaneous."  Barton persuades Tina, an accomplished pianist, to play the gypsy theme, causing her to flee in tears.  What does it all mean?  Can Barton save the world?

"Part of the Dick Barton series, this is generally considered one of the best.  In it, Dick Barton battles against all odds to stop two reprehensible warmongers who have a nuclear weapon and are threatening to use it.  A lightweight plot with lots of holes in it is still melded into a fast-paced action vehicle by the strong direction and the standard cliffhanger hooks like Barton having to escape from a pit of poisonous snakes." Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    “Special Agent Dick Barton uncovers a ring of international psychopathic criminals with plans to dominate the world using a terrifying weapon of mass destruction. “

IMDb Review:    “Easily the best film in the Dick Barton trilogy, showing a cinematic professionalism the first two lacked. This was the last to be filmed but released second, sad to lose Don Stannard so young and promising in 1949. Apart from the Boys Own adventure storyline, and Barton speaking in capital letters, this was a good attempt at cheapo-noir, nice camera work and high production values being a constant source of surprise.

“Gang of evil musical gypsies (can I put that nowadays?) led by ruthlessly evil Englishman (that always OK nowadays) have developed an evil sonic beam that will eventually be used to wipe Britain out and put it out of its misery. They experiment first by destroying thousands of people in two quaint English towns, the beam "instantaneously shrivelling their brains" - the carnage and the bodies seemed to have been cleared away by the authorities in less than a day. Sebastian Cabot as Fouracada the evil second in command who was marvellously over the top, is warned by Barton that "The Indemnity For Murder Is Not A Slight One" to no avail - I wish the film would have run another 3 hours just for their melodramatic battle of wills. The location shots of the stricken emptied town and later Blackpool and its Tower were very good and used efficiently. All I could remember of the film after last seeing it on TV in 1981 were the scenes in and up the Tower, I think that idea was a winner! During the climax the boss appeared to be using his suitcase in much the same way as a laptop would be - but he couldn't be - could he?
There are the usual silent stretches with background music for company as a reminder this was a cheaply made film, but Hammer did brilliantly well in disguising it. “

11.  RIVER PATROL
1948  B&W  65:00/66:00 minutes
Director:                  Ben R. Hart
Editor:                      James Corbett
Writer:                      James Corbett
Producer:                Harold Wilson
Prod.Comp.:           Knightsbridge Films in association with Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                           John Blythe, Lorna Dean, Wally Patch, Stan Paskin, Cyril Collins, George
                                     Crowther,  Andrew Sterne, Wilton West, Tony Murray, George Kane, Johnny
                                      Doherty, Iris Keen, Dolly Gwynne
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1948 = 2018

"RIVER PATROL" is an exciting topical story dealing with Nylon smuggling from the Continent.  The hero, a Custom's secret agent, is given the task of smashing the gang.  His only clue, in the form of a gambling chip, enables him to gain entry to the Headquarters of the gang, and plant his girl assistant with them.  The story moves rapidly to a thrilling climax with a fight in a burning warehouse."

"In this drama, black market smugglers do all they can to keep away from the coppers."  Corel All Movie Guide 2

12. THE ROSSITER CASE
B&W  1949/1950  75 minutes 
Director:                      Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:               Jimmy W. Harvey [Walter J. Harvey] [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie
                                         Guide 2]
Writers:                        Kenneth Hyde [active until 1958, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                          John Huner [active until 1983, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                          Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                          John Gilling [died November 22, 1985, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod:                              Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:              Hammer Film Productions
Editor:                          John Ferris
Mus. Dir.:                    Frank Spencer
From the Play          "The Rossiters" by Kenneth Hyde
Cast:                              Helen Shingler, Clement McCallin, Sheila Burrell, Frederick Leister, Ann
                                        Codrington, Henry Edwards, Dorothy Batley, Gabrielle Blunt, Eleanor Bryan,
                                         Ewen Solon, Robert Percival, Dennis Castle, Frederic Steger, Stanley Baker,
                                         Anthony Allen
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    Paralyzed in auto accident, woman fears losing her husband.  Dramatic murder creates an unexpected twist.

BritMovie.Co.UK Synopsis: “A man is accused of murdering his mistress - or was the culprit his disabled wife? Unfaithful husband, Peter Rossiter (Clement McCallin), had an affair with his wife's sister, Honor (Sheila Burrell). Peter’s jealous wife, Liz (Helen Shingler), who is also paralysed due to a car accident, confronts her sister about the affair, a gun is produced and Honor is accidentally killed. Because of his wife’s supposed paralysis, the philandering husband is arrested for Honor’s murder. Peter’s life is spared, however, when his wife confesses that she was miraculously cured.”

  13.  ADVENTURES OF P.C. 49: INVESTIGATING THE CASE OF THE GUARDIAN ANGEL
1950  B&W  65:00/67:00 minutes 
Director:                     Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide]
Cinematog.:               Cedric Williams [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide]
Writers:                       Vernon Gilbert Harris [active until 1974, per Corel All Movie Guide]
                                          Alan Stranks [active until 1951, per Corel All Movie Guide]
Editor:                           Clifford Turner
Music:                            Frank Spencer
Producer:                      Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:                 Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                                 Hugh Latimore, John Penrose, Arnette D. Simmonds, Pat Nye, Patricia Cutts,
                                            Arthur    Brander, Eric Phillips, Marton Benson, Billy Thatcher, Michael Ripper
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    A black market truck robbery keeps Scotland Yard busy tracing the culprits.

" 'PC 49' is a British constable, played by Hugh Latimer.  This Hammer Studios programmer finds Our Hero hon on the trail of lorry (or truck) thieves.  To bear the villains in their lair, PC 49 is forced to go undercover.  The jig is up for him about ten minutes before 'The End' title, but PC 49 is the resourceful type, so never fear.  This film was inspired by a popular British radio serial, created by Alan Stranks." Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb ReviewS:    (1) “Before "Dixon of Dock Green" there was "PC49",possibly of Dock Green as well,certainly some murky part of a smog bound London where the occasional car-horn was drowned by the sound of goods trains and the sad wail of ships' hooters on the turgid Thames.Created for radio,the character of Archibald Berkeley Willoughby made an uneasy translation to the world of the British "quickie" movie in the late 1940s.For a start Brian Reece who had created the role and had a huge following as a result wasn't used in the film,"49",as he was known,being played by Hugh Latimer.Furthermore, "49"'s part of London existed only in the imagination of the listeners,and bringing it to life on the screen was going to disappoint at least as many of them as it delighted.It would be easy to laugh at the world portrayed in this film,so many of the beliefs,customs and moral attitudes may seem to sophisticated 21st century audiences ridiculously naive or even reactionary.Please bear in mind that the Londoners of 1949 would find the vast majority of our enlightened" beliefs as outrageous as we find theirs.What is regarded as mainstream entertainment they would see as horrifying and obscene.This was an era when cinemas were not allowed to open on a Sunday,it was 3 years before the word "virgin" was allowed to be spoken in a movie(which was immediately awarded an "X" certificate thus guaranteeing it a popularity far in excess of its merit.Viz:-"TheMoon is Blue"). PC 49 himself was a young idealistic Met copper in the days when they wore high collar tunics and were recruited straight from the forces. He was looked up to by the boys at the Youth Club and had the grudging respect of the local ne'er-do-wells.Clean of mind and limb,we would do well to remember that men like him did exist in the bad old days when there was a blame culture and old people weren't locked away in homes the moment they became unproductive. As was the fashion at the time,49 had a fiancée - Joan - and their relationship was all rather jolly and Enid Blyton-ish.Both would have been outraged at any suggestion that they should have sex before marriage -or much of it after marriage probably.In this film she is played by Miss Patricia Cutts on whom I had a bit of a crush since I'd seen her in a "Just William" film.She disappeared from the movies for many years in the mid-fifties before appearing in "Private Road" in 1971 which sadly proved her swansong.She died at the tragically young age of 48 in 1974. 49 was absolutely sure that he was on the side of the angels,no agonising self-doubt for him,if "chummy" needed nicking he got nicked,no fannying about."Out you go,49",Sgt Wright used to say,ushering him from the office on to his beat.And off he went,happily chatting to the coaster mongers and shopkeepers,seeing old ladies across the road and confiscating catapults from schoolboys.As he dreams of hearing a shout of "Stop! Thief!" whereupon he'll take off his helmet and run like the wind with God and Right on his side,,he fades into history along with "Meccano" and "The Schoolboys' Exhibition" and,believe me ,the world is a far poorer place without him. “

            (2) “The previous post has given the complete background details to 49 … 1949 in Britain that is! This was an embryonic Hammer shoe-string  production, a companion piece to their equally enjoyable Dick Barton trilogy, and again based on a popular BBC radio series. The standard of film-making was pretty feeble but honest and imho of probable greater social relevance in the final analysis than most other British films made that year, and there were plenty of British high class classics in '49 too.

“Gangly Metropolitan constable Archibald Berkeley-Willoughby (PC 49) wants to be assigned to special duties to help track down a violent gang of truck hi-jackers stealing fags and booze galore. To this end he frequents all the greasy spoon cafés he can find that lorry drivers stop for a cup of char, especially dear old Ma Brady's. He cannily infiltrates the gang, which amazingly turns out to be the original Brady Bunch, displaying such a level of foresight along the way it's amazing the goodies weren't all shot to pieces well before the end. But as this was aimed at a younger audience it should be apparent right from the off whether good will triumph over bad. Hugh Latimer seemed an odd choice for the job: he looked more convincing playing the baddie in here, and was an uncomfortable woodentop for a lot of his PC scenes, while his girlfriend was well played by Patricia Cutts but with an indelibly painted on smile. The original radio pair Brian Reece as 49 and Joy Shelton as his fiancé thankfully moved in for the sequel.

“But still indispensable for a window on the mores of a vanished race, and also a nice hour's entertainment for the discerning. Sadly most serious people today would utterly despise this even after watching it assiduously for the hour too! I wish it had been two hours long. “

14.  CELIA (a/k/a CELIA: THE SINISTER AFFAIR OF AUNT NORA)
1950  B&W  67:00/68:00 minutes 
Director:                       Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:                Cedric Williams [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                         Edward J. Mason [active until 1950, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                           A.R. Rawlinson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                           Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                     Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:                Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                                 Hy Hazell, Bruce Lister, John Bailey, Joan Hickson, Ferdy Mayne, James
                                            Raglan, Elsie Wagstaff, Lockwood West
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:   Slight case of intended murder tracked to source by aid of female detective posing as daily help.

"In this British crime drama a detective has a woman pretend to be her aunt so that he can prove that her uncle is a poisoner."  Corel All Movie Guide 2  

BritMovie.Co.UK Synopsis: “Celia is a mild comedy thriller, not quit worst of Exclusive's mediocre
            output it was the first of nine films helmed for Hammer by director Francis Searle. A radio-inspired thriller, the film centres around an actress who disguises herself her as her aunt so as to expose her step-uncle who she suspects of being a poisoner.”

15.  THE LADY CRAVED EXCITEMENT
1950  B&W  72:00/73:00 minutes 
Director:                  Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:            Walter Harvey [active until 1963, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                    John Gilling [died November 22, 1985, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                     Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                     Edward J. Mason [active until 1950, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Editor:                      John Ferris
Producer:               Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:          Hammer Film Productions
Songs:                      George Melachrino and James Dyrenforth
Cast:                          Hy Hazell, Michael Medwin, Sidney James, Andrew Keir, Thelma Grigg, Danny
                                     Green, John Longden, Ian Wilson, Barbara Hamilton, Jasmine Dee, Gordon                                              Mulholland
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    "Pat and Johnny are cabaret artistes who perform their double act at Carlo's Club and provoke the explosive proprietor to fuming incoherence whenever the impetuous Pat seeks distraction to indulge her craving for excitement.  On one such occasion, Pat, reading a newspaper in her dressing room, devours the fact that a lunatic killer is at large and is thought to be disguised by the acquisition of a false beard.  It is only natural that Pat should attempt to remove the beard of the first hirsute male she encounters, not at all dismayed by the knowledge that he is one of the Club's patrons.  Of course, the beard is a real one, but Peterson, who sports it, becomes enamored of Pat and asks her to pose for him as Anne Boleyn.  Meanwhile, the beautiful Julia, who calls for Peterson, arouses suspicion by warning Pat and Johnny not to take Peterson seriously.  From this point in the story many boisterous situations develop and new characters are introduced in the form of Inspector James of Scotland Yard, Boris, a fellow conspirator of Julia's, and Mugsy, a shady denizen of the underworld.  Pat is abducted in a trunk, Johnny is knocked on the head and locked in the cabin of a launch, Mugsy provides a creditable replica of the crown jewels which Julia exchanges with the ranged Peterson for a collection of priceless old masters; Pat manages to escape only to find herself playing the principal role in the re-enactment of Anne Boleyn's execution and Inspector James appears at the crucial moment to restore order out of chaos.  Pat and Johnny are rewarded for uncovering the plot to remove several valuable works of art from the country and also helping to round up the crooks.  They celebrate at Carlo's and are about to get their old job back, but - the lady craved excitement!"

IMDb Review:    “This is a little low budget comedy-mystery based on a popular BBC radio series. Oddly named Hy Hazell stars as the title character, a music hall performer who, with partner and boyfriend (and co-star) Michael Medwin, blunders willfully into the criminal escapades of a trio of crooks. The boyfriend, the club owner, and Scotland Yard have all had their fill of her constant attempt to solve crimes, but this time she truly does. The comedy is sub-standard, woefully predictable stuff, and nobody really makes an impression. Medwin is a familiar face from many English comedies. Andrew Keir, later a robust and effective character actor in many films (Hammer films especially) makes his film debut here and he's fine, although virtually unrecognizable behind a beard and about fifty pounds thinner.

16.  MAN IN BLACK
1950  B&W  75:00/80:00 minutes 
Director:                    Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:             Cedric Williams [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                      John Gilling [died November 22, 1985, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                        francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Editor:                        John Ferris, Ray Pitt
Producer:                 Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:            Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                            Betty Ann Davies, Sheila Burrell, Sid James, Anthony Forwood, Hazel
                                       Penwarden,  Valentine Dyall, Courtney Hope, Molly Palmer, Laurence
                                        Baskcomb, Gerald Case
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    A student of Yoga simulates death to uncover his wife's evil doings and discovers a murder scheme.

IMDb Synopsis:    “Henry Clavering suspects his second wife Bertha is trying to drive his daughter (by his first marriage) insane, to stop her inheriting his money. He decides to use his yoga skills to pretend to be dead, and thereby expose her villainy.”

IMDB Review:    “Interesting thriller (not really a horror film)based on a radio series which was popular in the late 40's. Valentine Dyall, who was known to radio fans as The Man in Black appears briefly at the beginning and intones a sinister narration as we are introduced to the venal 2nd wife and sister of a sick millionaire played unexpectedly by Sid James. James modifies his usual rasping delivery to such a degree that he's not instantly recognizable as the millionaire.
His second wife, her daughter and her sometimes lover are a truly repulsive trio of villains as they conspire to drive the dead millionaire's daughter, (who's due to inherit the estate) mad in order to have her committed and take the estate for themselves. The poor girl's only real friend is the one person her father trusted, the drunken yet loyal boatkeeper Hodges.This has some clever and amusing twists especially as the bodies pile up and just as quickly disappear. Gradually it comes to seem the girl may have some supernatural assistance. This is all pleasantly entertaining until the climatic seance which I found a bit of a disappointment. Considering this was a Hammer production, the film-makers could have played with our and the character's perceptions a bit. This wouldn't have changed the outcome but could've provided a more exciting resolution.Overall a decent time passer with good moments. “

17.  MEET SIMON CHERRY
1950  B&W  67:00/68:00  minutes
Director:                   Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:            Cedric Williams [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                     Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                      A.R. Rawlinson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                       Gale Pedrick [radio series Meet the Rev]
Editor:                        Ray Pitt
Producer:                 Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:           Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                           Hugh Moxey, Jeanette Tregarthen, Anthony Forwood, Ernest Butcher, Zena
                                      Marshall, John Bailey, Courtney Hope, Gerald Case, Arthuyr Lovegrove
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    "Simon Cherry ('The Rev.') is persuaded by Charlie, his ex-batman and helper at the Boys' Club in his Parish, to take a rest from his arduous duties.  Simon sets off for the country in Charlie's ancient car, and in the gathering darkness the car breaks down with Simon hopelessly lost.  Observing unmistakable signs of an approaching storm, he seeks refuge at Harling Manor and is pressed by Lady Harling to stay the night.  Other occupants of the manor are Monica and Lisa, Lady Harling's two daughters, Henry Dantry, her nephew, Alan Colville, Lisa's husband, and Young, the butler.  Lisa is an invalid, because of an accident, and she and her husband are on the eve of departure for South Africa, where it is hoped she will recuperate.  The household have all retired for the night, when the silence is disturbed by the ringing of an electric bell which is connected to Lisa's room.  On investigation Lisa is found to be dead.  A doctor is sent for while the family and Simon assemble in an endeavor to clear certain accusations made by Henry, who accuses Alan of murdering Lisa. From Henry and Alan, Simon learns a great deal of Lisa's nature.  Henry, his love spurned, still idolized Lisa.  Alan, who broke with Monica to marry Lisa, reveals her true character and is bitter and disillusioned.  Young is also involved.  He adored Miss Lisa, and attempted to end her suffering by an overdose of sleeping tablets.  Simon's level-headed investigations bring to light that the real cause of Lisa's death is, as stated by the doctor, a heart attack.  He then leaves Harling Manor to continue his interrupted holiday, and we can sense that the family, in spite of their grief, are brought to a closer understanding."

18.  ROOM TO LET
1950  B&W  63:00/68:00 minutes 
Director:                       Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:                 Cedric Williams [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                         Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                           John Gilling [died November 22, 1985, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                           Margery Allingham [play]
Producer:                      Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:                Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                                 Jimmy Hanley, Valentine Dyall, Christine Silver, Merle Tottenham,
                                            Constance Smith, Charles Hawtrey, Aubrey Dexter, Anthony La Penna,
                                            Reginald Dyson, Laurence Naismith, John Clifford, Stuart Saunders, Cyril
                                            Conway, Cahrles Houston, Harriet Peterworth, Charles Mander, H. Hamilton
                                            Earle, F.A. Williams, Archie Callum
 Adapted from the B.B.C. feature by Margery Allingham
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    "A nursing home for mental cases is burned down and in spite of assurances by the staff that all the patients are accounted for, the suspicions of Curly Minter, a young news reporter, are aroused by the dying statement of the night watchman, who claims that the fire was started by a mysterious inmate who escaped during the confusion of the night's dramatic events.  Later that same night, the genteel but impoverished Musgrave family take in a paying guest, a Doctor Fell.  Mrs. Musgrave, a crippled widow and her lovely young daughter Molly, with Alice, their faithful domestic, comprise a household which is soon to become darkened by the terrifying unpredictable behaviour of the sinister Doctor.  Curly Minter, who is in love with Molly, is disturbed when he hears from her of the Doctor's strange habits and the frightening way in which he is gradually domineering their lives until they are virtually prisoners in their own house, unable to resort to the law because of their guest's unimpeachable surface behaviour.  Whilst trying to discover something about the Doctor's past, Curly is startled to find that he has certain characteristics attributed by hearsay to Jack the Ripper.  Lacking any real evidence, without which the police are reluctant to intervene, Curly's efforts on the Musgrave family's behalf become a race against the impending tragedy he is convinced may soon be enacted.  A crisis is precipitated when Mrs. Musgrave learns the real identity of her guest, who, in an unguarded moment of boastful reminiscence, shows her a street map marked with the location of several crimes committed by Jack the Ripper.  The story of what took place that night is told by Curly many years later, but who fired the fatal shot that killed Doctor Fell remains, as far as Police Records are concerned, as much of a mystery as the true identity of the Doctor himself.  Only Curly and Molly, who have been happily married for many years, share the secret and if anyone else were to stumble upon the truth, he would surely be content, in the interests of moral justice, to keep it to himself."

IMDb Synopsis:    “In 1904 London, neighbors begin to suspect that a very strange man calling himself Dr. Fell may indeed be the famous Jack the Ripper.”
Dave Sindlar’s Movie of the Day Archives (www.scifilm.org):

            “A mysterious lodger moves in to the home of a reporter's girlfriend at about the same time of a fire at an asylum that was covered by the reporter. His story involved a missing patient of the asylum, but was censored from the paper, and he sees evidence of a cover-up on the matter. This is basically a variation of THE LODGER, and a very effective one. Valentine Dyall steals the movie as the truly creepy lodger, Dr. Fell, and one can't help but be frightened of what this man may be capable of doing. Those expecting a mere replay of THE LODGER are in for a surprise, however; towards the end it takes the damnedest of left turns when you least expect it (without giving too much away, it turns from a horror thriller to, of all things, a locked room murder mystery), but still manages to steer to a quite satisfying ending. Hammer fans may notice the name of the producer (Anthony Hinds), and the assistant director whose name is more familiar as that of a screenwriter (Jimmy Sangster).”

19.  SOMEONE AT THE DOOR
1950  B&W  64:00/65:00 minutes 
Director:                Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:         Walter Harvey [active until 1963, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                  A.R. Rawlinson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                    Campbell Christie, Dorothy Christie [play]
Art Director:         Denis Wreford [active until 1965, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Composer:              frank Spencer[active until 1965, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Film Editor:           John Ferris [active until 1983, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Music:                      Frank Spencer
Producer:               Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:         Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                         Michael Medwin, Garry Marsh, Yvonne Owen, Hugh Latimer, Danny Green,
                                     Cambell Singer, John Kelly, Maire O’Neil
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1983 = 2053

SYNOPSIS:    Young reporter fakes a murder, but lands in trouble when real murders occur.

"In search of a great story to further his career, a journalist sets himself up to be suspected of killing his sister, but he is nearly executed for his trouble." Coreal All Movie Guide 2


20.  WHAT THE BUTLER SAW        
1950  B&W  62:00/63:00 minutes 
Director:                   Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:              Walter Harvey [active until 1963, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                      Edward J. Mason [active until 1950, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                       A.R. Rawlinson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                  Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:             Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                             Edward Rigby, Henry Mollison, Marcy Haystead, Michael Ward, Peter Burton,                                         Anne Valery, Eleanor Hallam, Tonie Macmillan, Mollie Palmer, Howard
                                       Charlton, Alfred Harris, George Bishop, Norman Pitt
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    "Having completed his tour of duty as Governor of a group of tropical islands, the Earl, accompanied by Bembridge, his butler, returns to his ancestral home in England.  While unpacking hunting trophies, the Earl discovers that one of the packing cases is empty but littered with the remains of tropical fruit and showing signs of recent occupancy.  It then transpires that the daughter of one of the tribal kings, previously administered by the Earl in his capacity as Governor, has stowed away not wishing to be separated from Bembridge, whom she holds in high esteem.  The Earl contacts a relative at the Colonial Office, who advises that the princess should be kept hidden and the newspapers prevented from getting hold of the story.  Meanwhile, kindled by the prattle of the domestics, village gossip abounds with tales of witchcraft and 'queer goings on up at the Hall.'  The subsequent chaos in the household, both above and below stairs, is climaxed by the cook submitting the problem to a newspaper and asking for advice on how to cope with the situation.  This leads to the newspaper sending a reporter to investigate the story as news has already been received that a native princess has been abducted.  The reporter is attracted to the Earl's granddaughter and agrees to hold his story for a little time in the hope that a solution might be found.  Of course, one eventually is evolved which allows everyone to live happily ever after, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the Earl and Butler reversing their roles as master and servant.  They then return to the islands with the princess to enable the Butler to assume a high office in the administration of the colony, which has been offered to him by the girl's father."

21.  A CASE FOR P.C. 49
1951  B&W  80:00 minutes 
Director:                  Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide]
Cinematog.:            Walter Harvey [active until 1963, per Corel All Movie Guide]
                                      Francis Searle
Writers:                    Vernon Gilbert Harris [active until 1974, per Corel All Movie Guide]
                                      Allan Stranks [active until 1951, per Corel All Movie Guide]
Producer:                 Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:            Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                           Brian Reece, Joy Shelton, Christine Norden, Leslie Bradley, Gordon McLeod,
                                       Campbell Singer, Jack Stewart, Michael Balfour, Michael Ripper, Joan
                                      Seton, Edna Morris, John Sharp, Frank Hawkins, John Barry, John Warren
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

"In this British mystery a private eye must prove that a millionaire was murdered by his fiancee, a beautiful model who discovers that she was slated to inherit his fortune after he died." Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Synopsis:    “PC 49 grapples with a beautiful artist's model in a case involving the murder of a millionaire.”

IMDb Review:    “This was one of those unusual sequels: better than the original. It was the 2nd attempt at putting the adventures of PC 49 onto the screen, transferred from BBC radio, the 1st being filmed 2 years before in 1949. In those 2 years Hammer had come on by leaps and bounds with higher production values, better actors and acting and most of all better scripts. This still means that it creaks and abounds with those moments that contemporary serious people love to deride, so apart from it appealing to wide-eyes like me it can also draw cynical wasters too.

“Meanwhile the plot is cohesive and absorbing: jewel heist complements and is a screen for an elaborate murder-of-a-millionaire plan, the hifalutin murderers themselves get targeted by their lower class drones who concoct their own elaborately vicious plan in revenge. Into this morass of immorality comes hook-nosed Brian Reece playing lanky PC 49 and Joy Shelton playing his astute fiancée Joan, who are playing their own hunches despite being continually handicapped by the staid unimagination of the Met police hierarchy. They needed an Inspector with the brains of Claude Teal, stolid Gordon McLeod had to suffice instead … Michael Ripper was here again this time as a reforming ex-con, but didn't he do life at Hammer? Favourite bits: the glamorous scenes in sexy Della's swanky penthouse apartment - how tastes have changed; The baddie contemplating the necessity of polishing off Joan but not enjoying one bit socking her on the jaw. The popular radio series ran for 112 episodes from 1947 to 1953, the BBC destroyed all but 2 editions and of course makes sure that no one will ever hear them.

“To the believer, seventy-five minutes that can be well spent over and over again in the non-taxing company of some old friends, if you hated it kiss those seventy-five minutes goodbye forever! “

22.  THE BLACK WIDOW
1951  B&W 62:00 minutes 
Director:               Vernon Campbell Sewell [active until 1987, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:         Walter Harvey [active until 1963, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                  Allan Mackinnnon [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                    Lester Powell [radio serial Return From Darkness]
Film Editor:           James Needs [active until 1974, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:          Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                          Christine Norden, Robert Ayres, Jennifer Jayne, Anthony Forwood, John
                                     Longden,   John Harvey, Reginald Dyson, Joan Carol, Madoline Thomas, Jill
                                     Hulbert, Bill Hodge
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    Wife of amnesia victim plans to murder him.

"Vernon Sewell, a mercurial filmmaker who preferred to lens his pictures on chunks of his own property, was the director of Black Widow.  We don't know which of Sewell's real estate holdings served as the locale for this amnesia meller.  We can, however, tell you that the film was inspired by the BBC radio serial "Return from Darkness". Returning from you-know-where is Robert Ayres, who learns that his wife (Christine Norden) is planning to bump him off with the help of her boyfriend (Anthony Forwood).  Ayres continues feigning a loss of memory until he is able to get the drop on his would-be murderers." Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Review:    “Robert Ayres is driving down a country lane when he comes across someone laying in the middle of the road. Thinking it is someone who has been hit by a car he stops to see if he can help. What he gets for his efforts is a vicious belt to the head from a lead cosh. He is then relieved of his wallet and his car. Several minutes later having somewhat recovered, he staggers to a nearby farmhouse and collapses. He is found and a doctor is called. Meanwhile the car thief has made it about 30 miles before he takes a corner a tad fast and goes for an unwanted flight off a cliff. Needless to say that the car explodes taking care of the thief. Back at the farmhouse Ayres has regained consciousness. One slight problem though. He has no idea who he is or how he got to the farmhouse. The local doctor says to get some rest and the police say there are no reported missing persons. The farm owner and his daughter agree to house Ayres while he recovers. Several weeks go by and Ayres still has no memory of who he his. A search of his overcoat turns up a theatre ticket from a town 60 miles away. Ayres grabs a train had heads for the town. Once there he recognizes a large house. He enters and finds a coffin covered with flowers in the front room. A blonde, Christine Norden, enters and upon seeing Ayres screams and then faints. Ayres memory all drops into place! Norden is his wife and this is his house. It seems Norden thought Ayres had been killed in the car crash that killed the car thief. All is now well. Or is it? It seems Norden has been stepping out with another man and has plans of her own for the estate. She asks if anyone had seen him come home. "No", answers Ayres. "Go have a sleep while I make some calls. We 'll have a welcome home party tonight" she says. While Ayres is upstairs Norden makes a call to her lover to arrange Ayres upcoming demise. Of course her plan comes unraveled and Norden and her lover get their just deserts. This is a brisk moving 60 min thriller from the U.K. Directed by Vernon Sewell who did several very good little noirs, STRONGROOM, MAN IN THE BACK SEAT and UNEASY TERMS. Christine Norden did quite a few blonde bimbo roles before Diana Dors showed up on the scene.”

23.  THE DARK LIGHT
1951  B&W  53:00/63:00 minutes 
Director:                         Vernon Campbell Sewell [active until 1987, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:                  Moray Grant
Writers:                           Vernon Campbell Sewell [active until 1987, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Editor:                              Francis Bieber
Producer:                        Michael Carreras [active until 1979, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                             Anthony Hinds
Prod.Comp.:                  Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                                  Albert Lieven, David Greene, Norman Macowan, Martin Benson, Jack
                                             Stewart,  Katharine Blake, Joan Carol, John Harvey, John Longden
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1987 = 2057

SYNOPSIS:    "Homeward bound, the steam yacht 'Gelert' observes the light on Thimble Rock extinguished.  Thimble Rock is a lonely lighthouse 20 miles off the English coast.  Receiving no reply to his signals, the owner, fearing some mishap to the keepers, decides to go aboard the lighthouse to investigate.  Many strange circumstances are revealed in the search which indicate recent occupancy, but the owner's wife discovers the most significant factors:  a page for the previous day missing from the log book and blood dripping from the ceiling.  At this point the story goes back a day in time and we see the three keepers sitting in their living room and hear the roar of a foghorn calling attention to the weathers conditions prevailing.  Rigby, the skipper of the lighthouse crew, is an old man due for retirement in two weeks; the second, Matt, is a disgruntled and embittered man, while Johnny, a simple giant with an eye for 'pin ups', completes the ill assorted trio.  When the fog lifts, they observe a motor boat containing three people drifting past the lighthouse.  The boat appears to be sinking fast and the occupants are rescued by the lighthouse men.  The survivors are Mark, a rich business man, his secretary, Linda and Luigi his friend.  Unsuspected by the crew of the lighthouse, it transpires that these three are, in fact, criminals who have recently engineered a large bank robbery; in attempting to escape by sea with the spoils, their plans misfire when they find themselves stranded on the rock.  By various stratagems, the crooks enlist the aid of Matt and, eventually, Johnny, but skipper Rigby is adamant in his refusal to put them ashore in the boat belonging to the lighthouse and destroys the engine in anticipation of their taking it without permission.  Forced to row for the shore, having previously murdered the skipper, the malefactors quarrel among themselves and a fight ensures during which Mark and Matt fall overboard and are left to drown.  With Luigi unconscious in the bottom of the boat, Johnny suffers a change of heart and pulls strongly for the shore intent upon giving himself up and bringing Linda to justice, despite her tearful protestations."

BritMovie.Co.Uk Review:    “Another of Vernon Sewell’s salty thrillers often featuring his own
yacht. This low-budget Hammer production shot on location at the Nab Tower Lighthouse starts out promisingly enough but a mixture of poor acting and an underdeveloped storyline ensure it never rises above mediocre. Told in flashback, The Dark Light begins when a small party from a passing yacht investigate why the light from the Thimble Rock Lighthouse is extinguished. Upon entering the lighthouse they discover it to be deserted – only for the sound of dripping; dripping blood.  The story now reverts to 24 hours earlier when the three lighthouse keepers   have their solitude interrupted by a shipwrecked craft adrift of their lighthouse, and they quickly rescue the mysterious two men and one woman from the stricken boat. The three turn out crooks who committed a £100,000 robbery earlier in which a staff member died. Two of the lighthouse workers deduce who the trio are and offer to put them ashore in France in exchange for a share of the booty but the elderly skipper won’t hear of it.  one of the crooks kills the elderly skipper during a brawl on the lighthouse  and the remaining five endeavour to make their getaway in a rowing boat. With the lighthouse bulb having been sabotaged the lack of light raises the alarm of the authorities but meanwhile those heading for the French coast are beginning to fight amongst themselves.”


24.  TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
1951  B&W  63:00 minutes 
Director:                   Godfrey Grayson [active until 1962, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:            Walter J. Harvey [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                     Reginald Long [active until 1953, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                        Lionel Brown [play]
Composer:                 Frank Spencer [active until 1965, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Film Editor:               James Needs [active until 1974, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producer:                    Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:              Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                             Avis Scott, Patrick Barr, Robert Ayres, Harry Fine, Ellen Pollock, Richard 
                                       Warner, Eunice Gayson, Peter Neil
From the play by Lionel Brown
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1975 = 2045

SYNOPSIS:    "When the manor and estate of Halston, owned by the De Winter family, falls on lean times it is restored by the marriage of June De Winter to Brian Harding.  June's brother and sister, Robert and Roberta, do not take kindly to the presence of Brian, even though it is his energy and skill which rehabilitates the property.  Brian is badly thrown by a vicious horse which Robert is trying to sell him and as a result injures his spine and becomes a cripple.  The work of the estate is carried on by his wife June and his cousin Max, who is on holiday from the Argentine.  June and Max are very much attracted to each other and were on the point of telling Brian of their love, when the accident occurred.  Brian accidentally learns of their attachment and when he is told that he has only a short time to live, he endeavors to bring them closer together by being objectionable to June.  Roberta learns by chance that Max has a grown-up daughter, Peggy, by his divorced wife and invites her to stay with them in the hope that her presence might further disrupt the household and allow the De Winters to assume control once more.  Peggy is divided in her loyalties to her father and Brian when she also discovers that June and Max are in love, but Brian, by his wise and kindly counsel, guides and advises her into seeing things in their proper perspective.  The story is climaxed by Brian taking Peggy to Italy, where she can study singing, leaving June and Max to carry on with the estate and as a parting gesture he leaves Max his ring inscribed with the motto 'To have and to hold,' the significance of which is not lost on June and Max."

IMDb Review:    “By old school drama I mean this is the sort of British upper class movie that does not get made anymore, but it does nevertheless represent an era. It was made by Hammer, Jimmy Sangster has a credit as an assistant director. It concerns a progressive, aristocratic farmer who, with his wife, run a large estate. He has (the usual) hangers on sister and brother-in-law who convinces him to ride a skittish horse whence he falls and is subsequently paralysed.
A cattle buying friend from the Argentine of similar views is staying with him and having a chaste affair with his wife. They decide they will tell him then the accident happens.

“The rest of this short movie is not the usual run of the mill stuff and is well worth the time spent watching it. The opening credits announce "introducing Eunice Gayson" although this was not her first movie, much more famous from her James Bond role.She sings a song in a nice soprano, if it is actually her. “

25.  NEVER LOOK BACK
1952  B&W  73:00/75:00 minutes 
Director:                       Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:                Reginald H. Wyer [active until 1967, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                         John Hunter [active until 1983, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                          Guy Morgan [active until 1957, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                          Francis Searle [active until 1964, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Art Director:               Alex Gray [active until 1952, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Composer:                    Temple Abady [active until 1958, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Film Editor:                 John Ferris [active until 1983, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producers:                   James Brennan [active until 1952, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                            Michael Carreras [active until 1979, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:                 Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                                Rosamund John, Hugh Sinclair, Guy Middleton, Henry Edwards, Terence
                                           Longden,  John Warwick, Brenda De Banzie, Arthur Howard,  H.S. Hills,
                                           Bruce Belfrage, Helene Burls, Francis Rowe, Bill Shine, June Mitchell,
                                           Barbara Shaw, David Scase, Norman Somers
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1983 = 2053

SYNOPSIS:    Anne Maitland, about to become a Barrister, regretfully tells her Barrister boyfriend that her new career comes first, and she cannot marry him.  An old love shows up at her flat, and after hearing his story of a quarrel with his mistress, is allowed to spend the night.  The next day, the mistress turns up dead; the old boyfriend, to protect Ann's reputation, refuses to use her for an alibi, and he is arrested.  Anne, believing him innocent, agrees to defend him; Nigel is assigned to the prosecution.  During the trial, Anne drops the case in order to testify for the defense; the truth comes out as to how the mistress died, and "Justice is carried out."  Anne, her career shattered, is reunited with Nigel. This romantic mystery involves a young lawyer whose old flame is accused of murdering his mistress.  She takes his case and beats her adversary, a lawyer who wants to marry her, by disclosing her former relationship with him.  Her reputation is ruined when it is found that the man really is guilty, but this enables her to marry the amorous lawyer."  Corel All Movie Guide 2

IMDb Review:    “I was recently able to buy this obscurity online being always on the lookout for minor British movies, particularly of the fifties. Rosamund John has recently been given silk which means in British legal jargon she is now a more senior barrister and entitled to add KC (King's Council) to her name. It would be QC nowadays.This is quite an honor for any lawyer. At a celebratory party, her long time admirer Hugh Sinclair proposes yet again only to be rejected in favor of her career; shocking stuff for the early sixties. He takes her home still pleading his case but eventually leaves.

“She starts playing some nostalgic music and lo and behold she hears piano music which she soon finds out is being played by an old flame who is returning his front door key. His current girlfriend has thrown him out so she allows him to stay the night on the sofa.He leaves the next morning. He finds that his girlfriend has been murdered and he is the prime suspect so eventually the new KC agrees to defend him without telling anyone he spent the night with her-platonically. At the trial her current suitor is the prosecutor.It's a fairly familiar story after that but at least it's a cast of pros who lend credibility to the movie. Worth watching if you get a chance to see it. “


26.  DEATH OF AN ANGEL
1954  B&W  64:00/66:00 minutes 
Director:                 Charles Saunders [active until 1986, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Cinematog.:           Walter Harvey [active until 1963, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Writers:                    Reginald Long [active until 1953, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Producers:               Anthony Hinds [active until 1975, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
                                      Julian Lesser [active until 1954, per Corel All Movie Guide 2]
Prod.Comp.:           Hammer Film Productions
Cast:                            Jane Baxter, Patrick Barr, Jean Lodge, Russell Waters, Raymond Young, Russell
                                      Napier, James Mills, Frank Tickle, Katie Johnson, Robert Brown, John Kelly,
                                      Duggie Ascot, Hal Osmond, June Bardsley, David Stoll, and introducing Galley 
                                      Sommers
Copyright Expiration:  At least until 70 years from 1986 = 2056

SYNOPSIS:    Young doctor takes over practice in a small village from an older doctor in ill health, moves into the family, and becomes "firm friends" with the older doctor's beautiful young daughter.  Mysterious overtones soon give way to a case of arsenic poison, which turns out to be committed in error - a glass of milk with a fatal dose of arsenic in it was switched by the old doctor - and in the final scene, "after a hair-raising time of hide-and-seek in the upper parts of [an old] mill" the murderer falls to his death, the old doctor is reunited with his wife, and the young doctor and the "firm friend" are married.

"The angel of the title is Jane Baxter, the wife of country physician Patrick Barr.  Everybody in the small British village where she lived thought the world of Jane; thus, when she is murdered, the authorities are out for blood.  Dr. Barr seems above suspicion, at least until he begins behaving eccentrically.  As time passes, most everyone learns that Jane wasn't quite as angelic as she seemed -- and that quite a few people might have wanted her dead.  This 64-minute programmer was based on This is Mary's Chair, a play by Frank King."  Corel All Movie Guide 2
Web Hosting Companies