The Flying Scot

We hear a lot about budgets when filmmaking is discussed, and you end up with the feeling nowadays that movies are barely considered to be worth watching if the amount of money invested in the production isn’t of the eye-watering variety. This is a shame as it means the range of films made tends to be reduced and, crucially, fewer chances are taken for the simple reason no one wants to accept a risk when the stakes are so high. Now I’m not trying to make a case here for the inaccessible or the utterly impenetrable – movies which are not entertaining or watchable are going to be failures not merely in financial terms but also due to the fact they cannot succeed if they cannot engage with an audience. If I’m lamenting the current obsession with massive budgets, then that’s because it does away with (or at least significantly reduces the potential for seeing) sparse and direct pieces which depend  on tight storytelling techniques rather than whizz bang visuals. I’m referring to frugal little productions like The Flying Scot (1957), the kind of minimalist drama we can’t even count on television taking on these days.

The Flying Scot has three major points in its favor as far as I’m concerned: it takes place almost exclusively on a train, it’s concerns itself with a heist, and it’s pared so far down that practically no excess fat is evident. The opening pitches us straight into the heart of proceedings, tracking along a railway platform to follow the progress of a newly wed couple about to embark on a train to begin their honeymoon, and thereafter their life together.  We see them settle in, put up a reserved notice on the door, draw the curtains. And then they change into casual clothes and lie down on separate berths on opposite sides of the carriage! It’s now quite clear that these people (Lee Patterson & Kay Callard) are no newlyweds, they and their associate in another car (Alan Gifford) are biding their time till they’re due to act. And that action is the smooth and meticulous execution of a plan to steal a half a million pounds in banknotes. Everything moves like clockwork with each person fulfilling his or her assigned role with precision and cool professionalism – it’s at this point that we pause, step back in time, and see what really happens…

The director of The Flying Scot was Compton Bennett, a man with a comparatively small yet interesting set of credits. His big Hollywood success was King Solomon’s Mines but there were other noteworthy titles both in the US and the UK. That this was a very low budget affair is apparent from the small cast with no big names, the limiting of the action to a handful of train carriage sets and the running time of not much more than an hour. However, as I hope my introductory remarks suggested, a limited budget doesn’t have to mean a poor quality movie. With The Flying Scot Bennett turns these aspects to his and the film’s advantage by using the cramped and suffocating space as a device for ramping up the tension, emphasizing the sense of characters trapped by their own criminal plans. Similarly, the short running time positively demands the pace is maintained, the plot forging ahead relentlessly just as the train where it all takes place heads inexorably towards its destination. I’d also like to note the stylish opening section where the first ten minutes or so is played out with one word of dialogue being spoken, it could be described as gimmickry I suppose but it never actually feels like that.  Furthermore, that opening and how it then develops reminded me of the beginning of Gambit, a later film with a lighter overall feel. The presence of Peter Rogers as producer and Norman Hudis as screenwriter brings to mind the Carry On series of comedies that would shortly debut in British cinemas and seem like an odd pair to be attached to a tense little suspense picture such as this. In truth, there is a thread of humor running through the film, but it ‘s of a more carefully observed type than the bawdier variety the aforementioned series would become famous for – having said that, those early Hudis scripts had a gentler approach anyway.

As far as a general audience is concerned, Lee Patterson is probably not a name that will be especially well-recognized. On the other hand, anyone who is a fan of, or even just reasonably familiar with, British thrillers of the 50s and 60s will be very much aware of this guy. Patterson was a Canadian actor who seemed to get cast in every other mystery or noirish thriller, so much so that it’s nearly impossible to have watched more than a handful of these kinds of films without coming across him. I’ve always found him a reliable enough performer, not a big draw but the type who you know will get the job done whether he was cast as good guy or bad. Here, he’s playing a man who is tough to like, displaying a bit too much unnecessary arrogance and self-absorption. He does it pretty effectively and fellow Canadian Kay Callard helps to smooth down his rough edges a little. Alan Gifford, yet another transatlantic import, provides just the right degree of pathos as the ageing crook hoping for one last touch to set him up for retirement but plagued by a health problem and a plan that’s fraying uncontrollably.

The Flying Scot is out on DVD in the UK via Network as part of the ever attractive The British Film line. I imagine a 1957 title would be better suited to at least some form of widescreen aspect ratio but it still looks fine, to me at least, with the 1.33:1 framing used on this disc. The print is in pretty good shape too with no major damage to cause distraction. As for extra features, there’s the facility to watch the opening under the alternative title The Mailbag Robbery. All in all, I thought this a very neat thriller, well constructed and satisfyingly tense – it gets a recommendation from me.

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182 thoughts on “The Flying Scot

  1. As you say, a neat little number.

    I agree with the tenor of your opening para, although to be fair the lower-budget equivalents of The Flying Scot are still being produced as tv movies and DTVs.

    • Thanks, John. Yes, good point on TV movies, which I think are often neglected or maligned to an extent. I’m less enamored of DTV material, it’s an outlet for low budget productions but the kind of film and their quality in general do little for me.

      • I’m less enamored of DTV material, it’s an outlet for low budget productions but the kind of film and their quality in general do little for me.

        I think it’s a bit like everything else — some of ’em are good and some of ’em are lousy!

        • Indeed. I think, with me, it’s a question of available time and the variable hit rate these days. If a worthwhile title gets recommended, I’ll check it out – similar to spaghetti westerns now – but I’ve waded through so many poor efforts in the past that my appetite isn’t what it once was.

          • We may be seeing this from different perspectives, of course. Quite a reasonable proportion of the modern equivalents of the B noir are appearing as DTVs and often, just as with their ancestors, there’s not much wrong with them because they really have no need for a chunky budget. This may not be true — or may be not as true — for the movies you’re interested in.

            • You may be right, John, and I’m looking at this stuff with different preconceptions. i can see how noir style thrillers could work in this format, I guess I simply haven’t come across as many as you. The thing is, when I hear of DTV, I almost automatically envisage very poor action fodder, and that’s not what I’m interested in at all.

                • Whereas with mention of TV movies, which we’ve also spoken about, I get a much more positive vibe. I get images of those late 60s and 1970s productions which, as a rule, i found a lot more entertaining.
                  Still, we’re talking impressions here and, as you said yourself, there are good and bad examples of all forms.

  2. Hi, Colin – an admirable review of this absorbing budget production. Not a minute wasted in its short running time and tension and suspense well maintained throughout. Great that you have highlighted it and any of your followers who buy it won’t be disappointed.

    • Cheers, buddy. I had a great time watching this film and I think it has lots to recommend it. The lower budget and lesser known cast shouldn’t discourage anyone from trying it out.

  3. Been meaning to get this and now I really have no excuse! Absolutwly my kind of movie. Have yiu read Brian MacFarlane and Steve Chibnall’s The British B Movie? Great book and they single this one out for special praise

  4. Back in 2008, I caught this one and was very happy I did. A quick little low-renter that works very well. (Short review up on IMDB) Canadian actor Lee Patterson starred in several better than average UK crime films such as, THE KEY MAN, SOHO INCIDENT, PASSING STRANGER and TIME LOCK.

    • Yes, Patterson appeared in a lot of British crime movies, and a fair few of them have been released on DVD now – I find him a likeable screen presence.

  5. If this is an example of the British thrillers you were promising, Colin, then I’m a happy fella! I saw this film just a few months ago and really enjoyed it. The tension is palpable and the three leads do a really good job, especially for a low-budget movie. I first saw Kay Callard as one of the stars of a weekly ITV series called “KNIGHT ERRANT c. 1959-60.

    Thanks to Sergio for drawing our attention to that BFI book. I had not come across it and it is a prime candidate now for my shopping list!!

    • Yes, Jerry, there will be more British material featured here this month, which I hope goes down well.
      I can’t honestly see anyone who likes movies of this era coming away disappointed from The Flying Scot.

  6. When I was a youngster watching British B films, we sat through some boring stuff while waiting for the technicolor western to start, but we were always very pleased to see a Lee Patterson film. We thought he was a great looking AMERICAN actor, and added something special to a film.
    I can’t remember The Flying Scot, though I probably did see it at the time. I do like Network DVDs, most of their titles are great quality, so it will be on order soon.

    • Network are great and have put out so many British B thrillers in recent years. Patterson appeared in a number of titles, both bonus material and series entries, in the Merton Park Edgar Wallace set, which is another marvelous offering from Network.

      • I do have the first 4 volumes of the Edgar Wallace sets. When I mentioned boring British B films in previous post, l guess I was thinking of the Wallace films, some of them were hard slow going for a young teen waiting for the main picture to start.
        My opinion has changed greatly since owning the DVDs, there are still a couple of duds, but the majority are much better through my adult eyes.

        • I think I’ve watched maybe three volumes (might even be four but I’d have to check) all the way through so far and I’d say the films included have ranged from the very entertaining to the decidedly mediocre, with the majority coming in on the positive side of the dividing line. In my opinion, that’s not a bad strike rate.

  7. Patterson and another Canadian actor, Paul Carpenter, were often used as Americans in UK films. Long time UK actor Bruce Boa was another Canadian.

  8. A few UK low budget crime and noir worth a look include
    13 EAST STREET – 1952
    BLACK WIDOW – 51
    CALCULATED RISK -63
    DEVIL’S BAIT – 59
    DUBLIN NIGHTMARE- 58
    FEET OF CLAY – 61
    FORBIDDEN CARGO – 54
    NAKED FURY – 59
    OFFBEAT – 61
    ONCE A SINNER – 50
    OPERATION DIPLOMAT – 53
    PICCADILLY THIRD STOP- 60
    PORT OF ESCAPE – 56
    RIVER BEAT – 54
    SEVEN KEYS – 61
    THE BANK RAIDERS – 58
    THE FLESH IS WEAK -57
    THE NARROWING CIRCLE – 56
    THE GELIGNITE GANG – 56
    URGE TO KILL -60
    WIDE BOY – 52
    I enjoyed all these and have blurbs up on IMDB for them.

  9. That is just a short list of titles I have seen. Hope it helps. I’ll throw together a better list when I have a moment. .

  10. Speaking of people from Canada, anyone recall the late 50’s UK Police series, DIAL 999. It starred, Robert Beatty. Beatty, a real Canadian, played an R.C.M.P. detective on loan to Scotland Yard. The series ran for 39 episodes. I have 9-10 on disc but I seem to recall some on You-Tube.

  11. DIAL 999 an excellent series produced by the notorious
    Harry Allan Towers. Noted for gritty location work and the pilot
    is a corker with a veritable who’s who of Brit talent.
    Some pretty adult themes covered-serial killers and the like.

    Some of my fave Brit B’s

    THREE STEPS TO THE GALLOWS
    SPIN A DARK WEB
    TIGER BY THE TAIL
    DIAL 999 (aka The Way Out)
    THEY CAN’T HANG ME

    • Again, some good stuff there, and again a few which are unfamiliar to me, John. I watched Three Steps to the Gallows not that long ago as it happens and was going to write something about it but then I got a bit sidetracked with one thing and another. I may come back to it though.

  12. Some very entertaining films mentioned in those lists from Gordon and John. Well worth checking out.

    As for the TV series “DIAL 999” – Boy, I wish an outfit like Network were to put out a set with all 39 episodes fully restored. That would be at the top of my ‘wanted’ list. Like John says, great little series, action-packed and Beatty was always worth seeing.
    The other series I would kill for is “FABIAN OF THE YARD” (1954-5), again fully restored would be bliss. Ah well, one can wish…….

    • Well, you never know what may appear, Jerry. There are some unexpected titles that pop up from time to time, so it can’t hurt to keep our fingers crossed.

  13. The first episode of DIAL 999 is a real barnburner of an episode. A very gritty violent series with as John pointed out, excellent location work. The pilot, THE KILLING JOB, has Peter Reynolds, Sydney Tafler and William Hartnell as the guest stars. I have a write-up of the episode up on IMDB.

  14. This is by no means a complete list, but here are some more UK crime and noir titles you might find of interest. Have write-ups on most at IMDB.
    ORDERS TO KILL -58
    POOL OF LONDON -51
    THE BIG CHANCE -57
    THE CROOKED SKY- 57
    THE FRIGHTENED MAN -52
    THE GOLD EXPRESS- 55
    13 EAST STREET -52
    BLIND SPOT – 58
    CAGE OF GOLD – 50
    DANGEROUS CARGO – 54
    DEATH OF AN ANGEL – 52
    FOR THEM THAT TRESSPASS- 49
    THE SCARLETT HOUR – 56
    THE STRAW MAN -53
    THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT-38
    THE YELLOW BALLON – 53
    TOUCH OF DEATH – 61
    TOMORROW AT 10 – 63
    WHEEL OF FATE – 53
    APPOINTMENT WITH CRIME – 46
    THE BROKEN HORSE SHOE – 53
    DELAYED ACTION -54
    THE HYPNOTIST – 57
    SUSPENDED ALIBI- 57

      • Colin

        I left off the ones I thought were a waste of time. As a general rule, if I do not like a film I do not write a blurd for it. Going over my lists I was somewhat surprised just how many UK crime/noir films I have seen.

        Gord

  15. Great list Gordon-quiet a few new to me which I
    will check out.
    APPOINTMENT WITH CRIME recently released by Olive Films
    is outstanding-Brit Noir at it’s finest.

    Before I continue with this list I would like to point out that
    many Brit B Flicks had title changes when they crossed
    the pond…for example MAN IN THE SHADOW became
    Violent Stranger in the USA-furthermore Jack Arnold’s
    MAN IN THE SHADOW became PAY THE DEVIL in the UK
    …confused?
    GREAT LOST BRITISH B FILMS

    If anyone has seen any of these I would be very interested
    to read your comments.

    NO ROAD BACK ’57
    Skip Homier,Paul Carpenter.
    Sensitive,minor thriller.
    An early Sean Connery appearance playing a dim witted
    lackey named “Spike”
    Co-stars Carpenter and Alfie Bass stitched Sean up when they
    suggested that he question the director (Montgomery Tully) why
    his character has a stutter-unknown to Sean;Tully actually had
    a stutter. Tully’s response to Sean “who the f-f fuck do you think you are
    L-L Larry Olivier”

    MAN IN THE SHADOW (Violent Stranger) ’57
    Zachary Scott,Faith Domergue,Gordon Jackson,Kay Callard.
    Highly regarded Merton Park thriller,sadly on the missing list.

    WEST OF SUEZ (Fighting Wildcats) ’57
    Keefe Brasselle Kay Callard

    THE UNSTOPPABLE MAN ’61
    Cameron Mitchell,Marius Goring,Hartry H Corbett,Louis Maxwell.
    Kidnap thriller…not bad.

    STRANGLEHOLD ’63
    Macdonald Carey,Barbara Shelley
    Murder in the movie biz quiet good.

    Last but not least…..
    DEATH OVER MY SHOULDER ’58
    Keefe Brasselle,Bonar Colleano
    From veteran Arthur Crabtree-all I know is this film does
    exist and at 89 minutes it’s rather long for a B flick.
    Nothing at all on-line-no ads no posters no nothing-
    From Orb Films whoever they were.

  16. A few more “lost” Brit B Flicks………..

    BEFORE I WAKE (Shadow Of Fear) ’55
    Mona Freeman,Maxwell Reed,Jean Kent.
    Hitchcock-B Movie style…pretty good.

    MAN IN THE ROAD ’56
    Derek Farr,Ella Raines,Donald Wolfit
    Cold War spy stuff Raines’ final film sadly, her allure somewhat
    diminished.

    :LAST MAN TO HANG ’56
    Tom Conway,Elizabeth Sellars,Eunice Gayson,Anthony Newley.
    Never seen this,but would love to-Terence Fisher directs and cast
    includes Hammer/Bond babe Gayson.

    Finally I note that Shout Factory will soon be releasing
    THE MANSTER (The Split) I only mention this here because
    the film stars Brit B Movie stalwarts (husband & wife) Peter
    Dyneley and Jane Hylton.
    This USA/Japan concoction is both tacky,ludicrous, but also
    very creepy and disturbing.Think Merton Park meets Toho.
    In the UK the film played in a double bill with MACUMBA LOVE
    a voodoo thriller with a rare lead for Walter Reed. MACUMBA is
    the only film directed by Douglas Fowley.
    Shout Factory’s release will be the full 72 minute version not the
    trimmed down UK 67 minute version-which still managed to gain an
    “X” certificate.
    For more MANSTER info please go over to Toby’s Hannibal 8

    Now I’m off to check out some of Gordon’s picks.

    • I’ve seen the first two of those, I included the first in my film noir encyclopedia and the second on my site Noirish (linked in case my notes on the movie might interest). And, like you, I’d love to see Last Man to Hang — aside from anything else, Elizabeth Sellars.

      I’ve also seen No Road Back (also in the encyclopedia), though I can’t for the life of me thing when/where: I recall it primarily for Stuttering Sean.

  17. John
    WEST OF SUEZ, STRANGLEHOLD and DEATH OVER MY SHOULDER are new to me so many thanks on the heads up. Another Connery film worth a look is 1961’s FRIGHTENED CITY. I truly love these low rent films no matter what side of the pond they are from.

    Gord.

  18. One I forgot to add is the nifty, ROADHOUSE GIRL aka (MARILYN) from 1953. It is a UK version of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE. It stars Maxwell Reed and Sandra Dorne. I quite enjoyed it.

  19. One sad aside to all this is,a lot of the
    directors of these B Movies were once A List
    or pretty near there. As the Fifties progressed
    they found the only employment was B Flicks or,of course
    TV.Times were certainly a’ changing.
    I thought I’d mention a few of these films these
    guys made when they were at the top of their game-
    all the following are outstanding IMHO

    LAWRENCE HUNTINGDON
    WANTED FOR MURDER ’46 Sensational
    Serial Killer film-outstanding on every level.
    MAN ON THE RUN’49

    LANCE COMFORT
    EIGHT ‘O CLOCK WALK ’54

    ARTHUR CRABTREE
    DEAR MURDERER ’47

    COMPTON BENNETT
    DAYBREAK ’48

    Yes Gordon, ROADHOUSE GIRL is pretty darn good.

    So as not to leave out the gals has anyone seen
    Muriel Box’s outstanding STREET CORNER
    (aka Both Sides Of The Law) an excellent crime
    film with Terence Morgan and Peggy Cummins.
    Film concerning female police officers is tense and
    thrilling with wonderful location work.

    • More great little movies listed there, John. I would totally agree with your recommendation of each of them.
      I have seen (and have) “STREET CORNER” and it is, as you say, a fine little movie which shows the day-to-day work of the lowly PC, and women PCs in particular. The main star is Anne Crawford, largely forgotten today, but a biggish star in films and TV in Britain in the 40s and early 50s until her untimely death from leukemia, aged 35, in October 1956.

      • STREET CORNER is a better than I expected film all around. Another excellent Crawford pic is Daughter of Darkness from 1948.

        • Indeed, Gordon. Have you also seen her in “HEADLINE” (1943) in which she starred with David Farrar and John Stuart? It is available on a Network DVD in a very nice transfer.

  20. Some really interesting suggestions going on here! I don’t think I have seen any of the ‘lost’ flicks on John’s list (sadly). On Gordon’s list I would draw special attention to Ealing Studios’ “POOL OF LONDON”, a really grown-up post-WW2 thriller with racial overtones. But also the little-seen “THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT” (1938). This offers a rare slice of pre-war Britain on the ‘seamy’ side. A real joy to watch.

    “MARILYN” (1953) has been doing the rounds recently on the Talking Pictures TV channel in the UK. The cuckolded husband is played rather well by character actor Leslie Dwyer.

    I am now off to look at Realthog’s intrigueing Noir site. Thanks for the tip!

    • John
      WANTED FOR MURDER and DEAR MURDERER are real top of their game films. It is hard to find an Eric Portman film that is not worth the time spent. A truly superb actor. I agree with your take of the various directors that took low end stuff just to make ends meet. I always think of UK director J. Lee Thompson making some excellent UK films, and then hitting the States for CAPE FEAR etc. Looked like he was the next big thing and then ended up as a hack for the cheapie “Cannon” studios.

      Gord,

  21. Here are a few more UK titles with the odd war and adventure thrown in as well. Reviews at the usual place.
    THE GREAT ARMORED CAR SWINDLE- 64
    THE JACK OF DIAMONDS – 49
    THE SHOP ON SLY CORNER -47
    THE WHOLE TRUTH – 58
    ALBERT RN – 53
    BLACK ORCHID- 53
    A PRIZE OF ARMS=62
    BLACKOUT – 50
    ESCAPE IN THE SUN- 56
    CANDLELIGHT IN ALGERIA-44
    FLOODS OF FEAR-58
    FOXHOLE IN CAIRO- 60
    JUNGLE STREET-60
    HELL BELOW ZERO- 54
    FREEDOM RADIO – 41
    NEVER TAKE SWEETS FROM A STRANGER- 60
    NIGHT OF THE PROWLER – 61
    NIGHT TRAIN FROM INVERNESS- 60
    NINE MEN – 43

    • That list reminds me I keep hoping Floods of Fear will be released by someone somewhere – I’ve only seen it once many years ago and was favorably impressed.
      You know, despite all the recommendations and points being offered here by yourself and others, the title I have prepped for next week (another British movie of this type) still hasn’t been mentioned.

  22. Now I’m wondering what is Colin’s next.-
    perhaps WEST 11 which had another excellent,albeit later
    Portman performance.
    There again many moons ago I did send him a lovely
    widescreen copy of PRESCRIPTION FOR MURDER
    (1958) but I guess it’s lost in his “to be viewed” heap.
    Another rare film is SO EVIL SO YOUNG (1961)
    which had the novelty of being made in color.
    SO EVIL SO YOUNG starred Jill Ireland and the ill
    fated,now forgotten John Charlesworth.
    I always thought Ireland was pretty good back
    in those days normally playing teenage tearaways.
    Later she forgot how to act and totally ruined many
    Charles Bronson films.
    Speaking of Bronson;Gordon,I could not agree
    more regarding J Lee Thompson the Cannon crap was
    dreadful and each Bronson film he made seemed to
    plunge new depths of awfulness.
    A far cry from brilliant stuff like THE YELLOW BALLOON.

    • Ha! Now I’ve got people wondering. John, it’s not those tiles you mentioned, and Prescription for Murder/Rx Murder is indeed deep in the pile although I could dig it out quite easily; such is the efficiency of my new filing system!
      I hope I haven’t made a mistake in thinking the next feature hasn’t been mentioned but I don’t think so – I’m not sure how rare it is. It’s easy enough to find but unlikely to be known beyond genre circles, so probably medium rare.

  23. Well Colin-the fact that you have now engaged a filing
    system,at least saves me some sleepless nights! 🙂

    Just thought I’d add a word for some of Lewis Gilbert’s
    outstanding early films like WALL OF DEATH,,SCARLET THREAD,
    COSH BOY,EMERGENCY CALL and THE GOOD DIE YOUNG.
    EMERGENCY CALL like POOL OF LONDON stars Earl
    Cameron and confronts racial issues.
    Mr Cameron turns 100 later this year,I might add.

    I am sure a lot of these “lost” films could be found in
    the BFI’s vaults and also in Studio Canal’s archives.
    It’s rumored that they have the entire DIAL 999 TV series.
    Studio Canal cannot even be bothered to release,on Blu Ray,
    the many Hammer films they now own despite many fans
    literally gagging for them to be released.

    Gordon
    I’ve been trawling through your list and found many hitherto,
    (for me) new titles-but is not THE SCARLET HOUR a USA
    film directed by Micheal Curtiz.? If there is another Britflick
    with that name I’d love to hear about it.
    HELL BELOW ZERO is soon to be released on Blu Ray by
    Sidonis,France but sadly they have “forced” French subtitles
    on their discs. They also have the campy but hugely enjoyable
    THE BLACK KNIGHT listed and I hope someone else
    picks these titles up.

  24. John
    Good catch on the SCARLET HOUR. I actually was referring to SCARLET THREAD with L. Harvey and Kath Byron from 1951. WALL OF DEATH is a little gem if you ask me. COSH BOY is a guilty pleasure I take in every couple of years. EMERGENCY CALL, WEST 11 are sitting here in my “should watch” pile which is growing faster than I can get to them. One I forgot to mention is Bogarde’s ONCE A JOLLY SWAGMAN from 1949. It would make a good double bill with WALL OF DEATH.

    Gord

    • And adapted from a very good Josephine Tey book. As it happens, I’m reading another of Ms Tey’s books at the moment and may write something on a film version of that before too long.

  25. Who would have thought that THE FLYING SCOT
    would pick up so many passengers in the High Country.

    Just for fun,plus the fact I love lists I thought I’d mention some of the
    Sci-Fi Horror Britflicks- many listed here prove that us Brits
    can make films as bad as anything those Americans can
    come up with.
    Some of these films are well known-others less so-I have
    avoided listing any Hammer titles which generally are above the
    radar,but I guess I could have included stuff like SPACEWAYS;but
    I didn’t
    Any additions to my list would be appreciated.

    DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS ’54
    FIRE MAIDENS FROM OUTER SPACE ’56
    MAN WITHOUT A BODY ’57
    CAT GIRL ’57
    FIEND WITHOUT A FACE ’58
    GRIP OF THE STRANGLER ’58
    WOMANEATER ’58
    BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE ’58
    THE TROLLENBERG TERROR ’58
    THE STRANGE WORLD OF PLANET X ’58
    CORRIDORS OF BLOOD ’58
    THE ELECTRONIC MONSTER ’58
    HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM ’59
    THE HANDS OF ORLAC ’60
    FLESH & THE FIENDS ’60
    KONGA ’61
    THE SNAKE WOMAN ’61
    DR BLOODS COFFIN ’61

    And finally,not a Sci-Fi Horror but a favorite guilty pleasure:
    BEAT GIRL ’61

    • John, you’ll need to stay tuned later this month as I have another British film which fits in with that tasty little list making its way to RTHC – not one of those on your list though.

    • John
      Good stuff!!!! Seen or have all except CAT GIRL, THE SNAKE WOMAN, MAN WITHOUT A BODY and GRIP OF THE STRANGLER. These will of course be added to that ever growing list. Thanks.
      Gord

  26. Ha! I just knew I had omitted something-but then again
    this brings this thread to an amazing (but not record breaking)
    70 replies:

    FIRST MAN INTO SPACE ’59

    • I get a real kick when what would normally be described as an inconsequential little film like The Flying Scot draws this kind of keen response.

    • Quite. And I’d love to think it might also encourage a few others who happen to be browsing to dip into what may for them be uncharted waters.

  27. Forgive me if it was on one of those terrific lists above, but I really like “THE DARK MAN” (1951) who was Maxwell Reed terrorising Natasha Parry. Character favourite William Hartnell on the side of law and order for a change! Plus…..I believe this has been released on DVD by Network.

    This thread has turned into a ‘gold mine’ of helpful recommendations.

    • That one seems to have been released by Strawberry Media, Jerry. I’ve never seen it but I very much like the sound of it. Completely agree on the usefulness of all these suggestions.

    • but I really like “THE DARK MAN” (1951)

      Ha! I really must dig that out and rewatch it at some point. It bored the behind off me when I saw it, but maybe I just wasn’t in the mood at the time. Or something.

      • Jerry’s mention of The Dark Man prompted me to take a look at Strawberry Media’s releases. Among recent and upcoming titles of interest I see:
        The Diplomatic Corpse
        Double Exposure
        The Embezzler
        House of Secrets (been waiting a while for that one!)
        Account Rendered

      • Gord, I don’t recall ever seeing “DEADLY NIGHTSHADE” and it’s not on DVD, is it? Really sounds like one I would enjoy. I recall Emrys Jones mainly from TV adaptations.

        • Jerry
          As for DEADLY NIHGTSHADE, my copy was picked up in a trade with a fellow from New Zealand about 20 years ago. It was a vhs copy of a copy taken from television. I then had a buddy transfer it to dvd-r. Not the greatest quality picture, but the film is complete. I have it in storage locker somewhere with countless others films and early tv shows.
          Gord

          • Thanks for the tip, Colin! I do already have a DVD of the superb “HIGH TREASON” but 3 other films for £11.72 seems like a good buy to me. Think I may have to get this.

  28. Wonderful exchanges! I am not very excited about these brit’s noir. Nobody mention The Blue Lamp starring Dirk Borgarde. Best regards.

  29. I just realise that The Blue Lamp was directed by Basil Dearden who gave us some of the best brit’s noir, notable of which was Woman of Straw. Best regards.

    • Dearden had a terrific run, especially from the late 40s through to the mid 60s. And he had some interesting television credits too, taking charge of a bunch of episodes of the entertaining The Four Just Men.

  30. Going up to another level really with “THE BLUE LAMP”, a perennial fave of mine. So much to enjoy in it. Jack Warner creating his PC George Dixon character perhaps being the most long-lasting takeaway from it.
    Another Ealing favourite is “HUE AND CRY” where Warner is a really nasty piece of work this time, foiled eventually of course by a gang of East End kids together with the dotty and delightful Alastair Sim’s comic strip writer and his girl-friend, the equally dotty and delightful Joyce Grenfell.

    This could run and run……

  31. Jerry
    Another Jack Warner film for the crime/noir list is 1948’s MY BROTHER’S KEEPER with George Cole. I found it to be an excellent crooks on the run film.
    Gord

    • Yes, I like that one too, Gord. Also, “AGAINST THE WIND” which is a wartime thriller (again Ealing). Jack Warner in another darker role and Robert Beatty. Beatty’s name keeps recurring because he was so good in so many things.

  32. Another very tense and suspensful movie by Andre de Toth starring Jack Hawkins titled Two Headed Spy must not be missed. Best regards.

      • A cracking good thriller, Chris. Jack Hawkins could read the telephone directory and I’d watch!
        In fact, while he has been mentioned, how about “THE LONG ARM” (1956)? Again Hawkins, and again Ealing. Excellent thriller.

        • I remember coming across The Long Arm on TV when I was very young and getting drawn in by the methodical investigation, something which could have been amazingly dull actually but instead was humanized and given warmth by the presence of Hawkins.

          • Actually he is also terrific in the unusual (for Ford) John Ford “GIDEON OF SCOTLAND YARD”. Very humorous at times and Hawkins does it so subtly.

            • Agreed. That’s a movie which I think suffers from being a John Ford film, his name attached to it gives rise to a whole different set of expectations and preconceptions. It’s a good film and works well but the Ford association kind of colors your perceptions before you even see it.

  33. Let us not forget 1961’s PIT OF DARKNESS from Lance Comfort. It is a neatly done low renter as his RAG DOLL from the same year. I also like the same director’s SILENT DUST from 48. GREEN BUDDHA from 54 and DESPERATE MOMENT from 53 also fit in here. BLACKMAILED 1951 and MR. DENNING DRIVES NORTH from 51 as well can be tossed in the ring too.

    • Absolutely, Comfort remains a very underrated director, he worked minor miracles with some some very restricted budgets and made a string of highly entertaining movies, starting with Hotel Reserve (which inexplicably remains unreleased on DVD) and continuing on in the 60s. I must get round to picking up Silent Dust now you mention it – I’ve been meaning to do so for ages.

  34. Colin, I had my 2nd viewing of it online. Another entertaining and not very well known is Eyewitness 1956 starring Donald Sinden. Best regards.

    • Yes, a few years go by quickly. Actually, I had written that for another platform maybe a year or more earlier and I then imported it to the blog as I thought it was a good fit.

  35. I would like to say, kudos to Colin for starting this thread that has brought out this fine barrage of posts. Any day I can add new titles to my want list is a good day. And here I thought (mistakenly) that I was more or less alone in my passion for low-rent crime and noir B films.

    • Thanks, Gord, I’ve been stoked myself to see how popular this piece turned out to be. There are clearly more fans of modest little movies such as this than you might imagine, but that shouldn’t be a surprise since there are lots on DVD and those companies aren’t releasing them out of some sense of obligation – if there wasn’t a market, they wouldn’t be out there.

  36. Colin- I’ve been thinking all weekend (‘cos I’ve got nothing better to do) about which Brit Sci-Fi flick you will review later from the clue you dropped in response to my Sci-Fi Horror list.

    I’m gonna for for THE EARTH DIES SCREAMING because you have mentioned admiration for this one before. My list basically was from ’54 to ’61 I could have extended it further, but decided not to-I could of included other Sixties fare like INVASION, THE NIGHT CALLER,UNEARTHLY STRANGER and WITCHCRAFT all
    stylish little black & white thrillers. I don’t think higher budget stuff like THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE fits into this parameter.

    • You’ve earned yourself a cigar, John! I wasn’t going to mention the title, but seeing as you figured it out, yes, it will be The Earth Dies Screaming.
      Mind you, there’s another crime flick to come in the meantime.

  37. Ha! pity I don’t smoke. 🙂

    Another great little B (from the very underrated John Gilling)
    which we have mentioned before is TIGER BY THE TAIL
    (a.k.a Cross-Up)
    Blacklisted Larry Parks career was more or less over Stateside,
    so he pops up in this way above average Brit B.
    The film is interesting on many levels not least as it’s penned by
    Willis Goldbeck (THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE)
    It’s highly unlikely Tempean Films could have afforded a scribe of
    Goldbeck’s stature-I should imagine this was an unsold project.–
    the possible reason for this-the way ahead of it’s time female character.
    At any rate Lisa Daniely plays a Femme Fatale who enters into a relationship
    with Parks on HER terms-when Parks betrays those terms his life goes
    into free-fall. The film has some great Hitchcock like moments of humor.
    Oddly enough Constance Smith (who’s real life mirrors a Film Noir)
    plays the “good girl”
    Great extended chase sequence shot on the overground part
    of the District/Circle Line.
    TIGER BY THE TAIL-released by Renown can be picked up
    for about £7.00 these days.

    • I have a copy of Tiger by the Tail but I don’t think I’ve done more than scan it quickly. It’s one of those films I keep meaning to sit down and watch but then seems to get moved down the queue for no particular reason.

  38. Backtracking to Gordon’s excellent original list
    I was very surprised to find a film where the gifted and
    appealing actor Patric Doonan had the lead role WHEEL
    OF FATE.
    Sadly Patric took his own life,age 31.
    One of Patric’s very best roles was in the excellent
    HIGH TREASON;much discussed earlier.
    WHEEL OF FATE is of extra interest as it co-stars
    Sandra Dorne-the Barbara Stanwyck of Brit B Flicks.

    • WHEEL OF FATE was one of the first UK noir I picked up when I started into noir a couple of decades ago. A well put together little film if I recall correctly. It was before I started post write-ups on IMDB. Sandra Dorne is always a plus imo.

  39. John
    Speaking of Larry Parks, there is a US low-budget item put out by “Columbia Pictures” called THE BLACK PARACHUTE 1944 that is worth a look if you are a fan. It is a war-time flag-waver with the great John Carradine as the villainous Nazi Gestapo type. It is directed by B-vet Lew Landers. Review up at the usual spot.
    Gord

  40. Thanks Gordon-Carradine and Landers make this
    one of great interest to me.
    Thanks also for previously picking up on my point about
    one time A List directors ending up in B flicks or very low rent
    TV fodder like ROBIN HOOD,SIR LANCELOT,WHITE HUNTER,
    and IVANHOE.
    At least USA directors on the skids ended up making much
    bigger budgeted fare (in color) like LARAMIE,BONANZA
    and THE BIG VALLEY.
    I’m glad Lance Comfort is getting some respect-one of his best
    and at mid point from his decline from A’s to B’s is BANG YOU’RE
    DEAD (Game Of Danger) very interesting film with a most capable
    cast.
    Poor Lawrence Huntington’s last film was the lamentable
    THE VULTURE which had an excellent cast slumming it as
    never before-a sad end from the man who made such excellent
    fare as WANTED FOR MURDER and MAN ON THE RUN-the latter
    is very ripe for revival-Brit Post War cynicism at it’s finest.
    Arthur Crabtree,these days is best known for FIEND WITHOUT
    A FACE and the gleefully ghoulish HORRORS OF THE BLACK
    MUSEUM-I’ve given up all hope of seeing his DEATH OVER MY
    SHOULDER.

    Another Brit actor who deserves more respect is Derek Farr
    an A list-er in his heyday-always good in anything.

    • You know, it’s not that long that I watched Farr in Murder Without Crime, J Lee Thompson’s debut as director and an interesting film in that it almost looked like it was playing out in two different time periods!

  41. This thread goes from strength to strength – some really interesting recommendations emerging!
    As Gord says, it is really pleasantly surprising to discover how many of us out there that enjoy this kind of fare.
    Derek Farr is a good mention. He made a number of interesting films, in particular “MAN ON THE RUN”. I remember him in the ’60s or even ’70s appearing on TV in a Durbridge serial.

  42. More “list-o mania”

    Just thought I’d chip in with a few more “lost” Brit B’s.

    THE LOST HOURS ’52 Mark Stevens,Jean Kent,John Bentley
    USA title The Big Frame

    DEVIL’S POINT ’54 Richard Arlen,Greta Gynt
    USA title Devil’s Harbor

    STOLEN TIME ’55 Richard Arlen,Susan Shaw
    USA title Blonde Blackmailer

    GLASS CAGE ’55 John Ireland,Honor Blackman,Sid James
    USA title The Glass Tomb

    BREAK IN THE CIRCLE ’55 Forrest Tucker,Eva Bartok,Marius Goring
    Hammer spy stuff in color

    HIGH TERRACE ’56
    Dale Robertson,Louis Maxwell

    INNOCENT MEETING ’59
    Sean Lynch,Beth Rogan
    Minor B flick..very good of it’s type-partly filmed in Muswell Hill where yours truly was born!
    Males of a certain age (OK old gits) will remember lovely Beth raising temperatures in MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (61) Hard to believe Beth was 30 when that was made

    VISA TO CANTON ’60 Richard Basehart,Lisa Gastoni.
    USA title Passport To China.
    Hammer international thrills,in color

    Finally the rarest of all Hammer Films:
    THE UGLY DUCKLING ’59
    Starring incredibly popular (at the time) UK comic Bernard Bresslaw and Jon Pertwee.
    This Jekyll & Hyde spoof has been unseen for decades- directed by Lance Comfort.

    • Very rare titles, at least to me, John. I think the only one of those I’ve seen is The Glass Tomb/Glass Cage. I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the others, the casting alone is very appealing.

    • Finally the rarest of all Hammer Films:
      THE UGLY DUCKLING ’59
      Starring incredibly popular (at the time) UK comic
      Bernard Bresslaw and Jon Pertwee

      I’ve seen that one! I recall almost nothing about it, so my guess is I was pretty young.

  43. John
    I have or have seen,
    THE LOST HOURS ’52
    DEVIL’S POINT 53
    BLONDE BLACKMAILER 55
    GLASS CAGE 55
    BREAK IN THE CIRCLE 55
    PASSPORT TO CHINA 60
    The rest are new to me so on the list they go. I came across PASSPORT TO CHINA on You-Tube last summer, though now it seems to be gone with just some trailers up. DEVIL’S POINT is an odd film with a has to be seen to be believed plot. It does however, have the lovely Greta Gynt gracing the screen.
    Gord

  44. Two that I enjoyed were Vernon Sewell’s RADIO CAB MURDER from 1954and Francis Searle’s MURDER AT 3AM from 53.

  45. John
    If you are a John Carradine fan, there is a war-time production from “Producer’s Releasing Corporation” you should check out. HITLER’S MADMAN 1943, is one of several war-time films put out by various studios dealing with the assassination of Nazi bigwig, Reinhard Heydrich. Lang’s HANGMEN ALSO DIE is most likely the best known. This film was the first film made in Hollywood by future hit-maker, Douglas Sirk. Needless to say Carradine plays the villain of the piece. I have a write-up at IMDB.
    Gord

  46. I have a copy of “THE LOST HOURS” but some others are unseen by me (the Arlens in particular). I went to see “THE UGLY DUCKLING” in 1959 when the film was on General Release. Can’t remember what it was in a double bill with. Never a huge fan exactly of Bernard Bresslaw personally.

    Talking Pictures TV channel is currently showing a newie to me – “TIME IS MY ENEMY” (1954) that I think is rather good. Stars Dennis Price, Renee Asherson, Patrick Barr, Susan Shaw, Duncan Lamont and William Franklyn. Directed by Don Chaffey. Worth looking out for.

    I LOVE this thread!

    • Jerry
      You have me here as this is a new one on me . LOL, yet anther title for the list. Just last month I watched some episodes of the TENKO series with Renee Asherson.
      Gord

      This thread is a hoot all the way through it!!!!

  47. Renee was quite a little beauty in 1954. I recall she was quite ancient in “TENKO”?

    Yes, Gord, this was a completely new title for me also. Where was it hiding!?

    My reference book for all these films is David Quinlan’s British Films 1930-59, in which he lists (and ranks) every British film made in those three decades. Priceless!

  48. Jerry
    Very few UK books available here in Canada that don’t cost the price of a small car. I will of course make a note of it and see if I can find a cheap used one. Thanks.

    Gord

    • Gord,
      That book can be purchased used from Amazon.com for $12. Might be worth grabbing a copy. I feel sure you would find it a useful tool.
      Jerry

  49. Why Must I Die? Starring Terry Moore and Debra Paget is another chilling movie. This is of course not a Brit noir. Best rgds.

  50. Colin, a movie I missed in the cinema circuit was The Cat Burglar 1961 starring Jack Hogan. This was strongly recommended by my Dad. I am planning to watch online soon. Best rgds.

  51. Chrisk

    CAT BURGLAR is a better than expected thriller made just before Hogan had his long run on the COMBAT tv series. Good little film if you ask me. Give it a look, I think you will enjoy it.
    Gord

  52. Gordon,
    I was aware of HITLER’S MADMEN-sadly I’ve never seen it but will
    track it down.
    Here’s an amusing Carradine story.
    J.C. did a guest spot in Andy Fenaday’s TV series THE REBEL.
    Carradine asked if he could be paid in cash.
    Fenaday said we don’t usually do that but he would have a
    word with the accounts people.
    Later Carradine asked how he got on to which Fenaday told him
    that one of Carradine’s ex wives had already collected his salary.
    Carradine replied “don’t worry dear boy,it happens all the time!”

    Speaking of Douglas Sirk-one of his rarest films TAKE ME TO TOWN
    is soon to be released in France on Blu Ray.
    Pretty excited about that,as it’s a Sirk picture that I’ve never seen.

    • John
      Thanks for the Carradine story. Carradine was a hoot to watch in almost anything. A fine actor who could always get away with laying on a bit of “ham” when called for. Just a few months ago I caught him in a 1959 episode of the western series, JOHNNY RINGO. Needless to say he steals the show as a seedy con man. I still recall him from a couple of Johnny Carson shows in the 70’s that he was on. What a great interview. That Sirk film you mention is one I have never seen. In the last couple of years I ran across Sirk’s SIGN OF THE PAGAN -54 and MYSTERY SUBMARINE – 50. The first has Jack Palance playing Attila the Hun of all people. The second is a Cold War spy film with Nazi types mixed in. Both were ok timewasters.
      Gord

  53. Royal Dano in a Brit Flick !!!

    Here’s a real rare one….THE BOY AND THE BRIDGE (1959)
    the only film directed by Kevin McClory.
    Kevin,of course was legendary in his clashes with Eon over the
    Bond franchise.
    THE BOY AND THE BRIDGE is one I’ve never seen,but would love to,
    it’s known for it’s location work on and around Tower Bridge,
    Royal Dano is listed in the cast as playing an evangelist.
    Plenty of top Brits in supporting roles including Arthur Lowe and the
    legendary Rita Webb plays a “landlady”

    Backtracking..I’m pretty sure THE UGLY DUCKLING was supported
    by FACE OF A FUGITIVE..if not it’s certainly another Columbia
    Western.
    According to Wikipedia THE UGLY DUCKLING made a considerable loss
    for Hammer.
    Another Hammer/Bresslaw TV spin off was I ONLY ARSKED directed by
    Montgomery Tully. This was a spin off from the hugely popular TV series
    The Army Game.Again from memory I’m pretty sure the support feature
    was BUCHANAN RIDES ALONE.

    • Ah…..that sounds spot-on, John. I know I went to see “FACE OF A FUGITIVE” in 1959 so a double bill with “The Ugly Duckling” would sound about right. Of course, the reason for my cinema visit was to see “FOAF”!!!

  54. If it has not already been mentioned, one more title for the thread would be Cy Endfield’s THE SECRET 1955 with Sam Wanamaker and Andre Morell. A good looking and quite watchable low renter shot in color.

  55. Colin, do not forget to look out for The World In My Pocket starring Rod Steiger which I strongly recommended some time ago. It is to me the best heist movie I have ever seen. Fast paced and entertaining. This title is unappealing and did not attract the crowd. Best rgds.

  56. Chris…In the UK the film was called ON FRIDAY AT ELEVEN,
    an even more clumsy title. I too do remember the film as being
    excellent. I also remember the esteemed critic Raymond Durgnat was
    very taken by the scene where Naja Tiller,in tight leather strides
    pistol whips a man old enough to be her father.
    Gordon,never heard of THE SECRET…sounds pretty good.

  57. What fun this has all been….I’ve no doubt Colin is gonna pull the plug soon-but don’t panic chaps we can carry on where we left off on the next thread-it seems like another Britflick anyway.

    Neo Noir Snippets…….well at this stage ANYTHING goes! 🙂

    Gordon…that elusive rascal Nick Beal tells me that you are the same Gordon who is a prolific contributor to The Blackboard, a Noir blog that I have never heard of. Anyway,Nick,the doggone way he is, sadly is missing from this thread. One bit of news he will like is I understand the excellent Liam Neeson
    has recently signed up to play Phillip Marlowe. Neeson would make a sensational Marlowe. I understand the film will be set in the Fifties with Marlowe finding
    business very slow. I rarely,if ever get excited about current cinema,but I’m really stoked about this one.

    An interesting release on Blu Ray from Movinside France- a new imprint to me and I don’t know if they have “forced” subs. They are releasing in high def Burt Lancaster’s THE MIDNIGHT MAN (1974) I have very fond memories of this one and another plus factor is that it co-stars Susan Clark and Cameron Mitchell.
    In his prime wouldn’t Mitchell have made a wonderful Mike Hammer.

    • John
      The Blackboard has been around for about 15 years at least. Just google Film Noir Blackboard and you should find it. It was a thriving place for ages till the fellow hosting the board disappeared. Now we are unable to sign up new folks as long time members leave. Nick Beal and our own Colin pop in every so often. I have been taking a break from the site myself for a few months. You should find the place worth a look.

      Interesting news about Liam Neeson, Can always use some more Marlowe. As for MIKE HAMMER, check out my IMDB review of MICKEY SPILLANE’S – “Mike Hammer!” – 1954. It is an excellent first stab at producing a series based on Spillane’s hard-boiled detective. This was to be the pilot for the series, but the networks decided to pass on adding it to any of their line-ups. In this one, Brian Keith plays the hard as nails private detective. The episode was written and directed by Blake Edwards. You could say this was a tune up for his later series, PETER GUNN.

      MIDNIGHT MAN I saw in the cinema while in high school. Good film.
      Gord

      • Thanks Gordon,

        An excellent review,I might add. Certainly never knew Keith had a stab at Hammer, inspired casting, to say the least. I note that Brit Victor Saville is listed as one of the producers. Saville seemed to be involved with lots of Spillane films.
        I am sure you have seen Saville’s THE LONG WAIT (not a Hammer story,I might add) a great Noir sadly on the missing list as far as DVDs or Blu-rays go.

        • John
          I quite like THE LONG WAIT. I have a decent looking copy here somewhere that was taken from cable. Saville’s next film was that terrible THE SILVER CHALICE mess. Brrrrrrrr, what a terrible film. Brian Keith is really top flight as Hammer.
          Gord

  58. John
    If you like Keith, have a boo at TALES OF TOMORROW “Appointment on Mars” from 1952. It is a nice little sci-fi episode with Keith, Leslie Nielson and William Redfield. It is up I’m sure on You-Tube. Also an episode of SUSPENSE from called “Set up for Death” from 1952. This is a good little noir like episode directed by Robert (To Kill a Mockingbird) Mulilgan. This one I did watch on You-Tube. And up third is a great episode of EYE WITNESS called “Apartment 4-D” from 1953. This is a wicked little television noir! Not sure if this is on You-Tube as I have it on disc. All three of these episodes were broadcast live back in the day. Needless to say I have reviews up at IMDB. I love these early tv shows, particularly the noir type episodes.
    Gord

  59. Gordon,

    Thanks for those interesting snippets.
    Keith was always worth watching.
    Actually,I’m a bit of a snob (or more to the point
    “hardcore Luddite”) when it comes to you tube or watching
    any film on-line-I don’t even own a mobile phone let alone a
    home computer. I use internet cafe’s or libraries-and spend far
    to much money on Blu Ray’s to even entertain such things.
    I get dismayed when I hear bloggers state they watched such
    & such film on youtube when great looking versions are
    available on DVD to buy.
    Colin is used to my rants and seems to put up with them,
    to a point-after my tirade (s) on the SPRINGFIELD RIFLE
    post I decided to give it a rest for a while; but your input has
    brought me back-you make such interesting points and comments
    and furthermore really “know your stuff”
    My main passion is Westerns-I have so far about 80 or so key
    Westerns on Blu Ray and that number is increasing all the time.
    Widescreen Westerns if remastered with care look formidable in
    high definition. I recently got the Explosive Media Blu Ray of
    THE BRAVADOS and it looks sensational-it’s like seeing the film for
    the first time-I hasten to add I did see it at the cinema at it’s initial
    release decades before multiplexes.
    As Colin well knows I.m dismayed by how many UK Western fans
    show no interest in the Blu Ray format-that genre is just made for
    that medium-anyway I’ve been down that road too many times so..
    enough already!
    I DO however understand the attraction of watching the rare TV stuff
    you mention on youtube-‘cos that’s the only way you can get to see it.

  60. More Victor Saville………..

    Gordon,
    I should have said that THE SILVER CHALICE
    ended Saville’s directing career.
    He did carry on as a producer-certainly on a couple of
    Spillane projects-I wonder what the tie in was there.
    As mentioned before THE LONG WAIT is a very decent,
    generally unheralded Noir-though the treatment of the
    Peggie Castle character is very cruel and disturbing.
    Also as producer, Saville made the later Brit Noir
    MIX ME A PERSON (1961)
    Anne Baxter (who SHOULD have had a far better later
    career) was certainly on the slide when the film was made.
    Leslie Norman,director of a couple of key ’50’s
    Brit flicks would after MIX ME A PERSON work mainly in TV.
    Leslie is the dad of top Brit film critic Barry.
    You know Gordon,I have not seen MIX ME A PERSON since
    it’s initial release and remember elements of it pretty well.
    Furthermore,clocking in at nearly two hours it’s hardly a B picture.
    Another thing that really gets my goat-as Colin well knows-
    is when bloggers refer to obvious A pictures as B flicks.
    When all is said and done I’m a funny old coot!
    Two things I remember about MIX ME A PERSON-remember this
    was 55 years ago-one a scene where Donald Sinden encounters
    Anne Baxter in the bath followed by the line “rise from the waves Venus”
    and the scene in a coffee bar where one of the teens states “we don’t
    want no squares in round toed shoes here” Remember this was the age
    of the “winkle picker” -shoes with VERY pointed toes-much favored by
    UK teens at the time and banned by many schools
    Unlike,on the UK news today when kids routinely bring machetes and
    Samurai swords into school.
    At least in 1961 law & order prevailed-now we live in a country
    sliding into anarchy-and the forthcoming election will change nothing. .

    • Time for me to hold up my had and admit to an instance of gross ignorance. I have a copy of Mix Me a Person and have left it unwatched for years, or well down the pile anyway, partly because I had it in mind that it was a comedy that I didn’t need to see in a hurry.

      • Colin-as far as I know MIX ME A PERSON has never been released on DVD-I think there is an Aussie bootleg where it’s double billed with COSH BOY.
        I guess MIX ME A PERSON was certainly a step down for Anne Baxter and Leslie Norman having previously made DUNKIRK. MIX ME A PERSON, however, I do remember as
        being pretty good and certainly time can sometimes be kind to these now little remembered films.

        • Some years ago ITV DVD put out a Donald Sinden collection, a big set of about a dozen films and this was one of the titles included – I have it. I think that collection has been long out of print and I don’t believe the title ever got a standalone release.

  61. John
    Love your “hardcore Luddite” line. Well, guess what? We are brother’s in arms when it comes to cell phones. Never owed one, and never intend to. They are the biggest invasion of privacy ever to come down the lane. It annoys me to no end when people stop a conversation to answer a call on one of the blasted things.
    As for You-Tube, I do take in the odd early television episode from there. For the most part I do not need to, as I have thousands of episodes on disc that I have collected over the years. It is the same thing with the various films from crime, noir, western, war and early sci-fi genres. I started collecting decades ago and have more stuff than I’ll ever be able to watch.
    There are plenty of good western films and tv series I still need to take in. Right now I’m working my way through the 1959 western series, JOHNNY RINGO.
    Thanks for the “know my stuff” comment. I do try and put the word out about how good a lot of this 1940s 50s, and 60’s stuff is.
    Cheers, Gord

  62. John
    You are right about Miss Baxter. Like a lot of actresses at the end of studio system era, she grabbed some rather poor film project to appear in. As for MIX ME A PERSON, I have a copy but must admit I have not watched it yet. I will nudge it up the must watch pile off your comments.
    THE BRAVADOS is an excellent film. I think I mentioned to Colin I took in Gregory Peck’s one man show 3-4 years before he passed. He showed clips from various films, talked about his life in films and the other actors he worked with. At the end he took questions and I was lucky enough to be one of the people. I asked what it was like to work with “Wild Bill Wellman” on YELLOW SKY. He laughed and was amazed anyone had even heard of the film. (The film was not out yet on DVD) I guess that makes a Baxter connection as well.
    Gord

  63. Gord, I have been searching for an episode from 77 Sunset Strip titled Silent Caper without success. Would be most obliged if you could let me know the site, if any. Colin, sorry for the diversion. Best rgds.

    • Chrisk
      77 SUNSET STRIP is one of those shows that pops up on You-Tube every so often, but they never stay up for long. Warner Brothers soon has the episodes taken down. They are releasing certain episodes as MOD’s and do not want sales to suffer. Warner’s and a few others are quite nasty about the whole “rights” thing. You need to check every couple of weeks to see if anyone has uploaded any new stuff.
      But, all may not be lost here. I have upwards of 75 episodes on disc copied off a U.S. cable channel 10-12 years back. They are in my storage locker, so I will take a look through that box next time I am there. to see if i have “Silent Caper”. End of the month most likely. Just remind me then.

      Gord

  64. I do share John and Gordon’s antipathy to the overuse and indeed ‘rude’ use of cell phones. Some people seem to have them glued to an ear LOL but personally such technology can be very helpful if used when needed. I am sitting up in bed typing this on my tablet in comfort. I wouldn’t want to be without it now.

    I am intrigued by the talk of “MIX ME A PERSON” as, like Colin, I had rather assumed it was a comedy. Now it is showing on UK TV next week and has gone into my TV planner in readiness. The comments on here make me doubly keen to see it. Thanks chaps!

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