International Detective starring Arthur Fleming as Ken Franklin.
A series based on the files of the William J Burns Agency in New York
39 stories were made.
1 File 9124: The Conway Case
2 File 9120: The Carrington Case
6 File 9116: The Whitley Case
7 File 9140: The Prescott Case
9 File 9112: The Rose Bowl Case
11 File 9113: The Brenner Case
17 File 9123: The Daniels Case
20 File 9114: The Raffael Case
23 File 9132: The Santino Case
25 File 9118: The Marlowe Case
39 File 9127: The Madison Case

The date: Thursday 7th January 1960. The place: Television House Manchester, home of ABC.
The occasion: a buffet luncheon for the press after a showing of a story in the new series International Detective. Also in attendance are the executive producer, Manchester's Chief Constable and their CID chief! Three stars who appear in the series also attend- Paul Carpenter (Kempton Case), Louise Collins (Prescott Case) and Jennifer Browne (Orlando Case). Oddly however, no mention of Mr Fleming or others who appear on more than a one-off basis!

Executive Producer was Eddie Sutherland, who also directed some stories. Others involved included Guy Morgan (script editor), Jeremy Summers (assistant director), Fraser Foulsham (Production Manager), Angela Dunsford (Production Secretary) and Stewart Lyons (ABC's casting director). And a bouquet from Eddie Sutherland - "In all my long experience in films, this is the best unit I have ever worked with." After two pilots had been made, the first episode of the series proper, #9114 The Raffael Case, was shot starting 11th May 1959. Next to be made was The Anthony Case. Actual shooting of the entire series was completed by the end of that November. The programme was first broadcast in October 1959 on WPIN, New York. English transmission began on 26th December that year with The Conway Case on ABC.
Best episode: I haven't seen most of the stories since they were shown in the early 60's, but maybe The Conway Case is the best of a mediocre bunch. Andre Morrell adds a little integrity and humour, in his role as the eternal convict.
Best moment: Undoubtedly Edwin Astley's atmospheric opening and closing music, perhaps his best tv theme of all!
Dud episode: Perhaps the duddest of many is The Brenner Case. Even Julia Arnall's presence can't save this. Maybe the only slight excuse is that this might have been one of the pilots, but I'm clutching at straws to find much good to say for a lot of the stories.

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The Conway Case
He's breaking out of the penitentiary again!
Howard Conway (Andre Morell) has hidden himself in a hearse (incredibly a right hand drive, though it's in New York!). It's Conway's sixth jailbreak. He's a serial swindler, forgery his forte, "a natural born spellbinder... one of the most charming crooks we've ever had to pinch."
His next victim is Davenport, a bank cashier, whose cheques are made out to cash. After another spell inside, his brother, Rev Tom Conway (Tom Duggan), determines to build a new life for the misunderstood Howard, and is able to have him released on bail.
But the irrepressible swindler is soon conning Kinsley, a stonemason, out of $7,000. Howard is arrested and the circle begins again. In no time, Howard is made a trustee at the prison, everyone thinks very highly of him.
But this time the reverend cannot get him out on bail, not even for Christmas. But poor Howard isn't sleeping too well, and a little reluctantly, his brother smuggles in some sleeping pills. These are very handy for drugging the warder, and Conway is once more at large.
"Go an' get him," Ken Franklin is ordered. Orville Conway admits he has been posting cash to Howard in Rome where he's living "a normal decent honourable life." This on close examination, takes the form of more forgery, but though he's under arrest as usual, with the aid of pretty nurse Gina (June Rodney), he's away again, promising to elope with her to South America. Franklin and the local police put pressure on her and Conway is once more in custody, caught cashing a cheque at the bank to pay for the flight to South America. "From now on, I'm going straight," announces the crook.
And six months later he's served his sentence, regarded as a model prisoner by the governor (Michael Balfour), so trustworthy that he's been keeping the accounts.....

This is a fine part for Andre Morell, but the story moves far too swiftly to allow anyone to catch their breath. If I say it's the best of this series, it puts into perspective many of the other dire stories.

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The Carrington Case
A $50,000 necklace belonging to a grand duchess is stolen from her room at the Westchester Foundation for the Blind. The home is run by Dr Moorhead and his wife Lucille. The doctor asks Ken Franklin to make discreet inquiries.
Brenda Carrington (Mai Zetterling) lost her sight in a plane crash in which her husband died. She now helps new inmates adjust to being blind, and that includes the duchess. Brenda would put the necklace under the duchess' pillow each night, so she is the main suspect. The maid Marian also knew where the necklace was put. One of the blind people is a Pole (Alfred Burke), and he seems very suspicious. David Colfax has been rehabilitated and is soon to leave. He tells Franklin that his gold cigarette case has disappeared. It is found in Brenda's room. Case solved? Ken isn't so sure.
Brenda continues helping the grand duchess. She is giving her the confidence to walk down the stairs. But there's a booby trap waiting, and the duchess has "a lucky escape." Brenda had been the intended victim.
Ken finds out the Pole is no longer blind. What's more he is not Polish. His name is Walter and he had been blinded by acid in a gang fight. He is hiding here, afraid of the mob. But irrelevant to this case. And he agrees to use his eyes to assist Ken in his investigation.
Lucille is hoping to run away with David Colfax. He stole the necklace to pay for their new life together. Dr Moorhead and Ken Franklin catch her with the stolen necklace, but where is Colfax? He is attacking Brenda, trying to shoot her, but being blind he misses. Ken grabs him, he's under arrest. Brenda knew he was the thief, but her silence is explained as she is tending a baby, her baby, and she had been afraid that, as she is blind, the child might have been removed from her care.
Too many complications ruin a potentially moving story.
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The Whitley Case

At the maternity hospital, Lorna Whitley gives birth to an eight pound daughter, but when her husband Jim comes to visit her, he's informed the baby has disappeared. The police commissioner (John Serret) seems very laid back about it, though his men scour the city, whilst Ken Franklin checks the hospital staff and visitors. A mother who recently lost her baby, Mme Arnaud, seems the obvious suspect. She is convalescing in Lausanne, and the Burns Swiss agent checks her out.
Jim Whitley gets a phone call from an American demanding three million francs, which must be placed on the roof of a specific metro train. The cash is grabbed and the kidnapper eludes the police, but he is angry when he finds it's not real money at all. He sends a note to Ken Franklin ordering him to a baggage office where he opens a case containing a doll, "the dummy baby for the dummy money."
To get things moving again, Ken proposes the area where the money was grabbed from the train is searched. The Whitleys are in despair by now, so the nurse (Kathleen Byron) caring for Mrs Whitley tries to soothe her, "you must be brave madame."
Ken, meanwhile, has gone to Marseilles to talk to a midwife who tells her about a girl whose baby died earlier this year. We are not told the girl's name, but when Ken returns to Paris, the Whitleys inform him they have, privately, paid the kidnapper. Independently, the police have found the place where the kidnappers are living and make their arrest. However there's no baby, cruel news, it seems they are hoaxers.
But Ken's Marseilles trip has paid off. In the Etoile district, they find where the nurse lives. She has the baby, she has been looking after it well, it's the old story of her wanting a child of her own. "I've never been so happy in all my life."
In tears, Mrs Whitley begs that the nurse is not prosecuted. Indeed she ends up as the private nurse caring for the Whitley's child. Aah.

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The Prescott Case
This vaguely attempts to deal with the drugs problem, but can't quite decide whether it should.

In a Miami hotel, musician Ray Raymond is "quite big with the girls," including Dale, daughter of a wealthy local family. Her father asks Ken Franklin to check this Raymond out, as he's heard worrying stories about him being a dope pedlar, and that he is already married.
"I love her and I hope to marry her," is his story. "My past has nothing to do with it."
But it's what Ken is going to find out about. Was he married? Ken flies to Paris, and in the Pagoda Club he gets a lead on Monette Bergerac who is alleged to be Ray's wife. Ken is told her mother lives in a fishing village near Marseilles, so he talks to her there, a sad broken woman. It dawns on Ken that this is actually Monette, older than her years. "I should have stayed with him," she admits. But after they were married she discovered he was penniless, so she had turned to "an easy way of making money." Unfortunately she's become a junkie herself. Her supplier: Chet Martin (Neil McCallum) who disowned her when she proved unreliable: "make a pincushion of yourself, but don't ever call me again."
Ray had tried to help his ex-wife but had ended up framed for selling the stuff himself.
And now drugs are being sold in Miami, and Chet is in town. Getting wind of a police swoop, Chet gets Dale's permission to hide the dope in her garage, not that she knows what it is. When the heat's off, Chet comes to collect it, but Ken is waiting and he's arrested.
Ray it seems, despite his shady past, is an OK guy for Dale.

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The Rose Bowl Case
At the Littman Printing Company in Glendale California, the plates for tickets to the Pasadena Rose Bowl are borrowed. Frankie the thief (Lee Patterson) is a real nasty guy, for when he's interrupted, though it's only by a cat, in his anger he kills it. His girl friend Maureen (Moira Redmond) is horrified.
Phillips, the LA agent for the Burns Agency checks out Littman's employees, whilst Ken Franklin flies to talk to Sir Arnold Littman. He proposes everyone voluntarily submits to a lie detector test, and Maureen fails. So she is tailed by Phillips and this leads them to learn about Frank. He's an expert engraver, sadistic too, for he paralyses his wife after she has talked to Franklin, hitting her with a chair.
He makes a run for it, with Maureen, to resurface for the "Soccer Club Finals at Wembley Stadium"(!), where more forged tickets are on sale. Ken flies to London to interview the engraver, William Winterton. Maureen has just started work at his firm! She's staying at the seedy Criton Hotel in Paddington, and the Burns agent Katie O'Brien (Millicent Martin) befriends her there. But there's no sign of her boyfriend who is busy at the greyhounds, chatting up another girl. He needs more cash and sneaks into Maureen's room through her window. However she refuses to lend him anything, suspecting his unfaithfulness. In return he slaps her across the face. That decides Maureen to ask Katie for help. Katie takes her to Ken at the Dorchester Hotel and Maureen agrees to come clean about the crimes, including the latest one planned, 7% gold bonds from the Belgian government. Frank calls at Maureen's room to collect the plates, but Ken is waiting.

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The Raffael Case

At the Studio Theatre in New York gangsters steal the takings, wounding the manager.
Journalist Harry Rice of The Clarion demands the police do something about this latest crime wave. Chief Davies (Lionel Murton) rounds up likely suspects, and witnesses pick out Pinkie Morton and Evans. But their Turkish lawyer Raffael (Peter Illing) gets them alibis and they're "sprung."
Ken Franklin is acting for the theatre's insurance company and has a bet with Chief Davies that Morton is not one of the villains. Ken talks to the wounded manager who sketches the third member of the gang, the driver of the getaway car, who is already busy on another job, robbery at the National Guard hq, stealing tommy guns. Next a hold up at Acme Sports, and the theft of guns. (Why not steal all from the first place you might wonder.)
Ken receives a tip-off from Shifty- 130 Dorchester Street. A police raid here sees the arrest of English Eddie. But it's a false trail. Ken knows him of old as Edward the Confessor.
Another lead, this time from Burns' agent Crow, takes Ken to Danceland, where Pinky's girl Rose Demarco works. Where's Pinkie? Ken tries to persuade her that he wants to help, for he knows Pinkie is a pro, unlike these current hoodlums. But she ain't spilling the beans and Mick the waiter orders Ken out.
Another raid, this one at the City National Bank. The getaway car is found burned out in Pinkie's garage. That's sufficient to persuade Chief Davies to arrest Pinkie.
The owner of the burnt out car is Leopold, who happens to be Raffael's son. He runs a radio shop, and "he always seem to have plenty of money," notes Ken Franklin. Further, "he's never at his radio shop."
The Burns Rome correspondent (Nigel Green) checks out Henry Raffael's former existence in that city as a black marketeer, and partner to Baldo Falconi (Peter Bull), "a notorious gangster of the twenties." And that is exactly the atmosphere, the dated mood of this story. Falconi claims to have lost all contact with Raffael.
But it seems that once in America, Raffael had broken bail in Buffalo. He agrees to cooperate in order to make a deal on "that old prohibition rap" (!) Chief Davies gets him to admit that Leopold had done the killing, and in Rome, in Falconi's shop, Leopold is arrested.
Later we are at Sing Sing Death House. Leopold's last hour. A priest prays. Yes this is straight out of a Thirties gangster film, though there are too many loose unrelated scenes, but plenty of rough stuff so that it becomes a parody, only it doesn't know it.

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File No 9123 The Daniels Case

In an Idaho hotel, a guest is ordered to take a bath. Charlie Curran suffers the ultimate punishment, electrocution. He'd been a winner in a newspaper competition- some prize!
"I hope we haven't killed off one of our contestants," jokes the editor of the Tribune, Putnam (Donald Stewart) when Ken Franklin talks to him. Miss Putnam (Kay Callard) has brought Ken in to investigate irregularities in the Jumbled History Contest- the winning entry had been posted even before the paper had been published!
The racket is run by Herbert Daniels, who somehow gets advance notice of the competitions run in the Tribune, and gives a cut of the winnings to his clients, whom he then bumps off.
Willy Benton is the latest winner. He's a competition addict, much to his wife's despair, and is thrilled to have won $50,000. But he's not very happy when he only receives $500 as his cut. Ken is too late to help him.
But can he reach the next winner in time, in Bismark Falls Nebraska, Justin C Wilkie (Freddie Mills)? Women's Costumes Thru the Ages, is the competition he's won! But he is bumped off also.
Miss Putnam admits to Ken that her father has had a history of swindles, but she believes these competitions are not fixed, at least by him.
Ken has better luck with next winner Miss Harriet Goodrich in North Carolina. She's still awaiting her prize. So Ken sets up a recording machine, to listen in on the presentation. Daniels arranges to meet her in the woods to give her her commission. He's using the name Putnam, which confuses Ken into thinking the real Putnam is still at his dishonest ways. Daniels is about to shoot poor Miss Goodrich when Ken shoots him. The real Mr Putnam is on hand, but he isn't needed to round up this swindler

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The Santino Case
Set in Corsica, where occasionally "primitive rules of justice still prevail."
Pasquale (Bernard Cribbins), owner of the local hotel welcomes Ken Franklin, who is an insurance agent, trying to find one George M Raymond, who was a detective whom we have seen killed by The Vendetta, a group of villagers against the building of a big dam which will flood their valley. General Leonello (Frances de Wolff), "one of the greatest military tacticians," runs the action committee dedicated to preventing this environmental outrage.
The owner of the local castle had agreed to sell the land for the dam, but he has disappeared, but new owner Josephine Santino (Betta St John), who has contacted the Burns Detective Agency, is willing to sell also. As the adjacent valley is deserted, the local doctor Napoleon's suggestion that it be the flooded valley seems obvious, but Josephine stubbornly won't consider this. The doctor of course is in love with her- Napoleon and Josephine, get it?!
Ken Franklin is treated with suspicion. The local blacksmith is so incensed he attacks with his red hot branding iron. Later Ken's attacked while asleep in his hotel room. Finally the blacksmith knocks Ken out, and the detective is carried to The Cave, scene of the killing of George Raymond. Miss Santino has also been taken gagged there, and they are about to be left there to drown under the incoming tide when the police arrive: "stay where you are General."

A rambling story is given some light relief by Bernard Cribbins, who puts a lot into his role. He asks his fellow members of The Vendetta: "Do we have to kill again? It's giving my hotel a very bad name!" He complains "how can I stay in business when you murder all my guests!" He does finally consent to Franklin's elimination after his cover has been exposed, but suggests rather plaintively, that the killing is delayed, "at least not until after he's paid his bill!"
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The Marlowe Case
Businessman Benjamin Marlowe (Gordon Tanner) is off on a luxurious ocean liner to Europe. It's said he's on a sightseeing tour, but later we are told he is on a government mission- but either way, it's irrelevant to the story. On board, The Countess (Maxine Audley) shows him some of the pictures she has painted, but this is done in her state room where she suddenly rips off her dress (well a discreet part of it), crying out, "he tried to attack me."
Lawyer Harvey Jerome (Raymond Rollett), "slippery as an eel," is on hand and offers to represent the good lady, while the Burns Agency is phoned by Marlowe, and Ken Franklin is flown to Southampton to help the victim of this shakedown.
Ken tapes the meeting between Marlowe and Jerome. Jerome suggests "a small settlement," by which he means ten thousand. Dollars? No pounds.
At the Cockerell Gallery The Countess chats to an impoverished painter (Millicent Martin), and befriends her, offering to give some painting lessons. In return the girl will do the Countess' housework, for this once rich lady is now not too well off herself. In fact, she attempts suicide but the girl, Susan, rescues her. She agrees to help when Ben Marlowe calls to "apologise," even though he has nothing to be guilty about. The Countess turns out to be a true lady, admitting it's she who is the one who should apologise. The kindly Ben offers her a loan of 1,000 to tide her over.
But Jerome interprets this as a bribe of "a mere thousand pounds to hush it up." He cannot permit his client to remain silent any longer.
In response, Ken Franklin subpoenas him to appear, for some inexplicable reason, at the American Embassy, where there is a trial of sorts. Ken's trump card is Jerome's star witness Susan. She is supposed to confirm that Marlowe attempted to bribe the Countess. But, as we already know, she's a Burns' Detective Agency agent, and she certainly does not perjure herself. "I've been double-crossed," cries Jerome.
It all ends serenly for everyone else, as Ben says he forgives the Countess. Is there a hint of romance?

Despite a script by that fine director Derek Twist, and a guest starring role for Maxine Audley whose part in another director's hands might have been made much more poignant, and even a big role for young Millicent Martin, this story fails to develop at all satisfactorily. The blackmailer dithers ineptly, and considering his alleged reputation, falls far too easily into Franklin's trap.

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File No 9113 The Brenner Case
You can tell this was a pilot. It has so many rough edges. And 'Kenneth Franklin' is inscribed on Ken's door.

On a Long Island country road one night, Hilda Brenner (Julia Arnall) is running. A police car picks her up. Her boyfriend Jeff has been anxiously trying to locate her. He tells his mother that he'd just proposed, but Hilda's reaction hasn't exactly been encouraging! When the police return her home she cries. She has lived with Jeff and his mother since she had been adopted. "Don't let him touch me," she begs.
Again, she runs away, and Jeff asks his friend Ken Franklin to find her. "No bells," until someone matching her description is found working at a Turkish baths. She has to run for it, but ends up in Bellevue Hospital, where Jeff, and mostly Ken talk to her doctor. It's Ken who comes up with the idea of giving her a truth drug to get to the root of her problems.
Under sedation, she admits she does love Jeff. But she cannot marry him, because she knows what her father did to her mother. He killed her. She hates her father, though she hasn't seen him for many years. "Please help me."
Ken undertakes to find her father Willy, but he's a hard man to track down. No police record, but he had emigrated from Austria, so the Burns agency's Vienna correspondent takes up the case and learns from Willy's mother-in-law, a sour old lady, that he ran a restaurant, rather an inferior catch for her daughter, an aspiring opera singer. "A girl should never marry beneath her class." She'd left him to make her name in Paris.
The Paris branch of the Burns agency discover that Willy had followed her there but his restaurant had been "a gastronomic disaster," and he'd left to make a new start in America.
Now he's running Willy's Place on Route 101, and Ken takes a nervous Hilda to look over her father. She's surprised that "he seems to have such kind eyes." He tells her that Mitzi his wife had taken all the money from his Paris business and divorced him to start a new life, but is now dead. Later, Ken is told by Willy that she wasted all his money on drink when he career floundered. "You dirty dishwasher," she'd called him, and young Hilda had witnessed their quarrel and drawn the wrong conclusions. His ex-wife isn't actually dead, she's in Sing Sing. A secret to be kept from Hilda, who can now happily marry Jeff.
It's difficult to distinguish all the lies and truths in the story as it moves too rapidly, flitting from idea to idea without any coherency

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The Madison Case
Near the Khyber Pass, an American company is constructing a huge hydro electric dam, but the project is being hampered by a series of inexplicable explosions, and Ken Franklin is retained by the insurance company to solve the crisis. For unless the contract is completed on time, the contract with the government will be declared void.
Suspicion had fallen on Madison, but when he had been killed by one blast, his young son Harry was blamed. Indeed the child had been playing in the dynamite store when the latest explosion had occurred. Buck Guthrie is the general site manager at the Cunard Valley Construction Camp, and it is he who informs Ken of the suspicions that surround the boy. There seems no other person whom it could have been, unless "it was the fairies who set off the detonators," as Zhodar (Peter Illing) the government official jokes.
Widow, and local teacher Mrs Madison (Jan Holden) has two workers who are vying for her hand. Stanton and Hickman argue over her- could they be causing the problem? But an explosives expert dismisses Ken's fanciful modernistic theory that the pair had had a kind of "duel." with dynamite.
Ken has come to a dead end. "Maybe it's the thin air," he says, half-joking. Mrs Madison tells Ken she is proud of Harry, and wants him to become an engineer like her late husband. Ken questions Harry, but as they chat there's another explosion. Tony Stanton is badly injured when a tunnel collapses. All Zhodar does is to irritatingly remind everyone that the contract must be completed in four days time. The absence of any trace of a fuse is puzzling.
Harry is so upset he runs away. Ken climbs a mountain to a shack where Harry and his dad used to hide out. When Ken finds the lad, he has a friendly chat: "what's eating you kid?" Harry admits he had taken some dynamite to try and deflect accusations that his father had caused the explosions, "but," he claims, "it blew up by itself before I could do it." So the truth comes out, that a radio in a company jeep had accidentally set off the explosions, "a 100,000-1 chance."

Note- this review from a sound only recording
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