THE VISE
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Danziger TV Page . . . Dinosaur TV Page
Here are my reviews:
2 Set A Murderer 7*
5 Death Pays No Dividends 9*
6 Gabriel's Choice 8*
7 The Diamond Expert 3*
9 Fair And The Fallen 7*
10 The Eavesdroppers 6*
11 The Very Silent Traveller 4*
12 The Yellow Robe 8*
13 Lucky Man 9*
14 The Gamblers 4*
15 Count Of Twelve 5*
16 Final Column 9*
18 Blind Man's Bluff 7*
20 Broken Honeymoon 8*
21 Death On The Boards 5*
24 The Cruel Test 6*
25 The Deception 6*
27 Fame and the Fury 6*
28 Ring of Greed 5*
29 The Imperfect Gentleman 9*
31 Double Pay Off 4*
34 The Price Of Vanity 9*
35 Man In Demand 8*
36 The Homing Chinaman 5*
37 The Rattan Trunk 7*
39 The Better Chance 4*
41 Strangle Hold 5*
44 The Verdict 4*
46 Death in White 5*
49 Bond Of Hate 4*
51 Side Entrance 6*
52 The Search For Martha Harris 4*
57 Dead Man's Evidence 7*
58 Stranger in Town 4*
59 By Persons Unknown 7*
60 Killer At Large 4*
62 Gift From Heaven 7*
63 Second Sight 8*
64 Good Name Murder 6*
65 Snapshot 8*

Made by The Danzigers in Britain in 1954 and 1955 for American TV, where they were screened as The Vise, the stories were later repeated in USA as 'The Pendulum.' A few of the 25 minute films were made into compilations and premiered in UK cinemas as second features, but it wasn't until the early 1960s that some reached UK tv screens as 'Tension' or 'Crooked Path'. After 65 had been made, the series continued with every story about Mark Saber.
The introduction to most of The Vise films was read by Ron Randell. This happens in all except the first few stories, and some of the last and ran, "How do you do. The story we are going to tell is about people caught in the jaws of a vice, in a dilemma of their own making. We'll start the story in a moment."
For The Pendulum John Bentley read his lines as though he hadn't been paid very much, "The Pendulum swings. And Destiny weaves a pattern. This is the story of people who tried to change that pattern, but found they could not stop the Pendulum."

Right: interesting this brief review of #23, premiered on British tv eight years after it was made

My favourite episode: #13 Lucky Man- tho' a comedy and rather untypical of the series
Best moment: The unnamed actress playing the Hon Catherine in #29
Dud episode: #7 The Diamond Expert- even Paul Carpenter can't save this one.

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SET A MURDERER
Narrator: "David Harman and Sydney White were partners and for several years they had been sole manufacturers of an electronic device for the chemical industry. They had acquired the patent for next to nothing from a penniless inventor. This patent gave them a monopoly which they used to squeeze their customers. They spent a lot of money too, they lived in luxury. People said that the only risk the partners ran was that they might lose their taste for caviar and champagne, but business was not neglected. Harman, the older partner supervised the plant, White travelled and saw the customers. Everything was fine until..."

A cut-price competitor appears on the scene! David (Clifford Evans) is shocked to find he is suddenly losing contracts. Bankruptcy is looming. Then the inventor with the new cheaper gadget, Tom Hickson (Bill Nagy), invites the partners to dinner at the Carlton Hotel where he proposes a 50-50 partnership, to be sealed at a weekend house party.
"That weekend, piloting his private plane, Tom Hickson flew down to Harman's country house, a huge place that had cost its owner a small fortune, which he was now in danger of losing because of this one man who had so suddenly dropped into his life and his partner's. But from their greeting Hickson could have had no clue to their real feelings, of the hate they felt for him. Through that weekend, Hickson's proposition was discussed, the partners trying to get a better deal, the inventor not budging an inch. It was he who held the trump card and they all knew it. Late on Sunday night, Harman and White had still not given their decision."
Despite tough negotiating, Hickson cannot be moved on this offer. So there's only one option- Hickson's private plane crashes, he'd been drugged.
But Mrs Paula Hickson (Honor Blackman) inherits her husband's business and strangely offers a deal to David Harman. It proves Divide and Conquer as the ignored Sydney ends on the downhill slope, while David she appoints her Chief Executive. But hold on, Mrs Hickson is playing a double game, while dating David, she is also playing him off against White. Harman overhears his ex-partner in a deal with Mrs Hickson and the two men come to blows, the truth about Hickson's death blurted out.
Conclusion: "the end of a once beautiful friendship. Mrs Hickson, behind a mask of feminine helplessness, had played her cards well."

Uncredited speaking roles: Doris, Harman's secretary (Jennifer Jayne)- in three scenes. A waiter. Betty, Mrs Hickson's maid, also in three scenes

The Vise Menu

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DEATH PAYS NO DIVIDENDS (1954)
This story starts with the following variation on the usual, "The story we are going to tell is about the deadly results of a deception attempted by a man and a woman for profit and who through their own greed were caught in the jaws of a vice." After a break the narration continues: "in every metropolis there's a small group of fashionable people who live mostly while the others sleep. They're the easy spending, pleasure loving crowd, the people you read about in the gossip columns known as cafe society. Tommy Carter belonged to this international circle. He had all the requirements of a successful playboy- and a first name acquaintance with important people. He also had a beautiful girl friend named Julia Benton. Tommy Carter to all appearances, had everything a playboy could want. But appearances are sometimes deceiving..."
I like this story with Peter Reynolds playing cafe society lounger Tommy enjoying the high life, starring with Eunice Gayson as the effervescent seductive Julia. Having run up a huge bill at Luigi's restaurant, Tommy, who "has everything a playboy could want," confesses he is desperately broke. As he is more use to her dead than alive, Julia moots the idea of a car accident. They hatch a plan for Tommy to kill a hobo then go and hide in Ireland until things quieten down. But it's only an idea.
Luxuriously breakfasting in bed, Julia is slightly surprised to read Tommy has gone through with it, and is dead. She finds solace at Luigi's with "George darling," a Wimbledon tennis companion (Edwin Richfield uncredited), and even more comfort in the payout from Brent. International Insurance's agent (John Warwick). George proposes, and Tommy, now living as Stanley Harper in Ireland, reads the engagement announcement in the papers. When he phones, she cuts him off. He must return to England, "a dead man risking recognition for his crime."
It's the eve of the wedding. Julia fears the worst. The phone rings. Tommy lets her know he's back in London, then rings off. She lights a fag and packs her bags, but not in time to avoid Tommy bracing himself for a showdown, in the style of a western gunfighter. But instead of a gun, he confronts Julia with a burning paint stripper. She's ready with her own gun, and shoots him.
Narrator: "the fire was quickly brought under control. But not quickly enough to save two lives. By a strange twist of fate, Julia and Tommy met the same horrible death as the unknown hobo, but this time there was no doubt of their identity. The following day astonished people read in their newspapers that a man they thought already dead had died again and that a certain fashionable wedding was not going to take place."

Uncredited speaking roles in this story as well as 'George,' are Charlie manager at Luigi's, Julia's maid, an Irish barmaid, a police inspector, and Julia's friend Sylvia
The Vise

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GABRIEL'S CHOICE (1954)
Narrator Ron Randell offers us a one-off introduction, "How do you do. The story we're going to tell is about the skill of a doctor and the man he saved. And how the man saw fit to repay his debt by actions which finally caught him in the jaws of a vice. It is called Gabriel's Choice. We'll start the story in a moment."
After explaining about the Hippocratic oath, the narrator continues, "George Campbell was a good doctor, loved by his patients and respected by his colleagues. He was happily married and prosperous. One day, returning from a professional visit he was stopped by cries for help. He jumped out of his car and ran up to the third floor of an old rooming house."
"He's still breathing," Dr Campbell (Clifford Evans) pronounces. Gabriel had tried to gas himself. Campbell brings him round, and like the Good Samaritan he leaves money with the landlord, "get him something to eat, make it nourishing."
But Dr Campbell had not seen the last of Gabriel Destinn, who announces himself in the surgery, not by way of thanks, but demanding to know why the doctor stopped him from dying. Since it was the doctor that decided Gabriel should live on, he must, according to Gabriel, accept his responisiblities, and keep an eye on Gabriel, indeed let him stay with him.
Gabriel helps the doctor, collecting debts from his forgetful patients, and making up the medicines. He upsets the doctor's faithful Nurse Sheppey (Katharine Page, uncredited) by staging some "little mistakes cleverly exploited." She resigns and Gabriel becomes the new nurse.
Next he plays the family off against each other. After making a pass at Marianne, Campbell's sister-in-law (Mary Parker), who is engaged to be married to Walter Slade, he tells the doctor she's really in love with him. He persuades the doctor to talk to her about it, but then tells Diane, the doctor's wife, that the two are having a secret affair. Diane overhears their heart to heart and there's a showdown.
Explains Gabriel, "you should thank me doctor, for pointing out the weaknesses in your own home."
There's poetic justice in the inevitable fight between the two men, while the narrator salvages a happy ending from it somehow.
Lee Patterson plays the sinister Gabriel with style, "a nobody, a man from nowhere with no past, no future." A lot of heartache is caused by his interference, but there again, hadn't the doctor interfered in Gabriel's life?
An enjoyable parable of a suicider who doesn't appreciate being given a second chance. Nurse Sheppey has a curious American accent which indicates she knew the story was being made for America
The Vise

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THE DIAMOND EXPERT
Narrator- "Do you believe that everything that happens to you is predestined and that noone can escape his fate? When we come to a crossroads and decide to turn right, how do we make a decision which leads to consequences which we cannot control? One man turns right and a car kills him. Another turns left and reaches his destination safely. Who decided the events and accidents that followed once the turning had been chosen?" A rather overphilosophical preamble that seems to have little connection with the plot! He continues: "John Phillips made his choice and what followed was the work of Destiny. It started on board the SS Verdi bound from Liverpool to distant East Indies. Some people were travelling for pleasure, others for business reasons. John Phillips was escaping from the police of three different countries. He had a false passport, a modest amount of money, and a great faith in his own ability to conquer life."

Phillips (Paul Carpenter) makes a bet with fellow passenger Major Andrews, that he can uncover the identity of the reclusive Charles Delauney. A search of his cabin reveals that he is an expert in diamonds, travelling out east to assess the value of a secret new diamond mine in Maramba.
Phillips makes friends with Delauney, and after disembarking, gets him drunk before beating him to death in his hotel room. Phillips assumes his identity and travels to a remote spot to meet the company's Dutch representative Gruyther. He is oddly hostile. That night the drugged Phillips' possessions are searched. A photo of a woman is found. "Not yet!" Gruyther warns his servant....
Next day they take the 'expert' to see the mine. "There are no diamonds!" exclaims the expert. He's tied up. It was a trick to get him here, on account of the woman in the photo, Dorothy, "you destroyed her," Phillips is told. A confession that he's not Delauney is not going to have any credibility, "I'm not Delauney," Phillips protests. He's left tied up in the jungle. The final shot is of a leopard pouncing...
Narrator, "Yes that was the end of Phillips. One night soon after, old Gruyther went out in his boat and next morning his body was found on the beach. Gruyther had executed a death sentence on Phillips justly deserved, unaware that Phillips, in killing Delauney, had already avenged him."

Uncredited speaking roles: A female pianist whose palm Phillips reads, the steward on the ship, a native attendant in Brunei, a garage owner from whom Phillips hires a car, and Gruyther's native servant.
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FAIR AND THE FALLEN
The introduction: "Gwendolyn Roberts was the principal of an exclusive finishing school for young ladies. The teachers were all women with one exception, Ralph Scott, the music teacher. Taking him on was an experiment, and to Mrs Roberts it seemed a successful one. Ralph was popular with the other teachers and with the students, and particularly with one student, Ellen Thompson, attractive, headstrong and ... seventeen."
In a classroom, Ellen (Jean Aubrey) is idly drawing a sketch of her music teacher. When reprimanded by Miss Stafford (Josephine Douglas), she storms out crying, "I hate you."
But in her one-to-one piano lessons with Mr Scott (Anthony Snell) she's his "star pupil." She gazes dreamily at him. He signs her copy of the Chopin sheet music, "For Ellen. May she become the fine pianist she deserves to be. Ralph."
Over a meal that evening Connie Stafford and Ralph Scott discuss Ellen's infatuation, which Ralph lightly dismisses.
Ellen keeps a secret diary recording her love for Ralph. As she swoons over him, her best friend Jane is sceptical. Ellen challenges her to spy on them during her next piano lesson. It's a good job Miss Roberts can't see what happens next. "I'm in love with you!" Ellen tells him. "Kiss me Ralph!" she shouts, for her friend's benefit. But Ralph reprimands her.
Later Ellen spies on him kissing Connie, she blackmails him into an assignation at 11pm in the music room. That's after a meeting an hour earlier that he's arranged with Connie. Ellen decides she'll hide herself in the window seat and watch them. As ten o' clock chimes she takes up her position. But the lock snaps tight. In any case, her plan was doomed for Connie and Ralph are meeting elsewhere.
Next morning she is found unconscious. It's up to Inspector Webster to decide if Ralph has done anything criminal. Connie finds Ellen's secret diary, and that exonerates Ralph. So it ends happily as Ralph and Connie kiss, right in front of Miss Roberts too. Sadly, the camera doesn't show her reaction!
Narrator: "You can't help feeling sorry for Ellen Thompson. She had to learn her lesson the hard way. All her life she'd been hungry for love. She'd built her dream world around her teacher and nearly lost her life to keep it from being destroyed. Ralph Scott and Constance were married, but who knows what thoughts come back to him whenever he hears a certain Chopin Prelude?"

Uncedited speaking roles: Jane, Ellen's room mate- she has several scenes. A waiter. Mary, Miss Roberts' secretary. The school porter (Ian Wilson). A male and a female guest at the concert. Det Insp Webster (Colin Tapley)
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THE EAVESDROPPERS

Narrator: "Lady Henrietta Pendragon was still beautiful, but stubbornly unresigned to the fact that she'd just turned forty and was growing older. Sir Arthur, her husband, a distinguished diplomat, had become a country squire at sixty, having gracefully accepted the fact that his younger and more effective days were behind him. It was this difference in outlook that created a subtle antagonism between the couple and all but wrecked several lives. The Pendragons had a beautiful home in the country (as we watch a picture of the usual Edgware hotel) and it was on this Friday morning that they waited to greet their weekend visitors."

Lady Pendragon (Mila Parely) and her butler make plans for their house party. They are expecting a mixed group of guests, including niece Lady Myra (Nanette Newman), who does insist on having a job, "it's time she forgot that nonsense about making her own living!" Then there's Brian Allington (Terence Brook) who admires Lady Pendragon "more than anybody I know." He spouts William Blake and then kisses her. Comments the narrator in his usual dry style, "many years of diplomatic training had given Sir Arthur a masterly self-control. But when he saw his wife in the arms of a young man, his self-control almost broke down."
A shooting party the next morning and we await the expected "accident." Oh dear, Brian has been shot, but only in the arm. He proves he's a true Britisher-"it might have been a lot worse"- but Lady Pendragon knows the truth, for she had spotted her husband (Frederick Leister) pointing his gun at Brian. He explains why he did it. That decides her that she is still young enough to start anew with Brian. But he has been making eyes at Myra while she is "playing Florence Nightingale" with him, and Lady Henrietta overhears Brian admit to Myra that he'd only been making up to her ladyship in order to make her (Myra) jealous. They kiss. The camera nicely moves to poor Henrietta's face. Sir Arthur appears for a final scene of reconciliation.
Ron Randell ends the tale: "Yes, Brian Allington marrried Myra. And in time Henrietta Pendragon forgave him and her niece. Henrietta learned to grow old gracefully, and Sir Arthur no longer hid his love and tenderness behind a mask of convention. Perhaps they may be forgiven for eavesdropping, for what they learned prevented four persons from being destroyed and led to happiness instead."

Note- uncredited speaking roles: the butler, and these guests- Vincent (Ronald Leigh-Hunt), pianist Carlo Ligury, his wife (Selma vas Diaz), Bedford Bowen, and actress Miss Ashwell

To The Vise Menu

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THE VERY SILENT TRAVELLER
Good idea for a tale, but Paul Tabori's script fails to develop, wandering around disappointingly.
Narrator:"There are many ways to enjoy life, but noone would seriously suggest that one way is to doublecross a business associate, particularly when the business is one in which the police are always interested. This story begins one night in a big teeming city in the north of England, a night on which an unwelcome and unexpected visitor paid a call on Arnold Brockley."
That visitor is Dicky Miller, who's just out of jail and seeking revenge on his former associate. Arnold's crooked mates Rusty (Tony Quinn) and Bert Dillon (Ronan O' Casey) are first to discover the body and hide it. They plan to implicate Miller in the murder by putting the corpse in the railway compartment in which Miller is travelling overnight to London. As they dump Arnold in the sleeping berth, Rusty informs the helpful attendant, "he won't bother you!"
"The best laid plans can go astray" narrator Ron informs us and in this story, wise-to-it Miller quits the train. Then at Birmingham a passenger, Gortz (Denis Shaw), enters the fatal compartment and has a naturally rather one sided conversation with his fellow traveller. The truth finally dawns and Gortz panics, dumping the corpse in a toilet before throwing it overboard.
At Euston, Rusty and Bert's associate Dan Olsen (Sam Kydd) is supposed to 'discover' the body in Miller's carriage, but with no body Olsen decides to follow Gortz. He checks into a hotel and Rusty Bert and Miller all join him, wondering what Gortz is up to. Of course he's a criminal, he's flogging smuggled diamonds, and the police arrive to arrest a nice roomful of villains.
Narrator: "The police had kept Gortz in sight from the moment of his arrival in London, hoping that through him they'd be able to capture a gang of diamond smugglers... they were rewarded with an extra prize, Arnold Brockley's murderer...."
One peculiar line by Gortz, "I prefer to fly." (Really? From Birmingham to London?)
Uncredited speaking parts: Brockley. The train guard. A hotel receptionist. The arresting police officer

The Vise Menu

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THE YELLOW ROBE
Intro: "There is a part of Hyde Park in London where visitors from all over the world come to listen to the speakers. Some preach religion, others denounce the government. Many talk just to hear the sound of their own voices! Some strange characters have passed through Speakers Corner, but none stranger than a yellow robed Buddhist monk who started a chain of events by using the public telephone booth just outside the park." An introduction aiming to show Americans a little of London! A policeman kindly gives the monk a lesson in how to use the phone. Cost of the call: 3d. MAYfair 4565- but it's engaged. He also tries TEMple 1956.
The monk is trying to phone Frank Ballard (Tony Pendrell) to inform him that his long lost elder brother Tommy is alive in a Tibetan monastery. Not good news for Frank, who's short of cash and whose one armed lawyer John Collins is in the process of having Tommy declared legally dead so Frank can inherit the family fortune. Disaster! "I've got to get rid of him somehow..." Frank agrees to meet the monk in the gardens near Marble Arch, but he finds that the monk has already been stabbed through the heart.
Enter Inspector Mather (Robert Raglan), the thoughtful, methodical type. A significant clue is a glove clutched in the dead monk's hand. The evidence points to a left handed killer. The helpful policeman who gave us the telephone lesson remembers the first phone number which leads Scotland Yard to Frank, who is, of course, left handed. Ballard eventually admits he had arranged to meet the monk, but had been drinking too much and "everything was too hazy." But he does remember stumbling over a dead body.
It looks pretty black until the policeman who'd forgotten the second phone number remembers it- it was the number of this year! It's that of Collins, also left handed. He tells Mather that once Tommy is officially dead, Frank's money worries will be over. But they're not! Mather spots a knife missing from Ballard's display and now has all the evidence needed to make his arrest.
Narrator: "So ended the events started by the old monk's telephone call." The motive for the killing is explained, followed by this conclusion: "In Hyde Park the speakers still talk of man's inhumanity to man, but none remember the inhuman death that came to another Hyde Park speaker, the monk who wore an old yellow robe."

Notes - in a surviving print in the series The Pendulum, there's an awkward bit of editing after the opening preamble. We have a picture of John Bentley but then fade into the original narration by Ron Randell.
Uncredited speaking parts: the monk. The policeman outside the park. A police radio operative. A constable by the corpse, and Sgt Blake with him. The sergeant in Mather's office (Frank Hawkins). Jack, a police analyst. A policeman in the photo department. A constable who talks to Mather. A woman police constable in Mather's office. Hawkins, Ballard's butler

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LUCKY MAN
"Women are the link between human beings and angels. But you never can be certain quite what stage they are." Thus Hugh (Leslie Phillips in a role of the type he'd perfect later). This is hardly a typical Vise story. It's something of a forgotten minor gem! Appropriate it made its premiere on ABC in USA on Christmas Eve 1954.

I think I detected a smile on Ron Randell's usually impassive face as he started, "This is a story of a lucky man in the days of King Edward VII and President Teddy Roosevelt. When motor cars were still a novelty and women wore yard upon yard of shimmering silk and shining. In the happy peaceful days when a young diplomat like Hugh Lawrence had nothing more important to think about than how to win the love of a pretty lady named Lily. Lily happened to be the daughter of Theo Bayliss a learned professor of philosophy who was currently sponsoring the theory that marriage was the enemy of civilisation."
He (Colin Gordon) frustrates poor Hugh's advances towards Lily (Ann Stephens), oblivious, it would appear, to her own feminine needs. But at last Hugh has the opportunity to lure Lily to his home!
Hugh, with the help of his butler Goodbody, makes elaborate preparations for her visit, goose pate, lobster and turkey, plus, of course, champagne. He obviously enjoys a bit of fun with the youngsters who brng in the goodies in this scene.
She arrives at his door, "I can't possibly come," is her opening gambit. But he picks her up in his arms and carries her inside. He toys with her drape, delicately removing her veil, her hat.
Hugh: "Now you're going to have a glass of champagne."
Lily: "Champagne in the afternoon? But that's wicked!"
Hugh: "That's the idea!"
As they kiss, he, unnoticed, tops up her glass.Then an annoying interruption. It's Hugh's uncle, General Egbert (Raymond Rollet), and with Lily hiding in the bedroom, Hugh promises to get rid of him, even if it means killing him. He fantasises over various methods of disposing of uncle, who is gorging himself on the feast, before the General decides to take a nap. At last!
But now dad bursts in brandishing a pistol. Hugh: "Professor, you sound so excited. Have you lost something? - Your bullets, I hope!" From this unpromising point, somehow it all ends happily!
Tongue-in-cheek Ron concludes "For a person caught in a dilemma of his own making, Hugh Lawrence was indeed a Lucky Man. When the Jaws of the Vice closed on him, he found himself in a trap of his own making, marriage with the girl he loved."
Uncredited small speaking roles for a child lobster seller, a flower boy, a telegram boy, a laundryman, a salesman, the ambassador and Lily's maid
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THE GAMBLERS
Narrator: "Almost three thousand years ago, a cynical old Greek said 'show me a man and you've shown me a gambler...' and he was right. Some of us stake our lives, others risk money, some play a daring game, others a conservative one. But we're all gamblers even if we never shuffle a deck of cards or sit down at the green-covered table of a casino. The strangest gamblers I ever met were two men and a woman, an ill-assorted trio who met at that fabulous shrine of Lady Luck, the playground of the rich and the hunting ground of the adventurer, Monte Carlo."
Here Edmundo Ros and His Band start us off with "All Work and No Play." Later they give us the profound number "Who stole the Beans from my Maracas?" as well as "If you see My little Children calling for me."
Running away "from herself," June (Thea Gregory) strikes up a friendship with a persistent "gigolo", Carlos (Martin Benson). Though she has never gambled, he persuades her against her betetr judgment, that she could change his luck if she joins him at the Tables.
Down to his last hundred francs she chooses a number for him. Somehow, she knows not how, she gives him the winning number - 33. Then she nominates 12 - it wins! "Another number?" 22. That wins too!
With a prize of 3 million francs, no wonder Carlos is eager to repeat the trick. Though June isn't always successful, she often is, and she becomes "uneasy and sometimes frightened of the discovery of this mysterious power."
An old friend Bob (John Witty) meets up ith June and falls in love with her. "There's something about this business I don't understand," he admits to her. That goes for this viewer too!
To release Carlos' mysterious hold over her, Bob suggests she tells Carlos the wrong numbers. But Carlos still wins! "It's as if I had no control," cries June. She attempts to break away from Carlos, but she can't resist him. The climax is reached when June's powers do wane. The rivals for her hand, Bob and Carlos, conclude with a short punch-up.
Here's a story that builds the tension nicely, but the ending is too manufactured. Our narrator's conclusion is a bit of a let down... "Carlos had gambled for more than money that last day. And when he lost he was through. June and Bob were married and never again returned to a gambling casino. June's power over numbers was never to be tested again. Perhaps it had been nothing more than a chain of strange coincidences which people call Lady Luck."

Uncredited speaking role: the croupier

The Vise

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COUNT OF 12
The characters are: Simon Graves (John Longden) a "stubborn" stockbroker,
Julia his wife (Genine Graham), profiligate, having just spent 100 on an exclusive dress,
Wendy (Jill Adams), their daughter, in love with Mike Brooks, a garage owner with "no ambition,"
Mrs McPhail (Enid Lorimer), Scottish housekeeper, whose brother is short of cash,
Larry Bancroft (Garrard Green), a 'friend' of Simon's, and Julia's lover.
Uncredited actors include Hallett, Graves' office helper and Inspector Carson (Bill Fraser) with his sidekick Sgt Stott.

Simon has just purchased shares in the Welcome Stranger gold mine at 1. Now they've climbed to 2 with rumours of a strike and soon they'll be worth three. But thanks to some inside information, he sells.
Narrator: "For two days the Welcome Stranger boom continued. And then..." Headlines read "BOOM COLLAPSES... FORTUNES LOST." Unhappy investors include Larry who's down by 3,000. He blames Simon as he'd tipped him to buy. Simon explains why he hadn't warned Larry to sell, he knows about that affair with Julia. All this excitement brings on another of Simon's minor heart attacks.
"You'll regret this," warns the departing Larry.
Narrator: "Larry Bancroft made good his threat." Newspapers are full of his insinuations that Simon had known about the impending collapse. But Simon is unrepentant, if people have lost money, "they foolishly gambled on something they knew nothing about." So is that his fault?
Yes, a note delivered to his home does blame Simon. "You're a thief... if you value your safety, you will repay the money you have stolen."
Narrator: "The newspapers had carried the story effectively. That day in his office, there were several anonymous phone calls for Simon Graves." Another note promises Simon will die at midnight.
Julia seeks police help. Inspector Carson arranges a tail on suspect Larry, and a police cordon around the Graves' house. Inside it's a waiting game. Mrs McPhail hands Simon his digitalis that he takes for his heart condition. Twelve o' clock strikes as Simon dramatically collapses dead, having realised who it is who wants him dead.
There's one last little twist to this simple but effective tale

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FINAL COLUMN (1954)
starring Christopher Lee

"In London the centre of the newspaper world is Fleet Street, the street where mile after mile of telephone and telegraph cable ends in printed ink. One of the most prominent publishers of Fleet Street was Albert Lake, who bought a dime newspaper, revived it, and in a few short years made it one of the most influential publications in the country. The first one to enter Mr Lake's private office every morning was his assistant Larry Spence, young, good looking and (pause) slightly sinister."
So who else could play Larry but Christopher Lee? That morning Lake (John Longden) is in a very bad mood. A phone call from his mistress Marie (Kay Callard) isn't soothing, she's being unfaithful. Larry receives the sharp end of Lake's temper and is sacked.
For revenge he sees Marie on a "confidential matter," a master scene in how to act as a cool blakmailer. When she tells him that he's "a dirty blackmailing crook," he sees red and strangles her in the best Lee style. Unfortunately Lake arrives the next minute to find Marie dead. Larry hides behind the traditional curtain. Lahe runs off scared.
First suspect is Marie's new man, a polo player, but he produces a strong alibi as he was away in France.
Larry goes in for more blackmail, this time his old boss Lake, warning him that he had seen him enter Marie's flat. Thus Larry resumes his post on The Sentinel once more.
Lake's daughter Claire had been going to marry a surgeon, but that was before she met Larry. When they announce their engagement, Albert looks grim. In fact very grim. Appearing to come to terms with their forthcoming marriage however, he invites Larry down to his country place for the weekend. There Albert tries to persuade him to break off their engagement, even offering Larry the job of running The Sentinel, if he'll agree. But there's a gun, a fight, and a rash admission from Larry that it was he who killed Marie. Very opportunely, the police are on hand to hear his confession and cart him away.
One of the best of the series!

Not mentioned in the credits are these uncredited speaking roles: Miss Smithers, Lake's secretary (Jan Holden). Banks, The Sentinel editor. A reporter named Thorpe (Frank Hawkins). Mrs Lake (Katharine Page). Mary, the Lakes' maid. Philip Golding, Lake's solicitor. Jones his male assistant. The arresting police officer. Also not in the credits is the office boy (Ronnie Corbett), who in his entry into the 1955 Film Yearbook proudly notes this as one of two acting appearances on film he'd made up to this date

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BLIND MAN'S BLUFF
Script: Paul Tabori. Director: David Macdonald.

Narrator: "Dr Peter Lawrence, although still a fairly young man, was completely absorbed in his work as a surgeon. He was a bachelor with no interests in women. One day he had to operate on an old friend Mark Dyson. Shortly before the operation, Valerie, Mark's wife, beautiful and considerably younger than her husband, came to see Dr Lawrence."
The surgeon has "a brilliant intellect," he's handsme, why he even plays the piano superbly. Valerie (a seductive Eunice Gayson) is a scatterbrain, and wonders why Peter has never married. "Love, he explains to her, "is a temporary insanity."
Continues our narrator: "Dr Peter Lawrence discovered that he too had become a victim of the lunacy of love. At the end of six months he was infatuated body and soul. He forgot honour, friendship, work, everything but the bewitching creature who toyed with him and tortured him with her charm and beauty."
There's one fine silent scene, when she enters his room, takes off her drape, she looks smoulderingly, then they embrace passionately.
Then the downhill path. When Valerie holidays in Cannes, she sends Mark and Peter letters, only she is so scatty she puts the letters in the wrong envelopes. As luck has it, Mark can't guess the identity of her lover, but he swears to kill the man when he finds him. But Peter is horrified to learn that Valerie was writing a goodbye letter. She's found the man "who can make her really happy," tennis instructor Mario (Patrick Holt).
Cash from Peter sees off Mario. The doctor takes Valerie to Spain, neither that happy, planning to go from thence to South America. But Mark is on their trail. Peter's driving gets more and more reckless. Cue that stock shot of a car plunging over the cliff again.
Narrator: "it was many weeks later that Mark learned what had happened to Valerie and Peter for it took a long time before their charred bodies were identified. The game of Blind Man's Bluff had ended tragically but eventually Dyson managed to build for himself a new life."

A very good short film in the best B film tradition, even though the ending is too sudden, not resolving the conflict satisfactorily

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BROKEN HONEYMOON (1955)

Narrator: "Helen and Clive Parker had started their honeymoon having just exchanged vows to love, honour and cherish each other in sickness and in health until parted by death. But Fate has a way of destroying even the most sacred of vows and Fate was lying in wait for the Parkers soon after their honeymoon began."

The happy couple (Adrienne Corrie sic and Robert Ayres) are enjoying au unusual yet blissful honeymoon in the African jungle. But that night a leopard calmly enters their tent. Screams! Helen is very badly mauled. Clive broods over the accident and can't face looking at his wife.
"All the months she was receiving treatment," narrates a sombre Ron Randell, "Helen Parker never heard a word from her husband." Her doctor (a young Conrad Phillips) gives her a new face and the courage to live.
Two years on, recovered, she engages Lester Denby a dubious private detective (Robert O'Neil), to locate her estranged husband. In fact, Clive is honeymooning with Isobel (Nanette Newman) in an idyllic bungalow, Old View in Cranmore.
Denby poses as an insurance agent and questions her, discovering she knows nothing of Clive's past.
Complications ensue as Denby turns out to be a blackmailer. Helen overhears him leaning on another client, Milton, so she decides to trail Denby. He leads her to Old View where he's asking Clive now calling himself Clive Moss, for 500 to keep quiet. Two wives! "Isn't that one good enough for you?" Denby asks Clive.
Helen arrives at the cottage and meets Isobel, posing as Clive's "friend". It's been a hectic honeymoon Isobel explains to her. She doesn't know yet just how "hectic" it is going to become! Enter Clive, who receives a bit of a shock. Clive is bewildered, just whom does he love? Also enter Inspector Lane to interview Clive about an "accident" that's befallen Denby. Clive is arrested, charged of course with bigamy. "I'm sorry" is all he can say to the two women.
Ron finishes by tying up the loose ends rather neatly, for a happy if improbable conclusion. An enjoyable little tale.

Uncredited speaking parts: A native boy. Barney Milton a blackmail victim of Denby's. Inspector Lane

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DEATH ON THE BOARDS
Script: Paul Tabori. Director: David Macdonald.

Narrator: "Audrey and Robert Parker had been happily married for fifteen years. She had been a famous ballet dancer and was now a choreographer. He was a producer and concert manager. They worked together, a perfectly matched pair. Then one evening, an old friend George Hilton, ballet and music critic, came to see them."
George (John Stuart) shows them a film of a 21 year old who had escaped from behind the Iron Curtain. Now she's in a DP camp but George believes she'd make the ideal lead for the next ballet Bob (Derek Bond) is producing. Audrey (Joan Schofield) sees it as her chance "to create a dancer," now she's unable to dance herself, having been injured in a stage accident, caused by Bob when she had tripped and fallen on an opening night. It was an accident, we think. She could never dance again.
Maria (Maureen Swanson) arrives, uncertain of her welcome, her past hard to put aside. In her posh voice Audrey issues the comforting "my dear, I'm terribly sorry."
Maria learns the British way of Ballet so well she enjoys a highly successful reception on her opening night. Audrey is "more than satisfied," Bob looks pleased, and so too is Maria thinking of them both as her parents. She gathers plenty of young admirers, including Dick Massey who unaccountably makes Bob jealous.
Now Audrey has to fly abroad on business for two weeks. Is it quite proper for Maria to stay in the house while she's away? It's Bob who poses the question but Audrey isn't worried. However while she's gone, Bob declares his love for Maria. She rejects him and he promises he won't try again. Not an entirely convincing guarantee!
When Audrey returns, she does notice Maria's "old magic gone." Audrey's suspicious, not surprising really, as when she's snoozing Bob makes a pass at Maria. It's the last straw. With George's help, Maria moves to her own apartment in Chester House.
A Dance of Death is Audrey's new ballet, appropriately set in a graveyard, staged in the very theatre where she'd had her accident. Dick wishes her all the best, arousing Bob's jealousy. Bob trips down the trapdoor to Audrey's screams, "she's killed her own husband."
Narrator: "Obsessed with the fear of losing her husband, Audrey Parker plotted Maria's death. But instead of destroying Maria, she killed her own husband. She was tried for murder and declared insane. Maria found happiness by marrying Dick Massey, but never danced again, unable to forget how Audrey tried to stage for her the dance of death"

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THE CRUEL TEST (1954)
Narrator- "Clive Hastings was a District Commissioner whose code Service To the State and the People admitted of no exception even where his own family was concerned. His post on the fringe of the jungle was a trouble spot, but up until now he'd been able to keep trouble away from his isolated home."
The depths of the studio have to make do as the wilds of Africa. We start with Clive and Edna his wife enjoying a happy meal. He's just off to court to pass sentence on the leader of a gang of robbers (Tuah Ohe). Son Ted is pleased because he's just won an art scholarship in London. But Clive plays the Roman parent: "I want you to do something useful. I'll never waste money on your so-called art."
"You'll pay for it Master Hastings," shouts the prisoner to Clive after he's sent him to jail. The Hastings' cook is girl friend to this villain and during siesta that day Clive awakes with "a terrible pain." Ted appears unconscious! Edna phones for a doctor, but the phone line's been cut. The natives have all been drugged and the jeep's immobilised. In the kitchen Edna notices poison root- so the soup was got at! Her medical training helps her make an antidote, but a gunshot from an escaped prisoner (THE escaped prisoner) smashes one dose leaving only enough for either husband or son. This dilemma is well portrayed by Joyce Heron, but Mark Dignam as Clive and Ian Whittaker as Ted are both rather too starchy.
Clive- "Go on Edna. I'm not afraid of death." Edna- "I can't kill you."
But Clive realises he's only "a glorified policeman" whilst Ted can make "a fine artist." But neither can Ted accept life "at the expense of dad's." Really it looks as though neither want to be saved!
The convict walks up to the home and starts shooting at Clive. Somehow out of it all comes a happy ending as the narrator tells us "out of the cruel test, came a new understanding for the Hastings family." A good script by the accomplished Paul Tabori, that just fails to succeed through some indifferent acting.
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THE DECEPTION
Narrator: "This is a story of the Hadley sisters. Their home was an old fashioned place which they shared with their grandfather, whom they affectionately called Pops."

Bess (Ann Stephens) is a model who enjoys the high life, and is all but engaged to Roger. Dot (Mary Parker) works at a bookshop and is to marry Martin. Finally there's plain elder sister Gwen (Marjorie Stewart) who "as a matter of duty" acts "as a mother and father" to them and Pops, who acts like "a child of five." While they are galivanting, she feels she is "too old and too ugly to ever get married."
At a party in their home, though she hasn't danced for years, she tries to do so with Roger's friend Paul Foster (Ronan O'Casey), but she falls over. "Am I so old, am I so ugly?" she asks her sisters later, as happiness seems to have passed her by. But they have no time to listen.
Flowers are delivered to their house. They're for Gwen! "To her family," says narrator Ron, "it seemed Gwen had found romance. A little late but very real."
But Paul spots she's "in love with herself," when in a tea room, he sees her writing her own messages to accompany the bouquets. A chance to earn some easy money. He could sell this story "for a lot of money." Gwen gets desperate and steals some of her sister's savings. But as Paul wants more she has only one option. She takes a gun to her next meeting with Paul. It's after this that her sisters realise they've taken Gwen too much for granted.
Ron summarises the conclusion of a good tale that perhaps lacks one final twist.

Uncredited parts include: boyfriend Roger, Mary the maid, and the waitress in the tea room
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FAME AND THE FURY

Narrator: "Guy Mitchum was a painter, talented but unrecognised and poor. He had a beautiful model who loved him, but was jealous of his work. She couldn't understand that since she was his only model, she and his work were one. He kept refusing to paint portraits of wealthy dowagers until finally his savings vanished."
Latest portrait of Celia (Sandra Dorne) by Guy (Patrick Holt with American accent) is the The Blue Nude. But for him, she's merely "an object, a body you can paint." So naturally she tires of pinching and scraping, and when pawning his grandfather's ring, Celia first encounters a wealthy 50 year old jeweller Frank (David Horne), "the first really kind person I've met in years."
But even on their wedding night she sees she has made a mistake. When he reveals his surprise, that he's bought a lonely farmhouse where they can live, Celia looks stunned.
She's bored there, drink her only comfort and even that is soon denied her.
In the paper she reads that The Blue Nude has made Guy's fame, and fortune. Speculation is rife about the identity of the model Guy had used in his paintings. Perhaps it's budding actress Angela Borday?
Celia informs the press reporter Simpson that it is she who is the model, but Guy denies all knowledge of her. She's just a "vain stupid woman, hungry for publicity." Frank casts her asde, and Guy doesn't even acknowledge her.
Narrator- "A cruel revenge? Perhaps. For months Celia went around telling everyone she was the model for the artist who'd become famous, but noone believed her. Then she disappeared. As for Guy Mitchum, he is still painting and unmarried. His friends believe that Celia was the only woman he ever really loved."

Uncredited speaking parts: Soames, the jeweller's chief clerk (Hal Osmond). The vicar. A lady guest at the wedding. The French hotel manager. A page. Mary, Celia's maid. Large guest at the art reception (Peggy Ann Clifford). Another female guest. Man with glasses. Simpson's secretary. A guest at Guy's party.
Actress Angela is in the screen credits as played by "Jeanne Wilkinson," actually Jan Holden

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RING OF GREED

"Margaret Bellamy had lived a dull life until she met Frank Bellamy. For her it was love at first sight- they were married three weeks after they first met. But one of the dangers of 'love at first sight' is that it sometimes gets out of focus."
No dialogue for the opening half minute, Margaret (Megs Jenkins) is looking pensive, then we move to Frank (Clifford Evans), a man "with a terrible temper." They have been spending their honeymoon at a rented cottage. He apologises for his outburst and to patch things up he gives her a ring. In a couple of days they are setting sail for a new life together in South Africa, on a farm that Frank has persuaded Margaret to buy, with her inheritance from Aunt Muriel who had been her only relative. It had been a stupid argument over Frank not wanting Margaret's best friend Doris to see them off at Southampton.
Alone, Margaret meets Mrs Brandt (Betty Ann Davies) who is renting the couple her cottage. It's odd because Frank said she was in Madeira. She recognises the "very unusual" ring.
In mysterious tones, she warns Margaret, that that ring had once belonged to Grace Fenton who had been killed by a violent blow from her husband John Roper. The parallels between Grace and Margaret are uncanny. But Margaret won't be convinced until she sees that the shipping ticket to South Africa is only for one person.
Mrs Brandt sums it up, "by the time anything is discovered he'll be in Australia living under another name." She dashes off to fetch the police.
Frank inevitably returns, finding a shocked Margaret left on her own. He draws the curtains. Will he club her with that stick in his hand? Have a drink he suggests. She looks worried. Her nervousness arouses Frank's suspicions. He starts to throttle her. Thankfully, the arrival of the police.
Narrator: "Almost at the last moment Margaret Bellamy was saved from a fate that had overtaken her predecessor. Heartbroken because she learned that the man she loved had married her only for her money, she was helped to recovery when his character and record were exposed at the trial. Frank Bellamy was sentenced to death for the murder of his previous wife, and such was the irony of fate, Margaret inherited his estate."

Uncredited speaking roles: the postman, the police sergeant

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THE IMPERFECT GENTLEMAN starring Jack Watling
Narrator: "This is about the unusual. A man who had everything. Charles Crichton had money and good looks, had been everywhere and as they say had seen everything. Charles led a most comfortable life; like a bachelor of distinction employed a butler, a cook and a secretary named Miss Amelia Hassock."
The opening reveals the 25 year old sleeping man about town, just back from safari. The butler brings in a well laden tray, handing his master a letter from a Cyril Benson.
"I don't know any Cyril Benson," he grunts, and then remembers: it's his butler. Benson and his cook-wife announce their plans to "go west", ie emigrate to America.
"I'll take care of everything." promises his secretary Miss Hassock (June Rodney) significantly. Yet worse is to follow as Charles learns from his lawyer Peter Brewster (Tony Quinn) that the terms of his Uncle Sinclair's will means he must marry within 14 days or be disinherited, the money going to a home for disabled archaeologists. It'll mean "goodbye to caviar and champagne."
His secretary provides a list of eligible ladies. Some are undoubtedly unsuitable: Cynthia, "she was the reason I went on safari," and Lucienne, who had an "expenditure of time and pleasure that brought no commensurate return."
Finally Charles plumps for his first choice Denise (Hildy Christian), a thrice divorced actress. But when they renew acquaintance, after she has smothered him with excited kisses, it's clear she only wants him as a prop for her career. She certainly won't give up her acting.
So on to his second choice, the "not very alluring" Hon Catherine Tussle, "no reasonable offer refused." She proves a still worse choice - she wants him to work even though he doesn't "believe in it!" The threat of cold baths and daddy's plan to turn Charles into a high powered executive stop the romance dead.
So Charles abandons his secretary's list in favour of his own choice. Another whirlwind round of clubbing with frenetic all-night dancing follows. Passionate kisses, but she only laughs when he proposes.
A dispirited Charles is consoled by Amelia, now minus glasses, who confesses she's picked out the most unsuitable women. Why? You guessed it.
As Ron our narrator concludes, "Yes, she married her boss." Then he ties up the theme of the series- "The bachelor became the perfect husband and Amelia became the perfect wife, two people caught in a vice of their own and Uncle Sinclair's choosing, and the secret of their happiness simply this- Amelia accepted Charles for exactly what he was, a charming but like most men a somewhat imperfect gentleman."

An unusual but enjoyable Vise story. The story moves at a breathtaking pace and there are some nice moments of humour en route. Jack Watling does overact, but makes it a success.
Uncredited speaking parts in this story: Benson the butler, Charles' third girlfriend, Hon Catherine, and her father

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DOUBLE PAY OFF
Hollywood starlet Francine (Mary Scott) works at the Minotaur Club, run by Mario Mancini (Denis Shaw). She oddly loves him, and is bored with being showered with gifts by dull playboy Eric Hallam (Robert Raikes), who admits to her "I hadn't done anything exciting or original in my life." She collects his latest offering, his aunt's necklace from Eric's apartment, but she won't return his favour.
At a bank, Eric notices that he is a pretty close double of the bank messenger Fred Curran (Howard Pays). He can sniff the perfect crime! He arranges to bump into Fred at the cinema and as the latter is film fan, promises to introduce him to Francine. Her part is to promise to get Fred a screen test.
Eric's plan is to let Fred "rob himself." Eric borrows Fred's Bank Identity Card and then drugs him, enabling him to take Fred's role to collect a wad of cash from a bank.
Francine however has hatched her own scheme. She's been in touch with Mario, whose gang relieve Fred of his stolen money outside this bank. For good measure they shoot him.
Narrator: "Eric recovered and served a long term in prison. Mancini and his gang were convicted of Hallam's attempted murder and are serving a life sentence for their part in the robbery. Fred Curran recovered, but he didn't go back to his job at the bank, and is now head usher at a large theatre. This was the Double Pay Off of Fate."

Uncredited small speaking parts: At the club, the doorman and the head waiter. Mr Edgley the bank clerk. The landlord. The clerk at the bank which Eric robs (Shaw Taylor)
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THE PRICE OF VANITY (1955)
Narrator: "Richard Martel was one of Europe's best known art experts. Critic and collector, he was famous for discovering lost or unknown masterpieces, and those discoveries made him a fortune. His judgment was highly respected and his advice sought by dealers and collectors. It all began in a quiet street in Chelsea, the artists' quarter in London..."
Pirelli, owner of a curio shop, pays Maria Wolff (Muriel Young) 5 for three paintings. These he sells on to Martel.
"You seem to be getting taller," remarks Pirelli to Martel (Chris Lee), an in-joke. He believes one is the genuine Casponari Madonna, lost since 1502, "I've never seen anything quite like that madonna before."
Hugo Henderson (Lloyd Lamble) organises an exhibition of Martel's finds. Anthony Wolff, a penniless artist (Eric Lander), convinces a disbelieving Martel they are fakes, painted by himself. A dilemma- Martel's reputation will be in shreds. Martel tries to cancel the exhibition but it's too late. In attendance are international experts, who endorse Martel's judgement. Wolff collars Martel, demanding his own painting skills be endorsed by this expert. An unimpressed Martel examines an example of his work, "it's rubbish," slashing the painting in his temper. The two fight. Hugo spots the likeness of the Madonna to Maria Wolff, and Martel and Wolff are exposed.
The narrator concludes, "the vanity and greed of Richard Martel led to his downfall as a critic, just as Wolff's ambition led him to artistic disaster. After the trial for fraud, Martel left the country and went to live abroad. Wolff had to serve a prison sentence, but when he came out of jail he found Maria still waiting for him. He finally discovered that his own madonna was the truest one of all."
Uncredited speaking parts: Pirelli (Andrea Malandrinos), Mrs Henderson, an art lover (Arthur Howard), Martel's butler, and the doorman at the exhibition
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MAN IN DEMAND

Narrator: "Mrs Steel lived in a small world of her own, a world that consisted of herself, her husband and her son. One day that world was shattered- her husband was killed in an automobile accident and she was crippled. A few years later fate struck again at Mrs Steel- her son John fell in love and got married. For most mothers this would have been a cause for rejoicing but for Mrs Steel it was a disaster. She saw what was left of her world slipping through her fingers."
This crabby invalid is very bitter because John (Brian Worth) got married to Carol (Dorothy Gordon) while she was recuperating in hospital after the accident, "I seem to be in everyone's way." She is cared for by them, but sets herself to turn husband against his new wife. John appears not to notice the conflict, a mother's boy at heart.
When the couple are invited to Ann and Peter's party mother has another relapse so John cannot leave her alone. Carol has to go on her own, where she encounters an old admirer, Bill Baker (who's not a very good actor). Ann (Jennifer Jayne) and Peter Standish mull over Carol's problems with her. John must be feeling guilty because he was the one driving the car when the fatal crash occurred.
Carol decides she has to leave her husband and stays with the Standishes. But consulting Dr Sim, she's persuaded to face up to the clinging Mrs Steel, "she hangs on to him like grim death." The doctor suggests ways of sorting out the issue, "as long as she stays in that chair..." is his telling phrase.
Reunited, Carol and John have a meal at Leone's, "let's try again," they agree. They reflect on that awful accident. "But she is an invalid," points out John, a seemingly decisive point. "I know she can walk," counters Carol.
They return home but mother isn't there, although the wheelchair is... empty. Carol explains the trick she has played to prove mother isn't really bound to that wheelchair. Just then, mother comes in, walking. Fortunately Carol's scheme has proved to mother that she has been very selfish.
Narrator: "Carol and John never really knew if Mrs Steel's paralysis was genuine or not. And Mrs Steel never knew the secret of the trick that cured her. But Carol had won her battle against that most powerful enemy- a possessive mother."
The climax builds up really strongly in this story by an EC Tubbs- Dorothy Gordon is ideal as the put-upon Carol, with a powerful portrayal of a selfish mother by Enid Lorimer.

Uncredited speaking roles: Peter (Terence Alexander), Bill, Miss Booth John's secretary, and Angry Woman on a phone
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THE HOMING CHINAMAN

Narrator's travelogue: "London's Limehouse district lies along the docks of the Thames river. Its population is made up of all the races and nationalities of the world. Prominent among these are the Chinese people whose ancient culture and concern with philosophy seems to set them apart from the rest. Out of their deep wisdom have come many valuable lessons. Take for example the one taught by this story..."
"Why should a man who died of double pneumonia be found on a doorstep in a building in Limehouse?" Inspector Martin Forbes (Colin Tapley) is over confident that "this should be quite easy to solve."
But when another Chinaman is found dead on the banks of the Thames, the pathologist states he was 80 years old, so, once again, there's no question of foul play.
The mystery deepends when Forbes sees Chen Li, the dead man's daughter, wearing a ring, part of the proceeds of a daring jewellery robbery by wanted man Jack Simons (Sam Kydd).
So Forbes trails her to her ex-lover Tan Pao, to whom she returns the ring in disgust. His uncle Tan Lym (Ronald Adam) is unofficial lord of the Chinese community and he actually employed the two dead men. For 50 years he has run his import/export business, which includes transporting the dead back to their homeland in suitable coffins.
Tan Pao has found a new client, Simons, who is handing over some of the stolen jewellery to pay for his escape out of England in one of the coffins, the dead Chinese who is supposed to be inside is unceremoniously dumped, hence the discovery of the two bodies earlier.
Old Tan Lym however interrupts their plan with the solemn warning, "vice meets only with an early doom."
"I didn't come here for no sermon," protests the criminal on the run, and knifes the venerable Tan. Tan Pao and Simons brawl and a fire is accidentally started.
Inspector Forbes pounces to arrest them as they escape the inferno, "out of the fire into the frying pan!"
An inscrutable tale full of variations of oriental proverbs, the best line being the description of the inspector: "his honourable bark is much worse than his dishonourable bite."

Uncredited speaking parts: A policeman who finds the first corpse. A police sergeant (Howard Lang). A fisherman who finds the second body. Dr Hyams the pathologist, a large part, he is in many scenes with Inspector Forbes

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THE RATTAN TRUNK
Narrator: "Helen Miller, young, pretty, bubbling over with good natural charm, had been a waitress in an exclusive Piccadilly tearoom, until one of the patrons, Richard Arkwright, a wealthy middle aged merchant proposed marriage and was immediately accepted. As a sort of preparation for her new state in life Arkwright took her from her dingy room to an expensively furnished West End apartment, complete even to an attractive, efficient maid."

Down-on-his-luck Bert Edwards (Barry Keegan) looks up the girl he had once been going steady with, Helen (Anne Valery). When he sees the fine jewellery she's wearing, he tells her that he needs 100, and though reluctant she agrees to let him have twelve Persian rugs to raise some cash.
They are packed into a large trunk. Helen's maid, Bessie Burton is asked to deliver it to Delaware Mews. She gets her boyfriend Nick Hughes to help, but when they get there they discover they have been sent to the wrong address. So they have to return, with the trunk.
Bert shifts it, though there is a new item inside, Helen's strangled body.
At the left luggage Euston Station, the trunk is accidentally dropped revealing its contents. Scotland Yard in the shape of Inspector Forbes is soon on the scene.
Suspicion falls on Bessie and Nick. Where is this Bert Edwards, always assuming he even exists, and where have Miss Miller's jewels gone to? Helen's brooch is found in Nick's room, though Bessie claims Helen had given it to her as an engagement present.
Narrator: "Things looked pretty black for Bessie and Nick. They had the motive and the opportunity and Inspector Forbes built up a strong circumstantial case against them. In a few days they were to be put on trial for the murder of Helen Miller. Bert Edwards, the only one who knew the truth was very careful to stay away from the police."
At the hairdressers, Bert, who wants to change his appearance, makes eyes at Suzy. She stumbles on his stolen jewels and tries to pawn them. Inspector Forbes, after questioning her, is led to Edwards. Though he denies the story, fingerprints provide an "iron-clad" case against him.
The narrator ends with a solemn word on Bert's fate.

Notes: in the extant print of The Pendulum, Jan Holden, who has top billing in this film as Bessie, is listed as "Jack Holden"!
Actors with speaking parts not credited are: Mrs Grimm, the neighbour leaning out of her window. Two porters at Euston Station who discover the body. Police Inspector Forbes. Mr Richard Arkwright. A Barber. Suzy, his manicurist (Jennifer Jayne). A pawnbroker

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The Better Chance
Nurse Penny Parker (Kay Callard) has been seeing a lot of "a nice boy," accountant George Smith (Leslie Phillips). He takes her to meet his mother (Norah Gordon), the ultimate accolade is when she shows Penny the precious family photographs. Then off they go- for a walk. Personally, she'd rather go dancing. Then he proposes, she can come and live with him and his mum.
She talks over the situation with her friend Maggie Watson (Josephine Douglas), and it is clear she likes him, but she cannot make up her mind.
In hospital she bumps into a visitor, Mark (John Witty), who takes a shine to her. Soon Penny is "living in two worlds," dating Mark but still seeing George. The old eternal triangle, not very convincingly explored, but pleasant enough in its own little way.
You can't go on like this, Maggie points out, but Penny cannot decide between George who is kind and dependable, and Mark, who happens to be very well off.
Then Mark tells her that he has fallen for her. When Penny is honest enough to tell George about it, he comes to the hospital and is suddenly far less pleasant- he threatens to wreck her life if she doesn't marry him. They go for a walk together, a little unwisely near some high cliffs. When they argue again, he falls to his death.
At the Old Bailey, Penny is on trial. A local farmer had witnessed to scene. Penny's defence lawyer questions how much the man could have seen at night, from a mile distant. He had binoculars.
Mrs Smith screams that Penny is a murderess. Maggie is feeling guilty that it was she that persuaded Penny to have it out with her fiance.
The jury return to announce their verdict, and the judge ends the case. Penny admits to Mark, "it's because of me he's dead."

Uncredited speaking roles: Hawkins, the eyewitness. The police sergeant who arrests Penny. Penny's lawyer. The prosecution lawyer (Hugh Manning?). The judge (Oliver Johnston). The clerk of the court. The foreman of the jury
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Strangle Hold
Narrator: "Peter Stanhope was young and ambitious and extremely likeable. He had come up the hard way, earning a high rank for himself during the war, and afterwards using his talent with outstanding success in business. Soon after becoming the executive of a large corporation, he became engaged to Susan Allerton, daughter of the chairman. It looked as though Peter had nothing more to worry about than the plans for his approaching wedding."
Betty Trench had been killed in an air raid, but she turns up at the home of Peter (John Bentley). They'd married in the war, she had been presumed dead. They had never got on, they don't get on now. Surprise, she's short of cash. After too much drink, she stumbles, hitting her head, so Brookes the butler (Christopher Lee) suggests he take her to a doctor he knows. Too late, "she's dead," Brookes tells his master later.
Too late now to call in the police. Peter has to be guided by Brookes. But he is lying, for Betty and he are in cahoots, planning a nasty blackmail. However the pair fall out over the money, and Edgar Brookes strangles her.
The body of a thirty year old woman is found by police. Det Insp Hunt (Colin Tapley) investigates assisted by Sgt Stevens.
Peter comes clean with Susan, wanting to inform the police. But she has other ideas. She searches Peter's home and discovers a letter hidden away, it's from Betty to her dear Ed ie Brookes. Then Susan searches Brookes' room where Betty had been in hiding, unfortunately she is interrupted by Brookes.
Det Insp Hunt is not too impressed by Peter's tale. However they all go to Brookes' room, just in time to prevent him strangling Susan. A happy kiss ends the story.
Narrator: "Brookes was convicted and paid the full price."
Uncredited actors: Sgt Stevens (Eric Lander), Charles a waiter, Miss Salhouse a secretary, and a deaf landlady (Rita Webb?)
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The Verdict
Julia Benton, the widow of Judge Benton, receives an unwelcome visitor at her home, a man with a gun, Robin. Dramatically he announces he doesn't want to rob her, but he's waiting for Harry Christy (Fred Johnson), and "Harry moves slowly." Enter the grim looking Harry in a wheelchair. Harry's just out of prison, and guess who put him there?! He recounts the sad story of how he volunteered in jail to test a new serum, which went wrong. Robin is his son, he shows Julia the pardon Harry received "out of pity for an unlucky guinea pig." But it was not a pardon for the crime he claims he never committed.
So, asks Julia Benton, now she can get in a word, why is he harrassing her? Because Mary, Harry's wife, had written to Julia asking for mercy, but her letter was returned "unopened and unread," causing her to commit suicide. Harry is here to have his case retried, "if I win, you lose. Justice wants an eye for an eye." Mrs Benton looks worried. She remembers nothing at all about this case.
Harry has called a maid and porter to act as 'judges,' to decide if his conviction was wrong- he'd been found guilty of arson at a factory where he was the manager. He'd been identified as being at the scene by Wilkie Baron, "the town liar." Though his sister Emily had made a statement saying Wilkie was asleep at the time, Judge Benton "ruled inadmissable" such evidence as the witness was suspect.
"He must have been right," claims the agitated widow. Then Harry's trump card is produced: Judge Benton was a large shareholder in the factory.
Now it's Julia's turn to speak on behalf of her dead husband with an impassioned plea. Then the perjurer himself is brought into the room, admitting he'd been paid by Simon Stanton, the factory owner to tell lies about Harry.
It's time for The Verdict. "You're insane!" trembles Julia. Harry is ready to carry out the sentence.

It's difficult to make a good complete drama with just one set, cheap, I suppose, but this rather improbable tale of revenge might have been better with some flashbacks. As it is one wonders why Harry's strong case should not have been pursued in the proper courts. However there is one good and much needed twist in the final brief scene, "Harry Christy was all mixed up." No narration either in this John Roeburt stagey playlet.

Notes: Curiously, a different character with the name Julia Benton, appears in story #5.
Uncredited speaking parts: The 'judges' Katherine the maid, and Mr Stone. Wilkie Baron. The police inspector and his assistant

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Death in White

It's the eve of the marriage of Geraldine Munsen (Jill Clifford) to Peter Granger (Ronald Leigh-Hunt). She takes a dislike to her wedding dress, and tells the designer Mme Larvin so in no uncertain terms. Miss Cartier, the assistant, has made up a dress for a celebrity, and Miss Munsen insists she borrow that- as long as it is altered. "I am sorry for her future husband."
Her former boyfriend Victor Gilbert, whom she has relieved of much of his finances, and who is no great shakes as an actor, tries to persuade Geraldine to marry him after all. He promises her that she will never marry Peter. He has her old love letters too.
Peter is sent these letters, and goes to see Geraldine urgently. She denies they are her letters. She orders him to turn up for the ceremony tomorrow.
But next morning she is found dead in her room. Papers carry the headline Wedding Dress Murder. Her burnt love letters are recovered by Insp Allen. But Allen's assistant discovers that though Granger had indeed visited her, he had left her alive, and later that night phoned her.
The big question is, who had helped Miss Munsen get into her wedding dress that night. It was impossible for her to do this without assistance. Insp Allen returns the dress to Mme Larvin and reveals who the killer is. Miss Cartier just happens to be Mrs Granger, Peter's mother, only he never knew her. In a flashback we see how Miss Munsen died. It's a cheat of an ending, but en route there are some entertaining moments, including one with the inspector and his sergeant and the dress.
Uncredited speaking parts: Victor. A waiter at the club. Two bridesmaids. A porter. The doctor. Detective Inspector Allen (Trevor Reid). His sergeant 'Jim' (Alan Tilvern). A news vendor

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BOND OF HATE
Narrator Ron Randell: "Some say that of all the human emotions, love is the strongest. Others say that hate is the most powerful of all. This is a story about a man and his wife, in which hate was stronger than love, stronger even than death."
Alice Bodmin is a frustrated ex-concert pianist (Kay Callard) whose career has been cut short by her marriage to John (Lloyd Lamble). Now, as she plays her piano at home, resentment builds up within her, that she is no longer in the public eye. She blames him. That relationship with her successful husband is so strained it means they "can't get away from each other, not even in death." Nothing can break that bond of hate. Observes a friend "it's positively out of this world how you two cling together."
John's worry increases when he finds his wife has been reading a book on poisons. Her notes make interesting reading, and he wonders if she is trying to drive him crazy. He consults a psychoanalyst friend, Dr Holt, who suggests he gets away from her for a while, taking a holiday. But she says she will come too.
The couple fly to Switzerland where the old arguments restart, after he drowns her piano playing with his laughter. It's the last straw. That night John prepares to strangle his sleeping wife. But he can't do it. He takes a mountain walk, alone. Another plan suggests itself. After lunch, they climb the mountain together, and reach Lovers' Leap, a place "not for people with weak heads." A notice reads Danger Keep Away from the Edge. Who is going to push who?
They sit to admire the view and discuss who hates who the most. She explains that she has been so unhappy, she has been wanting him to kill her, then be tried for her murder. "You're raving mad......!"
Our narrator summarises the subsequent trial. "A Bond of Hate remained unbroken even in death."
This story has plenty of dramatic music which turns the whole into melodrama, with the central characters too unconvincing to make it at all absorbing
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SIDE ENTRANCE
Barney Todd (Philip Friend) is very popular with women, or as one enemy remarks "too popular." Certainly Claire Walker (Thea Gregory) has eyes for him, which naturally annoys her older husband Tom (John Loder), "you didn't look tired when you talked with that young man." It's that age old problem of the age difference in a marriage. "You always do get what you want," she tells him, simply because he has the money. There's the rub, for Barney "can't afford a wife."
While Tom is trying to date his young secretary Sally, and is ostensibly arranging a business trip to Paris, Claire is deepening her liaison with Barney, "come to the side entrance," she warns him. They start kissing but then Tom enters. He doesn't seem too bothered and even encourages her, "Todd might spare you a few hours to keep you amused." Todd looks suitably pleased! Claire is puzzled as she snidely comments to Tom, "I thought I wasn't to smile at a man, unless it's profitable to you."
Interjects a narrator, "all power corrupts sooner or later, and an idea grew in Tom Walker's mind." The idea is finalised when Claire, off with Barney for a weekend playing polo in the country, says goodbye with this Parthian shot to Tom, "you're getting fat and disgusting!" But is Barney Todd really in love with her? Actually, he doesn't seem that keen on marriage.
Tom commences his plan by showing Barney his gun. Unsuspicious Barney admires it, dabbing it with his prints.
Phase 2 - Tom returns home unexpectedly to his wife who is sleeping alone, "opportunity only knocks once," he announces. "Don't be a fool Tom," are the last words she ever utters.
Phase 3 - a second return of Tom, to discover his dead wife. Crouching over the corpse is Barney.
A policeman solves the crime with the help of Joe, a waiter. Ill luck for Tom that Joe happened to notice him leaving after the killing, The game's up for Tom. There are some final dramatic gunshots. Declares the inspector, "you've got a lot to answer for."

Quite an interesting storyline, John Loder's tempestuous relationship with Thea Gregory is portrayed with all the calm expertise of professionals who know exactly what the next line is.

Notes: uncredited speaking parts: Tom's secretary Sally (Jennifer Jayne). The police inspector (Arnold Bell). 'Mac,' a guest at the Walkers' party. Joe the waiter. Harry the janitor.
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THE SEARCH FOR MARTHA HARRIS

This introduction is read by Lloyd Lamble, "the village of Denscot is only thirty miles from London, but when you get there you feel a few centuries away in time. In some ways of course the twentieth century has reached Denscot, but generally things go on much the same way as they've always done."

"Mighty obliging fellow" Fred Harris (John Horsley who seems uncomfortable in this role) doesn't seem to notice his wife Martha (Jenny Laird) is working too hard. Indeed he is "never even at home half the time." After the village dance which she's helped to arrange, Martha asks Mrs Giffley (Norah Gordon) if she can talk over her problems. But before she can do so, she has disappeared. Noone has seen her since the village coach trip. In fact the takings from the dance have also gone missing.
When she fails to appear after a few days Fred starts to crack up. But then chief gossipmonger Mrs Mabel Scott is murdered. Time for the Yard to be called in.
The narrator steps into the story as Insp Ware, and listens to all the village tittle tattle and interviews Mrs Giffley who doesn't believe Mrs Harris stole the money. In fact she doesn't believe Martha went on that trip at all. Everyone seems to have their own theory about what has happened. But the fact is, noone has seen her since the dance. The inspector finds an ally in Tom Seddon, Martha's brother (Scott Saunders). He had received a note from his sister asking if she could have a chat with him. What had been on her mind?
That evening Tom finds Martha's ticket for the outing. That proves she definitely hadn't been on the trip. With an antagonistic Fred, he talks over the possibilities of what happened to Martha the night of the dance. Who stole the money? Who's Vera, whom Fred had been seeing? Fred realises Tom is trying to trick him into a confession. He gets all flustered and the pair fight, "you'll never live to tell the tale," shouts the frantic Fred.
Narrator: "Martha Harris was found, her bruised body wrapped in a bag... in a newly dug grave. Harris paid on the gallows proving once more that even buried in the darkness of the earth, Murder will Out." (I suspect this must have been the intended title for this film).

Speaking parts in this film, uncredited in the titles: Mrs Scott, Customer in pub (Ewen Solon), PC Fielding (Frank Hawkins), Barman (Len Sharpe), and his wife Jeannie Bain

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DEAD MAN'S EVIDENCE
Narrator, to pictures of night time theatreland- "Shaftesbury Avenue, off Piccadilly Circus is the main street of London's theatre world, London's Broadway. The lights may not be as big and bright as Broadway but it's quite as tough to get your name up there. This is a story of a young man who tried to get to the top. Rex Stone was directing rehearsals of a new play..."

"Maybe you'll believe me now, you're the only woman I ever loved," is the opening line we see, uttered by actor Dick Burley (Brian Worth) to Helen (Honor Blackman). She's the leading lady, the star, married to ambitious director Rex (John Stone), who appears to have married her for her connections. Julie (Brenda Hogan) is the young actress who's just been shot in the play, and if Helen knew about her and Rex, there might be a real life killing.
Dick happens to spot them kissing and seizes his opportunity for blackmail, demanding his salary be doubled. Rex has little choice and they reach an understanding. After the first night, critics have nothing but praise for Helen's performance, but are less kind on the director. Dick gets greedy and asks for a thousand pounds. Rex has to give him a cheque but they argue and in the subsequent fight it leads to Dick's accidental death. Rex persuades Helen to make it look as though he died in a car crash.
However Inspector Cox (John Longden) starts asking awkward questions, like what was the 1,000 cheque for? Though Rex spins a plausible yarn, it's not his day. Helen learns about his affair and overhears Rex admitting to Julie how Dick had died. Inspector Cox learns a fact that Rex could not have known, that Dick could not have driven that crashed car.
The closing narration, "Rex was charged with manslaughter and eventually convicted. Only Helen's loyalty saved him from the graver charge of murder on a dead man's evidence."
Not a bad story with a good final twist.
Uncredited speaking role: the police pathologist
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STRANGER IN TOWN
One of the richest of debs, Barbara Fuller is going partying with her latest admirer, Carlos. But next morning, she has not returned home.
Her worried mother informs the Missing Persons Department at Scotland Yard, where Inspector Forbes (Barry Keegan) offers soothing words and promises to investigate. He starts with Barbara's long time friend Laura, a singer at the Pelican Club. She tells him about Larry (Neil Hallett), who is Barbara's fiance, as well as manager of the club. He had asked his fiancee to collect the "very romantic" Carlos who was flying in from Rio to appear at the club. Barbara was to meet him in Paris.
Larry is shocked to hear that Barbara is missing. But he isn't entirely surprised because he had received a letter from her explaining she was eloping with Carlos. It had been posted in Paris.
Barbara had withdrawn a large sum of money, now where is she? Not in France, according to French police. There's a report that Carlos is staying at the Grand Hotel with "his wife." But this is nothing but a comedy interlude, for this Carlos is here with his wife and six children!
In the Left Luggage office at Victoria station, two porters find a body in a trunk. It is Barbara, strangled.
Inspector Forbes has worked out how it was done. He confronts the killer with a neat explanation of his complex scheme, seen in flashback. "It's a lie!"
Uncredited speaking roles: The unseen narrator is Alan Tilvern. Betty the maid (Vivien Merchant). Laura Clark. Two porters in the left luggage office- their scene is very similar to one in #37 The Rattan Trunk

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BY PERSONS UNKNOWN
Well acted intriguing little love triangle. There are two strands to this low key thriller and the interest is in working out how the two are interrelated and guessing the final denouement.

There is an audio introduction, not in Ron Randell or John Bentley's voice. Who is this disembodied voice, that's the mystery. It starts: "This is Robert Craig, businessman, a hard ambitious man, a man who lets nothing stand in his way, a man with his own problems."
Bob is a ruthess employer, sacking one man because he'd been late three times, tough with everyone except secretary Sally, with whom he's in love. He promises to tell his wife he's leaving her, at the right time. But she's tired off his delaying tactics.
The second strand takes place at the office of Inspector Tom Harding (John Warwick). A report reaches him of a girl who has died of three stab wounds. Evidence points to a tall right handed man. At the scene is a message "THIS IS THE FIRST THERE WILL BE MORE," in words clipped from various newspapers. Is it another Ripper? But the murder appears motiveless.
At home over breakfast next day Bob's wife Celia (Catherine Finn) is puzzled why Bob told her he'd been to a concert which she's now read in the papers was cancelled. "You want to know too much," he shouts at her unpleasantly.
Harding finds it hard to find a motive when he investigates a second killing of a 38 year old teacher. Another 'newspaper' message, but "no pattern to the murders." "The usual murderer isn't given to exhibitionism."
Next evening Bob stays at home listening to the radio, and Celia tries to discuss the murders with him. "It could happen to anyone," she observes, ominously. Fed up, Bob goes for a walk, so he says. No surprise that there is a third death, but this time Harding has a witness. However the description proves disappointingly vague.
Back at home Celia discovers in her husband's desk some newspapers with headlines cut from them. She gueses the truth and phones the police. Of course at this moment her husband returns home.
Though a rather plodding drama, the final scene is quite tense. Bob tells Celia she's to be the fourth victim, another woman apparently killed in a motiveless attack. But Inspector Harding arrives to prevent her murder. Bob points a gun and runs off, but a constable waiting outside apprehends him
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KILLER AT LARGE (1955)

"They listen to you, they get the shivers, almost the chill of death." So says Spilvaney, about Archie's piano playing at his London nightclub. His music is "too blue, too sick. After a while it's like a nightmare set to music." As for the twisted and jaded Archie himself, Spilvaney states with brutal honesty, "you hate yourself and you hate the world."

This world weary Archie (Ronan O'Casey) thinks about "the soul of man" as he plays into the night. When he finally leaves the club it's 3.30am, but he doesn't get home until 6am, at least according to Madeline his wife (Mary Laura Woods). It's long been all over between them for she is having an affair with Spilvaney.
But during this time The Slasher has killed another victim, and carelessly left behind one clue, a seahorse cufflink, very like one Archie wears. But it is a very common type.
Archie can't find one of his! Inspector Wingate (Lloyd Lamble) is naturally suspicious. He warns Archie and hounds him to get the truth out of him. Archie, he discovers, is a Jekyll and Hyde character with a history of insanity. Could he have forgotten committing such a crime? Archie begins to think so himself.
An insomniac, Mrs Styles (Elsie Wagstaff) comes forward. She had been awake at 4am and had spotted The Slasher. So can she identify Archie? She looks at him. She's not certain, but it is like him, and she adds in a deliciously dramatical line, "if he is the black demon, may they hang him from the high tower." The unmoved inspector adds, "you're a man out of step with the world."
When Madeline 'finds' Archie's blood-stained knife and suit, he resolves to end it all. As he leaves to jump in the river she smiles triumphantly.
But Wingate catches up with Archie in time, explaining a chap named Corville has been arrested as The Slasher.
"You saved my life," responds Archie glumly, "but I don't know if I'm grateful."
This is realistic drama, therefore rather depressing!

Uncredited speaking part: The jewellery salesman (John Martin)
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GIFT FROM HEAVEN
Script: Kent Taylor. Director: Ernest Morris.

Here's a slow moving plot that matches well the drawl of master actor Patrick McGoohan.
In mid air, a plane explodes, no survivors. Bill Kent (Colin Croft) is an eyewitness and by the wreckage he makes a lucky find of some diamonds. Temptation to keep them is great, though his wife Diana (Mary Laura Woods) wants him to hand over the jewellery to the police. Bill argues "they fell out of the sky into my hands," and believes it's a heaven sent chance for them to get rich quick.
It's possible that he knows his wife is cheating with Tony Mason (McGoohan). Nevertheless Bill approaches private investigator Tony to find a fence. Tony later tells Diana he won't help Bill out, but then arranges with Sam of Star Jewellery Essex Street to offer a mere 10,000 for stones worth three times that figure.
Diana tries to persuade Bill against the deal, "it won't work out the way you think." It certainly won't as she tips off Inspector Hart (Frank Hawkins uncredited) but Bill gets away after the raid by Hart's assistant Greig, overhearing that his wife has squealed on him.
The final scene has a nice tense finish as we await Bill's return home. Diana waits nervously too. She is phoning someone called "Johnny" (Tony?) but is interrupted by her embittered husband

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SECOND SIGHT

Working on his latest detective novel, Frank Granger (Jack Watling) is interrupted by a stranger knocking at his door. The man says his wife Pat Conway (Gene Anderson) has had a "fainting spell" so Frank volunteers to go to the drug store to buy some medicine for her.
"Plenty of the right stuff here," says Pat, suddenly regaining consciousness after Frank has left. The couple plan to ransack his home, but "this job is going to be different," the man says.
When Granger returns with the medicine, he finds her shot. She has time only to utter the traditional final word. That word is "Brahmin." Her husband has disappeared.
Naturally Frank phones the police. Inspector Horton finds the story hard to swallow, a creation of a fertile mind. The writer's response is to refer to his books:
"There's always a scene where the detective - - - not too bright - - - tries to pin the crime on an innocent man."
At Scotland Yard, despite appearances, Horton is convinced. "In my next novel, " jokes Granger, "the detective will be bright enough to sparkle!"
Arriving home, he sees the double of the dead girl, very much alive. It's her twin sister Janet. She explains that her sister was friendly with a pianist at the Midnight Club called Temple, but of course he's shot at his piano before Frank and Janet can talk to him. "Death seems to follow you around," wryly observes the policeman.
However Frank finds one clue, the address of Vincent Brahmin who turns out to be a "hack palm reader" in the Penny Arcade in Piccadilly.
Home again and with the inspector and Brahmin present, Granger announces that everything that happened that fateful night is going to recur - it starts with the arrival of the 'dead girl,' Janet posing as her twin sister. "No, I don't believe it. I killed you!" confesses Brahmin.

Uncredited speaking roles: the female chemist. Pianist Roy Temple.
The credits list 'Janet Conway,' though in the story she is Miss Janet Clark

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GOOD NAME MURDER

Narrator in poetic mood: "Shakespeare said something about a man's good name being the jewel of the soul. Ronald Briggs was a man who felt the same way. He lived all his life in the picturesque village of Darton and by the time he was thirty he had built up a fine reputation. Then one day big news, exciting news to the quiet village, appeared in the newspaper delivered regularly to the Briggs household."
The main character is named Ronald Briggs (Lee Patterson), a happily married 'real estate' agent, who gets the chance to meet the celebrated actress Sylvia Pemberton (Isabel Dean), who is recuperating at The Crown and Bull. His boss tells him to show her some local properties in Elmwood (this name despite the introduction), since she is temporarily retiring to the country because of her weak heart. She wants to find "a place of charm," or maybe she means A Man of Charm. Ronnie fits the bill, he is an amateur dramatics producer himself, who senses a kindred spirit who might further his career. In fact it is she who makes eyes at him, she has "an infatuation with good looking young men." She confides in Philip her ex-lover that she loves Ronald. After an exhaustive round of house hunting she finds a lovely home, will Ronald join her in a celebratory drink? No, he's worried about local gossip. But he can't resist her advances and they kiss. They declare their love.
But as they do so, our narrator speeds on the story chipping in with, "But he didn't love her. He was flattered by her attention, but he was also frightened... He came to see her every day for a week. Then he began to avoid her, and that's how trouble began. Sylvia Pemberton's demands on Ronnie's time and attention began to increase. There were arguments and quarrels every day."
Sensing his disinterest, Sylvia invites herself round to meet Ronnie's wife, Laura, for a little chat. But Sylvia is found dead. Was it her weak heart? No, Philip finds a glass by her body, with traces of potassium cyanide. So was it suicide?
The police question Ronnie in depth. Can they break down his alibi? In a flashback we see what actually occurred. "I don't want any scandal," he had admitted to her. Gradually the police wear Ronnie down. "I had to protect my name," he confesses.

Uncredited speaking parts: Pete Hewlett, Briggs' boss. Philip Twyford (John Phillips). The barman at The Crown and Bull. An Elmwood police constable. The police inspector

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SNAPSHOT (1955)
A hot day, and an even hotter argument between Stella Grant (Dorothy Gordon) and Martin Wallace her fiance (Philip Friend), because he has suggested that they see each other less often. Obviously it's the brush off, there must be another woman, and finding a letter from Janet, wife of Martin's publisher Roger Lake is the evidence Stella fears.
She walks out with a Parthian shot, "I'm not going to be a fool Martin, not any more." What does he do? He phones Janet, whom he calls "darling" and arranges to meet her at her weekend cottage off the 8.15pm train at Elstree and Borehamwood.
Roger Lake, her husband and Martin's publisher, is away for the weekend, naturally, but the unexpected happens when Roger comes home for an early evening meal, a business deal having fallen through.
Janet dashes off to the station to warn Martin, but an eager photographer snaps their picture together. He hangs around, taking tourists' photographs (at that time of night at Borehamwood?!). Martin wisely purchases the whole roll of film for a fiver.
When Janet returns she finds her husband shot dead, shot through the curtain at close range. But as he was supposed to be away for the weekend, who knew he was there? This is the puzzle facing Inspector Chester (John Harvey), a familiar figure in the later Vise stories in the Mark Saber series, though he was then played by Frank Hawkins.
The murder weapon is .28 Biretta, "just the sort of gun a woman might carry in her purse." Moreover Janet claims she went into Boreham to buy some cigarettes, but she still has some in the house! Martin's behaviour is also suspicious, as he denies any romantic attachment to Janet.
Stella tells Insp Chester about her broken engagement with Martin who fortunately for him has decided to come clean about his romance with Janet. He invites Chester round to his flat to tell him about the photo, but he returns to find Stella searching through his belongings. Martin realises Roger has been shot in mistake for himself, "you killed Roger Lake thinking it was me!"
Stella draws a gun. She must retrieve that negative of her at the station from the roll Martin had bought. She shoots, "you'll never see her again now."
At a very inopportune moment for her, in walks Chester. She claims Martin has shot himself but our detective isn't that green, "I'd do it again," she tells him.

Uncredited actors with speaking roles: the photographer, and Wayne Mason the fingerprint expert
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