With confidence in Network to deliver the goods I pre-ordered volumes one & two of this title at the same time. After past disappointments it was great to discover that both volumes are the real deal. As with vol 1, the black & white prints used for this release are excellent, with good sound quality. These B-movie support features from the early 1960's have acquired a bit of a cult status over the years. I cannot remember exactly when these mystery/crime dramas were last broadcast on terrestrial TV but it must be around 30 years ago, and even then they had a great nostalgic feel to them. Back then I had no idea that so many shared my enthusiasm for them. Penned by prolific thriller writer Edgar Wallace, with each movie clocking in at a little under the hour mark, the stories are often suspenseful & have a pleasing noir feel, along with a wonderfully dated appearance. The storytelling, the styles, all the ingredients emphasise the era in which these quality vintage crime dramas (produced at Merton Park studios) were made, and are a very entertaining way to escape into another world. A decent sprinkling of familiar faces (see below) put in good performances. With the picture quality of this release, fans of the genre can buy with confidence.
Among the extras is a bonus film made by Independent Artists Ltd - "The White Trap"...a thriller which was made around the same time as this collection. There are no subtitles.
*The White Trap (see details below).
*Illustrated 11-page booklet by author & critic Kim Newman.
As with vol 1, the 3 discs are stored in a single-size DVD case which features an episode synopsis on the inside, which is as follows....
*MAN AT THE CARLTON TOWER...Lew Daney, chief suspect in a jewel robbery and an ensuing murder, vanishes leaving no trace. Hot on his trail are two men - an ex-policeman and Daney's ex-partner in crime...
Starring Maxine Audley, Lee Montague, Alfred Burke and Terence Alexander. Directed by Robert Tronson.
*CLUE OF THE SILVER KEY...The murder of wealthy money-lender Harvey Lane was perhaps no great loss to his business associates, but to Superintendent Meredith of Scotland Yard it was a case of murder.
Starring Bernard Lee, Lyndon Brook, Finlay Currie, Jennifer Daniel and Patrick Cargill. Directed by Gerard Glaister.
*ATTEMPT TO KILL...An attempt is made on the life of Frank Weyman. Two suspects emerge - one is his estranged wife and the other is his employee.
Starring Derek Farr, Tony Wright and Richard Pearson. Directed by Royston Morley.
*MAN DETAINED...A burglary is discovered at the offices of a photographic company, and the owner seems anxious to hush up the theft. His secretary, however, believes something to be terribly wrong...
Starring Bernard Archard, Elvi Hale, Paul Stassino and Michael Coles. Directed by Robert Tronson.
*NEVER BACK LOSERS...An insurance investigator tackles a vicious gambling ring.
Starring Jack Hedley, Jacqueline Ellis, Patrick Magee and Derek Francis. Directed by Robert Tronson.
*THE SINISTER MAN...Superintendent Wills investigates the theft of some mysterious oriental tablets. When a body is dragged from the Thames, the victim's violent demise is attributed to someone with martial arts skills.
Starring John Bentley, Patrick Allen and Jacqueline Ellis. Directed by Clive Donner.
*BACKFIRE!...Venetia Beauty Preparations is a symbol of success in the thriving cosmetics industry. Housed in a modern luxurious factory with a large staff, everything points to prosperity - or so it seems!
Starring Alfred Burke, Zena Marshall and Oliver Johnston. Directed by Paul Almond.
*SPECIAL FEATURE - THE WHITE TRAP...Paul Langley has racked up a number of unsuccessful escape attempts from prison, but now his wife is pregnant and frightened he makes one last effort to reach her.
Starring Lee Patterson, Conrad Phillips and Michael Goodliffe.