Hi-Jackers / Smokescreen [DVD]
Get £1 Off Amazon Video*
Frequently Bought Together
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Double Bill: Hi-Jackers - Terry, a lorry driver, meets Shirley at a roadside cafe and offers her a lift. His truck carrying a valuable shipment of whiskey is later hijacked, but who tipped off the hijackers? Smokescreen - A parsimonious insurance assessor is assigned the task of investigating the mysterious death of a businessman. Was it an accident? Suicide or something more sinister?
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
The weaker of the two movies is The Hi-Jackers (1963), made by the journeyman director Jim O' Connolly under the banner of Butcher's Film Distributors, and starring Till Death Us Do Part's Anthony Booth as a lorry driver targeted by gentleman thief Derek Francis' hold-up gang. The movie's premise and story are actually quite original, and the surprisingly charismatic Booth is convincing as the `have-a-go' hero. We get nice support from jobbing actors like Arthur English and the ubiquitous Marianne Stone, and a couple of witty lines here and there. However, where the film fails to convince is in its portrayal of the criminal mob; Francis' `mastermind' is a middle class fop who enjoys cosy picnics with his `boys' after each successful job, and the gang is made up of nothing but stock stereotypes. Particularly unfortunate is that the name of the Francis character happens to be `Jack Carter', inviting unwelcome comparisons with the Mike Hodges / Michael Caine classic Get Carter (1971), an infinitely more compelling and realistic look at organised crime.Read more ›
Further into his journey, McKinley is tricked into stopping to help a man in the road, and is promptly attacked and robbed of his lorry and it's contents by the hijack gang, (led by Derek Francis).
The fledgling romance between McKinley and the young woman is kept firmly on the back burner, as the couple then set about trying to track down the criminals. The supporting cast includes Patrick Cargill and Arthur English.
The next movie, "Smokescreen" is one of low-budget Butchers film studio's finest, with excellent characterisations as well as good performances.
In this 1964 production, Peter Vaughan plays the part of insurance assessor Mr Roper, who is dispatched to Brighton by his boss to investigate a suspicious insurance claim following a man's death, was it an accident, suicide, or murder? the quitely diligent Roper now sets about questioning those who knew the man.
There's a pleasing dash of humour provided by Roper's penny-pinching character, the reason for which is eventually revealed.
Solid support is provided by John Carson, Gerald Flood, Glyn Edwards, and Yvonne Romain as the dead man's wife, there's also a brief but enjoyable appearance from Deryck Guyler as a train station master.
"The Hi-Jackers" was made in 4:3 picture format, and runs for 66 minutes approx. "Smokescreen" is a 16:9 widescreen presentation, and runs for 71 minutes approx. Both movies have been digitally remastered, and offer excellent picture and sound quality. There are no extras or subtitles.
For Butchers films aficionados, these movies are essential viewing. For fans of vintage British B-movies of the 50's/60's, this double bill is well worth a look.
Of course the plot is important and also the novelty of being arguably the only film to have starred Peter Vaughan. There are cameos by Deryck Guyler, Sam Kydd and an uncredited Damaris Hayman, who all deliver quality performances.
I scanned the schedules for years afterwards and managed to video it on my second attempt - it was always broadcast in the small hours. It has not been broadcast for about 10 years now.
I cannot speak for the other film on this DVD, except to say that in my opinion this double bill is not a waste of money and will entertain beyond the mere plot and characterisation. Smokescreen at least is a valuable time capsule of British film-making before the agonising decline from the late 1960s onwards.
This DVD is cheaper than a round of drinks and will deliver more value. If you love British film, add this to your collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I remember seeing this many years ago and being absolutely riveted! Read more
Love these old movies ...good actors good plots what more do you want .highly recommend .Published 9 months ago by robert b bryant