This double bill of black and white Butchers B-movies opens with "The Hi-Jackers". Made in 1963, this entertaining crime story sees Anthony Booth in the lead role, playing long-distance lorry driver Terry McKinley, who picks up an hitch-hiker, Shirley (played by Jacqueline Ellis).
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.