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Scotland Yard introduced by Edgar Lustgarten
on 7 March 2013
This is one of the best birthday presents I've ever had (but I had to buy it myself!). Having now watched all 39 films (and starting to watch them again), I can tell you they are great. The monocrome picture and sound quality are generally excellent and the stories are very good - as usual some are better than others, but all very watchable. It's great to see some of the actors before they became famous. I noticed a young(ish) Ballard Berkeley (the major in 'Fawlty Towers') playing an inspector in one film.
It is, of course, the great Mr Edgar Lustgarten who holds the stories together with his calm and well-mannered introduction, narratives and conclusion to each film. In some of the early episodes, Mr Lustgarten will take a stroll across his study, over to his drinks cabinet and, chatting away to his audience, will pour himself out what looks like an extremely large cognac. That's the way to do it.
As I find myself with some time to spare to devote to this review, I thought I would provide you with plenty of helpful details about the films off the DVD box cover, so that you can see exactly what you are getting for the money (about £40+ at the moment).
This is what it says on the box:
"Scotland Yard was perhaps the best-known series to emerge from Anglo-Amalgamated's output of crime drama. Shot as cinema support features at the company's Merton Park Studios in South Wimbledon, these half-hour thrillers based on real-life cases from the vaults of London's Metropolitan Police headquarters - were a successful regular feature in cinemas over nearly a decade from the early 1950s onwards."
"Like sister series Scales of Justice (also available from Network), Scotland Yard is introduced by celebrated writer and criminologist Edgar Lustgarten and presents case after intriguing case, with many solved onscreen by the redoubtable Inspector Duggan (played by Australian-born Russell Napier). This set comprises all 39 films, also featuring appearances by Harry H. Corbett, Peter Bowles, John Le Mesurier, Peter Arne and Robert Raglan, among many others."
Regular cast members:
Insp./Supt.Duggan/ Insp. Harmer RUSSELL NAPIER
Insp.Hammond RONALD ADAM
Sgt.Graham GEOFFREY KEEN
Insp.Ross/Baker KENNETH HENRY
Sgt.Mason ARTHUR GOMEZ
Narrated by EDGAR LUSTGARTEN
Produced By ALEC C. SNOWDEN (1953-57)and
JACK GREENWOOD (1958-61)
Associate Producer JIM O'CONNOLLY
1. THE DRAYTON CASE (1953)
The aftermath of a wartime air raid reveals the body of a murdered woman.
2. THE MISSING MAN (1953)
The dream of a retired vicar's wife sets police on the trail of a man who has been missing since 1938.
3. THE CANDLELIGHT MURDER (1953)
An inspector unmasks the killer of an elderly hermit.
4. THE BLAZING CARAVAN (1954)
A salesman turns murderer after learning that one of his clients has just won the football pools.
5. A DARK STAIRWAY (1954)
A blind man who is witness to a murder on a darkened stairway is asked to identify the killer.
6. LATE NIGHT FINAL (1954)
A routine investigation by the police into Joe Burrage unveils a thrilling tale of the man who died twice!
7. FATAL JOURNEY (1954)
A happlily married husband living in an isolated location returns home to find his wife collapsed on the floor.
8. THE STRANGE CASE OF BLONDIE (1954)
A cat burglar adopts an unexpected disguise..
9. THE SILENT WITNESS (1954)
The strange case of the self-confessed killer who almost escaped the full weight of the law.
10. PASSENGER TO TOKYO (1954)
A highly unusual operation helps track down the killer of a wealthy woman sent to Tokyo in a trunk.
11. NIGHT PLANE TO AMSTERDAM (1955)
The case of a murder which baffled the police in two countries.
12. THE STATELESS MAN (1955)
A late night crime in London's dockland baffles the police.
13. THE MYSTERIOUS BULLET (1954)
A ballistics expert attempts to track down the killer of a widow's fiance.
14. MURDER ANONYMOUS (1955)
An inspector sets out to prove that a blind man murdered his wife's lover.
15. THE WALL OF DEATH (1956)
A murder at a fairground proves a puzzling case for the police.
16. THE CASE OF THE RIVER MORGUE (1956)
The police are summoned when a dead body is stolen from the morgue.
17. DESTINATION DEATH (1956)
A body at London Airport,a photograph and a flask containing poison lead Scotland Yard to Lisbon.
18. PERSON UNKNOWN (1956)
A Polish spy changes places with a would-be assassin.
19. THE LONELY HOUSE (1957)
A trap is laid for a couple running a phoney dating agency whose unsuspecting clients are tricked into proposals of marriage, and murdered.
20. BULLET FROM THE PAST (1957)
An inspector investigating the shooting of an insurance agent finds a connection to cold case from years before.
21. INSIDE INFORMATION (1957)
A murder hunt is launched the morning after Bonfire Night, when it emerges that a real body was used as the 'guy'.
22. THE CASE OF THE SMILING WIDOW (1957)
A combination of chance and hard work by the police lead them to question the circumstances of an apparent suicide.
23. THE MAIL VAN MURDER (1957)
Supt. Hammond hunts down the boss of a gang that stole a mail van.
24. THE TYBURN CASE (1957)
Supt. Reynolds intends to prove that a lawyer drowned a widow for the insurance money.
25. THE WHITE CLIFFS MYSTERY (1957)
A dead rocket engineer was being blackmailed. But why - and by whom?
26. NIGHT CROSSING (1957)
The quiet of an idyllic port town is shattered when a body is found on the beach.
27. PRINT OF DEATH (1958)
A payroll van pulled over by a police car - the guards are shot and the payroll stolen.
28. CRIME OF HONOUR (1958)
A Thames Estuary dredger drags a man's body from the bed of the river.
29. THE CROSS-ROAD GALLOWS (1958)
A farmer finds caravanners trespassing on his land - attempts to rouse the occupants find dead bodies inside.
30 THE UNSEEING EYE (1958)
A nightworker returning home through a sleeping London Street sees smoke and flame coming from a building.
31. THE GHOST TRAIN MURDER (1959)
A Hungarian girl is found murdered at a fairground; she has been stabbed by knitting needles.
32. THE DOVER ROAD MYSTERY (1960)
A stolen car is used in a bank robbery. Unknown to the police, it has been tuned up to go faster - and proves too fast for the squad car.
33. THE LAST TRAIN (1960)
Duggan investigates a murder in the London Underground.
34. EVIDENCE IN CONCRETE (1960)
Initially thought to be an accident, a young girl's body found near a busy motorway, is eventually found to be something more sinister.
35. THE SILENT WEAPON (1961)
A horse rider is found dead in what comes to be revealed as suspicious circumstances.
36. THE GRAND JUNCTION CASE (1961)
A woman's dismembered body is found in a canal, and her edelweiss tattoo gives Duggan a vital lead.
37. THE NEVER NEVER MURDER (1961)
A dead body found in a demolished building set the police on the track of a fraudster.
38. WINGS OF DEATH (1961)
A light aeroplane comes down in Kent, killing the pilot. Inspector Hammond discovers the crash was no accident...
39. THE SQUARE MILE MURDER (1961)
When a travel agency is burgled by a safe breaker, Superintendent Hicks is brought in to solve the case.