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The Long Arm [DVD]
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Superior police procedural drama, with a strong cast, from 1956 that portrays solid and patient police work without any of the psychological undertones more prevalent in the 'noir' thrillers of the same period. This film follows a team of British coppers, led by Supt. Tom Halliday (Jack Hawkins), as they try to solve a complex case involving a series of burglaries.
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Top Customer Reviews
Contrary to other reviews of this DVD the copy I recently bought has no audio problems; sound is as crystal clear throughout as the image, which is exceptional - as good as anything put out by Criterion, for example.
Added to which - what a lovely film!
This is so cheesy by modern standards that it's almost a self-parody - almost, but not quite. (In fact I did burst out laughing when Jack Hawkins was speculating about 'chummy', with a anguished look on his face). Nevertheless, it still manages to tell a great story and has some glorious outdoor photography of the period, especially central London. Hawkins is great, playing his role with dogged determination and typical British resolve.
Another thing that strikes me watching these old b/w films is just how brilliantly even the minor characters are played. Watch out for Meredith Edwards - the garage owner in Wales, and particularly the flawless understated acting of the woman in her only scene who offers Hawkins a cup of tea, but he declines).
Great fun from a long gone era and highly recommended for many reasons including, but not limited to, the story.
1st class acting by all with some genuinly heart warming banter between the characters particularly Jack Hawkins and Meredith Edwards(the garage owner in Wales)...........Oh and look out for a young Stratford Johns as a Chester Police Constable with one line to deliver when Hawkins comes 'up north' Good production values too as Johns even has the Prince of Wales feathers on his tunic eppaulettes..Wow what detail for a 4 second scene! Only downside being the poor sound quality at times noticably during the search of the Ford Pilot at the police garage when vital evidence is recovered. Still a good film to keep.
Jack Hawkins is the over-worked Police detective, given the task of cracking the case, before the clever burglar cracks another safe. However, it isn't as easy as all that. The burglar is dead and he doesn't crack safes, he opens them with a third key (hence the American title for this film "The Third Key"). The crime of burglary becomes murder, when the deadly wife of the "dead" safe-cracker, aims the getaway car at the night watchman and runs him over, in her desperate bid to get away.
A trip to Wales in a Rolls Royce, a missed trip to Farnborough airshow with his lad and the detective is now firmly on the case! The net is closing on the criminals and there's only one place to catch them: at the Royal Festival Hall.
A good plot, a quality cast and the usual, polished acting of Jack Hawkins, makes this a film to watch and keep! It's good to see it out on DVD!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Full of twists and turns Obviously a bit dated but the plot is good and plausible.Published 2 months ago by Brian Moss
Another of my favourite actors who can do no wrong. This film is quite pedestrian but the plot is good and the tension is built up very well. Read morePublished 3 months ago by TeeBee
Had seen it on tv. My husband loved it, so i bought it for him. He's happy.Published 4 months ago by Elizabeth Harvey.
Picture quality excellent. Sound, however varied on two different dvd players. On one it was very good, however, transferring to another player in the house, the menu sound was... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Allan Broadfield
No mobile phones or computers to help all figured by brain power,superb entertainment .Published 6 months ago by David Colman