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on 20 October 2012
Like many, I have been waiting for these 60s classics to be released and now we have them all together in one package. Each episode is truly great nostalgic entertainment for anyone who can remember them first time around.
However, I do have two small criticisms.
Firstly, the sound quality on a couple of the color episodes is a little dissappointing.
Secondly, why do STUDIO-CANAL have to put their 20 second advertising logo film at the start of every episode
rather than just once at the start of the DVD? I find it rather annoying continually seeing this so many times
throughout a single DVD. Obviously, STUDIO-CANAL are one of those awful new companies who want to keep reminding
people they own the material. Additionally, I find the STUDIO-CANAL advertising film rather unpleasant (the clouded sky with the strange and disconcerting sounds)anyone else agree with me?
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on 9 October 2012
Three cheers for Network/Studio Canal!....After bringing us the excellent "Mysteries of Edgar Wallace" collection, the two have thankfully teamed up again to present the entertaining "Scales of Justice"...And the great news is that the picture and sound quality on this black & white/colour collection is excellent, and presented in the original widescreen aspect ratio (1.66:1). The only extra is a very brief image gallery, there are no subtitles.

Produced by Anglo-Amalgamated at the legendary Merton Park studios between 1962/67, these second features were originally released for distribution through British cinemas, and are based on real-life cases. Presented by famous criminologist, Edgar Lustgarten (Scotland Yard series), in some ways the stories evoke memories of Lustgarten's fondly-remembered earlier series, thanks mainly to the style & presentation, with Lustgarten's brief intro followed by a pleasing occasional narrative. Each story unfolds in retrospect before rounding off with the court case.

With an interestingly varied collection of crimes, each story is directed at a good pace with solid performances from a host of familiar guest stars from the era (see below). For those who enjoyed the previous "Scotland Yard" (another Anglo-Amalgamated production) I would say these 30-minute crime features are well worth a look - great nostalgia. This release includes the complete collection of thirteen films. I will refrain from adding any comments on individual stories for fear of giving away spoilers. The inside of the DVD case features an episode synopsis which I have included below, along with a few details....

*THE GUILTY PARTY (1962,B/W)....Edward Sinclair and his wife, Thelma, live surrounded by luxury and all the trappings of wealth. But Sinclair himself is weighed down heavily by debts...
Starring Derek Francis, Jack Gwillam, Anthony Jacobs, Jean Lodge, Zena Marshall & Wensley Pithey. Directed by Lionel Harris.

*A WOMAN'S PRIVILEGE (1962,B/W)....Shirley Fawcett, taking a cruise to cheer herself up after a broken romance, meets Joe Ashton, a mature bachelor with a one-man business. Friendship rapidly turns to love - but the relationship is soon to turn sour.
Starring Bernard Archard, Ernest Clark, Noel Hood, Ann Lynn & Patrick Wymark. Directed by Anthony Bushell.

*MOMENT OF DECISION (1962,B/W)....A nursemaid loses the baby in her charge.
Starring Ray Barratt, Pat Healy, Marjie Lawrence, Michael Aspel, Viola Keats, Tim Hudson, Norman Claridge, Lisa Madron & Michael Sarne. Directed by John Knight.

*POSITION OF TRUST (1963,B/W)....The wild son of a powerful industrialist plans an illicit weekend away from his fiancee with Yvonne, a pretty French girl. However, on their first morning at the hotel a man barges into their bedroom and announces that he is a private detective - acting for Yvonne's husband.
Starring Peter Barkworth, Geoffrey Chater, Imogen Hassall, Cyril Luckham, Michael Nightingale & Edward Atienza. Directed by Lionel Harris.

*THE UNDESIRABLE NEIGHBOUR (1963,B/W)....When Anna and Peter, a young married couple, move into a new home, the attractive Anna proves popular with the local men. Inevitably, the resident gossips are intrigued - and one in particular takes her investigation rather too far.
Starring Vanda Godsell, Bridget Armstrong, Anthony Newlands, Ronald Hatton, Dorinda Stevens, Garfield Morgan & Howard Pays. Directed by Gordon Hales.

*THE INVISIBLE ASSET (1963,B/W)....In a city restaurant, the owner blackmails his most influential customers by using a hidden microphone on a special table.
Starring Annette Carell, Philip Latham, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Kenneth J. Warren, John Wentworth, Gabriella Licudi & Stanley Morgan. Directed by Norman Harrison.

*PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL (1965,B/W)....Found in the briefcase of the man in room 755, who fell - or was pushed - from a seventh-storey window, is the red file; it is marked 'Top Secret'.
Starring Robert Cartland, Howard Lang, Harry Littlewood, Ellen McIntosh, Billy Milton, Geoffrey Toone & Windsor Davies. Directed by Geoffrey Nethercott.

*THE HIDDEN FACE (1965,B/W)....Jane Penshurst is the author of a book attacking an MP, Milsom. When Milsom shoots himself, his son, William, seeks revenge.
Starring Richard Butler, Jill Dixon, Vernon Dobtcheff, Christine Finn, Gretchen Franklin, Robert James & Alec MacIntosh. Directed by Patrick Dromgoole.

*THE MATERIAL WITNESS (1965,B/W)....A young man is the personal assistant to a company executive who has very little time for him.
Starring John Horsley, Harry Locke, Reginald Marsh, Sally Nesbitt, Noel Trevarthen & Hector Ross. Directed by Geoffrey Nethercott.

*COMPANY OF FOOLS (1966/colour)....Five strangers from varied walks of life come together to investigate the life of a man who has caused them all serious financial losses, and to exact their own private revenge.
Starring Barrie Ingham, Jacqueline Jones, Maurice Kaufman, Barry Keegan, Garfield Morgan, Robert Dorning, Dorothy Frere & Frank Williams. Directed by Peter Duffell.

*THE HAUNTED MAN (1966/colour)....Actor Bill Kenton, injured trying to prevent a raid on a shop, returns to his career to find that he cannot remember his lines. Forced to leave the theatre, he becomes obsessed with finding the thieves.
Starring Keith Barron, Alexandra Bastedo, Isobel Black, James Ellis, Tenniel Evans & John Gabriel. Directed by Stanley Willis.

*INFAMOUS CONDUCT (1966/colour)....Surgeon Anthony Searle is struck off the medical register following accusations of misconduct. Deserted by his wife, he seeks solace by the coast, where he becomes involved with a young artist, Janet. A meeting with Janet's cousin, however, leads him into dangerous territory.
Starring Dermot Walsh, Bridget Armstrong, Ewen Solon, Richard Warner, Terry Wale, Nancy Nevinson & Norman Scace. Directed by Richard Martin.

*PAYMENT IN KIND (1967/colour)....The dedicated wife of a struggling businessman falls behind on hire purchase payments, and the debt collector suggests 'payment in kind'.
Starring Maxine Audley, Brian Haines, Justine Lord, Derrick Sherwin, Gwen Cherrell & Henry McGee. Directed by Peter Duffell.

Another welcome release from Network.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 March 2013
I'm old enough to remember seeing some of these at the local ABC, Odeon or Gaumont decades ago. I thought they were pretty dreadful then and having seen the thirteen again I still think so. Now however they have assumed a warm glow of nostalgia of evenings at the flics seeing some Hollywood blockbuster, trailers, Pearl & Dean ads, maybe a cartoon or two and another Lustgarten 'Scales of justice' second feature.

Lustgarten's presence was rather irrelevant, especially his ponderous introductions describing the crimes we were about to see and he gave the impression that the stories were based on real crimes but they were so mundane, in the criminal sense, that every drama was basically fiction.

The thirteen 'Scales of justice' films were really the poor relation to the forty-seven 'Edgar Wallace mysteries' that Merton Park Studios churned out through the sixties with Jack Greenwood as the producer for all of them but then he was the boss of Merton Park. So these SoJ movies had to wrap it all up in twenty-five minutes or so when the Wallace series had the luxury of about fifty-five minutes. Both series though had the same faults: cheapness (all the interior sets look exactly like film sets) hopelessly unimaginative direction (a phone rings and someone always looks in the direction of the ringing) endless visual and script cliches; a complete inability to soften shadows everywhere (I often thought they used searchlights instead of proper set lighting).

What I did find surprising, seeing them again, was how lightweight the court scenes were. These only take a few minutes in each film and there is none of the cut and thrust of blokes in wigs wearing down a witness until they confess which is the usual courtroom film style. But really the crimes were so inconsequential. One film: 'A woman's privilege' is about a breach of promise (featuring Bernard Archard and Patrick Wymark) another: 'Company of fools' is not much better than a 'Carry on' film.

I think the series was really made for TV rather than the big screen but they slotted into an evening's entertainment easily enough but I wonder if they sometimes shared the bill with real British films of the sixties like: A taste of honey; Alfie; Billy liar; Saturday night and Sunday morning; Room at the top. The tackiness of Merton Park productions would really be apparent.

*Here's a tip: on each film press the fast-forward for about a minute and half to avoid the StudioCanal nonsense logo and an equally dreadful stock intro to each SoJ offering.
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on 27 December 2014
Really loved this box set. It was a real trip down 'memory lane' for me. OK the plots are not that intricate compared to some of the offerings we get these days, plus a cheesy theme tune from the Tornadoes.
However, I like this on a number of levels. It's of its time, that is the early to mid sixties.Because it is of its time, it captures the period . It's unpretentious.It refreshes old memories and a chance to 'play spot the young up and coming actor or actress'. Then again another game. This one you could call ' I wondered what ever became of him/her?'
The films are roughly 30 minutes in duration but in these days of multiple distractions , they are long enough to grab your attention and keep it!
If you love the sixties or are interested to see what things were like with thes cinema featurettes then buy and enjoy. A bargain!
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on 11 March 2018
Wonderfully tight, thirty-minute crime stories, some quite charmingly pedestrian, before the serial killers took over, and which would be dragged out to an hour, or even more, these days.
I love Edgar Lustgartens avulcular, stifff-upper lip and portentous delivery and I'm convinced that the wiley old fox was dryly sending himself up. Worth it for the stunning cutting-edge (for the time) credits and catchy theme tune, as exciting and evocative as 'Follyfoot' or 'Robin Hood' Actually, all those old series' had great, brash and brassy theme tunes. 'The Avengers', 'The Sweeney', 'Danger Man', 'Man in a Suitcase' - the list is endless.
The blind faith in decency and justice is a bit disturbing today, as we're all, quite justifiedly, cynical
Not quite up to 'Edgar Wallace' or 'Scotlanf Yard', the 'Citizen Kane' and 'A bout de souffle' of the genre, but still pretty good, with a couple of colour episodes even thrown in.
Justine Lord was never lovlier in a story that is still unfortunately bang up to date, but then I'm hopelessly biased where she is concerned.
Bought to replace a lost or mislaid copy, as I can't live without it.
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on 22 January 2015
The Invisible Asset from the series "The Scales of Justice"

We have taken this film as representative of the superb collection of short films (1962 - 1967) containing 12 episodes on two discs.

Kenneth J Warren plays a self-declared bankrupt, ex-high-class restaurant owner, Sam Warren, planning to escape his creditors by flying with his long-suffering wife (Annette Carell) to Jamaica via New York. One particular creditor is hounding Warren

Re. the feature "Infamous Conduct". The part of Dixon is NOT played by Ewen Solon; looks more like Conrad Phillips to me.

Not as “authentic” as the "Scotland Yard" series.

mercilessly, giving him a 24 hour deadline to repay a loan.

Warren plays the part to perfection - a callous philanderer who cares not whom he wounds in the course of his cavalier lifestyle.

Note the frequent lighting up of cigarettes, the alcohol and all the trimmings that are supposed to be the flesh on expensive living. Oh! and, of course, those chunky great airliners that transport us willy-nilly across a much polluted planet - and all for what?

A truly hilarious finale to this feisty little piece. Enjoy, as they say these days!

Not quite so “authentic” as Scotland Yard.

Re: "Infamous Conduct". The part of Dixon is NOT played by Ewen Solon; looks more like Conrad Phillips to me.
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on 24 April 2017
Excellent series. Yes, it is somewhat dated, but still a worthwhile view: Of its era. Very sobering and chilling to know that the guilty ones were hanged! Reminds one that we now live in more civilised times.
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on 13 October 2012
Between 1962 and 1967, thirteen short films were made in The Scales of Justice series. Destined for theatrical release as support features, they went on to garner a modest cult status when they were later screened on television.

Although The Scales of Justice has never had the status of other Merton Park productions of the time, such as the Edgar Wallace Mysteries, these thirteen films are good solid fare, showcasing many familiar faces from this era of British film and television.

Derek Francis, Bernard Archard, Ray Barrett, Peter Barkworth, Garfield Morgan, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Reginald Marsh, Barrie Ingham, Keith Barron, James Ellis, Alexandra Bastedo and Justine Lord are amongst the impressive roster of acting talent. If those names mean anything to you, then it's a safe bet that you will enjoy this release.

Each film is introduced by Edgar Lustgarten, who had penned a number of books detailing true-life criminal cases. The Scales of Justice reflects this, as every story is based on actual events.

With an average running time of 30 minutes, these don't outstay their welcome, but are long enough to give the excellent casts a chance to flex their acting muscles.

Shot in 1:66:1, it's pleasing to note that for the majority of stories Network have been able to source good-quality prints. Most are in B&W, with the last handful of stories shot in Colour.

Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 27 February 2015
I love these older films, they really are both well made and supply brilliant entertainment. Best of all they can be watched over and over, unlike a lot of films.

These films which were made in Merton Park studios in the 60s (1962-67) and put out as 'B' films in the cinemas, were often as good as the main 'A' films, sometimes better. They are all extremely watchable and the quality of both picture and sound is very good. It is also interesting to watch and see well known actors in their early days and see how far they have progressed.

Each of the 13 films lasts roughly 30 minutes with 9 being in Black and White and 4 being in colour. Watch out for Michael Aspel in 'Moment of Decision', interesting.
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on 3 December 2013
Not to keen on this dvd as it did not play to well on my dvd player i should have sent it back but i had it to long before i tried it
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