Paul, a divorced architect, marries Nichole, a woman from Paris. His teen daughter Jenny has fallen in with the English beatnik scene and likes to hang out in cave-like clubs to listen to ... See full summary »
A selection of passengers catch the plane from London for an early 1950's weekend in Paris. The Scotsman in his kilt, the elderly lady painter, the international negotiator, and the pretty ... See full summary »
Burt Lancaster plays a pirate with a taste for intrigue and acrobatics who involves himself in the goings on of a revolution in the Caribbean in the late 1700s. A light hearted adventure ... See full summary »
When his colleague is killed during a chase in Kentish Town, London bobby Frank volunteers to become a dog-handler. Rex, his new companion, starts to take over his home life more than ... See full summary »
Hassan, the Kadi of Bagdad, has a harem housing twelve beauties, but concentrates his attention on Zohara. A newcomer, Kyra, introduces rebellion into the by the unheard of act of ... See full summary »
Edgar G. Ulmer
Gypsy Rose Lee,
Potts (George Cole), a British Sanitary Engineer (a plumber in the Colonies), leaves on vacation (holiday in the Empire) with a set of plans for a new secret weapon which he has mistaken ... See full summary »
Frank Hawthorne is an agent in World War II's Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the U.S.'s spy agency. He operates behind German lines in France with the assistance of the French ... See full summary »
John Dickson Carr was a mystery author who specialised in locked-room whodunnits and other 'impossible' crimes: murder mysteries that seemed to defy possibility. Under the pen-name Carter Dickson, he published a series of tales called 'The Department of Queer Complaints', in which a master criminologist is called upon to solve 'X-Files'-type murders.
'Colonel March of Scotland Yard' was a syndicated series, starring Boris Karloff in episodes based on Dickson Carr's 'Queer Complaints' stories. The production budget for this series was laughably low; walls and furniture are clearly flimsy sets, and the actors are obviously taking care not to break anything. When a door opens, the doorframe wobbles. Karloff's splendid professionalism and innate dignity do much to offset this problem.
As the tweedy Colonel March, Karloff wore a patch over his left eye, although the scripts never explained how March lost this eye. I found it plausible that Scotland Yard in the 1950s might retain a one-eyed detective. On the other hand, watching Peter Falk in episodes of 'Columbo' in the 1970s, I find a similar circumstance very implausible. Falk is a brilliant actor, but he clearly has a prosthetic eye ... and I can't believe that the Los Angeles police force in the 1970s would retain a one-eyed detective. In 'Colonel March', the eyepatch obscuring Karloff's vision causes him just occasionally to bump into one of the wobbly sets.
It's no surprise that each episode of 'Colonel March' ends with Karloff tidily solving the mystery. Unfortunately, in some cases the explanation verged on the supernatural. This violates the spirit of the 'impossible' crime, in which the solution (however implausible) must still remain within the laws of scientific possibility.
Karloff was ably abetted by Ewan Roberts, and by veteran character actor Richard Wattis ... who wore hornrimmed glasses here, and gave a performance less effeminate than usual for him. For all its many flaws and its very dated appearance, 'Colonel March' remains enjoyable for mystery fans in general and fans of Boris Karloff in particular.
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