The Vise (1954–1961)

TV Series  -   -  Crime | Drama | Thriller
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This British production featured less known actors in filmed plays showing people caught in "the vise" of fate created by their own deeds.

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1961   1960   1959   1958   … See all »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Donald Gray ...
 Mark Saber / ... (157 episodes, 1954-1961)
Colin Tapley ...
 Inspector Parker / ... (71 episodes, 1955-1960)
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Storyline

This British production featured less known actors in filmed plays showing people caught in "the vise" of fate created by their own deeds.

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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Release Date:

1 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Detective's Diary  »

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(221 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Follows Mark Saber (1951) See more »

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An Oddity that was so successful
1 October 2000 | by ((Morecambe, England)) – See all my reviews

The Vise was produced by Danziger who rented space from other studios mainly Nettlefold at Walton-on-Thames. They bid for Beaconsfield Studios and tried to lease Twickenham but they opened their own film studios in 1956 situated in an old Aircraft testing station at Elstree and was named the New Elstree Studios. Its life was short opening in 1954 but closing less than ten years later in 1961. The new studios had six stages and employed 200 technicians including Terance Nelhams who left to become the singer Adam Faith. Brian Clemens of later Avengers fame was Chief Scriptwriter and Directors David Macdonald, Max Varnel Godfrey Grayson and Ernest Morris were responsible for Danzigers TV and Film output. The second feature market was pretty buoyant and these cost between £15,000 and 17,500 to make but few won them acclaim other than Tell Tale Heart Directed by Ernest morris starring Laurence Payne produced in 1961.

The two Danziger brothers had come to England from America in 1952. Edward had studied law and was involved with the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal whereas Harry Lee had played Trumpet in a Band. They were known as the experts at producing cheap films using same outdoor scenes and music cut from episode to episode. They contracted actors at a weekly fee together with another fee for World rights forever. The Vise comprised of 65 thirty minute films shown in United Kingdom as Mark saber. There was a follow up series Detectives Diary or Saber of London in the United Kingdom of 91 thirty minute films. The Vise was made at Nettlefold but Saber of London at New Elstree but by 1958 Danziger had made in all 156 episodes all with Donald Gray in title role. Public took to gallant Saber who always got his man he epitomised the British bull dog spirit. The standard of acting was described as poor but Gray saved some very poor scripts.

The series went out on NBC first and appeared on Associated Redifusion TV (LONDON) between 1957 and 1962 after the BBC monopoly had been broken much to the consternation of Lord Reith the Corporation's first Director General. In four years Saber went through five assistants : Barney O'Keefe played by Michael Balfour, Pete Paulson played by Canadian Neil Macallum, Bob Page layed by Robert Arden, Larry Nelson played by Gordon Tanner and Eddie Welles played by Gary Thorne. His secretary Stevie was played by singer Diane Decker but she was replaced by Judy played by Theresa Thorne until episode 65 but thereafter Saber had the very occasional love interest of Ann Somers played by Jennifer Jayne. When Donald Gray went to America in 1957 he was met by cheering crowds but they were disappointed when he signed his name as Donald Gray rather than Mark Saber. In a visit to Harlaam Gray was tackled on street by a plump Black lady who asked if he had come to sort out the crime. People blended reality with fantasy but unfortunately Donald Gray was badly typecast very rarely working after the series ended though he was the voice of Colonel White in the puppet series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.


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