IMDb > "Raffles" (1975)

"Raffles" (1975) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1975-

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Release Date:
25 February 1977 (UK) See more »
Most people know A.J. Raffles only as a gentleman of leisure and a top-rated cricketer, but he is also "the amateur Cracksman"... See more »
3 nominations See more »
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Anthony Valentine at His Very Best See more (2 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 4 of 7)
Anthony Valentine ... A.J. Raffles (14 episodes, 1975-1977)
Christopher Strauli ... Bunny Manders (14 episodes, 1975-1977)
Victor Brooks ... Albany Porter (11 episodes, 1977)
Victor Carin ... Inspector Mackenzie (6 episodes, 1977)

Series Directed by
Christopher Hodson (7 episodes, 1975-1977)
Jim Goddard (3 episodes, 1977)
Alan Gibson (2 episodes, 1977)
Series Writing credits
E.W. Hornung (12 episodes, 1975-1977)
Philip Mackie (12 episodes, 1975-1977)

Series Produced by
Jacky Stoller .... producer (11 episodes, 1977)
David Cunliffe .... executive producer (9 episodes, 1977)
Series Original Music by
Anthony Isaac (11 episodes, 1977)
Series Film Editing by
Tim Ritson (1 episode, 1975)
Series Production Design by
Roger Andrews (7 episodes, 1975-1977)
Christopher George (4 episodes, 1977)
Series Sound Department
Mike Donnelly .... sound recordist (1 episode, 1975)
Series Stunts
Chris Webb .... stunt coordinator / stunt performer (4 episodes, 1977)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Jackson .... camera operator (1 episode, 1975)

Production Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
60 min (14 episodes)
Sound Mix:

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27 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Anthony Valentine at His Very Best, 14 December 2005
Author: loza-1

By the time this series was made, Anthony Valentine was already a household name, due to his portrayal of the villainous Major Mohn in "Colditz". Here he gets to display a wide range of acting skills as E W Hornung's gentleman burglar A J Raffles. The part demands a range of different accents, which Valentine performs without slips, as well as some amusing scenes where he is being searched by the police. Any aspiring actor would do well to watch Valentine in action.

If Conan-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes was the most popular crime fiction of the Victorian/Edwardian era, Raffles, written by Conan-Doyle's brother-in-law, was number two. Hornung paid homage to Conan-Doyle by saying that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery. What he meant was that his stories were narrated by a companion who had an inferior intellect to the hero. There the similarity ends, and Conan-Doyle even went so far as to condemn Hornung's work by stating that a criminal should never be a hero. This argument is utter drivel, since audiences had been thrilled for hundreds of years by the exploits of Robin Hood.

A J Raffles is ex-public school who has a flat in Picadilly. He seems to live in evening clothes, and exists on a diet of Scotch whisky, Sullivan & Powell Turkish cigarettes, and coffee. He is a cricket all-rounder who plays for England. But he has to pay for his bon vivant lifestyle, and this he does by cracking safes. He is accompanied by a semi-inept schoolmate called Bunny Manders, and they are always just one step ahead of the wild-haired policeman Inspector McKenzie. Some of the scenes involving McKenzie and Raffles are performed with Chaplinesque timing.

In a strange way, Raffles has a code of ethics, based on public school practice. Interesting is Episode 1.9, where Raffles is up against Lord Ernest Belville (played by Robert Hardy), who is, in effect, a Raffles without the code of ethics.

I originally saw these episodes in black and white, and have only recently seen them in colour. The costumes and sets are utterly superb, and are a history lesson in themselves. At one stage, Raffles's flat is being converted from gas to electricity, and a telephone is being installed. There is a terrific attention to detail.

Mackie's scripts are witty, although, in my opinion, they lack some of the charm of the original Hornung dialogue, because the public school patter between Raffles and Bunny are toned down for this series. Nevertheless, with a wealth of acting talent involved, Raffles is by far and away the best costume drama I have seen on British television; and I cannot for the life of me think why it never gets mentioned as a classic TV series.

All the episodes are available, and I recommend you watch them. Believe me, you will not be disappointed.

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