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The Rivals (1963)

| 1963 (UK)
A pair of hoodlums steal a car in which there is a note - a ransom letter - directed to a wealthy man whose daughter has just been kidnapped. The two gangsters stole the abductor's car and ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rolf Neilson
Kim Harris
Brian Smith ...
Steve Houston
Tony Garnett ...
Jimmy Vosler
Paul Kenyon
Murray Hayne ...
Alex Nichols
Howard Greene ...
Eddy McQuire
Maria Lennard ...
Phillipa Martin
Jack Rodney ...
Mick O'Leary
Donna Pearson ...
Christina Neilson
Anthony Bailey ...
Jumbo Johnson (as Tony Bailey)
Ann Bassett ...
Lift Attendant
Peter Thomas ...
Police Constable


A pair of hoodlums steal a car in which there is a note - a ransom letter - directed to a wealthy man whose daughter has just been kidnapped. The two gangsters stole the abductor's car and when they find the note, they decide to take advantage of the situation and collect the money.

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Release Date:

1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Edgar Wallace: Schmutzige Konkurrenz  »

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Did You Know?


One of a series of second feature films based on Edgar Wallace novels, released between 1960 and 1965 in British cinemas. The films were later sold to American TV and screened there as The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre (1960). See more »


The car thieves are particularly inept, as they do not wear gloves at any stage - stealing the car, leaving the ransom note at the hotel, providing the map to Neilson, etc. See more »


Edited into The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre: The Rivals (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Two gangs compete for ransom of kidnapped girl
27 November 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Rivals" (1963) is a reasonably taut and complex crime story in the "Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre" series. It held my attention, despite a cast mostly unknown to me. My only reservation on first seeing it was the ending, but upon reflection I can see matters being wrapped up as is shown in the story.

The story opens with three crooks in a car, about to heist an automobile in the suburbs. The driver is a blonde, and the other two are young male thieves who are the car theft racket. The owner of the car, another young woman, comes out to find it stolen. She re-enters her home and we now see that she's part of a kidnap gang of three other men. They've kidnapped the daughter of a wealthy guy with whom the woman is associated. The kidnappers were about to make their demands, which are in a package in the car that contains the daughter's hat. But the car thieves discover this and, after some conflict, decide to substitute themselves for the actual kidnappers and collect the ransom. Meanwhile the kidnappers are not asleep. They begin to search the underworld to find a chop shop that took the stolen car.

The movie is notable for the conflicts occurring within the two gangs and the different levels of criminality within each.

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