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Man from Tangier (1957)
"By the numbers b-pic thriller."
Tangier: A criminal called Armstrong (Emerton Court) kills an Arab called Montez and steals a case containing valuable forgery plates. Enter Voss (Martin Benson), another master criminal who has also been hunting the plates down but was beaten by Armstrong who he deduces is fleeing to London by boat and train as he knows he hates flying. Voss had been working with two dangerous accomplices, Heinrich (Leonard Sachs) and Darracq (Derek Sidney), whom he plans to double cross by taking the plates to a buyer in Amsterdam and keeping the profits for himself. He orders Michelle (Lisa Gastoni), a displaced person and a survivor from Auschwitz death camp with a forged passport to fly to London ahead of Armstrong in order to lure him into a trap but she refuses. Naturally, Voss threatens to turn her in which would mean she would be deported so she has no option but to do as she is told. Victoria Station London: Armstrong puts the case into the Left Luggage office and then goes into a barbers shop for a shave. Enter an American stuntman called Chuck Collins (Robert Hutton) who also happens to be in there having a shave. Collins unwittingly becomes involved in the intrigue because he has an identical overcoat to that of Armstrong, which he takes by mistake when he leaves thinking that it is his own. Armstrong gives the manager of the salon the telephone number of the hotel he is staying at so Collins can bring him his coat, which he desperately needs to get back since it has the Left Luggage ticket in the pocket. Later Collins takes the coat along to the hotel but can get no response from Armstrong and soon after he has left, Armstrong falls from the window of his room and he is taken into hospital in a critical condition. London Soho: Collins goes to a club where he bumps into a close friend, Rex (Jack Allen), who is celebrating a £2,000 win on a boxing match; he drunkenly persuades Chuck to lend him his 'little black book of phone numbers' and Michelle's phone number falls out of Armstrong's coat pocket. Thinking it is the number of one of Chuck's lady friends he dials the number saying that he is a friend of Armstrong's from the Hotel Trieste in Tangier (the letter heading on the paper with her number) and this pulls Collins into the plot deeper as he is now introduced to Michelle who appears at the club. Unfortunately, Collins is now drawn to the attention of both Voss and Heinrich's thugs who now know he has the coat containing the Left Luggage ticket and this puts their lives in great peril...
A by the numbers thriller from b-pic specialists Butcher's Film Distributors. Director Lance Comfort - a quota quickie veteran - displayed his flair for making tense thrillers on small budgets with such films as Tomorrow At Ten (1962). Things start off well here with Comfort neatly staging the build up that is similar to Hitchcock in that it displays one of the master's favourite plot devices; an innocent person who is unwittingly drawn into dangerous circumstances way beyond their control and have to use their wits and common sense to fight their way out of it. In this case it is Collins (competently played by Robert Hutton whose Hollywood career never really got off the ground) who in innocently going about his routine business of getting a haircut or shave at his barber; is drawn unwittingly into life threatening circumstances over an overcoat that just happened to be an exact match for that of a master criminal's. Alas, Comfort is ultimately defeated by a script that becomes implausible and the obviously hectic shooting schedule, which means that suspense is badly lacking since there was little time to shoot the sequences in order to give them any tension: it was probably along the lines of "Action", "Cut, that's fine, right print it, next set-up". It certainly has that air about it and the climatic shoot out at a Surrey airfield is feeble and in any case if you have seen one of these films, you have pretty much seen them all and you can always work out how it will turn out with the obligatory happy ending in which the hero/heroine always come out on top in the end. These films are usually so predictable and in consequence, the suspense goes out of the window right from the start. Nevertheless, one can always enjoy these films as a pleasant reminder of an era of filmmaking that has long since disappeared and there are some wonderful b/w shots of Victoria station (as it looked then) and the Humber and Wolseley motorcars on display are very much of the period. All in all, if nothing else, it is pleasant, easy on the eye nostalgia.
The Gentle Trap (1960)
'A pleasant reminder of an era of British filmmaking that has since become long forgotten'
A London locksmith called Johnny Ryan (Spencer Teakle) pulls off his once in a lifetime job, a raid on a jewelery store, in which the heist is £60,000 worth of uncut diamonds that he intends to use to fund a new life with his girlfriend, a nightclub singer called Sylvia (Dawn Brooks). However, Sylvia has betrayed him to her boss, Ricky Barnes (Martin Benson), a Soho gangster, whose thugs set up on Johnny and his elderly accomplice, Sam (Arthur Hewlett), after they have done the job. Johnny is beaten up but Sam is run over by the gang's car and later dies from his injuries. But Barnes' thugs make off with the case containing Johnny's safe-breaking gear thinking that it contains the loot but in actual fact, Johnny had stuffed it into his coat pocket. Johnny is now in a situation of grave peril as not only is he wanted by the police for Sam's murder but also by the gang seeking to get their hands on the diamonds. Johnny finds help from two sisters, Mary (Dorinda Stevens), who runs a clip joint and her sister Mary (Felicity Young). Mary is hard and deceitful and joins forces with Barnes to recover the diamonds in the hope of getting a share herself. Meanwhile, Jean is kind hearted and gentle and hatches a plan to help Johnny escape since she is falling in love with him. She smuggles him into the back of a removal van, which her Uncle (John Dunbar) is taking back to his country farm. However, Barnes and the gang are following in pursuit...
Another routine crime drama from quota-quickie specialists, Butcher's Film Distributors. Most of the reviews I have read for this film are largely scathing i.e. 'threadbare', 'shoddy' and worse still: 'everybody concerned hashes it up'. I would not go as far as that since although it is pretty run-of-the-mill stuff with little to distinguish it from countless other second features; there are some decent performances here notably from Dorinda Stevens and Felicity Young who work well together as the sisters who are two completely different personalities so the contrast is excellent. On the negative side, suspense is killed off right from the word go since as one would expect from a Butcher's b-pic, the plot development is predictable and if you have seen one you have pretty much seen them all as they always have the obligatory happy ending rather than a dramatic one. Don't expect any surprises here. The screenwriter's credit reads; Screenplay by Brock Williams, additional material by Alan Osborne, from a story by Guido Coen. For such a routine assignment did it really warrant three writers? Director Charles Saunders, a former editor who spent most of his directorial career making pot boilers such as this, carries the proceedings along at a snappy pace and the atmospheric b/w cinematography is by Ken Hodges.
All in all, The Gentle Trap has little to set it apart from the countless number of British b-pics of that time but thanks to a few good performances, competent direction and some smart camera work, it can be enjoyed as a pleasant reminder of an era of British filmmaking that has long since been forgotten.
Echo of Diana (1963)
Modest but better than you would expect spy drama from b-pic specialists Butcher's.
A British agent called Philip Scott is killed in a plane crash near the Turkish border. His wife Joan (Betty McDowall) is concerned by a memoriam in the newspaper signed by a mysterious woman known simply as Diana but no trace can be found of her. She is helped by journalists Pamela Jennings (Clare Owen) and Bill Vernon (Vincent Ball) who is keen to do a series of articles on Scott claiming that he knew him during the war. The pair have both had their flats ransacked and are summoned by security chief Colonel Justin (Geoffrey Toone) who believes that both jobs were perpetrated by a double agent called Harris whom is some how connected in the Philip Scott case. Later Joan is approached by the head of an Eastern embassy, Kavali (Peter Illing), who informs her that her husband is alive but has defected to the East. He says that if she wants to be reunited with her husband arrangements will be made to get her out of the country to which she agrees but is all as it seems?
A modest but better than you would expect spy drama from quota quickie specialists, Butcher's Film Distributors, who seem to be enjoying some resurgence of interest in their prolific output of low budget programmers as many of them including this one are finding their way on to DVD. Reginald Hearne's script is at times confusing but for once there is some suspense to be had as Betty McDowall's distraught wife seems to be going along with the enemy agents to join her husband who has allegedly defected. The story is kept moving at a good pace by director Ernest Morris whose career was almost exclusively in b-movies and he is helped a lot by Walter J Harvey's atmospheric black and white camera-work. The acting especially from McDowall and Vincent Ball is good all round.
Shadow of Fear (1963)
Promising title for a mediocre British spy drama in every sense of the word.
An American oil company representative called Bill Martin (Paul Maxwell) on his way to London from Baghdad agrees to deliver a top secret message to MI5. On his arrival he is abducted by two men posing as police officers and taken to a small hotel where he meets Sharp (John Arnett) who claims to be his contact man but in actual fact is in charge of a ring of enemy agents. Martin hands over the message but makes the mistake of letting Sharp know that he has a photographic memory, which makes him a marked man. He escapes to his girlfriend, Barbara (Clare Owen), who introduces him to her uncle, John Bowen (Colin Tapley), whom has connections with MI5. At his home on the Sussex coast, Martin is introduced to his real contact, Oliver (Reginald Marsh), who tells him that the top secret message contained map references for enemy rocket bases. Martin agrees to help Oliver round up Sharp's gang by setting himself and Barbara up as bait and the pair check into a Seaford hotel watched closely by MI5 agents waiting for the enemy to make their move...
The title promises a suspenseful, tense and action packed spy thriller but it cannot ultimately disguise the fact that this is a mediocre British b-pic (made by quota-quickie specialists Butcher's) in every sense of the word. Director Ernest Morris was a true b-pic veteran who clocked up an impressive twenty-two of these routine features in eight years! Here he is defeated by the script which consists of much talk in small rooms (hotel rooms actually) and precious little action apart from a car chase and a climax on board Sharp's boat where the villains plan to dump Martin and Barbara overboard but these are listlessly staged and provide no thrills or spills. There is very little to watch apart from the location shooting along the Sussex coast which is attractively shot in black and white by lighting cameraman Walter J Harvey and trivia buffs will recognise Eric Pohlmann in the cast who voiced the unseen Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the early James Bond movies.
The Painted Smile (1962)
Tedious British b-pic crime drama badly lacking suspense.
London: Mark (Peter Reynolds) and Jo (Liz Fraser) are two small time crooks who fall foul of big shot gangster, Kleinie (Kenneth Griffith). While Jo is at a nightclub looking for a suitable victim for their blackmail scam, Kleinie shows up at their flat and stabs Mark to death as a warning to others to keep off his territory. Meanwhile, back at the club, Jo meets three students, Tom (Tony Wickert), Glynn (Ray Smith) and Roy (David Hemmings). Jo sizes up Tom (who is drunk) as a potential victim and lures him back to her flat. Here she receives a phone call from Kleinie who tells her that she has "some rubbish to dispose of" and warns her not to implicate him. They discover Mark's body and foolishly, Tom pulls the knife out. Jo threatens to tell the police that he did it unless he disposes of the body for her. They put the body into the boot of Tom's car and he drives off with it. His reckless driving prompts a police car to give chase and in panic, Tom simply abandons the car and runs off. Not only is Tom now wanted by the police but Kleinie and his henchman are also looking for both him and Jo in order to murder them and divert suspicion away from himself...
A sadly tedious British b-pic crime drama despite the best efforts of director Lance Comfort and his cast. The main problem is the script in which the characters are so thinly sketched that it is very hard to sympathise with the hero as he tries to clear his name and at the same time avoid certain death at the hands of Kleinie (played by the versatile Kenneth Griffith who gives the best performance in the film) and his minions. There is one moment of irony in the script when the three students, Tom, Glynn and Roy declare that their night out in Soho is to "break loose before society swallows us up and set us on a long walk to the grave". In Tom's case it looks like being a pretty short walk after getting into the predicament he has. Director Comfort's staging of Mark's murder is fairly imaginative and provides the only few moments of tension in what is otherwise a pretty mediocre film. The singer in the nightclub is Craig Douglas who enjoyed a string of hits like Only Sixteen, A Hundred Pounds Of Clay and When My Little Girl Is Smiling at the time this was made. But the two songs featured here, Painted Smile and Another You are not hit parade material.
Night Train for Inverness (1960)
A good example to prove that the much maligned quota quickie industry could produce pleasing results.
Roy Lewis (Norman Wooland) is released from prison after serving six months for stealing a large sum of money. He arrives in London to see his estranged wife, Ann (Silvia Francis) and seven-year-old son, Ted (Dennis Waterman), but is sent away by his domineering mother-in-law, Mrs Wall (Irene Arnold). With the help of Marion Crane (Jane Hylton), an ex-girlfriend, Roy abducts Ted and the three of them take the overnight train to Inverness to start a new life. But unknown to his adoring father, Ted is a diabetic and without his regular insulin injections he will go into a coma and die...
A good example to prove that the much maligned British quota quickie industry could at times produce pleasing results. Director Ernest Morris (a prolific director of British b-pics throughout the fifties and early sixties) manages to generate some tension from the situations in Mark Grantham's screenplay. For instance, Scotland Yard's hunt for Ted is complicated because his father has left a false trail of evidence behind which sends them on a wild goose chase checking all the airports as they are lead to believe that they are fleeing to Ireland. Another plus is that the characterisations are better realised than one might normally expect of a second feature. For instance, Roy and Ann's marriage suffered because of Mrs Wall's (convincingly played by Irene Arnold) domineering nature. Frustrated by the fact that he and his wife and son had to live under the same roof as her and not being able to save enough money to get a place of their own, Roy turned to crime. In addition, while he was in prison, Mrs Wall destroyed all the letters he wrote to his wife leading her to believe that he never wrote. It was always all about what Mrs Wall wanted and Ann never had the courage to stand up to her and when she finally does, her mother still refuses to accept she was wrong and storms off. Thanks to convincing performances from Arnold, Wooland and Francis you can sympathise with the family's situation and this works in the film's favour even if the plot becomes a little predictable towards the end. Also deserving praise is Jane Hylton, a sadly underused actress, who offers a good performance as Roy's ex girlfriend Marion. Fans of Minder and The Sweeney will be interested because the child, Ted, is played by none other than Dennis Waterman here making his acting debut.
Pit of Darkness (1961)
Efficient British "B" thriller.
A safe designer called Richard Logan (William Franklyn) awakes on a bomb site in Wapping High Street after being coshed by a gang of thugs. However, he finds that as a result of his head injury he has lost his memory and has no recollection of what has happened to him over the past three weeks. In addition, the PI hired by his wife, Julie (Moira Redmond), to find him has been found murdered and Logan has his business card in his pocket. Could he have been the killer? It transpires that a safe, which his firm designed for the owners, has been broken open and the contents stolen. It seems that he was abducted by a criminal gang and forced to break open the safe and with the aid of his wife, Julie (Moira Redmond), sets out to unravel the mystery. But the gang lead by Clifton Conrad (Leonard Sachs), who owns a seedy club in Soho is intent on murdering him before he regains his memory and exposes them...
An efficient b-pic thriller from quota quickie specialists, Butcher's Film Distributors, which is briskly directed by Lance Comfort and provides enough intrigue to keep the punters entertained for the first half of the double bill. The main drawback is Comfort's own script (adapted from the novel To Dusty Death by Hugh McCutcheon), which at times borders on the absurd. But the director makes best possible use of what obviously was a shoe string budget and the proceedings have a nice feeling for the place (London and the Home Counties) and period which are much enhanced by the atmospheric lighting of veteran cameraman Basil Emmott. The film's other weak aspect is the irritating slushy pop ballad, My Heart Is The Lover, sung by one Ronnie Hall which keeps reoccurring throughout the movie as it is used as a plot device - the hero keeps on hearing it in his head but he can't think where he could have heard it as it was only recently released while he was missing. Needless to say it provides him with a vital clue later as to the gang's whereabouts. The vocalist Hall appears in a nightclub scene and trivia buffs should note that the backing band is no other than The Dave Clark Five who were shortly to become international pop stars. Pit Of Darkness also has a better cast than one would expect of a British B including William Franklyn, Moira Redmond, Nigel Green and a young Anthony Booth best known as Alf Garnett's son-in-law Till Death Us Do Part.
Classic Avengers, an ideal starting point for someone who has never seen the show before.
Mrs Peel (Diana Rigg) is abducted from a fancy dress party at dawn by an elderly lady on a bicycle who fakes an accident by falling from it. When Mrs Peel goes to help, this seemingly harmless little old lady sticks a hypodermic into her arm rendering her unconscious. John Steed (Patrick Macnee) returns from holiday to find an imposter in the form of an actress called Georgie Price-Jones (Liz Fraser). Needless to say, Steed realises she is an imposter but it turns out to be an innocent one with no idea as to why somebody paid her to impersonate Mrs Peel. The body count rises as everybody connected with Georgie ends up dead, stabbed with knitting needles wielded by the same little old lady who grabbed Mrs Peel. "Auntie did it" says one of her victims in his dying words. Georgie teams up with Steed to find Mrs Peel and they trace the knitting needles to an eccentric establishment called the Arkwright Knitting Circle presided over by Arkwright (Bernard Cribbins). His office is situated opposite to another eccentric establishment called Art Incorporated, "The unobtainable obtainable", reads the sign on the door. It is here that proves to be the villain of the piece. Gregorio Auntie (Alfred Burke) can get anything for anybody no matter how difficult for a high fee. He has acquired Mrs Peel for an enemy agent called Ivanoff (David Bauer) who wants her for the valuable information she carries in her mind. Steed tries to box clever and arranges for Ivanoff's arrest so that he can buy her instead. However, Auntie decides to put Mrs Peel up for auction and Steed finds himself bidding against several enemy agents for her...
The Girl From Auntie is classic Avengers and it is an ideal starting point for someone who has never seen the show before. It has many of the hallmarks that made the series so popular and has ensured its lasting cult status. It has an imaginative and witty script by Roger Marshall who was a regular writer for this series. For instance, Mrs Peel went to this fancy dress party as a bird so what else does Gregorio Auntie keep her imprisoned in but a giant birdcage. "I'm sure that you would like to spread out your feathers and fly away" he says to her. There is another great moment where Auntie tells Steed (who is posing as an art expert, "I know you wouldn't shoot me stood in front of the Mona Lisa") that he has a client who is a Texan millionaire who wants the Eiffel Tower for his oil well. But the only problem is working out how to transport it out of Paris for delivery to his client. Bernard Cribbins is good as the eccentric knitting fanatic, Arkwright, who presides over his classes as if he is directing ballet. "Fingers nimble, fingers straight, knit to the left and purl to the right" he sings. Alfred Burke is noteworthy as Gregorio Auntie and Liz Fraser does well as Georgie Price-Jones, an innocent who ends up as Steed's sidekick. She has a cracking moment in Mrs Peel's apartment where she is studying one of her self-defense books, which happens to be authored by Ray Austin - the show's stunt arranger. The little old lady with the knitting needle is creeping up behind her about to strike and Georgie is reading the part that says what to do if your opponent is approaching armed with a knife or gun. "Place your arm over your right shoulder and grasp opponents wrist" and she goes to act it out and in a moment of impeccable timing she grabs the little old lady's wrist completely unaware of her presence and manages to throw her to the ground.
Overall, this episode is a good starting place for those who have never watched the show before although I could recommend other episodes that stand out enough for that purpose. There is enough of the show's quirky humour here to keep the fans happy and the episode displays the show's marvelous ability to attract a number of excellent guest stars made up of some of Britain's best character actors. In this case we have Liz Fraser and Bernard Cribbins. The direction is by Roy Baker who was the celebrated director of the classic Titanic movie, A Night To Remember, and throughout the sixties he worked on many of Britain's cult TV shows including several for The Avengers.
The final episode of a cult classic sees the series bow out in style.
Marty Hopkirk sees the funeral of racing car driver Caroline Seaton taking place beside his grave where he notices that one of the mourners is smiling behind her veil. His suspicions are aroused further when one of the other mourners says "...you can smile when they have read the will." Marty tries to persuade Jeff to take on the case since he now believes that the crash which killed Caroline was fixed. However, Jeff is not interested because he needs a job that pays. By coincidence, Jeff's potential client lives in Gouldhurst, the village neighboring Caroline's native Stonehurst and Marty deliberately switches a road sign thus leading Jeff there. By further coincidence, the house that Jeff calls on to ask for directions is the Seaton house. But the mourners who Marty saw at the funeral, Donald Seaton (Alex Scott) and his wife Cynthia (Hilary Tindall) have him searched and learn that he is a PI and have him knocked out and thrown in a river to drown. However, luck has it that a fisherman is nearby and pulls him out in time. It transpires that the fisherman is connected to the Seaton case as he claims to be the genuine Donald Seaton (Gary Watson) and that the guy up at the house is an impostor who assumed his identity while he was living in Australia. He hires Jeff to prove his claim and the detective sneaks back into the Seaton mansion where he meets the housekeeper, Mrs Evans (Freda Jackson), who is also convinced that her employer is an impostor. Jeff narrowly avoids being shot, blown up by a bomb planted in his office by Cynthia and is thrown down a well and left to die before he proves that Cynthia was actually the former wife of the real Donald Seaton who conspired with her new husband to assume his identity in order to inherit the family fortune and to sell off the large family estate...
The final episode of Randall & Hopkirk Deceased is also one of the show's high points. It has a fairly intriguing plot and features many memorable set pieces such as Jeff's near drowning in which his spirit appears on the riverbank in a white suit identical to Marty's and of course there's the well sequence. "Its a wishing well Jeff" says Marty at a loss as to how on earth he is going to rescue him. "Well I wish I was out of here" groans Jeff. "See it does not work, think of something else." By chance Marty is able to draw the attention of a couple of hiker's who come to make a wish. "I wish I was a millionaire" says one of them "And I wish I was out of this perishing well!" shouts Jeff. It is an action packed episode with so many dices with death including in addition to the above, shootings, fights and bombings that are all crammed in skilfully into the show's fifty-minute running time by Jeremy Summers briskly paced direction. The scenario in Gerald Kelsey's screenplay allows for some amusing interplay between Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope. There's an amusing scene early on where Jeannie (Annette Andre) pins a white lily on to the lapel of Jeff's suit and Marty uses his ghostly powers to make it droop. "I am not having my wife giving you flowers" he says "You're jealous" replies Jeff. Marty and Jeff are close friends but sometimes they verged dangerously close to falling out and especially in this episode since it was Marty who got him mixed up with Seaton's thugs in the first place. When Jeff arrives back in the office having been "...beaten up, thrown in a river and half-drowned", Jeannie says "God you really needed Marty to look out for you." "If only you knew" Jeff says to himself after she has left. Performances are good all round even though the supporting cast is not particularly inspired but Hammer horror fans watching this will spot Freda Jackson who played a vampire's mad retainer in the studio's classic The Brides Of Dracula (1960).
Overall, The Smile Behind The Veil saw the series bow out in style and makes one regret that another series never followed because it had the potential to go so much further but, alas, it was not to be. The splendid set pieces, action sequences and the marvelous interplay between Cope and Pratt make this unmissable viewing for fans of the original Randall & Hopkirk series.
"Immense fun with plenty of the good chemistry between Pratt and Cope that made show so memorable."
Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) is faced with the problem of solving two cases at the same time. The first is a fifty-thousand pound diamond robbery from Maudlands and the second is a haunted house case, Merston Manor. This property is owned by an estate agent called Webster (George A Cooper) who is having great difficulty selling it because of the hauntings, which are also causing great disturbance among the locals. Randall thinks there is a simple solution to the problem when he puts Marty on Webster's case because after all he is a ghost, "...perfect for you" he says. This leaves Randall free to concentrate on the diamond case. A tip off leads him to a dockland warehouse where he meets Walter Previss (Jeremy Burnham), the sales director at Maudlands who bribes Randall by offering him five grand to conclude that the robbery was an outside job. He refuses. Jean Hopkirk is out of town so her sister, Jennifer (Judith Arthy), is filling in at the office until her return. Previss's gang abduct Jenny and Jeff traces her back to Merston Manor - both the Maudlands and the haunted house cases are connected. The gang has made the house their headquarters and through some scary sound effects, they have created the illusion that the manor is haunted. Jeff is overpowered and the gang make preparations to murder both him and Jenny. Can Marty find someway of getting help to them before it is too late?
The House On Haunted Hill (not to be confused with the Vincent Price shocker) is immense fun despite the absence of Hopkirk's widow, Jean, which was due to Annette Andre being taken ill. The character of Jean's sister, Jennifer (played by Judith Arthy) was written into Tony Williamson's script, which gives the character some amusing scenes. Jennifer is always formal by addressing Jeff as Mr Randall all of the time. Marty responds by saying to Jeff "Mr Randall...oh come on Jeff!" He adds that "...if you play your cards right we could become brothers-in-law." Jeff does not take this too seriously but later he eyes the good looking Maudlands secretary, Miss James (Carol Rachelle), with whom he is successful in getting a dinner date. But Jennifer inconveniently arrives on the scene with news that if he isn't back on the job, his other client, Webster, will fire him. Jeff explains that Jennifer is his secretary and asks "What about tomorrow?". "Do I make an appointment?" Miss James responds as the elevator doors close on his face. There are also some good moments between Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope who were well matched in this show and the chemistry between them was one of the things that made the series so memorable. Here they argue because Marty was unhappy about the haunted house case as the ghost sound effects scared him stiff. Jeff is dismissive saying "I live with a ghost but I don't go screaming every time you appear." Marty tells Jeff to check out the house for himself, which he does, but he too is scared when he hears the sounds. His only retort as he is too stubborn to admit he was wrong is to tell Marty that he's fired from the case adding that he only wanted him to take one lousy look at the place. There are good performances too especially from Duncan Lamont and Keith Buckley who are both old hands at playing ruthless villains and they are contrasted nicely with Jeremy Burnham's Walter Previss, the nervous, inexperienced one doing his once in a life job who gets in too deep never once thinking that his accomplices would go as far as murdering people who get in the way.
Overall, an immensely enjoyable episode with plenty of the good chemistry between Mike Pratt and Kenneth Cope that made the show so popular. Even though Judith Arthy's character appears only once due to Annette Andre being ill during the shoot, she is given enough to do so that she does not merely seen as a thinly drawn character popped in to fill the gap. The very able direction is by Ray Austin, a former stuntman who also worked extensively on The Avengers. It was on this series where he made his directorial debut with the classic Linda Thorson episode, All Done With Mirrors.