Three vignettes of old Irish country life, based on a series of short stories. In "The Majesty of the Law," a police officer must arrest a very old-fashioned, traditional fellow for assault... See full summary »
Scotland Yard Inspector George Gideon starts his day off on the wrong foot when he gets a traffic-violation ticket from a young police officer. From there, his 'typical day" consists in learning that one of his most-trusted detectives has accepted bribes; hunts an escaped maniac who has murdered a girl; tracks a young girl suspected of a payroll robbery and, then, helps break up a bank robbery. His long day ends when he arrives at home and finds that his daughter has a date with the policeman who gave him a ticket that morning.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The background scene of London outside Gideon's office windows is actually a miniature set rather than back projected film. This is revealed by the fact that the cars and buses crossing the bridge are clearly small models or toys. In fact in the opening shot of Gideon looking out of his office at night, the miniature is used on its own instead of inserting stock footage, and the model vehicles are particularly noticeable. See more »
Insp. George Gideon:
I could tell you a few things about executions - they're not very dramatic - you know, they're rather an anti-climax after the trial. Three weeks in jail and then one morning the long walk. And it won't be a bit like you imagine - the heroine with her head held high. They'll drag you there half doped and vomiting with terror... that's the worst thing about hanging - it's so undignified...
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This rarely seen (or shown) rarity from the great westerns director John Ford, was screened recently as Channel 4's weekday lunchtime movie. The film's alternative title, 'Gideon of Scotland Yard' gives us a clearer picture of where it is set and what it is about.
Not paying much attention to what it said in Radio Times beforehand, I assumed it was a Dixon Of Dock Green sort of black & white semi- documentary, along the lines of the excellent 'Blue Lamp'.
For a start, it's in colour and opens with breakfast time with the family, for Inspector Jack Gideon, all brisk and jovial. His drive to work results in going through a red light and is embarrassingly challenged by a youth PC.
From here-on in, the comedic elements dissipate as Insp Gideon's day unfolds, with phone calls and leads, all going on to illustrate 'the day in the life' that is the title. The mixture of crime is, obviously quite innocent when compared to today and the likes of 'The Bill', but this is 1958 and the censors were always prevalent, not that I'm suggesting that Ford would have set out to paint an overly colourful scenario.
The script is by Ealing Studio regular T.E.B Clarke, from John Creasey's novel and whilst it's not exactly electric, it's brisk enough, with a light tone and those of a certain age will find much pleasure in the period detail, scenes around London and the general way of doing things 'back then'.
Such viewers might have wanted to give a higher score than I am, though. To be honest, the direction could have been done by anyone proficient and whilst the studio-bound indoor sets are well done, they are just that, though also to be fair, Insp Gideon is seen going about between locations enough to remind us that he's very busy...
Finally, there is a nice John Ford sense of irony at the end though, which gives a real sense of satisfaction.
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