7.2/10
583
23 user 2 critic
A woman is found murdered in a house along the coast from Brighton. Local detectives Fellows and Wilks lead an investigation methodically following up leads and clues mostly in Brighton and... See full summary »

Director:

Val Guest

Writers:

Hillary Waugh (novel), Val Guest (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Warner ... Det. Insp. Fred Fellows
Ronald Lewis ... Det. Sgt. Jim Wilks
Yolande Donlan ... Jean Sherman
Michael Goodliffe ... Clyde Burchard
John Le Mesurier ... Mr. Simpson
Moira Redmond ... Joan Simpson
Christine Bocca Christine Bocca ... Mrs. Simpson
Brian Oulton ... Frank Restlin
Ray Barrett ... Sgt. Gorman
Norman Chappell Norman Chappell ... Andy Roach
John Barron ... Ray Tenby
Joan Newell Joan Newell ... Mrs. Banks
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Storyline

A woman is found murdered in a house along the coast from Brighton. Local detectives Fellows and Wilks lead an investigation methodically following up leads and clues mostly in Brighton and Hove but also further afield. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 October 1963 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

El rostro sin nombre See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Figaro See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 1961 Ford Consul 382 VPU which DI Fellows (Jack Warner) drives was still on the road in 2014 when it was being exhibited at classic car shows. See more »

Goofs

When Fellows and Unwin drive to Greenwich to interview Jean Sherman, they approach her house, having driven from Brighton, along a dead-end road from the direction of the river bank alongside the Cutty Sark. See more »

Quotes

Det. Insp. Fred Fellows: Don't know what I hate more, tea without sugar or a fat paunch.
See more »

Connections

References Fantasia (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Endless detail in Quota-Quickie Land
23 February 2017 | by trimmerb1234See all my reviews

But no reviewer gives this film anything other than a deserved high rating and most identify much of what makes it so watchable.

I think it is no coincidence that the director is also the screenwriter. It means that dialogue can be quite spare at times because it will be visuals - glances between individuals - which tell the story. And this draws in the viewer - "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" says the detective to his colleague - no reply because he (and the viewer) are thinking the same. Nothing is over-played. A suspect is sitting in a room, with no announcement a detective brings in a witness, briefly introduces him to the suspect. Neither show any interest in the other. The detective and witness leave. Nothing is said but it has wordlessly made clear that a hopeful line of enquiry has suddenly turned into a dead end.

And it may be no coincidence that veteran director Val Guest was formerly an actor. A screenwriter is concerned to tell a story - and the dialogue is divvied up between the cast. But perhaps most deadly of all is mere padding dialogue: "Cup of tea? Milk? How many sugars?" An actor in contrast is firstly playing a character so dialogue is as much sketching the character as advancing the plot. British film "Calculated Risk" 1963 is another example of very ordinary sounding dialogue lifting a production where the screenwriter was also an actor - and with character comes relationships. "what's my motivation" is the question always kept in mind and ensures the cast's focus throughout. Of course the top name screenwriters - the Alan Platers - come close. But here characters can almost be Dickensian with instantly recognisable ways of speaking "I've got a photographic memory" repeatedly says a minor but important witness. Realistic people who are excited and so gush irrelevancies that they don't stop when ushered out of the room, but audibly continue with the police constable waiting outside.

Pace - I can see some of how this comes about. One thing is elimination of redundant film - an address might come over the police radio - cut to police car stopping outside the address. Yet there is no sense of hurry. Everything is given the necessary time.

It's a measure of the film's qualities that there is such agreement about its merits - nobody fails to understand and appreciate it. Was it influenced by earlier American police procedurals? Has it been a model and inspiration till this day for British police dramas? I think it is yes to both. I'd suggest Dragnet for the first but so domesticated that the link is more tone than anything. For the second, decreasingly so as swagger, gloss and style come to predominate. And swagger, gloss and style are absent here.


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