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Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective (1981)

When D. C. Dangerous Davies, not held in high regard by his superiors, is assigned to find a notorious criminal kingpin, he uncovers the details of 15 year old cold case.


Val Guest


Leslie Thomas (from the original novel by), Val Guest (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Cribbins ... Dangerous Davies
Bill Maynard ... Mod Lewis
Joss Ackland ... Chief Insp. Yardbird
Bernard Lee ... Sergeant Ben
Frank Windsor ... Fred Fennell
John Leyton ... Dave Boot
Maureen Lipman ... Ena Lind
Cindy O'Callaghan Cindy O'Callaghan ... Josie Norris
Derek Bond ... Det. Supt. Carter
Patsy Rowlands ... Madame Tarantella
Colin Baker ... William Lind
Avril Angers Avril Angers ... Mrs. Fulljames
Ken Jones Ken Jones ... Mr. Norris
Jeremy Sinden ... Det. Sgt. Green
Peter Bland ... George Tilth


Det. Const. "Dangerous" Davies is not known for his finesse, but often finds himself on the receiving end of violence in various forms. Only thrown into cases where others fear to tread, or to shake up the natives with his bumbling, he is given a mission to find and flush out a local criminal recently returned from abroad, possibly for "a big job". In his research he inadvertently stumbles upon a 15 year-old case, long considered cold, of the disappearance a young girl. His compassion for the missing girl and her parents draws him into an obsession with solving the case, which ultimately results in unexpected repercussions. Written by Raj Rijhwani

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Family


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The last film of Bernard Lee. See more »


During the first flashback scene where Celia Norris is cycling on the road, she goes by two Austin Maxis. That bit was set in 1965. The Austin Maxi was launched in 1969. See more »


Madame Tarantella: [about her romance with Fennell] I couldn't see a future for us then.
Dangerous Davies: If you couldn't, who could?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Initial caption in opening credits: "This is the story of a man who became deeply concerned with the unsolved murder of a young girl. He was a born stumbler, but patient and very dogged...". See more »


Remade as The Last Detective (2003) See more »

User Reviews

Obsession can be Dangerous
20 September 2005 | by imdb2003See all my reviews

In some respects this film feels really dated. Not surprising, given that (at the time of writing) it is 25 years old, and that (without giving anything away) the events the film revolves around took place another 15 years before that. It lacks the polish that overwhelmed the British film industry a decade later, but the end result is still watchable and in its own way fascinating. There are elements of almost slapstick comedy, but at the same time there are much darker themes.

Being more used to the ITV television series starring Peter Davidson, the casting of Bernard Cribbins as the lead character was at first a little jarring, but then as you get into the film it becomes clear that he was possibly the ideal choice. For one thing you get a much better understanding of Det. Constable Davies ironic nickname of "Dangerous" and the title "The Last Detective". He's a bumbling fool (or so his colleagues think), who only gets sent into a situation either as a last resort or as cannon-fodder to save the bruises of his fellow officers. Nevertheless, beneath his haphazard demeanour is a man obsessed, and with a combination of dogged - almost pig-headed - determination, keener observation than he is credited with by those around him he finds solutions to a case lesser officers have left long cold, and deemed irrelevant by his obstructive superiors.

Cribbins' portrayal of Davies leaves you understanding him as a man with a heart, determined to find justice for a long-forgotten victim. In some respects this has become a cliché in British police and crime drama, but unlike contemporary dramatisations this character is perfectly capable of callous brutality when he believes the recipient no longer worthy of consideration. The plot relies on a few awkward contrivances to create links in the chain of detection, but overall it's a surprisingly satisfying film.

I wouldn't say this film deserves a "family" categorisation, except with elder teenage children.

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Release Date:

4 January 1981 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El último detective See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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