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Older British Series Mysteries

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Chris Ellis

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Posted this on the old Mystery Movies page too:

Hi All:

Not may posts here lately but thought this may be of interest. For many years (40+) I have been interested in mystery/detective/thriller series films and have managed to view almost all I have tried to find. However, some have always eluded me, notably some obscurer British films. Much to my surprise however, I have discovered that some of these are now available on YouTube although I have not yet had a chance to view them.

One highly sought after series is three films from the 1930s, the first film appearances of Hercule Poirot and starring Austin Trevor as the detective. I was always told these films were lost. However, I have discovered the third one, Lord Edgeware Dies, is available for viewing...I only glanced at the first couple of minutes but a great copy too although it has an annoying time counter at top.

Another series I have sought is a two film 1952 one with John Bentley as "The Toff", a literary character created by John Creasey. Both are available on YouTube: Salute the Toff and Hammer the Toff, and again in decent copies based on a brief glance.


So at least three blanks on my wish list filled in here when I have a chance to view them! Now, if I could only find One is Guilty in the Inspector Trent Series with Ralph Bellamy and the obscure Philo Vance film Night of Mystery (1937) --I know the latter exists but try and find a copy!

Cheers, Chris.
Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 10:22:45 am by Chris Ellis

John Cucinotta

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Hi, Chris.  Thanks for the information in your post. 

Another British-made Philo Vance film is "The Scarab Murder Case".  I believe this was once considered a "lost film", but I haven't read anything about it in years, and I don't know if a copy has ever been located.

Chris Ellis

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Hi John: Just found your post....I am sure I read somewhere that the Scarab Murder case is a lost film -- then again, one never knows! Chris.

John Cucinotta

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I know that some movies are clearly viewed as "lost", but sometimes the dividing line between "lost" and "difficult to find" is blurry.  The Nero Wolfe film from the 1930's titled "The League of Frightened Men" is sometimes referred to as lost, and sometimes referred to as difficult to find.  I searched for years, unable to locate a copy.  But a few years ago I bought a DVD copy on eBay from a seller in Canada.  The copy isn't great quality, but is definitely worth viewing, and I'm happy I found it.

GaryLeeOz

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Thanks for the headsup about "the League of Frightened Men". I received it in a movie swap but I don't think I've ever gotten around to watching it. I think Walter Connolly plays Nero Wolfe ... swapping his Father Brown costume for something more comfortable to wear ?

Talk about Lost films ... or more likely just long forgotten in one of Fox's movie vaults. I've been looking for the 1954 version of "Racing Blood" with Bill Williams and Jimmy Boyd (definitely not a mystery or detective movie. Just a kids movie about a thoroughbred foal secretly rescued from being "euthanised" by a little boy. I can still remember bits of that silly song that Jimmy sang when I last saw the movie on glorious B/W TV in the early 1960s. A few years ago, I thought I found a copy on a Sports themed budget DVDset but it turned out to be the more common 1936 movie with the wrong story summary and credits on the DVD cover.