Operation Diplomat (1953)

UK / 68 minutes / bw / Nettlefold, Butcher’s Dir: John Guillermin Pr: Ernest G. Roy Scr: A.R. Rawlinson, John Guillermin Story: Operation Diplomat (1952 TV series) by Francis Durbridge Cine: Gerald Gibbs Cast: Guy Rolfe, Lisa Daniely, Patricia Dainton, Sydney Tafler, Ballard Berkeley, Anton Diffring, Michael Golden, James Raglan, Avice Landone, Brian Worth, Eric Berry, Edward Dain, Alexis Chesnakov, Ann Bennett, Jean Hardwicke, William Franklyn, Desmond Llewelyn, Derek Aylward.

Operation Diplomat - 0 opener

Mark Fenton (Rolfe), a surgeon at St. Matthew’s Hospital in London, is strolling along the Thames one evening when a nurse (uncredited; possibly Jean Hardwicke) leaps out of an ambulance to tell him to come quickly: there’s an urgent case he must attend to. Implausibly—but this is a Francis Durbridge tale—he agrees to climb into the back of the ambulance with her, finding not a patient but a sinister, gun-toting man called Wade (Tafler). Wade tells him they must drive a distance to where the patient is, but declines to yield up any more information.

Operation Diplomat - 1a Fenton is walking by the Thames when . . .

Fenton (Guy Rolfe) is walking by the Thames when . . .

Operation Diplomat - 1b. . . a pretty nurse leaps from an ambulance and urges him to come with her

. . . a pretty nurse (uncredited; possibly Jean Hardwicke) leaps from an ambulance and urges him to come with her.

Hours later they arrive at a mansion. Aided by a doctor who’s been struck off the Medical Register, Edward Schröder (Diffring), by the nurse we’ve already met and by a nurse with swoony eyes, Fenton operates on the man, whom we’ll discover before too long is missing diplomat Sir Oliver Peters (Raglan), Chairman of Western Defence. Afterwards, Wade gives Fenton a tumbler of Scotch, which he Continue reading

Send for Paul Temple (1946)

vt The Green Finger
UK / 84 minutes / bw / Butcher’s Dir & Pr: John Argyle Scr: John Argyle, Francis Durbridge Story: Send for Paul Temple (1938 radio play) by Francis Durbridge Cine: Geoffrey Faithfull Cast: Anthony Hulme, Joy Shelton, Tamara Desni, Jack Raine, Beatrice Varley, Hylton Allen, Maire O’Neill, Michael Golden, Richard Shayne, Edward V. Robson, Phil Ray, Leslie Weston, Olive Sloane, H. Victor Weske, Norman Pierce, Melville Crawford, Charles Wade.

Send for Paul Temple - 0 opener

A gang of jewelry robbers is terrorizing the English Midlands, and its members aren’t afraid to kill anyone who gets in the way. The only clue the cops have comes from the dying words of a night watchman: “The Green Finger.”

Bestselling mystery novelist Paul Temple (Hulme) is visited at his country home near Evesham by his old friend Chief Inspector Gerald Harvey (Crawford), but almost immediately Harvey is shot down in one of the local pubs, The Little General. The landlord, Horace Daley (Ray), insists the death must have been a suicide, and when the local physician, Dr. Milton (Allen), arrives he seems to agree. The only other person who might cast some light on the subject is the pub’s solitary resident guest, the middle-aged Miss Amelia Marchment (Varley). Her hobby, it emerges, is the history of old English inns, and she announces that The Little General is in fact a far more ancient inn than is generally realized . . . and that it was originally called The Green Finger!

Send for Paul Temple - 2 Miss Marchment and crooked publican Daley

The seemingly ingeuous Miss Marchment (the splendid Beatrice Varley) and the crooked publican Horace Daley (Phil Ray).

Steve Trent (Shelton), a journalist on one of the London newspapers, has been running a campaign along the lines that, since Scotland Yard is bamboozled by the gang, the cops should “send for Paul Temple”—although quite why the Yard should think a Continue reading

Teckman Mystery, The (1954)

UK / 88 minutes / bw / Corona, British Lion Dir: Wendy Toye Pr: Josef Somlo Scr: Francis Durbridge, James Matthews Story: Francis Durbridge Cine: Jack Hildyard Cast: Margaret Leighton, John Justin, Meier Tzelniker, Michael Medwin, Roland Culver, George Coulouris, Jane Wenham, Duncan Lamont, Raymond Huntley, Harry Locke, Frances Rowe.

Successful thriller writer Philip Chance (Justin) is called from the South of France by his publisher, Maurice Miller (Huntley), who wants him to write the biography of a young test pilot, Martin Teckman (Medwin), who died during the test flight of an experimental warplane, the Walters–Armitage F109. On the plane to London Philip discovers that the passenger next to him is the dead pilot’s sister Helen (Leighton), and there’s a spark between them.

Teckman Mystery - 1 a chance meeting on the plane

It’s every author’s dream: the stunningly attractive person seated next to you on the plane happens to be reading one of your books . . .

Philip arrives home to find his flat has been ransacked. Unusually, the break-in is investigated not by a couple of beat officers but by a full-blown Scotland Yard inspector, Hilton (Lamont).

Although not much interested in writing the biography, Philip agrees at least to Continue reading