Sunday, 22 January 2012


THE EDGAR WALLACE SERIES of B-movies were another product of Merton Park Studios and

like the previous series, THE SCALES OF JUSTICE, it was produced by Jack Greenwood. Back in the early 1980's I interviewed Jack Greenwood for an article I hoped to send the The Edgar Wallace society. I told Greenwood that my absolute favourite of the series was THE MALPAS MYSTERY directed by Sidney Hayers. Greenwood informed me that this particular film was the only one of the more than forty films in the series (counting ACT OF MURDER which was not really an entry in the series) that he had not produced! This didn't exactly get the interview off to a good start so although he answered most of my questions he wasn't exactly forthcoming and the article was not a success and was never submitted.

The series was very watchable and the rotating bust of writer Edgar Wallace and the theme music "Man of Mystery" (made into a hit by The Shadows) were always welcome extras at the cinema. Unlike the earlier Merton Park series which had been 30 minutes running time the Wallace series ran for about an hour. The strength of the series was that they had good stories - robbery stories like SOLO FOR SPARROW to locked room murder mysteries like THE CLUE OF THE NEW PIN (one of the best) and my own favourite, the aforementioned THE MALPAS MYSTERY which had something of the flavour of the German Wallace "Krimi" films being made simultaneously in West Germany. Casts included all the usual British B movie suspects like Jack Watling, Geoffrey Keen, Michael Coles, Allan Cuthbetson and Michael Gough (who did three films) and among the supporting actors one can spot young Michael Caine as an Irish crook in SOLO FOR SPARROW.

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

Once again, this series is complete news to me! How dare you naughty English persons! You send us drek like CHARIOTS OF FIRE when you've got good stuff like THIS hidden away for yourselves! For shame! It's about that tea incident, isn't it? You're all still miffed about the tea. That's why MIRANDA still ain't-a been shown on US telly yet, either neither! Well, listen, I'll have you know that our very own John Adams defended you lot in court for shooting those guys at the Bostom Massacre. And he even got you off the hook! So, be nice and let us have some of the good stuff, willya? We're obviously starved for culture. . .I mean look at the politicians we're producing.

But enough about that. All I know is I'm sad Christmas has passed because I know what I want from Santa NEXT Christmas! I wanna revolving Edgar Wallace bust! Every home should have one. Does that come with fog-exuder included???