Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paul Temple: the TV series

Just spent $25 for the surviving 11 episodes of Paul Temple, a British/German TV series from 1969-1971. Received the discs today.

The last episode of the series was "Critics, Yes. But This is Ridiculous." It survives. Simon Lack played Inspector Agnew, with his actual Scots accent.

He only shows up in the last ten minutes, when Japp, a hippie, is murdered. (Although staged to look like suicide.)

There's a bunch of hippies in this episode - not part of the Paul Temple scene at all. There's drug taking, which is. Not from Paul and Steve, of course, but from the hippies. And the hippies aren't the easy going ones of the USA, but sullen, violent ones who attempt to stomp to death the murderer when he is found.

Not a cheerful episode, and not one that properly sends off the series, imho,

I wonder if "they" - the casting directors/powers that be - cast Lack in this because he'd been practically all the radio episodes and so deserved to be in the final ep...but if so I wish they'd given him a better vehicle in which to shine - redo the Alex Affair where he's the villain, or the Van Dyke Affair - something where he could show his acting chops!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Simon Lack in They Drive By Night (1938)

Every so often, I do a google image search on Steve Ihnat and Simon Lack, just to see if anyone's put some photos on the web. (And if there are photos, there'll be text!)

Well, today my search finally paid off. For Simon Lack, at least.

In doing a Google image search, I found a Spotlight Casting Directory page that had a very young Simon Lack on it, circa 1939. (He'd be 24 if born in 1915, which most sources say.) (The photo was newly uploaded as a memorabilia company in London was offering it for sale.)

It listed his height - 5' 9" I have to admit I was surprised by that. He'd always seemed much shorter than that to me. I guess everyone he ever acted against must have been very tall. (Patrick McGoohan was 6'2, so he was 5 inches shorter than him...I guess that's why he looked so short in his Secret Agent ep when he was speaking with McGoohan.)

Anyway, the paper also listed three movies he'd been in...one of which was They Drive By Night (1938). I checked the IMDB and he wasn't listed in it. Then I checked YouTube, and glory be it was there, uploaded in its entirety. )Being 74 years old I guess it's in the public domain.

I started watching it, and a very young Simon Lack appeared within the first 5 minutes. As the star of the film is coming out of prison, Simon stops him. He wonders if Shorty had known Allen in prison. Shorty give shim a flip reply and walks past, until Simon says that Allen is his brother. Allen is due to die at 9 o'clock am for having killed a woman. Simon speaks in a soft, Scottish-accented voice (which of course makes sense as he is Scottish!) and then bows his head as 9 am tolls and inside the prison he knows his brother is being hung.

Simon Lack on the left talks to Emlyn Williams as Shorty on the right.

 "Roy Allen" wants to know if Shorty knew Allen in prison (they never give his first name) and how he took his last day before his scheduled execution.

A bell begins to toll nine am. (That white streak at Emlyn's mouth is a cigarette.)