Edgar Wallace: Flying Squad on DVD

Sunday, 13 April 2014 23:00 Written by 

The Flying Squad - out now on DVDBased on a thriller by prolific author Edgar Wallace, “The Flying Squad” is about a police inspector's cat and mouse pursuit of a cold-blooded criminal. At New Scotland Yard, Inspector Bradley (Sebastian Shaw - Anakin Skywalker in “Return of the Jedi”) is threatened with demotion by his boss unless he can deliver results. Bradley suspects Mark McGill, a reputable business man by day, is involved in a major smuggling racket.

McGill (Jack Hawkins – “Zulu”, “Ben Hur”, “Lawrence of Arabia”) is indeed involved in contraband, sneakily smuggling drugs into London via an elaborate combination of plane, canal boat and lorry, and hidden amongst French cosmetics to throw even his fellow wrong-doers off the scent. Whilst presenting a sophisticated, charming image, the ultra-cautious McGill deals with potential lose ends in his organisation with brutal efficiency.

The film also stars Phyllis Brooks (“Charlie Chan in Honolulu”) as the wife of one of McGill's crew who gets deeply involved, Basil Radford (“The Lady Vanishes”) as a comical regular visitor to Her Majesty's prisons, and Cyril Smith (The Adventures of Sir Lancelot) as McGill's shifty right-hand man.

At a slender running time of 59 minutes, the film rockets along and the scenes are very economical. Somehow director Herbert Brenon (“Beau Geste”) manages to cram in a car chase and a brawl amongst the intrigue and exposition. The movie simulates the sensation of reading a real page-turner as Bradley and McGill do their best to outwit one-another with Brooks' femme fatale caught in the middle.

74 years on, the film is very much of its era in terms of the directorial style and plot delivery, but Network Distributing have  done a good job of cleaning the picture up and the sound quality is also pretty good. Fans of vintage British flicks will savour the punchy drama as it unfolds.

Special features on the disc include an image gallery and a promotional PDF.

“The Flying Squad” (1940) is out now on DVD, courtesy of Network. The main feature has a running time of 59 minutes approx, carries a ‘PG’ certificate and retails for £9.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Monday, 21 April 2014 10:22

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