The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)

  |  Comedy, Crime, Sport


The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939) Poster

During a charity soccer match between top professional side Arsenal and touring amateur side Trojans, the Trojan's new star player collapses. When he dies, Inspector Slade of Scotland Yard ... See full summary »


6.3/10
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3 November 2007 | Spondonman
7
| Unassuming yet fascinating
I probably agree with most comments here: a good not great film but still interesting in so many ways, mainly from the historical perspective. The world depicted was on another planet - even though Britain was at war the lunatics would not start to take over the asylum for another 30 years or so.

Professional Arsenal take on the amateur Trojans in special football match attended by millions of blue-chins in macs and hats live on BBC radio, and even commentated by legendary voice E.V.H. Emmett borrowed from Gaumont. One of the Trojans, a bit of a womaniser with a lot of enemies falls down dead at the beginning of the second half and the game is abandoned and is simultaneously on to find out whodunit. Slade of Scotland Yard is on the case, an inspector with eccentric and disconcerting habits played fantastically by Leslie Banks in a variety of appropriate hats. Although thousands of the Arsenal fans who saw todays game at the Emirates probably live in houses built before 1940 the "beautiful game" seems to have changed almost beyond recognition - capitalist business pressures seem to have atrophied everything that was once decent about it. The footballers played and the hordes watched as though it was only a game and didn't matter - the rich thugs who go to work on the pitch today present a completely different picture! Anyone fancy going back and practising heading those leather footballs? Surely they would miss the legalised GBH and sliding about in each others phlegm and spit! The mystery itself was simple but well padded out and entertaining, and the acting abilities veered from adequately professional to woodenly amateur.

I never bothered taping or buying this because it's on UK Channel 4 every few years – I assume it's always been bought so regularly mainly as a laugh for hooligans by the schedulers and not just for film fans. Use the chance when they provide it to watch this enjoyable and decent film non-cynically instead.

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