14 January 2011 | malcolm-webb
Without Mr.Woods it would have been a complete disaster
Low-budget crime show boosted by having dependable Donald Woods, supported by Columbia's first Batman, Lewis Wilson. Rest of cast are a pretty dismal lot, but there are some luminaries in the odd episode, such as Lane Bradford and Phyllis Coates. Generally though, the studio bound series entries are hard-going on the viewer. Occasionally we see Donald walk outside to his car which is refreshing, but within seconds he is back on another inferior set. Never mind, it is always good to watch Mr.Woods, and here he displays his usual screen persona of quiet competence, integrity and dedication to the task. Here in the UK, Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors Ltd. released around nine supporting features consisting of two TV episodes to each title, starting in late 1953 with Craig Kennedy, Criminologist. Other titles included Undercover Agent, Two Kinds of Murder, Murder Preferred, Double Fraud, Craig Kennedy Investigates, Ready to Die, Manhandled, and finally, Tall,Dark,and Dead in the summer of 1959. Each film runs 50m. and most were destined for the flea-pits and second-run halls. The film reviewer for the Monthly Film Bulletin, published by the venerable British Film Institute noted in the critique for Craig Kennedy Investigates ... " It is to be hoped that even the least discriminating film-goer has the intuition to avoid seeing films as remarkably badly made as this one. That the episodes were almost certainly intended for television, is hardly an excuse ". Fair enough.