Television Films in the Fifties


Once ITV came into being, Hollywood filmed series such as ‘I Love Lucy’ ‘Gun Law’  ‘Rawhide’ Cheyenne, Wagon Train, Bonanza Maverick and Laramie became very popular  - so it seemed at that time the American produced  Film Series held sway.

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ABOVE – Peter Graves in Whiplash

So as regards the making of television films, we the British were again slow starters – but gradually we kicked into gear.  One of the first was ‘Mark Saber’ with Donald Gray and then The Man From Interpol.

J Carroll Naish was brought over to do ‘The Adventure of Charlie Chan’.

Twickenham Studios then made ‘White Hunter’ with Rhodes Reason – a film series that I really liked.

Beaconsfield came up with a bigger success with ‘Ivanhoe’ starring Roger Moore.

However British TV film producer – a TV pioneer was Hannah Fisher who brought us ‘The Adventure of Robin Hood’ with Richard Greene – and that hit the jackpot both here and in the USA where it went very well indeed.

She then produces ‘The Bucaneers’ with Robert Shaw and ‘Sir Lancelot’ with William Russell.  Neither of these had the success os Robin Hood though – but they were good and did well.

Another series ‘William Tell’ had Condar Phillips in the title role and also starred Jennifer Jayne.

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After the Swashbucklers we had Patrick McGoohan as Danger Man and Roger Moore as The Saint. Here Patrick McGoohan is directing this episode called: Vacation.

BELOW – a sample of the Television Films of the time.

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However one film series that did really well was The Human Jungle with Herbert Lom as Dr Roger Korder. This was an expensive series to make at £300,000, however it was well made and used at times, some well-known actors.

Herbert Lom was doing well in  his career and said to be earning £ 2000 per week. One of the regulars on the series was Sally Smith wh9o played Dr Korder’s daughter, Jennifer.

BELOW:  The Saint episode ‘Arrow of God’ here Roger Moore is with Honor Blackman.


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Above: Roger Moore as The Saint – with Jane Asher in  the episode – The Invisible Millionaire


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Roger Moore


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ABOVE:  Roger Moore with Vera Day in the episode The Man Who Was Lucky – from The Saint Series.


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Man of the World – with Shirley Eaton and Carlos Thompson – the episode was The Sentimental Agent.


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Man of the World – with Shirley Eaton and Carlos Thompson – the episode was The Sentimental Agent.


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Above:  Craig Stevens LEFT with Suzanne Neve and Joseph First in a Man of the World episode ‘Shadow of the Wall’


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Above: Craig Stevens and Jacqueline Ellis – an episode of Man of the World – entitled ‘Nature of Justice’






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