The 20 Questions Murder Mystery 1950

The 20 Questions Murder Mystery is a 1950  British whodunit screened  on Talking Pictures TV this morning

The 20 Questions Murder Mystery 1950 4

 20 Questions, was a radio panel show  broadcast on  BBC Radio from 1947 to 1976. Host Stuart MacPherson and panelists Richard Dimbleby  and Jack Train, I do remember from the show – but the two others Jeanne De Casalis, Daphne Padel , I did not know at all.   When I listened it, it  had on the panel Joy Adamson and Anona Winn  plus ‘mystery voice’ Norman Hackforth.

However looking further into this, it appears that Daphne Padell had indeed been on the panel and was replaced in 1950 by Anona Winn.        In fact Daphne had been on of the panel when a special performance of 20 Questions was done in Windsor Castle with the King and Queen, with Princess Elizabeth and Princess Maragaret who were all seated on the front row of the audience in the Ballroom.  This occasion was Christmas 1949

The 20 Questions Murder Mystery 1950


The 20 Questions Murder Mystery 1950 3

However in this film Robert Beatty and Rona Anderson were  in the audience of the recording of the Radio Show A listener has submitted a mystery object, Rikki-Tikki-Tavy (the mongoose in Kipling’s story), which the panel didn’t guess. Later that night, a butcher named Ricky Tavy (Meadows White )is found hanged. Though Bob spots the connection, Inspector Charlton (Edward Lexy) of Scotland Yard puts it down as a suicide until another object suggestion (‘Hanging Judge’) from the anonymous listener is followed by the strangling of a retired Judge. It becomes apparent that a   killer is at work who links the murders through questions to the Show, and seems to be settling old scores dating back to a murder trial in India.

The 20 Questions Murder Mystery 1950 2

Eventually, it is Robert Beatty and Rona Anderson who together crack the case but only after they enlist the help of the 20 Questions panel – this culminating in the killer being flushed out as he goes for one murder too many.

Robert Beatty is an actor who seemed to eb around in Television plays / dramas in the early to mid fifties along with Tony Britton and Patrick Barr – as I remember it anyway.

Rona Anderson

In the 1950s, while watching a second feature at the local cinema,  British filmgoers would often have seen Rona Anderson.

She starred in 20 films between 1950 and 1958 – and this is one of them  mostly , low-budget thrillers. Opposite such lactors as Robert Beatty, Jimmy Hanley, John Bentley, Paul Carpenter and Lee Patterson.. She was the classy girlfriend who helps the hero solve a murder, as she did here

According to the Scottish actor Stanley Baxter, Anderson “had this incredible, porcelain-like face, too beautiful for film … The camera likes angularity, to see the edges, and I think Rona’s face was just too perfect.” Whatever the reason, she made few major films.

Rona Anderson and Gordon Jackson

She was happily married to actor Gordon Jackson ABOVE

Kenneth Williams was a great friend of the family for 30 years or more – and in his diaries he always spoke very highly of them when he had visited for a meal or for a chat.

A year or two after  this film, she appeared in the  drama ‘Little Red Monkey’ (1955), where she played opposite the Hollywood tough guy Richard Conte. This was the film version of the BBCTV serial that went our over six Saturday nights a year or more before.

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “The 20 Questions Murder Mystery 1950”

  1. David Rayner says:

    I watched it on Talking Pictures TV this morning as well, Neil, and thought it was very good.

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