Edgar Wallace Presents: The Four Just Men

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REVIEW

Hoisting its anti-appeasement colours right to the top of Ealing Studios' metaphorical mast, The Four Just Men very firmly outs the Nazis as the villains of this particular adaptation in all but name. Made in the immediate pre-war period (it was released in June 1939, just over two months prior to Britain declaring war on Germany) this particular spin on Edgar Wallace's 1905 novel concerns itself with the emerging threat from a "foreign power" and its quisling plant in Her Majesty's Government.

With the involvement of a plucky female reporter our four heroes are intent on restoring order by smashing the spy ring and foiling the plot to destroy the Empire. What could have been yet another runaround is actually a good, solid piece of drama from the period, with Walter Forde's sterling direction complemented by (triple-Oscar-nominated) cinematographer Ronald Neame's crisp, monochromatic compositions. Re-released in 1944, Ealing added a patriotic coda to the film which undoubtedly fired the blood of anyone who saw it in the cinema that year. God save the King.

Harry Martineau

The Four Just Men

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION


Produced by Michael Balcon for Ealing Studios on the eve of the Second World War, The Four Just Men recounts crime novelist Edgar Wallace’s tale of the clandestine band of vigilantes who have united to uphold democracy, fight tyranny and protect British interests worldwide. A patriotic remake of George Ridgeway’s silent of 1921 – also inspiring ITC’s cult series of 1959 – this innovative thriller sees the unconventional heroes thwarting a dictator’s plan to destroy the British Empire.

Originally released several months prior to the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, The Four Just Men was re-released in 1944 with a new coda reflecting the current wartime position. Featured here in a brand-new transfer from original film elements of the 1944 re-issue, The Four Just Men is showcased in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

Spirited out of a condemned cell where he has learnt of a plot to sabotage the Suez Canal, James Terry is able to reveal two clues to his fellow members of the Four Just Men – two vital clues pointing towards a dastardly plan to bring down the whole of the British Empire

SPECIAL FEATURE:

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Reference
7953865
Barcode
5027626386542
Classification
TBC
Number of Discs
1
Picture
1.33:1 / Black and White
Sound
Mono / English
Subtitles
None
Region
2 / PAL
Time
85