Saturday, July 12, 2014

On DVD: Mystery Theatre (1951)

Tom Conway was known to film audiences from his role as The Falcon in a series of films based on the radio series. In 1951, Conway made the transition to television to play another detective, Mark Saber, of the Homicide Squad on Mystery Theatre, which ran for a few years on ABC.

With all the crime dramas on the air at the time, Mystery Theatre, by its very title, implied it was an anthology series, until it trumpeted its lone feature. However, Saber was no Falcon. Not that I'd know, since I'd never seen any of the Falcon movies. Saber was just another generic, cookie-cutter gumshoe of the period. After about 2-3 years, ABC gave up and cancelled the show.

However, Saber wasn't going away quietly. A South African actor, Donald Gray, took over the role for a new series, The Vise, later retitled Saber of London, in 1955, and that ran for 5 seasons overseas. Seems the British took to Saber better than we did here.

Anyway, courtesy of Internet Archive, here's "The Case of the Hair of the Dog":

This plays like it wants to be Gang Busters, for example, but doesn't come close.

Rating: C.

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