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Dick Turpin: Highwayman

UK 1956
produced by
Michael Carreras for Hammer/Exclusive
directed by David Paltenghi
starring Philip Friend, Diane Hart, Allan Cuthbertson, Raymond Rollett, Hal Osmond, Norman Mitchell, Ivor Collin, Barry De Boulay, John McDonald, Gabrielle Daye, George Mossman
written by Joel Murcott, music by Eric Winstone, title song sung by Dennis Hale

short
Dick Turpin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

England, the 18th century: Dick Turpin (Philip Friend) resides at an inn under an alias when he learns of a rich businessman, Hawkins (Raymond Rollett), on the way to the inn with a large dowry - from the very man, Redgrove (Allan Cuthbertson), who is to marry Hawkins' daughter Genevieve (Gabrielle Daye), but it's obvious that he cares more about the money than the girl. Turpin, being a highwayman by trade, of course makes the decision to relieve Hawkins of the money, but once he has succeeded, he's under attack from other highwaymen, but gets away. He later learns that Redgrove was actually in league with these highwaymen and that he never intended to actually marry Genevieve, who Turpin learns from her maid (Diane Hart) to be rather on the ugly side. So Turpin has a change of heart as he kills Redgrave's highwaymen, then gives Redgrove the dowry, but at the same time forces him to marry Genevieve after all ...

 

One would be hard-pressed to call this one anything special, but as low budget swashbucklers go, this one's pretty entertaining as it tells an amusing story with a few twists that actually succeed to surprise, and it doesn't try to achieve more than its budget allows - even if that on the flipside means there isn't much action and spectacle in this one.

 

On a sidenote, this is sometimes speculated to have been the pilot for a never realized TV series. There's no actual proof for this, but all the same the film does seem like an intended piece of a larger puzzle, and it would have been fun to see more of this incarnation of Dick Turpin for sure, maybe not so much for Philip Friend's portrayal of the character, which isn't all that special, but for the writing.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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A Killer Conversation

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directed by
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written by
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starring
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