Dir: Montgomery Tully
Starring: Russell Napier and Yvonne Andre
Scotland Yard detectives investigate the suspicious death of a rocket scientist, only to discover that he was being blackmailed by his secretary
This short crime film was part of the Scotland Yard series, a series of 39 episodes produced by Anglo-Amalgamated between 1953 and 1961. They are short films, largely half-hour in length, that were originally made to support the main feature in a cinema double-bill. Each film focused on a true crime case, with only the names changed, and featured an introduction by the crime writer Edgar Lustgarten. The White Cliffs Mystery was No.25 in the series. These films should not be confused with the BBC television series of the same name broadcast in 1960 which are unrelated. The White Cliffs Mystery features quite a bit in the way of railway footage that starts with a body being flung from a train as it passes through a station. This sequence begins with a Southern Region express heading into a tunnel hauled by a BR Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0. This was Fisherton Tunnel and Salisbury Tunnel Junction. There is then a scene filmed at an unknown station on the Southern Region where an S15 Class 4-6-0 can be seen standing in the background. The express then comes through the station, still hauled by the Standard, and a body comes sliding along the platform, much to the porter’s dismay. Later there is a shot of the concourse at Waterloo followed by a scene filmed in carriage sidings where the police undertake their preliminary investigations. The external scenes of the fictional ‘Seahaven’ station used Hastings. Finally, at the end there is a shot of a train which is supposed to be a flashback depicting the train on which the crime occurred. However, it is coming OUT of Fisherton Tunnel, and is hauled instead by ‘King Arthur’ Class N15 No.30448 Sir Tristram. This is then followed by a repeat of the earlier shot of the BR Standard coming through the station with the body sliding along the platform. All quite dramatic really. Interestingly, this grizzly sequence briefly reappeared in The Ghost Train Murder, Scotland Yard series film No.31 – which see.