In The Arsenal Stadium Mystery Director Thorold Dickinson collaborated with Donald Bull in writing the screen adaptation of Leonard Gribble’s novel for a slice of vintage British thrills.
Most unusual of these accessories was the setting – Arsenal Football Club’s Highbury Stadium – and the presence of the Arsenal team complete with manager George Allison. The occasion is a charity soccer match between Arsenal and the Trojans, a champion team of amateurs, during which the Trojans’ brilliant-but-conceited centre forward Anthony Bushell collapses and dies and is found to have been murdered by means, it transpires, of a poisoned ring.
The match is stopped and Scotland Yard inspector Leslie Banks is called in. In the course of his investigation he discovers plenty of suspects. Among them are Greta Gynt, Bushell’s discarded mistress; her fiancé Brian Worth; Wyndham Goldie, whose daughter had killed herself on Bushell’s account and, for good measure, two other Trojans team members. A second murder occurs before Banks finally unmasks the killer during a replay of the Arsenal – Trojans game.
Dickinson, who also served as his own cinematographer, uses Highbury locations to add impact to the narrative and draws strong performances from his cast, notably from Banks. There was praise, too, for Arsenal manager George Allison’s appearance as himself and for the legendary commentator E V H Emmett who, unsurprisingly, appeared as a commentator on the match.
UK | 84 minutes | 1939
Director: Thorold Dickinson
Writers: Thorold Dickinson, Donald Bull, from the novel by Leonard Gribble
Dennis Wyndham as Commissionaire
Esmond Knight as Raille – Trojan Team Member
Greta Gynt as Gwen Lee
Brian Worth as Philip Morring – Trojan Team Member
Vincent Holman as Coroner
Leslie Banks as Inspector Anthony Slade
David Keir as Dr. Meadow
Ian McLean as Sergeant Clinton
Liane Linden as Inga Larson
Anthony Bushell as John Doyce – Trojan Team Member
Richard Norris as Setchley – Trojan Team Member
Wyndham Goldie as Kindilett
Alastair MacIntyre as Carter
George Allison as Himself
Tom Whittaker as Himself
E.V.H. Emmett as Himself
Johnnie Schofield as Arsenal doctor
Bruce Winston as Composer
Maire O’Neill as Housekeeper
Cliff Bastin as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
Gordon Bremner as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
Jack Crayston as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
P.R. Crompton as Trojan Team Member
H.A. Davies as Trojan Captain
Ted Drake as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
Alf Fields as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
K. Goodyear as Trojan Team Member
Eddie Hapgood as Himself – Arsenal Captain
Bryn Jones as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
Leslie Jones as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
Alf Kirchen as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
R.W. Lees as Trojan Team Member
W.J. Lewington as Referee
George Male as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
J.W. Naylor as Trojan Team Member
S. Schofield as Trojan Team Member
R. Sturdy as Trojan Team Member
George Swindin as Himself – Arsenal Team Member
R. Woods as Trojan Team Member
Mike Johnson as Programme Seller
Vi Kaley as Neighbour At Window
Charles Rolfe as Witness
and this just in
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