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Burnt Evidence (1954, Duncan Lamont, Donald Gray)

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In taut little B picture Burnt Evidence electrician Jack Taylor (Duncan Lamont) is going through something of a hard time. His business is on the verge of going under and he is convinced his wife is having an affair with old friend Jimmy Thompson (Donald Gray). When Taylor decides to end it all he is confronted by Thompson in Taylor’s workshop before he gets the chance – in an altercation, the workshop is set on fire, Taylor shoots Thompson and flees.

Detective Inspector Bob Edwards (Meredith Edwards) begins an investigation and it’s initially thought that the body in the workshop is that of Taylor but when it’s discovered that it is in fact Thompson, Edwards becomes convinced that Taylor’s wife Diana (Jane Hylton) is the guilty party…

The script was co-written by Dixon of Dock Green creator Ted Willis, it’s a generally well played affair (including a great role for Irene Handl as the upstairs neighbour of the Taylor’s) however there are a few glaring inconsistencies towards the end as the story is wrapped up within the hour.

Donald Gray, the one armed actor best known for playing Mark Saber, here plays Jimmy Thompson. Nothing is said about his obvious fake arm as one of the major plot points involves the mistaking of Thompson for Taylor. Something that would obviously not have happened if Thompson was also missing an arm!

Cast: Jane Hylton as Diana Taylor; Duncan Lamont as Jack Taylor; Donald Gray as Jimmy Thompson; Meredith Edwards as Detective Inspector Bob Edwards; Cyril Smith as Detective Sergeant Alf Quinney; Irene Handl

Script: Percy Hoskins, Ted Willis / Director: Daniel Birt

UK | 61 minutes | 1954