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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The Teckman Mystery (1954)
(2022 Restoration)


Starring: Margaret Leighton, John Justin, Roland Culver, Michael Medwin, Duncan Lamont, Barbara Murray, Meier Tzelniker and George Coulouris
Distributor: StudioCanal


Certificate: PG
Release Date: 21 November 2022

Philip Chance is commissioned by his publisher to write the biography of Martin Teckman, a young airman who crashed and died whilst testing a new plane. But from the moment he arrives home, Chance is beset by a series of 'accidents' which indicate strongly that there are people who do not want to see Teckman's past investigated...

The Teckman Mystery was director Wendy Toye's first full length feature film and is an engaging suspense mystery which upends the conventions of the genre. The strong characterisation of the main players is quite against type and on occasion has all the hallmarks, minus the dark and foreboding cinematography, of classic film noir.

It's a movie that rewards repeat viewings as you discover some things are not quite what they appear at first glance. The staging and pacing is intricately planned and executed, and benefits from Toye's background in dance choreography.

Extras include The Extraordinary Career of Wendy Toye: Pt 1 (32 min 36 sec interviews with film historian Dr. Josephine Botting and film critic Pamela Hutchinson on Toye's life. It was interesting to learn that both Kenneth Williams and Denholm Elliott were considered for the role of Martin Teckman and that Peter Cushing and Boris Karloff were in the running to play Peter Chance's publisher); The Stranger Left No Card (1952) (23 min, 23 sec rarely-seen Cannes prize-winning short film); On The Twelfth Day… (1955) (21 min, 31 sec short based on the traditional English Christmas carol.)

The picture is crisp and the restoration team have done a remarkable job of restoring the movie back to its former glory. I have to admit that I actually found the two short film on here to be equally as rewarding as the main feature. The Stranger Left No Card in particular is, again, beautifully choreographed and the shift in tone between the start and ending is incredibly powerful. On the Twelfth Day is a whimsical look at how truly hideous it would be if your true love really did gift you so many bizarre presents.


Darren Rea

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