THE ARSENAL STADIUM MYSTERY
UK, 1940, 84 minutes, Black and white.
Leslie Banks, Greta Gynt, Esmond Knight.
Directed by Thorold Dickenson.
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is very much a film of the 30s, yet, the performance by Lesley Banks as Inspector Slade is still very entertaining. The film focuses on the English love of Soccer, commentaries, clips from games. However, there is a very 30s crime and investigation. Lesley Banks offers a most eccentric performance as Inspector Slade, all mannerisms, witty English delivery. His assistant acts as a dumb stooge for his performance and it works particularly well.
The usual suspects are there, particularly members of a Soccer team. With the murders and the investigations we had a glimpse of life in London of the 30s. We also get some feeling for the popularity of soccer at the time with the games, locker rooms, referees, fans.
1. Interesting and entertaining murder mystery, 30s style?
2. Black and white photography, the insertion of Soccer footage ? The atmosphere of London? Apartments, the clubs? The musical score?
3. The title and its focus - and a touch of realism?
4. The focus on the central characters - Gwen and her relationship with her fiancee, with Jack Doyle, the break with Jack? Her going to the game with her friend Inga? The teams, spirit, the charity match, the build-up? The characters?
5. The opening with the newsreel footage of soccer games, the introduction to the members of the two teams? The comments about soccer playing and tactics? The interplay between the men? The characters in the teams? The commentator and the coverage of the match?
6. Doyle and the gift at half time, his playing and collapse, his death? The reaction of the players? Wanting to get out? The fiancee and his tension? The scientist and his friend? The players, the reserves, possible jealousies? The officials?
7. Inspector Slade, his rehearsals for his performance, the police and their ballet dancing? Slade and his hats? His relationship with Clinton? Going to investigate, his way of speaking, the gentleman, leading people on? The range of his interviews? Tracking down Gwen, arriving before her Fiancee? The coffee with the Epsom salts? The investigations, the science laboratory, the drug? The treatment room and it being sealed? The break-in? The phone conversations, the interviews? His continual reaction with Clinton? The confrontation with Gwen and Inga? Gwen's death? His setting up the process for the unmaking of the criminal, leaving Clinton to make the arrest? His going back to his rehearsal? The story about the death of the young woman, the discovery of who her father was, the tracking down of the potential killers? An offbeat detective - and his donning Sherlock Holmes cloak and hat at the end? The character of Clinton, playing up to Slade, doing the slog work?. The final arrest?
8. Jack Doyle, callous, obnoxious, his death?
9. The fiancee, wealth, love for Gwen? Jealousy? Suspect? His knowing of Gwen's connections, hearing the truth, hurrying to her flat? Her death, his being under suspicion? In love with Inga? Inga, friendship with Gwen, trying to help her, seeming to blame her? The happy ending?
10. The players, the scientist and his discovery of the drug? His room mate, the reserve - and the irony of the background to his fiancee, jealousy of Doyle? His being the murderer? His stained hands and his reactions during the match? His arrest?
11. The officials and their collaboration? The official and the story of his daughter, her suicide, his blaming the players? The unmasking of the killer?
1.entertaining brief murder mastery - with the bonus of the eccentric detective?