The Four Just Men (TV series)

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The Four Just Men
Four Just Men titlecard
Genre Drama
Created by Edgar Wallace
Starring Dan Dailey
Richard Conte
Jack Hawkins
Vittorio De Sica
Theme music composer Francis Chagrin
Composer(s) Francis Chagrin
Country of origin UK
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 39 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Hannah Fisher
Producer(s) Sidney Cole
Jud Kinberg
Cinematography Ken Hodges
Harry Waxman
Peter Hennessy
Gerald Moss
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Sapphire Films
Distributor Incorporated Television Company
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format 35 mm film 4:3 B/W
Audio format Mono
Original run 17 September 1959 (1959-09-17) – 17 August 1960 (1960-08-17)

The Four Just Men was a 1959 Sapphire Films production for ITC Entertainment. It ran for one season of 39 half-hour monochrome episodes.

Plot[edit]

The series, loosely based on a series of novels by Edgar Wallace, presents the adventures of four men who first meet while fighting in Italy during the Second World War. The men later reassemble, and decide to fight for justice and against tyranny, using money set aside for the purpose by their late commanding officer. They operate from different countries: Jeff Ryder is a professor of law at Columbia University in New York, Tim Collier is an American reporter based in Paris, Ben Manfred is a crusading independent MP who works from London and Ricco Poccari is an Italian hotelier based in Rome. Their reputation as the "Four Just Men" is well-known.

The series is unusual in having the four lead actors appear in turn other than in the first episode; one or occasionally two makes a brief appearance in each other's episode, usually on the phone.

Cast and characters[edit]

Richard Conte, Dan Dailey, Jack Hawkins, and Vittorio De Sica

Each character had an assistant:

Production[edit]

At the time Four Just Men was the most ambitious film series yet made for British TV. It was produced by Sapphire Films at Walton Studios, and on location in Britain, France and Italy. NOne of its four stars had been cast as regulars in a TV series before.

Filming on the 39 episodes, each 25 minutes long, began in January 1959, and lasted for five months, using up to seven units in the studio or on location, and producing two or three episodes simultaneously.

John Schlesinger was credited as exterior unit or second unit director on a number of episodes.[1]

Episode list[edit]

Airdate is for ATV Midlands [2] ITV regions varied date and order.

Each story featured one star and often brief appearances of the others.
DD = Dan Dailey
JH = Jack Hawkins
RC = Richard Conte
VS = Vittorio De Sica.

Ep # Star Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
1 All "The Battle of the Bridge" Basil Deardon Gene L. Coon
Story by Miriam Geiger and Don Castle
17 September 1959
Four men who last met in battle during the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943 are reunited by the death of their former commanding officer to hear a message recorded shortly before his death. He appeals to them to form a quartet dedicated to fighting injustice and tyranny with a large sum of money he has left for that purpose. They agree and become the Four Just Men. Stars Anthony Bushell and Jack May.
2 DD "The Prime Minister" Don Chaffey Oliver Skene
Story by Alec Coppel
24 September 1959
A middle eastern Prime Minister on his way to the United Nations in New York via Rome and Paris comes under the protection of The Four Just Men when he becomes an assassination target that comes to a head in Paris. Stars Peter Illing, Maurice Kaufmann and Frank Thornton (uncredited). Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins and Vittorrio de Sica.
3 JH "Village of Shame" Basil Deardon Lindsay Galloway 1 October 1959
A friend of Ben Manfred's is murdered in a small French village of Saint Paul after discovering a German sympathiser from World War II in the village. Manfred goes to the village to investigate and he finds the whole village against him, but he is determined to bring the murderer to justice and expose the traitor. Stars John Gabriel, George Pastell, Paul Stassino, Malou Pantera and Robert Cawdron. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
4 RC "The Judge" Harry Watt Marc Brandel 8 October 1959
When a young woman is charged with the murder of her husband by poisoning, the evidence of the popular local doctor is accepted without question by everyone except her lawyer who was once a student taught by Jeff Ryder. Ryder is asked for help and finds himself at the mercy of an angry mob and a doctor with his own sense of justice. Stars Kay Callard, James Dyrenforth, Peter Dyneley, Naomi Chance, and Robert Ayres. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
5 VS "The Crying Jester" William Fairchild William Fairchild 8 October 1959
At an Italian art dealers shop Poccari takes a liking to a painting from Algerier knowing it is not genuine and when an innocent man is murdered mistaken for him he suspects the painting may have a valuable secret. Stars. Betty McDowall, Dudley Foster, Lee Montague, Leonard Sachs, Frank Thornton, David Cole and George Pravda. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey and Honor Blackman.
6 DD "The Beatniques" Don Chaffey Wilton Schiller
Story by Alec Coppel
22 October 1959
In Cannes to cover the Film Festival Tim Collier is approached by a famous film actress who is being blackmailed when her jewellery box was stolen, containing incriminating love letters in a false bottom, when she was given a lift by three French beatniques. Stars Cec Linder, Delphi Lawrence, David Graham, Malou Pantera, Oscar Quitak, Frank Thornton, Max Faulkner and Dennis Edwards. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
7 JH "The Deserter" Basil Deardon John Baines 29 October 1959
A young British Army Officer on active service on an island colony under martial law goes missing for six weeks and is sent for court-martial for desertion. The officer's mother appeals to Ben Manfred for help but when the officer offers no defence and is found guilty Manfred suspects more to the case than meets the eye. Stars Richard Johnson, Ronald Howard, Melissa Stribling, Basil Dignam, Neil Hallett and Harold Goodwin. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
8 RC "Dead Man's Switch" Harry Watt Wilton Schiller 5 November 1959
When the father of a young Puerto Rican stabbed in a brawl at a boys club decides to take the law into his own hands by holding hostage a racist and a troublemaker author of a free newsletter by holding a grenade with the pin taken out. Jeff Ryder has to risk his life to prevent further tragedy. Stars Richard Pasco, Bill Nagy, Mary Barclay, Margaret Wolfit, and Frank Thornton (uncredited). Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
9 VS "The Night of the Precious Stone" William Fairchild Guy Morgan 12 November 1959
Organising a charity ball at his hotel for his Naples Boys Club Poccari receives a warning from the other Just Men that jewel thieves are joining together to steal the priceless "Empress Diamonds". The police arrest every member of the gang except one whose identity remains unknown. Stars Brenda De Banzie, Patrick Troughton, Bruce Boa, Gordon Sterne and Robert Rietti. Brief appearances by Richard Conte, Jack Hawkins, and Dan Dailey. (This is the only episode other than the first in which all four stars appear.)
10 DD "The Deadly Capsule" Compton Bennett Jan Read
Story by Oliver Skene and Samuel B. West
19 November 1959
Tim Collier investigates the circumstances surrounding the death of a famous atomic scientist on the road from Grenoble to Paris who was working on food preservation using a deadly radio-active capsule which has disappeared and may have fallen into the hands of children. Stars Elwyn Brook-Jones, Frederick Schrecker and Lily Kann. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
11 JH "Their Man in London" Basil Deardon Leon Griffiths 26 November 1959
An opponent of the Guatarican dictatorship is murdered in London, Manfred believes the killer is hiding under diplomatic immunity in the Guatarican embassy but on meeting the suspect's English girlfriend realises he might be a prisoner. Stars June Thorburn, Mark Dignam, and Maurice Kaufmann. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
12 VS "Maya" William Fairchild William Fairchild 10 December 1959
Princess Maya is the fun loving younger sister of the King of Kawlat wasting her riches on her boyfriend Bruno. Bruno, in debt, is blackmailed by rebels planning a coup and when Jeff Ryder arrives in Rome to inform Poccari that the King has been killed, Poccari realises the next target is, the next in line as Queen, the reluctant Maya. Stars Mai Zetterling, Peter Illing and Michael Peake. Brief appearance by Richard Conte with Vittorio De Sica.
13 JH "National Treasure" Basil Deardon Owen Holder
Story by Janet Green
24 December 1959
When a dying millionaire confesses to Ben Manfred that a painting by Rembrandt in a famous London art gallery is a forgery and that he has the original and wants Manfred to return it secretly. Manfred agrees intending to use the forgery to flush out the original thieves. Stars William Lucas, Richard Wordsworth, Toke Townley, Patricia Hayes, and Frank Thornton.
14 RC "Panic Button" Anthony Bushell Marianne Foster and Samuel B. West 31 December 1959
The daughter of a research scientist appeals to Jeff Ryder for help when in a laboratory accident her father is exposed to a harmless amount of radiation and the people in the town, Fairview, where he lives and works believe that they will be contaminated and die. Stars Paul Carpenter, Sheila Gallagher, Ewen Solon, Jess Conrad, Warren Mitchell, and Oliver Reed (uncredited). Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
15 VS "The Man with the Golden Touch" Basil Deardon Louis Marks
Story by Jan Read
7 January 1960
A millionaire's urn to be auctioned to provide funds for a boys' home for the poor of Naples is stolen and Pietro, a former juvenile delinquent, is suspected of the crime and runs away to Poccari who believes the boy to be innocent of the crime and sets out to find the real thief with the help of the urchins of Naples. Stars Richard O'Sullivan, Philip Latham, Brewster Mason, Ewen Solon and Frank Thornton. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
16 DD "Marie" Don Chaffey Gene Levitt and Louis Marks 14 January 1960
Marie is an Algerian girl in Paris with no papers and Tim Collier stops her from committing suicide but before he can question her she disappears. Determined to find her he discovers from Manfred in London that her family were killed by Algerian extremists and that she might be responsible. Stars Perlita Neilson, Alec Mango, Peggy Ann Clifford, Frank Thornton, Julian Sherrier and Michael Peake. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
17 JH "The Survivor" Basil Deardon Marc Brandel 21 January 1960
Manfred is given a list of persons who are Nazi sympathisers, trying to gain positions of authority, in Germany by a former concentration camp survivor. MI5 have their own opinions on the survivor and when Tim Collier reveals the list is phoney Manfred has to discover the man's motives and intentions. Stars Donald Pleasence, Patricia Burke, Allan Cuthbertson, Frank Thornton and Kevin Stoney. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
18 RC "The Discovery" Don Chaffey Marc Brandel 28 January 1960
An unlicensed Italian doctor is charged with murder when he gives an elderly patient an unauthorised drug. Known to Poccari and Collier, Ryder defends the doctor by desperate and unusual means. Stars John Gabriel, Lionel Murton, Gordon Sterne, Budd Knapp, and Helena Hughes. Brief appearances by Vittorio De Sica and Dan Dailey.
19 VS "The Rietti Group" William Fairchild William Fairchild 4 February 1960
Two allied wartime paratroopers staying at Poccari's hotel inform him that there was a traitor in an Italian partisan group that he was a member of and Poccari knowing death awaits the traitor agrees to help them at a reunion meeting of "The Rietti Group" at the hotel. Stars Geoffrey Keen, Simon Lack, Ronan O'Casey, Robert Rietti and Olaf Pooley. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
20 DD "The Man in the Road" Don Chaffey George Slavin and Samuel B. West 11 February 1960
Travelling from the French Alps to Paris an American Ambassador's wife kills a cyclist and when she is blackmailed Tim Collier suspects a plot to discredit her husband. Stars Charles Gray, Patrick Barr, Simone Lovell, Frank Thornton, and Jane Asher. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
21 JH "Money to Burn" Basil Deardon Jan Read 17 February 1960
Lady Barling, wife of Sir Walter Barling owner of respected bank note printers Barlings, asks Ben Manfred for help when her husband is tricked into printing five million pesos for a South American republic that will be used to undermine the currency of the country and lead to a coup. Stars Charles Gray, Alan Tilvern, Ian Hunter, Helena Pickard, Wolf Frees, and Frank Thornton. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
22 RC "Crack-Up" Anthony Bushell Louis Marks
Story by Lee Leob
24 February 1960
A private plane carrying five million dollars in stolen bullion is lost without trace in the Canadian wilderness. Five years later the plane is found and Jeff Ryder is approached by the pilot's widow to prove her husband was innocent of the theft. Stars Robert Shaw, Paul Eddington, Delena Kidd, and Charles Irwin. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
23 DD "The Miracle of St. Phillipe" Don Chaffey Jan Read and Louis Marks
Story by Barbara Hammer
9 March 1960
The theft from a French village of a sacred relic, The Samaritan Cup, and the murder of the Mayor comes to the attention of Tim Collier brought by Nicole for the annual festival. A man who has confessed to every crime in the village for the last six months is dismissed as a madman by the police. Stars Paul Daneman, John Gabriel, Richard Caldicot, and Margaret Tyzack. Brief appearance by Vittorio De Sica.
24 VS "The Slaver" Harry Watt Lindsay Galloway 30 March 1960
Poccari stumbles onto a highly organised slave market based in Rome when Jeff Ryder asks him to look after an American journalist, Dexter, due to arrive in Rome to give evidence at United Nations committee. Dexter has vanished and Ricco is aided by Rosalina who is close to both Dexter and the head of the slave ring. Stars Charles Gray, Roger Delgado, Ronan O'Casey, Anthony Jacobs and June Rodney. Brief appearance by Richard Conte
25 DD "The Princess" Don Chaffey Frank Tarloff and Louis Marks 6 April 1960
The Princess of a small Asiatic kingdom, visiting Europe, Tim collier is trying to interview seems to be a willing target for murder and her entourage are complicit because she is unable to provide the heir her country must have to survive. Stars Betta St. John, Leonard Sachs, Lee Montague, and Frank Thornton (uncredited). Brief appearances by Jack Hawkins and Richard Conte.
26 RC "The Protector" Don Chaffey Alan Morland and Leon Griffiths
Story by Alan Morland and Samuel B. West
20 April 1960
Janis Gorman the head of a wealthy foundation following the death of her father believes she is going insane, suffering from delusions after she come under the influence of Dr Bannerman from England where he had a patient who committed suicide. Her American doctors ask Jeff Ryder for help. Stars Maureen Connell, Ferdy Mayne and John Welsh. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
27 VS "The Man in the Royal Suite" William Fairchild John Collier and Samuel B. West
From an idea by Alec Coppel
27 April 1960
A racketeer's clerk deported from the U.S.A. arrives at the Hotel Poccari to ask Poccari to hide him from his boss also deported to Rome and still running his American rackets. Poccari takes pity on him and allows him to hide in the hotel's royal suite masquerading as a millionaire. Stars Kenneth Connor, Eric Pohlmann, Susan Marryott, Robert Rietti and Edward Evans. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
28 DD "The Grandmother" Don Chaffey Marc Brandel 4 May 1960
A scandal involving the supply of faulty ammunition to the French army fighting in Algiers is investigated by Tim Collier and leads to one of the most honoured families in France whose reputation the proud and aristocratic matriarch of the family is determined to protect and prevent him from revealing the truth. Stars Marie Ney, Fred Kitchen, Trader Faulkner, Joanna Dunham, John Van Eyssen and John Dearth. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
29 JH "The Man Who Wasn't There" Basil Dearden Lindsay Galloway 11 May 1960
The daughter of an eminent metallurgist engaged on top secret work asks Manfred to look for her father whom the government has taken to a secret hide-out for his own safety, but coded letters written by the scientist to his daughter lead to a top secret Scottish naval base. Stars Lionel Jeffries, William Mervyn, Michael Ripper, Richard Thorp, Gerard Heinz, and Sheila Allen. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
30 RC "The Bystanders" Don Chaffey Francis Rosenwald 18 May 1960
When a 12-year-old girl, Katy Pearson, with a crush on a 20-year-old tennis player, Ted Fenimore, strongly tipped to be the next Wimbledon champion accuses him of molesting her, Jeff Ryder has the task of finding the truth from townspeople unwilling to help. Stars Ronald Allen, Jeanette Bradbury, Patrick Holt, Robert Gallico, and Michael Peake. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
31 VS "Rogue's Harvest" Basil Deardon T. E. B. Clarke 25 May 1960
Poccari is approached by the girlfriend of an embittered young criminal who has hidden stolen money before he was jailed for a robbery committed 5 years earlier. Now on his release she wants Poccari's help to stop him getting into more trouble by returning the money to the victim. Stars Richard Pasco, Roger Delgado, Vera Fusek, George Pastell, Elizabeth Wallace and William Dexter. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
32 DD "The Godfather" Don Chaffey Wilton Schiller
Story by Wilton Schiller and William Fairchild
1 June 1960
Tim Collier's friend Ernst Frenke arrives in Paris with his wife and adopted son, Colliers Godson, carrying a million dollars to buy jet fighters from black-market racketeers for his small middle eastern country. When his son's real mother turns up and the boy is kidnapped for a million dollar ransom Collier has to find the kidnappers who know he has the money. Stars George Murcell, Sheila Allen, Eric Pohlmann, Laurence Payne and Tom Clegg. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
33 RC "Riot" Anthony Bushell Leon Griffiths
Story by Louis Marks
8 June 1960
Visiting a client at the state prison Ryder is held hostage with three prison guards in a riot, organised by his client, about prison conditions. In a pitched battle with state troopers two troopers and four prisoners are killed leaving Ryder trying to defuse the situation. Stars Neil McCallum, Peter Dyneley, Percy Herbert, and Max Faulkner.
34 JH "The Heritage" Basil Deardon Louis Marks 15 June 1960
On the Eire-Northern Ireland border a plot to blow up a police station by the IRA is foiled by Joe Nelson, a nationalist, who unlike the other saboteurs is strongly opposed to violence. Captured by the police and then freed by his fellow saboteurs to be tried as a traitor. Nelson's girlfriend asks Manfred to help resolve the problem of a heritage of divided loyalties. Stars Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Jack Melford, Concepta Fennell, Barry Keegan, Jack Melford and Shay Gorman. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
35 RC "The Last Days of Nick Pompey" Don Chaffey Jackson Gillis 22 June 1960
Gangster Nick Pompey offers Jeff Ryder his criminal account books if he will travel to Rome to find his missing wife and daughter. Poccari assists him in tracking down the wife and daughter held by Pompey's Italian representative who wants the books to take over from Pompey. Stars Reed De Rouen, Betty McDowall, Eddie Byrne, and Yvette Hosler. Brief appearance by Vittorio De Sica with Richard Conte.
36 DD "The Moment of Truth" Don Chaffey Francis Rosenwald 13 July 1960
Young debutant Spanish bullfighter Cesarito Arenas has a secret fear of the ring after his father Cesar was killed in the ring at the height of his career. Vito, his trainer, enlists the aid of visiting Tim Collier who knew the boy's father and in a heart to heart tells the boy the truth about his father. Stars Jeremy Spenser and Patrick Troughton.
37 RC "Justice for Gino" Harry Watt Lindsay Galloway
Story by Michael Connor
27 July 1960
Gino, a notorious gangster, is murdered indirectly by his brother, Arthur, arriving in New York. Seeking information from Jeff Ryder so he can kill the murderer Ryder has to find the killer first via Gino's ex-girlfriend now with his main rival before Arthur does. Stars Vivian Matalon, Alan Tilvern, Mavis Villiers, Alan Gifford, Louise Collins and Edward Evans. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
38 JH "The Boy Without a Country" Basil Deardon Marc Brandel 10 August 1960
Taking up the newspaper story of Vito, a 14-year-old stateless orphan, who escaped from his life as a cabin boy on board a tramp steamer, docked in London, under a vicious captain. Arrested by the police for theft Manfred decides to help Vito to get permission to stay in England. The captain is more interested in getting his stolen property back. Stars Joseph Cuby, Martin Benson, Peter Illing, Victor Brooks, and Frank Thornton. Brief appearances by Dan Dailey and Vittorio De Sica.
39 VS "Treviso Dam" Basil Deardon Lindsay Galloway 17 August 1960
Poccari becomes involved when a young worker phones claiming the Treviso Dam was being built with substandard concrete. Travelling the 300 miles to the Dam, Poccari is shocked to find the young man has been killed in an accident and the man had a rival for the affections of a girl. Stars Alan Bates, Judi Dench, George Pastell, Fenella Fielding, and Brian McDermott. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.

DVD[edit]

Network DVD released the 39 episodes in August 2010 in a 5 DVD region 2 set. It is no longer sold on their website as of December 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ End credits of 23 individual episodes.
  2. ^ Before 1968 ATV transmitted weekdays in the Midlands and weekends in London. See History of ITV

External links[edit]