The Arsenal Stadium Mystery
|The Arsenal Stadium Mystery|
Arsenal manager George Allison gives a tactical team-talk to his players
|Directed by||Thorold Dickinson|
|Produced by||Josef Somlo|
|Written by||Leonard Gribble (novel)
|Music by||Miklós Rózsa|
|Edited by||Sidney Stone|
Greenspan & Seligman (G&S Films)
|Distributed by||General Film Distributors|
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is a 1939 English mystery film and one of the first feature films wherein football is a central element in the plot. The film was directed by Thorold Dickinson, and shot at Denham Film Studios and on location at Arsenal Stadium. It was written by Dickinson, Donald Bull, and Alan Hyman, adapted from a novel by Leonard Gribble.
The film is a murder mystery set, as the title suggests, at the Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London, then the home of Arsenal Football Club, who were at the time (and remain) one of the dominant teams in English football. The backdrop is a friendly match between Arsenal and The Trojans, a fictitious amateur side. As so one of the Trojans' players drops dead during the match, and when it is revealed he has been poisoned, suspicion falls on his teammates as well as his former mistress. Detective Inspector Slade (Leslie Banks) is called in to solve the crime.
The film stars several Arsenal players and staff such as Cliff Bastin and Eddie Hapgood, although only manager George Allison has a speaking part. The Trojans' body doubles on the pitch were players from Brentford, during the First Division fixture between the two sides on 6 May 1939; this was the last match of the 1938–39 season and Arsenal's last official league fixture before the outbreak of the Second World War. Brentford players wore white shirts for the match because their first choice red and white stripes would have clashed with Arsenal's red and white jerseys. The Trojans players wore white shirts in close up sequences which were then cut in with the match action.
- Leslie Banks as Insp. Anthony Slade
- Greta Gynt as Gwen Lee
- Ian McLean as Sgt. Clinton
- Liane Linden as Inga Larson
- Anthony Bushell as John Doyce
- Esmond Knight as Raille
- Brian Worth as Phillip Morring
- Richard Norris as Setchley
- Wyndham Goldie as Kindilett
- Alastair MacIntyre as Carter
- George Allison as Himself