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The Four Just Men

Interesting one, this. Produced in 1959, The Four Just Men was a TV series that took its title (but not a whole lot else!) from a book by Edgar Wallace. It was a half hour weekly show, in which four crusading friends battled crime and corruption in some of the world's biggest cities. The four stars took it in turns as the lead, so didn't actually work together, a format that allowed a fair bit of variety from week to week. Anyways, I bring it up as I just found an episode on YouTube, starring Judi Dench. She plays the girlfriend of a young engineering student, who has discovered dastardly corruption on a huge dam-building project in Surrey Italy. Cue dashing Italian 'Just Man' Ricco Poccari, hurrying to the rescue!

I especially enjoy the portrayal of Italy as a country where everybody speaks with an English accent, except for Poccari! Incidentally, the uploader is presumably a particular fan of Judi Dench, as they've also put up a 1963 episode of Z-Cars that features her. It's pretty good. You can amuse yourself watching her play a (teenage!) tearaway, giving a pre-beard (and therefore pre-shouty) Brian Blessed a hard time.


I've seen very little of Z-Cars over the years, but so far have always found it entertaining. Definitely recommended as worth investigating, and highly reminiscent of The Bill back when it was still good. But in black and white, obviously. And live!


( 13 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Dec. 12th, 2014 09:57 pm (UTC)
I seem to remember reading a series of adventures with the Four Just Men? wAsn't one of them Foreign?
Dec. 13th, 2014 01:15 pm (UTC)
I don't know about a book series. There was a book published in around 1946, which this show was tenuously based on. There may well have been a book series to accompany the TV I suppose. All four of the men were of different nationalities. French, British, American and Italian.
Dec. 16th, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
there is a whole book series by Edgar Wallace for The Four Just Men - at least one of them was Spanish, and I think one was French. You can get the books through Gutenberg Australia

Edited at 2014-12-16 10:35 pm (UTC)
Dec. 16th, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC)
Did they get referred to as the Spaniard and the Frenchman?

ooh, thanks, will check them out :)
Dec. 13th, 2014 04:36 am (UTC)
I especially enjoy the portrayal of Italy as a country where everybody speaks with an English accent, except for Poccari!

Presumably it shares a border with the France where everybody speaks the exact, the idiomatic English except for Poirot.
Dec. 13th, 2014 01:15 pm (UTC)
Ha. Yes! Television has some remarkable national borders, doesn't it!
Dec. 13th, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
I did watch a 'Four Just Men' on youtube ages ago but it was rather dull. I think I'll stick to semi-naked Judi Dench painted green in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. She looked quite cute so I don't know why she was told she didn't have a face for film.
Dec. 13th, 2014 01:19 pm (UTC)
Pfft. I suppose whoever said that was thinking that women on film should all look like Sophia Loren or something. I think Judi Dench has got a great face. It's got personality - and blimey, she's hardly ugly! Although I don't know that I'd go for green, personally.

You've been watching colour telly again then? Such decadence. :p
Dec. 13th, 2014 01:26 pm (UTC)
And Judi can do the intense Shakespearean actress staring without looking nuts - a talent indeed! Green doesn't suit everyone. I'll pass on green Ian Richardson & Ian Holm...

Not only that but an actual film filmed with, er, film!
Dec. 13th, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
Green suits Bill Bixby and Mark Ruffalo very well. Also Lou Ferrigno, obviously. Women seem less keen on it though. Presumably growling and ripping your shirt off is less popular amongst actresses.

Judi Dench is good all round. I used to really like that sitcom she did with Geoffrey Palmer, probably horribly long ago now. And she was terrific as M. She and Samantha Bond's Moneypenny were a terrific, modern double act up against the Brosnan Bond. I heard they chucked her after the most recent Bond movie though. I'd grumble, but I don't watch them anymore anyway.
Dec. 13th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
I hope Lou Ferrigno was all right after the Hulk ended there's not much work out there for green actors. Bill stayed pink didn't he? I'm sure they are lots of directors who like the idea of women ripping their tops off;p

As Time Goes By? Yes, that was good and ages ago. I'd grumble too - who wants any other M when they can have Dame Judi?
Dec. 13th, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
They didn't paint Bixby green, but they did wash him in green light for the transformation. As to Ferrigno, he's fine! They still use his growls for the Hulk nowadays, which means he earns a wage from the likes of "The Avengers". Can't be bad!

And yep, "As Time Goes By", that's the feller. Good show.
Dec. 14th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
Oh good, because I've been reading old magazines with interviews with Ferrigno in and he was going on sweetly about how his wife helped him make it and I was worried what happened next (but not enough to google him tho'!).
( 13 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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