GenreComedy, Crime, Sport CinematographyDesmond Dickinson LanguageEnglish
WriterThorold Dickinson, Donald Bull, Patrick Kirwan, Alan Hyman Release dateNovember 1939 (1939-11) CastLeslie Banks (Inspector Anthony Slade), Greta Gynt (Gwen Lee), Ian McLean (Sergeant Clinton (as Ian Maclean)), Liane Linden (Inga Larson), Anthony Bushell (John Doyce - Trojan Team Member), Esmond Knight (Raille - Trojan Team Member) Similar moviesFever Pitch (1997)
Rubbish reviews football movies the arsenal stadium mystery
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.
Dickinson planned a follow-up, The Denham Studio Mystery, which was intended to incorporate footage from the abortive film I Claudius, but this fell through.