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The Four Just Men (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Four Just Men
series title over the four men seated at a table
Created byEdgar Wallace
StarringDan Dailey
Richard Conte
Jack Hawkins
Vittorio De Sica
Theme music composerFrancis Chagrin
ComposerFrancis Chagrin
Country of originUK
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes39 (list of episodes)
Executive producerHannah Fisher
ProducersSidney Cole
Jud Kinberg
CinematographyKen Hodges
Harry Waxman
Peter Hennessy
Gerald Moss
Running time25 minutes
Production companySapphire Films
Original release
Release17 September 1959 (1959-09-17) –
17 August 1960 (1960-08-17)

The Four Just Men is a 1959 television series produced by Sapphire Films for ITC Entertainment. It was broadcast for one series of 39 half-hour monochrome episodes.

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The series, based on a sequence of novels by Edgar Wallace including a 1905 novel titled The Four Just Men, presents the adventures of four men who first meet while Allied soldiers in Italy during the Second World War, tasked with the dangerous job to blow up a bridge behind enemy lines. In England in 1959 the men are contacted by telegram by their commanding officer, Colonel Cyril Bacon. to meet again. Col. Bacon died a week before, but has left a recorded message for the men. He has also left a will that his money be used by the four men to fight for justice and against tyranny. They operate from different countries: Jeff Ryder is a professor of law at Columbia University in New York City, 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 main actors appear alternately (except in the first episode); one or occasionally two makes a brief appearance in each other's episode, often using a telephone. This rolling format, which could be useful to the stars, was later borrowed by other US drama series particularly in the 1960s such as The Rogues (1964-5) and The Name of the Game (1968-1971).

Cast and characters

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

Each character had an assistant:

Guest stars included Judi Dench, Alan Bates, Leonard Sachs, Patrick Troughton, Donald Pleasence, Richard Johnson, Ronald Howard, Basil Dignam, Roger Delgado, Fenella Fielding, Charles Gray, and Frank Thornton (who appeared in more roles than anyone else).


At the time, The 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 previously been cast as regulars in a television series. Indeed, only Dan Dailey would go on to another regular role on series television.

Filming of the 39 episodes, each 25 minutes long, began during 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]


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

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

StarTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1All"The Battle of the Bridge"Basil DeardenGene L. Coon
Story by Miriam Geiger and Don Castle
17 September 1959 (1959-09-17)
Four men who last met in battle, during the Allied invasion of Italy during 1943, are reunited by the death of their former commanding officer to hear a message recorded soon 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 donated for that purpose. They agree and become the Four Just Men. Features Anthony Bushell and Jack May.
2DD"The Prime Minister"Don ChaffeyOliver Skene
Story by Alec Coppel
24 September 1959 (1959-09-24)
A Middle Eastern prime minister, on his way to the United Nations in New York via Rome and Paris, is protected by the Four Just Men when he becomes an assassination target. Features Peter Illing, Maurice Kaufmann and Frank Thornton (uncredited). Brief appearances by Jack Hawkins and Vittorio de Sica.
3JH"Village of Shame"Basil DeardenLindsay Galloway1 October 1959 (1959-10-01)
A friend of Manfred is murdered in a small French village, Saint Paul, after discovering a German sympathiser from the Second World War 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. Features John Gabriel, George Pastell, Paul Stassino, Malou Pantera and Robert Cawdron. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
4RC"The Judge"Harry WattMarc Brandel8 October 1959 (1959-10-08)
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 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. Features Kay Callard, James Dyrenforth, Peter Dyneley, Naomi Chance and Robert Ayres. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
5VS"The Crying Jester"William FairchildWilliam Fairchild15 October 1959 (1959-10-15)
At an Italian art dealer's shop, Poccari takes a liking to a painting from Algeria, knowing it is not genuine; when an innocent man is mistaken for him and murdered, he suspects the painting may have a valuable secret. Features Betty McDowall, Dudley Foster, Lee Montague, Leonard Sachs, Frank Thornton, David Cole and George Pravda. Brief appearances by Dan Dailey and Honor Blackman.
6DD"The Beatniques"Don ChaffeyWilton Schiller
Story by Alec Coppel
22 October 1959 (1959-10-22)
In Cannes to cover the Film Festival, Collier is approached by a famous movie actress who is being blackmailed when her jewellery box was stolen when she was given a ride by three French beatniques; the box contained incriminating love letters in a false bottom. Features Cec Linder, Delphi Lawrence, David Graham, Malou Pantera, Oscar Quitak, Frank Thornton, Max Faulkner and Dennis Edwards. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
7JH"The Deserter"Basil DeardenJohn Baines29 October 1959 (1959-10-29)
A young British Army officer, on active service in an island colony under martial law, goes missing for six weeks and is sent for court-martial for desertion. His mother appeals to Manfred for help, but when the officer offers no defence and is found guilty, Manfred suspects there is more to the case than is apparent. Features Richard Johnson, Ronald Howard, Melissa Stribling, Basil Dignam, Neil Hallett and Harold Goodwin. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
8RC"Dead Man's Switch"Harry WattWilton Schiller5 November 1959 (1959-11-05)
The father of a young Puerto Rican, stabbed in a brawl at a boys' club, decides to take revenge illegally; he holds hostage a racist and a troublemaker—author of a free newsletter—by holding a grenade with the pin taken out. Ryder has to risk his life to prevent further tragedy. Features Richard Pasco, Bill Nagy, Mary Barclay, Margaret Wolfit and Frank Thornton (uncredited). Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
9VS"The Night of the Precious Stone"William FairchildGuy Morgan12 November 1959 (1959-11-12)
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 forces to steal the priceless "Empress Diamonds". The police arrest every member of the gang except one, whose identity remains unknown. Features 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 main actors appear.)
10DD"The Deadly Capsule"Compton BennettJan Read
Story by Oliver Skene and Samuel B. West
19 November 1959 (1959-11-19)
Collier investigates the circumstances surrounding the death, on the road from Grenoble to Paris, of a famous atomic scientist who was working on food preservation using a deadly radioactive capsule; the capsule has disappeared and may have been used by children. Features Elwyn Brook-Jones, Frederick Schrecker and Lily Kann. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
11JH"Their Man in London"Basil DeardenLeon Griffiths26 November 1959 (1959-11-26)
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. Features June Thorburn, Mark Dignam and Maurice Kaufmann. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
12VS"Maya"William FairchildWilliam Fairchild10 December 1959 (1959-12-10)
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; when Ryder arrives in Rome to inform Poccari that the King has been killed, Poccari realises the next target is the next-in-line to be Queen, the reluctant Maya. Features Mai Zetterling, Peter Illing and Michael Peake. Brief appearances by Richard Conte and Vittorio De Sica.
13JH"National Treasure"Basil DeardenOwen Holder
Story by Janet Green
24 December 1959 (1959-12-24)
A dying millionaire confesses to 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. Features William Lucas, Richard Wordsworth, Toke Townley, Patricia Hayes and Frank Thornton.
14RC"Panic Button"Anthony BushellMarianne Foster and Samuel B. West31 December 1959 (1959-12-31)
The daughter of a research scientist appeals to 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. Features Paul Carpenter, Sheila Gallagher, Ewen Solon, Jess Conrad, Warren Mitchell and Oliver Reed (uncredited). Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
15VS"The Man with the Golden Touch"Basil DeardenLouis Marks
Story by Jan Read
7 January 1960 (1960-01-07)
A millionaire's urn, to be auctioned to provide funds for a boys' home for the poor of Naples, is stolen. Pietro, a former juvenile delinquent, is suspected of the crime; he absconds to Poccari, who believes the boy to be innocent of the crime and determines to find the real thief with the help of the urchins of Naples. Features Richard O'Sullivan, Philip Latham, Brewster Mason, Ewen Solon and Frank Thornton. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
16DD"Marie"Don ChaffeyGene Levitt and Louis Marks14 January 1960 (1960-01-14)
Marie is an Algerian girl in Paris with no papers; 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. Features Perlita Neilson, Alec Mango, Peggy Ann Clifford, Frank Thornton, Julian Sherrier and Michael Peake. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
17JH"The Survivor"Basil DeardenMarc Brandel21 January 1960 (1960-01-21)
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 has its own opinions on the survivor, and when Collier reveals the list is phoney, Manfred has to discover the man's motives and intentions. Features Donald Pleasence, Patricia Burke, Allan Cuthbertson, Frank Thornton and Kevin Stoney. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
18RC"The Discovery"Don ChaffeyMarc Brandel28 January 1960 (1960-01-28)
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. Features John Gabriel, Lionel Murton, Gordon Sterne, Budd Knapp and Helena Hughes. Brief appearances by Vittorio De Sica and Dan Dailey.
19VS"The Rietti Group"William FairchildWilliam Fairchild4 February 1960 (1960-02-04)
Two wartime Allied paratroopers, staying at Poccari's hotel, inform him that there was a traitor in an Italian partisan group of which he was a member. Poccari, knowing death awaits the traitor, agrees to help them at a reunion meeting of "The Rietti Group" at the hotel. Features Geoffrey Keen, Simon Lack, Ronan O'Casey, Robert Rietti and Olaf Pooley. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
20DD"The Man in the Road"Don ChaffeyGeorge Slavin and Samuel B. West11 February 1960 (1960-02-11)
Travelling from the French Alps to Paris, an American ambassador's wife kills a cyclist; when she is blackmailed, Collier suspects a plot to discredit her husband. Features Charles Gray, Patrick Barr, Simone Lovell, Frank Thornton and Jane Asher. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
21JH"Money to Burn"Basil DeardenJan Read17 February 1960 (1960-02-17)
Lady Barling, wife of Sir Walter Barling, owner of respected banknote printers Barlings, asks Manfred for help when her husband is tricked into printing five million pesos for a South American republic that will be used to debase the currency of the country and cause a coup. Features Charles Gray, Alan Tilvern, Ian Hunter, Helena Pickard, Wolf Frees and Frank Thornton. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
22RC"Crack-Up"Anthony BushellLouis Marks
Story by Lee Leob
24 February 1960 (1960-02-24)
A private aeroplane carrying five million dollars in stolen bullion is lost without trace in the Canadian wilderness. Five years later the aeroplane is found, and Ryder is asked by the pilot's widow to prove that her husband was innocent of the theft. Features Robert Shaw, Paul Eddington, Delena Kidd and Charles Irwin. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
23DD"The Miracle of St. Phillipe"Don ChaffeyJan Read and Louis Marks
Story by Barbara Hammer
9 March 1960 (1960-03-09)
The theft from a French village of a sacred relic, the Samaritan Cup, and the murder of the village's mayor comes to the attention of Collier, who has been brought there 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. Features Paul Daneman, John Gabriel, Richard Caldicot and Margaret Tyzack. Brief appearance by Vittorio De Sica.
24VS"The Slaver"Harry WattLindsay Galloway30 March 1960 (1960-03-30)
Poccari finds a highly organised slave market based in Rome when Ryder asks him to look after an American journalist, Dexter, who is due to arrive in Rome to give evidence at a United Nations committee. Dexter has vanished, and Poccari is aided by Rosalina who knows both Dexter and the chief of the slave ring. Features Charles Gray, Roger Delgado, Ronan O'Casey, Anthony Jacobs and June Rodney. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
25DD"The Princess"Don ChaffeyFrank Tarloff and Louis Marks6 April 1960 (1960-04-06)
A princess from a small Asian kingdom, who is visiting Europe and whom Collier is trying to interview, seems to be a willing target for murder. Her entourage are complicit, because she is unable to provide the heir her country must have to survive. Features Betta St. John, Leonard Sachs, Lee Montague and Frank Thornton (uncredited). Brief appearances by Jack Hawkins and Richard Conte.
26RC"The Protector"Don ChaffeyAlan Morland and Leon Griffiths
Story by Alan Morland and Samuel B. West
20 April 1960 (1960-04-20)
Janis Gorman, the head of a wealthy foundation after the death of her father, believes she is going insane, suffering from delusions after she is influenced by Dr Bannerman from England where he had a patient who committed suicide. Her American doctors ask Ryder for help. Features Maureen Connell, Ferdy Mayne and John Welsh. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
27VS"The Man in the Royal Suite"William FairchildJohn Collier and Samuel B. West
From an idea by Alec Coppel
27 April 1960 (1960-04-27)
A racketeer's clerk deported from the U.S.A. arrives at the Hotel Poccari, to ask Poccari to hide him from his boss—who has also been deported to Rome and is still managing his American rackets. Poccari pities him and allows him to hide in the hotel's royal suite, masquerading as a millionaire. Features Kenneth Connor, Eric Pohlmann, Susan Marryott, Robert Rietti and Edward Evans. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
28DD"The Grandmother"Don ChaffeyMarc Brandel4 May 1960 (1960-05-04)
A scandal involving the supply of faulty ammunition to the French army fighting in Algiers is investigated by Collier, and leads to one of the most honoured families in France. The proud and aristocratic matriarch of the family is determined to protect its reputation and prevent him from revealing the truth. Features Marie Ney, Fred Kitchen, Trader Faulkner, Joanna Dunham, John Van Eyssen and John Dearth. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
29JH"The Man Who Wasn't There"Basil DeardenLindsay Galloway11 May 1960 (1960-05-11)
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 hideout for his own safety, but coded letters written by the scientist to his daughter implicate a top-secret Scottish naval base. Features Lionel Jeffries, William Mervyn, Michael Ripper, Richard Thorp, Gerard Heinz and Sheila Allen. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
30RC"The Bystanders"Don ChaffeyFrancis Rosenwald18 May 1960 (1960-05-18)
When a 12-year-old girl, Katy Pearson, infatuated with a 20-year-old tennis player, Ted Fenimore—strongly tipped to be the next Wimbledon champion—accuses him of molesting her, Ryder has the task of finding the truth from townspeople unwilling to help. Features Ronald Allen, Jeanette Bradbury, Patrick Holt, Robert Gallico and Michael Peake. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
31VS"Rogue's Harvest"Basil DeardenT. E. B. Clarke25 May 1960 (1960-05-25)
Poccari is approached by the girlfriend of an embittered young criminal, who hid stolen money before he was jailed for a robbery committed five 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. Features Richard Pasco, Roger Delgado, Vera Fusek, George Pastell, Elizabeth Wallace and William Dexter. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.
32DD"The Godfather"Don ChaffeyWilton Schiller
Story by Wilton Schiller and William Fairchild
1 June 1960 (1960-06-01)
Collier's friend Ernst Frenke arrives in Paris with his wife and adopted son, Collier's 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 arrives and the boy is kidnapped for a million-dollar ransom, Collier has to find the kidnappers, who know he has the money. Features George Murcell, Sheila Allen, Eric Pohlmann, Laurence Payne and Tom Clegg. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
33RC"Riot"Anthony BushellLeon Griffiths
Story by Louis Marks
8 June 1960 (1960-06-08)
When 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 battle with state troopers, two troopers and four prisoners are killed, leaving Ryder trying to defuse the situation. Features Neil McCallum, Peter Dyneley, Percy Herbert and Max Faulkner.
34JH"The Heritage"Basil DeardenLouis Marks15 June 1960 (1960-06-15)
On the Republic of Ireland–United Kingdom border a plot to bomb a police station by the IRA is foiled by Kevan Malone, 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. Features Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Jack Melford, Concepta Fennell, Barry Keegan and Shay Gorman. Brief appearance by Dan Dailey.
35RC"The Last Days of Nick Pompey"Don ChaffeyJackson Gillis22 June 1960 (1960-06-22)
Gangster Nick Pompey offers Ryder his criminal account books if he will travel to Rome to find his missing wife and daughter. Poccari assists him in tracking the wife and daughter held by Pompey's Italian representative who wants the books to take control from Pompey. Features Reed De Rouen, Betty McDowall, Eddie Byrne and Yvette Hosler. Brief appearances by Vittorio De Sica and Richard Conte.
36DD"The Moment of Truth"Don ChaffeyFrancis Rosenwald13 July 1960 (1960-07-13)
Young debutant Spanish bullfighter Cesarito Arenas has a secret fear of the bullfighting ring after his father Cesar was killed in the ring. Vito, his trainer, enlists the aid of the visiting Collier, who knew the boy's father and tells the boy the truth about his father. Features Jeremy Spenser and Patrick Troughton.
37RC"Justice for Gino"Harry WattLindsay Galloway
Story by Michael Connor
27 July 1960 (1960-07-27)
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. Features Vivian Matalon, Alan Tilvern, Mavis Villiers, Alan Gifford, Louise Collins and Edward Evans. Brief appearance by Jack Hawkins.
38JH"The Boy Without a Country"Basil DeardenMarc Brandel10 August 1960 (1960-08-10)
Taking up the newspaper story of Vito, a 14-year-old stateless orphan, who escaped from his life as a cabin boy aboard a tramp steamer, docked in London, with 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. Features Joseph Cuby, Martin Benson, Peter Illing, Victor Brooks and Frank Thornton. Brief appearances by Dan Dailey and Vittorio De Sica.
39VS"Treviso Dam"Basil DeardenLindsay Galloway17 August 1960 (1960-08-17)
Poccari becomes involved when a young worker telephones 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. Features Alan Bates, Judi Dench, George Pastell, Fenella Fielding and Brian McDermott. Brief appearance by Richard Conte.


Network released the 39 episodes on August 13, 2010 in a five-DVD Region 2 set.[3][4]


  1. ^ End credits of 23 individual episodes.
  2. ^ Before 1968 ATV transmitted weekdays in the Midlands and weekends in London. See History of ITV
  3. ^ "Four Just Men (The): The Complete Series". Network Distributing Limited. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  4. ^ "The Four Just Men – The Complete Series [DVD]". Retrieved 24 July 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 February 2024, at 21:59
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