One of my favourite TV channels these days is Talking Pictures TV – a place that gives new life to old movies, many of them obscure, but most an absolute joy in one way or other.
Recently [I write this in June 2016] I watched back-to-back a couple of low-budget films I’d recorded from the channel:
The Flaw (1955), a sub-Hitchcock crime thriller, with a young Donald Houston as the hero, pitched against his love rival John Bentley as a famous ‘racing motorist’ with intent to kill.
The Woman Eater (1958), a daft British B-movie about a mad scientist and a large plant that eats beautiful young women.
Both are very entertaining, and are interesting in different ways: The Flaw, for instance, is directed by Terence Fisher, who went on to such acclaim with Hammer Films; while, the scientist in The Woman Eater is played by George Coulouris – a star of Orson Welles’ magnificent Citizen Kane 17 years earlier.
But they also have something in common, I noticed – the screenplays are by the same man. I hadn’t heard of Brandon Fleming until I spotted his name in these credits; but how versatile, I thought – he must have been turning out scripts for movies of all kinds in the ’50s.
However, a little research showed he hadn’t written The Flaw in the ’50s at all. The original film from his script was made in 1933, and the 1955 version (which he also produced) was a remake.
His writing credits extend from the ’20s to the ’60s, and also include at least a couple of novels and plays. His Wikipedia entry gives little biographical info, and IMDb seems to suggest there is not one Brandon Fleming, but two – one who was active in the 1920s and ’30s, and another in the ’50s and into the ’60s. What a coincidence that someone with the same name wrote a screenplay called The Flaw 22 years apart!
Somebody’s got the Brandon Fleming story wrong, but whatever the case, I suspect we’ll be treated to more of his penmanship on Talking Pictures before long.