Most of the Peter Cheyney film adaptations appeared after his death in the 1950s and early 60s. The Wife of General Ling, the only pre-war film adaptation, was made in 1937 and the first post-war film starred Michael Rennie as Slim Callaghan, in the 1948 Uneasy Terms. In 1952 Tyrone Power starred as Mike Kells in Diplomatic Courier, adapted from Sinister Errand – which is one for the film buff: having bit-parts for Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson & Russ Conway.

Only five English language films were made, but Cheyney had a proper impact on the continental fim industry, where Lemmy Caution became something of a career path for the actor/singer Eddie Constantine, making over a dozen films and TV appearances as the agent. 

 

Most of the films, such as the 1953 Cet homme est dangereux, were straight book adaptations, but the best-known film to contain Lemmy Caution is Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville, made in 1965. The story could not be further from a Cheyney plot: Caution is sent to destroy the computer controlling a futuristic loveless Paris. Caution was again played by Eddie Constantine with co-star Anna Karina (at that time married to the director). Constantine re-visited the role for Godard in 1991, in Allemagne année 90 neuf zéro (Germany Year 90 Nine Zero).

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FILMS

For details on most of the titles see Peter Cheyney’s IMDB page

BRITISH/AMERICAN FILMS

 

1935 The Deputy Drummer (scenario)

1937 Wife of General Ling (story)

1948 Uneasy Terms (novel) / (screenplay)

1952 Diplomatic Courier (novel "Sinister Errand")

1953 Poison Ivy (novel)

1953 This Man Is Dangerous (novel "This Man is Dangerous")

1954 Dames Get Along (novel "Dames Don't Care")

1954 Meet Mr. Callaghan (novel "The Urgent Hangman")

1955 Amazing Mr. Callaghan (novel "Sorry You Have Been Troubled")

1960 The Amazing Mr. Callaghan (novel)

1960 Women Are Like That (novel "I'll Say She Does")

1962 Ladies' Man (novel)

1963 Your Turn, Darling (novel)

 

FOREIGN FILMS

 

1952 Full house (story - segment "Je suis un tendre")

1953 La môme vert-de-gris (based on novel "Poison Ivy")

1953 Les femmes s’en balancent (based on novel "Dames Don’t Care")

1953 Cet homme est dangereux (based on novel "This Man Is Dangerous")

1955 Plus de whisky pour Callaghan! (novel "It Couldn't Matter Less")

1955 À toi de jouer Callaghan (based on novel "Sorry You’ve Been Troubled")

1955 Diamond machine (novel)

1956 Vous pigez? (based on novel "Don’t Get Me Wrong")

1957 Et par ici la sortie (scenario)

1958 Ça n'arrive qu'aux vivants (novel)

1960 Comment qu’elle est! (based on novel "I’ll Say She Does! ")

1960 Callaghan remet ça (based on Peter Cheyney characters)

1961 Lemmy pour les dames (novel)

1963 À toi de faire... mignone (based on novel "Your Deal, My Lovely")

1965 Alphaville - Une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (based on Peter Cheyney characters)

1986 Makaroni Blues (based on Peter Cheyney characters)

1991 Allemagne 90 neuf zéro (based on Peter Cheyney characters)

 

TELEVISION

 

1952 Meet Mr. Callaghan (TV Movie) (novel "The Urgent Hangman")

1964 Slim Callaghan greift ein (TV Series) (8 episodes)

Weißer Flieder ... (novel)

Das Halsband der Kaiserin ... (novel)

Unter Mordverdacht ... (novel)

Liebelei in Moll ... (novel)

Einladung zum Mord ... (novel)

Die Erbschaft ... (novel)

Die Falle ... (novel)

Tanz um Mitternacht ... (novel)

1974 Les grands détectives (TV Series) (1 episode)

Rendez-vous dans les ténèbres ... (novel)

1976 Kottan Ermittelt (TV Series)

episode featuring Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution (1981)

1981 Au théâtre ce soir (TV Series) (1 episode)

Danse sans musique ... (novel "Dance without music")

1989 Le retour de Lemmy Caution

featuring Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution

BBC RADIO
 

The first revue ever broadcast by BBC radio was from Manchester in March 1925. Later the same year Peter Cheyney wrote part of the serial for the London revue Radio Radiance (featuring music hall star Tommy Handley making his radio debut).
 

Twenty four years later the BBC broadcast the first of 15 Cheyney serials and plays. From 1939 to 1954 the productions featured Lemmy Caution, Slim Callaghan, and other characters, such as Julia Herron and Alonzo MacTavish. Sadly, none of these recordings have survived, but five scripts were published in the book Making Crime Pay. These include the The Humour of Lo Chung (broadcast on 4 July 1939) together with scripts featuring Lemmy, Slim and Alonzo, which may have been broadcast as episodes in one of the serials, plus a play entitled Your Deal, Madame.

On 4 June 2008 at 3.30pm, BBC Radio 4 broadcast the Afternoon Reading, A Double Double-Cross, by Peter Cheyney, read by Rosalind Ayres (below), as part of a week of “classic spy stories of espionage – from the 1800s to the present day”, directed by Martin Jarvis, a J&A production.

Below are the listings of productions from the BBC archives, with details of the broadcast date, channel and some adaptation details.

BBC radio productions (with broadcast dates)


many thanks to Hazel Simpson, BBC archives researcher

• Murder in the Crisis (see under Death in the Crisis) • Regional, 02.01.1939
• The Adventures of Alonzo McTavish (serial) • National, began 14.03.1939
• The Humour of Lo Chung • (adaptation W.Cave-Brown-Cave) Empire, 04.07.1939
• The Callaghan Touch (serial) • Forces Programme, began 03.04.1941
• Knave Takes Queen • Home Service, 29.10.1941
• The Key • 05.09.1941 • Home Service, 26.12.1941
• The Lady Talks • 05.09.1941 • Home Service, 11.04.1942
• Again – Callaghan • Forces Programme, 01.07.1942
• Lemmy Caution (serial) • 21.12.1942 - 08.05.1943
...The Perfumed Murder • Home Service, 27.07.1943; Light Programme, 16.10.1946
...Concerto for Crooks • Home Service, 24.02.1943
...Parisian Ghost • Home Service, 08.05.1943
...Pay-off for Cupid • Home Service, 07.02.1945
• The Callaghan Comeback (serial) • Forces Programme, began 09.04.1943
• The Alibi Case • (no.6 of The Callaghan Comeback serial, broadcast seperately) Home Service, 05.07.1944
• The Adventures of Julia (serial) • Light Programme, began 02.08.1945
• Way Out • Home Service, 22.08.1945
• Duet for Crooks • Home Service, 29.05.1946
• Must Get Out • (adaptation Derek Hoddinott) 17.09.1952; Home Service, 20.01.1954
• A Double Double-Cross • read by Rosalind Ayres, Radio 4, 3.30pm, 04.06.2008

 

BBC radio, suggested, but not produced


• The Reclamation of Captain Kidd • 08.07.1946
• The Countess and Cupid • 04.09.1946
• The Curiosity of Etienne MacGregor • 01.04.1949
• Knave Takes Queen • (suggested adaptation Ralph H. H. Manchester) 11.12.1950
• Slim Callaghan series • (suggestion Philip Ridgeway) 30.05.1952
• Velvet Johnnie • 30.06.1952
• Velvet Johnnie • (adaptation Anthony Aspinall) 17.07.1952
• Scent and Sudden Death • (synopsis of adaptation Anthony Aspinall 03.10.1952); complete script 13.10.1952
• Must Get Out • (re-submission Derek Hoddinott) 05.03.1953
• Birds of a Feather • (adaptation John Goldsmith) 02.12.1954
• This Man is Dangerous • (suggested adaptation John Kier Cross) 31.05.1955
• Parisian Ghost • (suggested re-broadcast Raymond Raikes) 13.08.1957
• Knave Takes Queen • (suggested revival) 31.03.1959
• The King of Tarragon • (suggested June Spencer) 24.07.1962
• This Man is Dangerous • (suggested adaptation Malcolm Stewart) 24.04.1984

 

APPEARANCES AS SELF

 

1946 Personality! Meet - ????

"In a living room we see a man wearing a belted jacket pacing about and dictating to a woman taking shorthand. The man wears a monocle and has a cigarette holder..."

British Pathé: WATCH HERE

 

1947 Kaleidoscope (TV Series)

episode #1.7 – Meet Your Favourite Author segment – no known recording exists

© 2020 Adrian Sensicle.

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