AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 8022926895854216971.jpg
y separately published work icon I Killed the Count : A Play In Three Acts single work   drama   crime   thriller   - Three acts
Issue Details: First known date: 1938... 1938 I Killed the Count : A Play In Three Acts
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Exhibitions

8014692
8014658

Adaptations

y separately published work icon I Killed the Count Alec Coppel , London : Blackie , 1939 Z810757 1939 single work novel

Novelised version of his play.

form y separately published work icon I Killed the Count Who Is Guilty? Lawrence Huntington , ( dir. Frederic Zelnik ) United Kingdom (UK) : Grafton Films , 1939 6391865 1939 single work film/TV crime mystery

'A pebble is best hidden on a beach, and in the same way the danger from an incriminating clue can best be overcome by providing a host of false ones. Thus four apparently quite separate individuals here each confess to the murder of a certain undesirable Count Mattoni (Mr. Leslie Perrins), who is found shot in his bedroom in a fashionable block of flats, and in each case the story they have to tell is supported by substantial evidence. One speaks of smashing a light bulb, and the bulb is found smashed; another tells of blackmail and incriminating letters, and these are discovered in the Count's safe; a third describes how he handled a wad of notes with blood-stained fingers, and his prints are duly found upon them. Yet the times all differ, and there are as many clues to exonerate as there are to convict. Detective-inspector Davidson (Mr. Syd Walker) and his young assistant (Mr. Terence de Marney) not unnaturally find much to puzzle them in all this, but until a spate of confessions comes to shatter their theories they assemble their data by careful investigation, and the director of the film has skilfully observed the several characters with whom they are concerned. The garrulous maid who discovers the body, the indignant liftman with a weakness for dog-racing, the harrassed business man trying to put through a deal with a Frenchman who cannot understand a word he says, the coquettish chorus-girl and the temperamental prima donna–all appear intermittently throughout the film to good effect. Comedy is present but is kept in its place, and the final solution is acceptable. There may seem a doubt about the point of law which finally provides the criminals with a loophole for escape, but the amateur detective can follow their investigation with interest and without any fear of being cheated by its climax.'

Source:

'New Films in London. A Plan for Murder', The Times, 3 July 1939, p.12.

y separately published work icon I Killed the Count Max Afford , Australia : ABC Radio National , 1941 8013934 1941 single work radio play crime humour

'When Count Victor Mattoni was found dead in his flat at Oxley Court, there was no doubt that he was murdered. No fewer than four persons claimed the honor of doing the fatal deed. And each one of the four produced conclusive evidence that he — and he alone — was the murderer! Small wonder that Inspector Davidson, investigating the crime, was at his wits' end. Well, who did kill the Count? Here is a reduced version of Alec Coppel's brilliant mystery play that baffled and amused audiences in London and in Australia, where it was played some months ago.'

Source:

'I Killed the Count', Barrier Daily Truth, 21 February 1941, p.6.

y separately published work icon I Killed the Count Martyn C. Webster , United Kingdom (UK) : British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) , 1945 6432125 1945 single work radio play crime humour

Radio play adaptation of Alec Coppel's play.

form y separately published work icon I Killed the Count Alec Coppel , England : British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) , 1948 6392190 1948 single work film/TV crime mystery

The second film adaptation of Alec Coppel's play, this time adapted by Coppel himself for the BBC.

form y separately published work icon I Killed the Count Alec Coppel , ( dir. David Boisseau ) United Kingdom (UK) : ITV , 1956 6392351 1956 single work film/TV mystery crime

The third film/television version of Alec Coppel's play, and the second to have a script by Coppel.

Conceivably, this may have been filmed to the same script as the 1948 BBC version, which was also scripted by Coppel, but in the absence of any information confirming that (and in the presence of an entirely different cast and production company), this work has been considered an entirely separate work.

form y separately published work icon I Killed the Count Francis M. Cockrell , ( dir. Robert Stevens ) United States of America (USA) : Revue Studios CBS , 1957 6392583 1957 series - publisher film/TV crime mystery

The fourth film/television adaptation of Alec Coppel's play, this time adapted by American script-writer Francis M. Cockrell as a self-contained series within the anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

form y separately published work icon Ik Doodde De Graaf Xaveer Janssens (translator), ( dir. Maurits Balfoort ) Belgium : N.I.R. , 1959 6416092 1959 single work film/TV

A Belgian television adaptation of Alec Coppel's play I Killed the Count.

Notes

  • For a review of the production, see the London Times, 11 December 1937, p.12.
  • On 4 May 1938, while the play was running at the Duchess Theatre, the BBC broadcast twenty minutes of 'Scenes from I Killed The Count, from 6.40 to 7 pm.

Production Details

  • First produced at the Whitehall Theatre, London, 10 December 1937.

    Cast members included Eric Maturin (Count Victor Mattoin), Athole Stewart (Viscount Sorrington), Alec Clunes (Detective Raines), Anthony Holles (Samuel Diamond), Kathleen Harrison (Polly), George Merritt (Divisional Inspector Davidson), Meriel Forbes (Renee La Lune), Barbara Francis (Louise Rogers), Edward Petley (Johnson), Hugh E. Wright (Mullet), Anthony Bushell (Bernard K. Froy), John Oxford (PC Clifton), and Frederick Cooper (Martin).

    Moved to the Duchess Theatre, London, in early 1938.

  • Produced at the Minerva Theatre, Sydney, when it was under Coppel's co-management (produced prior to 1942).

  • Produced at the Paper-Mill Playhouse in New York before moving to Broadway in 1942.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Heinemann ,
      1938 .
      Extent: 104p.
      Description: illus.
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Six Plays of Today London : Heinemann , 1939 Z899689 1939 anthology drama London : Heinemann , 1939
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Samuel French ,
      1939 .
      Extent: 104p.
      Edition info: Acting edition
      Note/s:
      • French's acting edition ; no.154
Last amended 23 Jun 2016 13:05:09
X