The Edgar Wallace Mysteries was a British second-feature film series, produced at Merton Park Studios for Anglo-Amalgamated. There were 47 films in the series, completed between 1960 and 1965. The series was screened as The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre on television in the United States.
Producers Nat Cohen and Stuart Levy acquired the film rights to all of Edgar Wallace's books and stories in 1960. The resulting adaptations were loose, very few using Wallace's original titles, and there was no attempt to set them in the period in which he wrote, probably to eliminate the need for elaborate costumes and sets. A 1962 article in Scene magazine quotes £22,000 as the budget for an episode in production at the time of reporting. The majority of the films played as supporting features on the ABC Cinemas circuit, which was Anglo-Amalgamated's usual outlet; but ten of them were allocated to the rival Rank circuit, playing in Odeon and Gaumont cinemas.
Most of the series featured a uniform title sequence, in which a shadowed bust of Edgar Wallace revolves slowly against a backdrop of swirling mist, to the accompaniment of the "Man of Mystery" theme written by Michael Carr. "Man of Mystery" was later recorded by the Shadows and became a number 5 hit record in the UK.
The film, Violent Moment (1959), was later released with the Wallace Mysteries' credits replacing the originals, even though it was not part of the series. According to Kim Newman, insufficient episodes were available for American television, for the series was still in production; hence, the distributor Anglo-Amalgamated attached the 'Wallace Mysteries' credits to some of its other mystery and crime films (such as House of Mystery, 1961) and thereby expanded the series.
The series has been shown on television. In Britain, it was shown by ITV in 1968 under the title Tales of Edgar Wallace. Later, Channel 4 and Bravo rescreened the films through to the 1990s, later being re-shown on Talking Pictures TV from 2018. It was shown on US television as The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre, with episodes cut to fit hour-long commercial TV slots.
In July 2012, Network DVD began to release the complete series on DVD, uncut and presented in its original aspect ratio.
- Urge to Kill (March 1960) – see note below
- Clue of the Twisted Candle (September 1960)
- The Malpas Mystery (October 1960)
- Marriage of Convenience (November 1960) – Rank release
- The Man Who Was Nobody (December 1960)
- The Clue of the New Pin (February 1961)
- Partners in Crime (February 1961) – Rank release
- The Fourth Square (June 1961)
- Man at the Carlton Tower (July 1961)
- Clue of the Silver Key (August 1961)
- Attempt to Kill (September 61) - Rank release
- Man Detained (October 1961) – Rank release
- Never Back Losers (December 1961) – Rank release
- The Sinister Man (December 1961)
- Backfire! (February 1962) – Rank release
- Candidate for Murder (February 1962)
- Flat Two (February 1962)
- The Share Out (February 1962)
- Number Six (April 1962)
- Time to Remember (July 1962)
- Locker 69 (September 1962)
- Playback (September 1962)
- Solo for Sparrow (September 1962)
- Death Trap (October 1962)
- The Set-Up (January 1963)
- £20,000 Kiss (January 1963) – Rank release
- Incident at Midnight (January 1963)
- On the Run (February 1963) – Rank release
- Return to Sender (March 1963)
- Ricochet (March 1963)
- The Double (April 1963)
- The Rivals (May 1963)
- To Have and to Hold (July 1963)
- The Partner (September 1963)
- Accidental Death (November 1963)
- Five to One (December 1963)
- Downfall (January 1964)
- The Verdict (February 1964)
- We Shall See (April 1964)
- Who Was Maddox? (June 1964)
- Face of a Stranger (September 1964)
- Act of Murder (September 1964)
- Never Mention Murder (November 1964) – Rank release
- The Main Chance (November 1964)
- Game for Three Losers (April 1965) – Rank release
- Change Partners (July 1965)
- Strangler's Web (August 1965)
- Dead Man's Chest (October 1965)
Urge to Kill (1960) and The Malpas Mystery (1960) do not appear to have been part of the original series of films produced at Merton Park. Another film not shot as part of the series, but subsequently included, is Gerry Anderson's Crossroads to Crime (1960).
- "BFI Screenonline: Flat Two (1962)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- "Edgar Wallace Mysteries (1960–65)". July 9, 2012.
- Tise Vahimagi. "Edgar Wallace at Merton Park".
- "Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre, The (Tales of Edgar Wallace)". Nostalgia Central.
- Saul, Marc (2010). "Tales of Edgar Wallace". Television Heaven.
- "Man Of Mystery". Discogs.
- "Man of Mystery/The Stranger". www.officialcharts.com.
- "The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre". Radio Times.
- "Edgar Wallace Mysteries: Volume 7". Network On Air.
- "The Edgar Wallace Mysteries - Volume 6". www.dvdbeaver.com.
- "Crossroads to Crime". www.dvdbeaver.com.
- Edgar Wallace Mysteries
- Edgar Wallace Mysteries at IMDb
- Edgar Wallace Mysteries: A Revised List by Tise Vahimagi
- Steve Chibnall & Brian McFarlane, The British 'B' Film, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2009, pp. 236–40