Send for Paul Temple

Send for Paul Temple is a 1946 British crime film directed by John Argyle and starring Anthony Hulme, Joy Shelton and Tamara Desni.[1] Paul Temple is called in by Scotland Yard after a major diamond theft. It was the first of four film adaptations of the BBC's Paul Temple radio serials, with John Bentley taking over the lead role in future installments.

Calling Paul Temple
Directed byJohn Argyle
Produced byJohn Argyle
Written byFrancis Durbridge (novel)
John Argyle
StarringAnthony Hulme
Joy Shelton
Tamara Desni
Distributed byButcher's Film Service
Release date
  • 23 December 1946 (1946-12-23)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film is an abridged version of the first ever Paul Temple radio serial, originally broadcast in 1938 (and re-made in 1940 with a Canadian cast for broadcasting in Canada), which was also entitled Send for Paul Temple. The radio script was written by Francis Durbridge. The film script is only indirectly based on the radio drama, since the screenplay is actually an adaptation by John Argyle of Durbridge's 1938 novel, which Durbridge had in turn based on the scripts for his 8-part radio serial. Accordingly, much of the 200 minute nominal duration of the radio production has been discarded in abridging the story to fit the film's much shorter 83 minute running time, and the plot has consequently been heavily truncated and considerably simplified.

None of the radio cast appear in the film, although at the time of its UK release in 1946 this was not necessarily a significant drawback as the BBC had not then fixed on a particular cast for their radio broadcasts, and in fact seven different actors would portray the eponymous hero on BBC radio between 1938 and 1954 -- none of whom would ever be seen in the part since the BBC did not adapt the series for television until 1969, so in the 1940s and 1950s the films offered the only on-screen portrayal of Durbridge's characters.

The DVD release misleadingly describes the film as written by Durbridge, although it was not. The adaptation is by Argyle, who reuses the names of characters and places from the novel, and recycles some plot ideas and situations, and the basic storyline; but a comparison with the extant 1940 Canadian radio production reveals (unsurprisingly, since five of the eight radio episodes have been omitted) that little of Durbridge's original dialogue, characterisation or detailed plotting survives. Durbridge's trademark ability to construct his radio dramas around the seven cliffhanger endings in his multipart serials is entirely lost.



  1. "Send for Paul Temple (1946)". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
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