6.8/10
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The Black Panther (1977)

A gung-ho ex-military man pursues a secret life of crime, culminating in the kidnapping of a teenage heiress.

Director:

Ian Merrick

Writers:

Michael Armstrong (film written by), Joanne Leighton (original treatment)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sumpter ... Donald Neilson
Debbie Farrington ... Lesley Whittle
Marjorie Yates Marjorie Yates ... Neilson's Wife
Sylvia O'Donnell Sylvia O'Donnell ... Neilson's Daughter
Andrew Burt Andrew Burt ... Lesley's Brother
Alison Key Alison Key ... Lesley's Sister-in-Law
Ruth Dunning ... Lesley's Mother
David Swift ... Det. Chief Superintendent
Michael Barrington
Lila Kaye
Delia Paton Delia Paton
Edwin Apps
Gerry Sundquist
Ruth Kettlewell Ruth Kettlewell
Graham Ashley Graham Ashley
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Storyline

A gung-ho ex-military man pursues a secret life of crime, culminating in the kidnapping of a teenage heiress.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What you are about to see is TRUE...it actually happened!

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 December 1977 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Donald Neilson, la jena di Londra See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Impics Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although subsequently acclaimed for being a mature and responsible reconstruction of events on its UK home video release in 2012, the film caused such a huge media controversy on its initial release in the UK in 1977 amid claims that it was a sordid exploitation film that many local councils banned the film sight unseen and it was pulled from distribution shortly after its release. Ironically the film briefly touches on the irresponsible reporting by many of those same papers in a feeding frenzy during the Lesley Whittle kidnapping that many blame for causing the death of Donald Neilson's final victim. See more »

Goofs

When Neilson walks into the Kidderminster shopping centre in 1974, the M.E.B. showroom is advertising 'Jubilee Offers' for the Silver Jubilee year of 1977, when the film was made. See more »

Connections

Features Intimate Reflections (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pastiche
30 September 2013 | by david-procter3See all my reviews

This film is a pastiche and bears very little resemblance to the real man or the true facts of the case. It is riddled with errors from start to finish. Donald Neilson did not murder Lesley Whittle, he was not even present at the scene when she died. He fled on the night of the failed ransom drop leaving her alive and she died several days later after falling from the ledge. Anyone wanting to know the true facts of this case should read Harry Hawkes' book The Capture of the Black Panther and Adam Mars Jones book Lantern Lecture and put this film where it belongs - in the dustbin. Harry Hawkes followed the case from the beginning and was the only reporter to attend every one of Neilson's court appearances including the Court of Appeal in London. Adam Mars Jones is the son of the trial judge and acted as the Judge's Marshall at the trial. Mr Justice Mars Jones agreed with his son's conclusions on the case.


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