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The Riverside Murder (1935)
Alastair Sim as Sergeant McKayAlastair's first ever film in which he plays a comic Scottish police sergeant. Fox were making quickies at this time; these were films that cost little and took only about three weeks to make. This is a murder mystery/thriller somewhat in the Agatha Christie mould. A rich man is killed in his riverside home. There initially appears to be no reason for the murder; however there are several immediate suspects: the house keeper, two house guests and a mysterious woman who left just before the murder. Two detectives are dispatched to take charge of the case and it soon transpires that there is a secret financial pact giving numerous characters a motive to commit a series of murders. Full synopsis

Claire: You haggis !

The Riverside Murder DVD Cover


cast list production credits

Sergeant McKay

Alastair Sim


Albert Parker
Inspector Winton Basil Sydney

Production Company

Fox British
Claire Haines Judy Gunn Producer  
Jerome Tom Helmore Screenplay Selwyn Jepson
Sanders Ian Fleming Original Novel Andre Steeman
Perrin Reginald Tate Dir Photography Alex Bryce
Gregg Martin Lewis    
Norman Aubrey Mallalieu

McKay and Winton at Riverside House

Mrs Harris Zoe Davis

35mm, black and white, 64 mins

Interesting facts

From his theatre career Alastair had been identified, a year prior to The Riverside Murder, as a talent that could be successfully deployed in film. However, he became ill with severe sciatic pain in his back. The pain was such that he and Naomi feared he would never act again in either theatre or film. No doctor seemed to be able to make a successful diagnosis and he was sent from one specialist to another. Alastair was in much pain and there was no money coming in. However, almost by chance, he was directed to Edward Hall, Dean of the British School of Osteopathy, who identified the problem immediately (a torn muscle had bled and formed adhesions pressing on the sciatic nerve). A course of treatment, involving manipulation to break down the adhesions, finally resolved the problem and Alastair was able to take up his first film role in The Riverside Murder.