Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Orchard End Murder, The (1980)

Orchard End Murder, The (1980)

Pauline Cox (Tracy Hyde, former child star of 1971’s Melody) accompanies Mike Robins (Mark Hardy) to a village cricket match at Charthurst Green, Kent, in 1966 but becomes bored and wanders away.

She ends up at the local railway halt, where she is first entertained to tea by the garrulous but socially awkward station keeper (Bill Wallis) who collects garden gnomes, then upset by the intrusion of the latter’s assistant Ewen (Clive Mantle), who proceeds to kill a rabbit in front of her.

Making her way back to the cricket match, Pauline is waylaid by the simple-minded Ewen as she crosses an apple orchard. When his advances become violent, she tries to fight him off and he strangles her.

That evening, the station keeper discovers Ewen with Pauline’s body in the shack where he lives and helps him to bury the corpse in the orchard. Later, however, Ewen inadvertently betrays himself: the body is disinterred by the police and Ewen breaks down hysterically.

Years later, the hunchback, who has disavowed Ewen, encourages the friendship of another village youth.

The film is only 49 minutes long and was intended as a supporting feature. Future Young Ones and Bottom star Rik Mayall appears in his first film appearance as an uncredited policeman.

Standing 6’ 5”, Clive Mantle soon found himself typecast, playing Little John in Robin Hood and Frankenstein’s monster, before landing a regular role in TV’s Casualty as Dr Mike Barrett.

Bill Wallis
Pauline Cox
Tracy Hyde
Clive Mantle
Mr Wickstead
Raymond Adamson
Mike Robins
Mark Hardy
Village Policeman
Cyril Cross
Mrs Trowel
Jessie Evans
Old Lady on Station
Mollie Maureen
David Wilkinson
Cricket Captain
Geoffrey Frederick
Radio News Reader (voice)
Alexander John
Alan Neame

Christian Marnham