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Friday, 12 January 2018

Charlie Muffin

Back in the late 1970s Brian Freemantle wrote the first of what has become a number of novels whose central character is one Charlie Muffin. Charlie is a rather scruffy member of the British Intelligence Service (MI6), and the first of the books in the series was turned into a made-for-TV film by Euston Films in 1979.

During some research I am doing into the life of Eric Knowles, I discovered that Eric had supplied the company with wargames figures and models. These were used in several scenes that featured Charlie's main opponent in the world of espionage, General Valery Kalenin. In the book Kalenin was a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, and his hobby was recreating battles that he had taken part in. IT was one such battle that was featured in the film.

The following are some stills taken from the film.







The actor playing General Kalenin is the wonderfully-named Pinkas Braun, and the battle is unusual as it seems to feature German, Russian, and British troops on the same battlefield.

16 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    I remember Bill was allowed to help Eric and so got a couple of days off school for this. I never saw the film though so will have to look it out.

    All the best,

    DC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David Crook,

      The film is available ion YouTube or as part of a five DVD set of made-for-TV films made Euston Films. The set also includes REAGAN, the pilot for THE SWEENEY.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Here's a review of that DVD set:

      http://www.dvdcompare.net/review.php?rid=1355

      Delete
    3. Unknown,

      Thanks for the link. I ordered the DVD last week, but have yet to watch it.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. That looks like a Phoenix 54mm Zhukov in the last pic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Benjamin of Wight,

      It may well have been a Phoenix figure. I certainly bought figures from that manufacturer from Eric's shop.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Replies
    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I can certainly imagine using it had the opportunity arisen.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      We used to ... but nowadays I'm not so sure we do.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. In the third photo, is that an American flag in front of the high backed chair?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. William Stewart,

      You are right! I missed that!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Maybe it was Allies against the Germans on a large scale?

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    3. William Stewart,

      That sounds feasible ... and it would fit in with the fact that this is a spy/espionage film.that involves Russia vs. The U.K., the USA, and Germany.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Brilliant research Bob, I too will be checking out YouTube! I thought that only "Callan" had displayed wargames in the 70's on TV - this is a new one on me! The actor makes wArgamers look cool...another first! Great stuff, you do offer some eclectic posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken H,

      I had read the book that this film is based on, and knew that the Russian general was a wargamer ... but not that this had been included in the film.

      I do try to cover topics that I hope will be of general interest to my regular blog readers.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete