The Black Panther (1977 film)
The Black Panther is a 1977 British crime film. Its subject is the criminal Donald Neilson, known as the "Black Panther". It was directed and produced by Ian Merrick, his first feature, and stars Donald Sumpter, Debbie Farrington and Marjorie Yates. It was seen as exploitative, as the film was released in a short time after the occurrence of the events depicted i.e. the crimes of serial killer Dennis Neilsen.
|The Black Panther|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ian Merrick|
|Produced by||Ian Merrick|
|Written by||Michael Armstrong|
|Music by||Richard Arnell|
|Edited by||Teddy Darvas|
|Distributed by||Alpha Films|
The film featured the kidnap of a young girl, Lesley Whittle. It was controversial on its release and was slandered by media figures such as Sue Lawley of Tonight. Subsequently, the film was effectively banned from viewing. In 2012, the film was remastered and resurrected into the British Film Institute Archives and Hall of Fame, as an important British film to rave reviews. John Patterson of The Guardian commented that The Black Panther "emerges as a meticulous, tactful, well made and highly responsible true crime movie". The film was released on DVD in 2012.
This article needs a plot summary. (October 2018)
A gung-ho ex-military man pursues a secret life of crime, culminating in the kidnapping of a teenage heiress.
- Donald Sumpter – Donald Neilson
- Debbie Farrington – Lesley Whittle
- Marjorie Yates – Neilson's Wife
- Sylvia O'Donnell – Neilson's Daughter
- Andrew Burt – Lesley's Brother
- Alison Key – Lesley's Sister-In-Law
- Ruth Dunning – Lesley's Mother
- David Swift – Detective Chief Superintendent
- Michael Barrington
- Barbara New
- Peter Copley
- Brenda Cowling
- Paul Luty
- Edwin Apps
- Chibnall, Steve & Petley, Julian. British Horror Cinema. Routledge, 2002.