Misleading Cases

1967 | United Kingdom

Adapted from Oxford law graduate A.P. Herbert's collection of legal absurdities which first saw print in 'Punch' magazine in 1924 and were later released over six books, the first of which was Misleading Cases, printed in 1927. 

There were three series of this classy comedy in which Roy Dotrice played the part of the doddering but astute eternal litigant Albert Haddock, who would enter the courtroom to debate a variety of moral issues with pleas that referred back to forgotten or outdated laws. Alan Melville adapted the stories for the first two series, which also starred Alistair Sim in a rare TV role, as the often-exasperated Stipendiary Magistrate Mr Justice Swallow, who would preside over each case with a mixture of frustration and silent admiration. Opposing QC was Sir Joshua Hoot played by Thorley Walters and the other regular member of the cast was Avice Landon as Albert's often bemused, but always patient wife. 

There were also a whole host of guest stars throughout the shows run and they included such TV luminaries as Warren Mitchell, John Le Mesurier, Patricia Hayes, Irene Handl, Arthur Mullard and Fred Emney. John Cleese appeared in one episode just so he could work with Alistair Sim. The third series appeared three years after the second and was written by Christopher Bond and Michael Gilbert.

Published on January 6th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.