Two of those missing from my holdings are particularly intriguing. #1: the EYE WITNESS episode with a 23-year old Nita Talbot, the low-rent Lauren Bacall who remains a personal fave. (I just happened to rewatch some early PERRY MASON episodes and there is a great one in Season Two called "The Case of the Pint-Sized Client" which features Talbot at her nastiest and most lissome (including an appearance by Elisha Cook Jr.).
I could go for a Nita Talbot TV noir festival in a heartbeat...it could be billed "A Weekend With Nita." Her first appearance in noir, however, was in CAGED (1950) as one of the crush of female inmates. Can anyone pick her out of the crowd? She was 19 years old...
The second is that DETECTIVES episode, the title of which is omitted above. I was able to nail it down with an IMDB search and it's called "Bodyguards." As described by Gord in his IMDB review, it looks like a real corker--it's reproduced below.
THE DETECTIVES "Bodyguards" 1960
This is episode 27 from the 98 episode run of, THE DETECTIVES. This series with Robert Taylor as the headliner, ran from 1959 to 1962.
In this episode, we have Charles McGraw as a mob boss who just beat his latest charges in court. 14 times the Police have charged him, and 14 times he got off. Witnesses always recant or disappear, and evidence seems to vanish.
Detectives Russell Thorson and Lee Farr almost come to blows with McGraw outside the courtroom. McGraw is having a good laugh at their expense. Farr growls, "We'll get you yet you arrogant sneering louse!" Back at the squad room, Thorson gets a call from one of his snitches, Charles Davis. He has some hot info and needs to talk to Thorson. Thorson and Davis meet. Davis tells him that there is someone out to kill McGraw.
A small time grifter, Pat O'Malley, has a beef with McGraw and has picked up a piece on the street. A .38 piece that is. Thorson hands Davis a few bucks and says thanks.
Thorson then heads to his boss Taylor's apartment for the weekly squad poker game. He has to decide whether to share the info, or just let McGraw get plugged. It seems like an easy fix to the McGraw problem.
After a couple of hands, Thorson decides to come clean with the tip on McGraw. Taylor says it would be nice if they "could" look the other way, but it would not be the right thing.
Taylor has Thorson try and find O'Malley. He then assigns Detectives Farr and Tige Andrews to baby sit McGraw.
McGraw gets a laugh out of the whole thing. That is till he realizes that he cannot run his "business" with the two dicks trailing him. He gets his mouthpiece to work on having them removed.
Thorson tracks down O'Malley at a funeral parlor where he is staring at a coffin. It seems O'Malley's daughter had been one of McGraw's playthings. When McGraw was finished with her, he tossed her aside and it was downhill from there. Thorson hauls O'Malley to the station.
Thorson tells O'Malley that he needs to fork over the gun. He tells O'Malley the Police will get McGraw in the end. O'Malley tells Thorson he sold the gun to pay for the funeral. Thorson has nothing to hold him for and lets him go.
While all this is going on, McGraw's lawyer has gotten the shadowing Detectives to back off. Sitting in a club having a cold one, McGraw meets with one of his crew, Paul Mazursky. Mazurzky tells McGraw that it is O'Malley who is out to get him. Our man Charles laughs again and pulls out a .45. "Don't worry, I'm safe." Later in the evening Chuck heads home to crash. Waiting for him is O'Malley. When he sees McGraw arrive, he calls the Police and tells them there is a problem at McGraw's. Taylor and the boys leap into their cars and burn over to Chucks.
McGraw enters his apartment and is confronted by O'Malley. O'Malley is standing in the shadows with one hand in his coat pocket. "You caused my daughter's death." McGraw smiles, whips out his .45 and blasts O'Malley. At the same moment, Taylor and the squad come crashing through the door. "It was self-defence!" snarls McGraw. "He was going for a gun in his pocket!" Taylor has a look but finds no weapon.
McGraw's jaw drops as he realizes he was played by O'Malley. Taylor slaps the cuffs on Charles and says, "You will not beat this one." And all this is in a 25-minute runtime. Loved it. Interesting to see future writer, producer and director Mazursky in an early role.
The director was vet TV director James Yarbrough. The only other thing I've ever seen of his was, THE LUX VIDEO THEATER, television remake of, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. It starred Edmond O'Brien and Bev Garland.
The teleplay was by Palmer Thompson. The D of P was noir lensman, George Diskant. His films include, RIFFRAFF, THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT, PORT OF NY, BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, THE RACKET, ON DANGEROUS GROUND, NARROW MARGIN, BEWARE MY LOVELY and KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL.
Looking forward to another 14 slices of TV noir whenever you're able to share it with us!!