...and a particular shame, given the guest stars: read on!
FOLLOW THE SUN – Night Song – 1961
This is episode 11 from the 1961-62 series, FOLLOW THE SUN. The series, which ran for 30 episodes, follows a trio of free-lance magazine writers. The three are played by Barry Coe, Gary Lockwood and Brett Halsey. The gimmick here is that they are based in Honolulu. Also with recurring roles are Gigi Perreau as their secretary and Jay Lanin as their contact with the Police. Of course the three newsmen are always getting involved with the usual assortment of nasty types.
It is a darkened nightclub in Tokyo, a sultry voice is moaning out "What's this thing called love?" Of course it is none other than Julie London. Now enters noir favourite Lawrence Tierney. He grabs a table and watches London finish her set. He then follows her to her dressing room. London turns three shades paler when our boy Lawrence enters her dressing room.
Tierney gives London a few backhands, he then adds, "Nobody leaves me! You will never sing again. I made you, you are mine." He then gives London a bit more of the rough treatment.
Now we switch to Manila several months later. Newsman, Brett Halsey, is in town doing a piece on gold smuggling between Macau and Manila. He stops at his favourite café for a meal. The waitress turns out to be Miss London. Halsey knows exactly who London is, having seen her show during a visit to Chicago the year before.
He strikes up a conversation and the two agree to meet later that night. After a trip to a local casino cleans London out, they hit a small jazz club. London ends up doing a song for the band. Halsey asks why London is doing the waitress bit. London tells Halsey about her problems with Tierney. Tierney was a mobbed up boxing promoter who had taken a shine to London. They had stepped out together for a while and Tierney had helped advance her career.
Of course Tierney was not the type to take London moving on. Every time she got a new gig, he would show and belt her around. He had even put her in the hospital for 2 weeks once. "It is safer to lay low and avoid the man".
Several days later, another noir favourite (Charles McGraw) shows up at the café. McGraw and London know each other through Tierney back in Chicago. McGraw is also a mobbed up guy. He sweet talks London into coming to work for him at top dollar. "I'll square it with your ex".(Tierney) London of course is as pleased as punch to return to the stage. McGraw owns a chunk of a local club where London can start her comeback.
What London does not know is that it is all a plan to flush Tierney out of the U.S. The IRS is hounding the mob over income tax, and they think Tierney might rat them out to save his own skin. They figure Tierney will fly out to put a stop to London's comeback. Needless to say, they are right and Tierney comes a calling.
Tierney and McGraw meet at the club and both go for their iron. Bullets fly and both are soon suffering from a permanent low blood count. This turn of events works out very much in Miss London's favour. Reporter Halsey sees London off back to the States. He decides London has had enough trouble in her life, and decides not to write the article he had planned.
This is a very enjoyable episode with tons of film noir talent in front, and behind the camera. It was a hoot to see the two thugs, Tierney and McGraw glare at each other as they shoot it out.
Tierney had roles in, BORN TO KILL, THE DEVIL THUMBS A RIDE, GHOST SHIP, DILLINGER, SAN QUENTIN, SHAKEDOWN, BODYGUARD, THE FEMALE JUNGLE and THE HOODLUM.
Charles McGraw had bits in, THE KILLERS, THE BIG FIX, BRUTE FORCE, THE LONG NIGHT, ROSES ARE RED, THE GANGSTER, T-MEN, THE HUNTED, BLOOD ON THE MOON, BERLIN EXPRESS, THE BLACK BOOK, BORDER INCIDENT, THE STORY OF MOLLY X, THE THREAT, ROADBLOCK, SIDE STREET, ARMORED CAR ROBBERY, LOOPHOLE and THE NARROW MARGIN.
Miss London, her of the ultimate, "smoky" voice, was in THE RED HOUSE, THE FAT MAN, CRIME AGAINST JOE and THE THIRD VOICE.
Behind the camera we have another film noir veteran, Felix Feist. Feist helmed the noir, THE DEVIL THUMBS A RIDE, THE THREAT, THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF, TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY and THIS WOMAN IS DANGEROUS.
The episode was written by one time Oscar nominee, Harold Jack Bloom. Bloom is best known for writing, THE NAKED SPUR.