I Led 3 Lives (1953–1956)

TV Series  -   -  Drama
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 74 users  
Reviews: 13 user

Herbert Philbrick was a young professional and pacifist in 1939 Boston. He joined an anti-war group and quickly found himself caught up in the secret world of underground communist activity... See full summary »

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 51 titles
created 05 Dec 2012
 
a list of 56 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "I Led 3 Lives" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: I Led 3 Lives (1953–1956)

I Led 3 Lives (1953–1956) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of I Led 3 Lives.

Season:

3 | 2 | 1

Year:

1956 | 1955 | 1954 | 1953 | unknown
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Have Gun - Will Travel (1957–1963)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The adventures of a gentlemanly gunfighter for hire.

Stars: Richard Boone, Kam Tong, Hal Needham
Highway Patrol (1955–1959)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Powerful patrol cars, fast motorcycles, and superheterodyne two-way radios combine to fight crime on the rural highways of America's wide open spaces.

Stars: Broderick Crawford, Art Gilmore, William Boyett
Zane Grey Theater (1956–1961)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An anthology based (earlier moreso than later) on the novels and stories of Zane Grey. Powell was often the star as well as the host.

Stars: Dick Powell, Walter Sande, Denver Pyle
Bat Masterson (1958–1961)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Dressed-up dandy (derby and cane), gambler and lawman roams the West charming women and defending the unjustly accused. His primary weapon was his wit (and cane) rather than his gun.

Stars: Gene Barry, Allison Hayes, Allen Jaffe
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Marshal Earp keeps the law, first in Kansas and later in Arizona, using his over-sized pistols and a variety of sidekicks. Most of the saga is based loosely on fact, with historical badguys... See full summary »

Stars: Hugh O'Brian, Jimmy Noel, Ethan Laidlaw
M Squad (1957–1960)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The hard-hitting adventures of tough Lieutenant Frank Ballinger, a member of the Chicago Police Department's M Squad, an elite crime-fighting unit.

Stars: Lee Marvin, Paul Newlan, Gail Kobe
The Texan (1958–1960)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The Texan, a Civil War Veteran whose reputation of being the fastest gun in the west precedes him, roams across Texas from town to town, not looking for trouble , but trouble finds him.

Stars: Rory Calhoun, Regis Parton, Duncan Lamont
Medic (1954–1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Highlights the personal and professional lives of a group of doctors and surgeons headed by Dr. Konrad Styner. One of the first medical shows on TV that paid strict attention to detail, and... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Boone, Mary Stewart, Jean Engstrom
Colt .45 (1957–1960)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Christopher Colt was apparently a gun salesman but was in fact a government agent tracking down notorious bad guys. His cousin Sam took the lead when the studio had contract disputes with the original star.

Stars: Wayde Preston, Kenneth MacDonald, Donald May
The Man Behind the Badge (1953–1955)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Stories taken from the files of various law-enforcement agencies, including city, county and state police, park rangers, military police, etc.

Stars: Charles Bickford, Joel Aldred, Norman Rose
Mackenzie's Raiders (1958–1959)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Stars: Richard Carlson, Art Gilmore, Riley Hill
Men Into Space (1959–1960)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The more-or-less realistic adventures of Colonel Ed McCauley, head of the American space program. He battles saboteurs, budget cuts, defective equipment and other problems in outer space.

Stars: William Lundigan, Joyce Taylor, Charles Herbert
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Herbert A. Philbrick (115 episodes, 1953-1956)
John Zaremba ...
 Special Agent Jerry Dressler / ... (67 episodes, 1953-1956)
Edit

Storyline

Herbert Philbrick was a young professional and pacifist in 1939 Boston. He joined an anti-war group and quickly found himself caught up in the secret world of underground communist activity. He agreed to spy on the Communists for the FBI, and spent the next 9 years of his life as a Communist, FBI spy, and Communist counter-spy, since they had asked him to follow other comrades to test their loyalty. Hence the 3 lives; and his family, co-workers, and church never knew. This TV show is based on the TRUE story of how Philbrick (played ably by Richard Carlson) could never relax, but had to sneak to secret cell meetings and meet FBI agents in clandestine places to make info drops, never knowing when he might be found out, and if he would live to see the next rendezvous. Written by J Barlow <jonahsdive@gmail>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | communism | number in title

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Led Three Lives  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the PBS special _"Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?" (1992) (mini)_, this was Lee Harvey Oswald's favorite TV show. See more »

Connections

Featured in Frontline: Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Worth a Closer Look
16 November 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

It's hard to be objective about a series designed to raise the strongest political emotions. I should say that I haven't seen an episode since the show left the air 50-some years ago. I did, however, grow up with the series and share in its political assumptions. What I couldn't see then, but do see now, is how much a creature of its time it was. I think it's probably telling that the series-- to my knowledge – has never been revived or syndicated since the original showing.

As I recall, the show worked well enough strictly as entertainment. The episodes followed a formula as most series do—Herb (Carlson) would learn of some nefarious red doings, consult with FBI man Dressler (Zaremba), foil the doings, and end the show with an instructional on the many insidious appeals of communism. Drama grew out of thwarting red plans and avoiding exposure since Herb was an undercover FBI informant. I don't know how good the ratings were, but I can see the show being kept on the air regardless of popular ratings.

Two general points are worth noting, neither of which makes specific assumptions about a series I haven't seen for decades. First, the program comes out of a formative Cold War period in which the complex dynamic of Marxism and anti-colonialism was reduced in the public mind to the simplistics of good vs. evil. Put briefly, the series functioned as a popular reflection of that McCarthy period in which self-serving stereotype replaced real world complexity.

Ironically, however, it's the same simplistic perception of good vs. evil that underlay much of the trauma of Vietnam ten years later, when the extreme disconnect between American beliefs about the war and the actual realities resulted in a domestic crisis at home and mutiny in the ranks abroad. In short, Americans of the 50's were woefully unprepared for the complex political realities evolving outside their TV sets. A longer-term consequence, I believe, of propaganda products like Three Lives.

Second, during the three years of series run-time (1953-56), covert arms of the US gov't were directly responsible, we now know, for subverting at least two popular democracies abroad—The elected Arbenz gov't of Guatemala (1954) and the elected Mossadegh gov't of Iran (1953). Rather odd behavior, I believe, for the touted defender of democracy as the McCarthyite period presented our side. I wonder what Philbrick and Dressler would have said about our own sneaky subversives, keeping in mind that in democratic theory the will of the people is sovereign above all else.

These brief points are not intended as an apologetic for Soviet communism. I'm sure they propagandized their own people with similar stereotypes about the West, that is, when they weren't busy crushing dissent in their own part of the world. Instead, these points amount to a way of putting together a more critically realistic perspective than what we're force-fed in the media and by long-ago shows like Philbrick's.

In reflecting back on that time, I think it's important to keep such considerations as these in mind. At any rate, It's too bad the episodes aren't available for viewing even now 60-years later. I think they'd still be as provocative and even relevant in today's world, though maybe not in the way intended.

(In passing—for readers too young to recall context. When Khruschev made his reckless "We'll bury you" remark, he was referring to out-producing the West, not to mass murder. Too bad it's since been retailed out of context, but I guess that's the sort of thing I've been talking about.)


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I Led Three Lives count-doowop
Discuss I Led 3 Lives (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?