Captain Grey headed an elite detective squad in the Chicago, Illinois Police Department dedicated to fighting organized crime. Lieutenant Frank Ballinger was one of the police officers who worked alone to arrest the villains. Written by
J.E. McKillop <email@example.com>
An episode featuring a Chicago cop taking a bribe led to Mayor Richard J. Daley banning any TV show or film from doing any shooting in Chicago at all. That ban was later broken with the filming of The Blues Brothers. See more »
Lt. Frank Ballinger:
[spoken in voiceover near beginning of each episode, as he tells audience about a recently committed crime]
My name is Frank Ballinger, detective-lieutenant, M Squad, a special detail of the Chicago police.
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The opening scene was one of the best in TV history. Every week you saw the grille of Lee's '53 Ford come wheeling around a city corner and the words 'M SQUAD' flashing onto the screen as the car is coming into full view. It got you ready for a great police adventure with a character that could only be played by someone of Marvins' persona. He had the tough guy role down to a science - better than Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas or Jack Lord.
Marvin had a way of speaking to the criminal element (or anyone he didn't like for that matter) that caused them to stop and reflect on the probable outcome of an escalated confrontation with him. As a kid, I tried to copy that poker face and steady sure voice that caused the bad guys to back down. Never quite got the hang of it; there will only be one Lee Marvin.
Hoping that some day these episodes are reproduced - it was TV at its best.
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