5.6/10
55
5 user 1 critic

Fanfare for a Death Scene (1964)

| Drama
An American secret agent, on the trail of a vanished scientist, must recover the scientist's revolutionary secret formula before the enemy catches up with his quarry first.

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Credited cast:
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Stryker
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Reynaldo Mendel
...
Bannerman
Khigh Dhiegh
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dee Hartford ...
Jessica
Sandra Warner ...
Isabel Bannerman
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An American secret agent, on the trail of a vanished scientist, must recover the scientist's revolutionary secret formula before the enemy catches up with his quarry first.

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Drama

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Budget:

$256,000 (estimated)
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1.33 : 1
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Original director Walter Grauman was fired by producer Leslie Stevens, who took over direction himself. See more »

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TV movie starring Richard Egan
13 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Fanfare for a Death Scene" from 1964 was obviously the pilot for a TV show called Stryker, which was to star Richard Egan. The pilot fit into what was on television at that time - it was the age of spies on television, from The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the Woman from U.N.C.L.E., I Spy, and Mission: Impossible. Gadgets and coolness or humor in the face of death were two main features in these shows.

In this vein, Stryker concerns an American secret agent who is asked to find a scientist Burgess Meredith) who has disappeared from a sanitarium. He has an important formula which is mostly in his head. A Chinese power player (Telly Savalas) wants it, as do others, but he is the most dangerous.

Not much action here until the very end, and for my money, the rest of it was strange and boring, with a host of famous names besides those mentioned above: Viveca Lindfors, Al Hirt, Tina Louise, Ed Asner, and J.D. Cannon.

There were obviously some production problems, as the director and cinematographer were both fired. After this pilot failed, it was made part of Universal's syndicated movie package and sold to networks.

Egan unfortunately exhibited no personality and no sex appeal as Stryker. It might have been more interesting if the character had not been so internalized and circumspect.

The end, at a concert, however, is quite good.


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