A suburban couple discovers that they are pawns for a powerful crime syndicate. They try to break away from the cartel and go legitimate, but the syndicate doesn't want to give them up so easily.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tom Harrison
...
Eve Harrison
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Hal Carter
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Anderson
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Alton
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Davenport
...
Ruth
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Craigmeyer
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Doctor Helm
Sudie Bond ...
Wilma
Frederick Rolf ...
Rigley
Hugh Franklin ...
Willoughby
...
Man from Toledo
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Louise
...
Smith
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Storyline

A suburban couple discovers that they are pawns for a powerful crime syndicate. They try to break away from the cartel and go legitimate, but the syndicate doesn't want to give them up so easily.

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Thriller | Drama

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Release Date:

25 February 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gangstersyndikatet  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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The Borgia Stick was the first "stand alone" made for TV movie that was not part of a series like Playhouse 90. See more »

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The TV Movie Advances
30 January 2011 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

After the present-day funeral of Don Murray (as Thomas "Tom" Harrison) and Inger Stevens (as Evelyn "Evie" Finch), we flashback to see their story… The attractive married couple is set-up in suburban New York by a Mafia-like organization called "The Company" (explained in the script as a more modern term for "The Syndicate"). Mr. Murray (once Andrew "Andy" Mitchell) was recruited due to some embezzlement problems, and Ms. Stevens (once Ellen Coogan) was into drugs and a street gang. Basically, Murray's job is to launder money while Stevens provides bedside manner...

Trouble begins when Murray decides he wants the life he is pretending to lead. Envying neighbor Barry Nelson (as Hal Carter) and his growing family, Murray declares his love for Stevens and desire to have children; moreover, Murray wants to leave "The Company". As you might imagine, this isn't going to be easy. Stevens frighteningly refuses. Then, Murray's cover is threatened when a man from his past arrives on the scene. Sensing the man (whom you'll recognize as Ralph Waite from "The Waltons") is a threat, Murray must report him to "Company" leader Fritz Weaver (as Anderson)...

"The Borgia Stick" is a well-produced NBC-TV movie from 1967. Its quality and success helped return made-for-TV dramas to popularity; a 1950s staple, the TV drama had been replaced by theatrical films. But, by the late 1960s, the television-produced "Movie of the Week" was a ratings winner. Murray and Stevens are excellent; they are allowed a lot of natural, sexy chemistry. Producer Richard Lewis, writer A.J. Russell, and director David Lowell Rich would have been a winning team, if "Emmy Awards" had their categories intact. The crew re-teamed for "A Lovely Way to Die" (1968).

Some combination of this crew of New York City filmmakers might have familiar with a certain afternoon TV thriller - or, they must have used the same agency. For whatever reasons, they employed (at least) six "Dark Shadows" (circa 1966-1968) TV players in not only "The Borgia Stick" but also "A Lovely Way to Die". That's more than producer Dan Curtis allowed in the average episode of the supernatural serial. Herein catch (then) "DS-regulars" Hugh Franklin and Dana Elcar along with semi-regulars or bit players Conrad Bain, House Jameson, Barnard Hughes, and Ed Crowley – all in living color.

******** The Borgia Stick (2/25/67) David Lowell Rich ~ Don Murray, Inger Stevens, Barry Nelson, Fritz Weaver


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