Great Performances: Season 5, Episode 7

Secret Service (12 Jan. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 70 users  
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Set in Richmond, Virginia in October 1864, tells the story of a Union spy working to seize control of the telegraph office.



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Title: Secret Service (12 Jan 1977)

Secret Service (12 Jan 1977) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Episode credited cast:
Lenny Baker ...
Henry Dumont
Frederick Coffin ...
Mrs. Varney
Cpl. Matson
Caroline Mitford
Sgt. Wilson
Capt. Thorne
Arthur Miller ...
Messenger B
Moultrie Patten ...
Cavalry orderly
Jonathan Penzner ...
Lt. Allison
Roy Poole ...
Maj. Gen. Randolph
Rex Robbins ...
Lt. Foray
Messenger A


Set in Richmond, Virginia on an evening in October 1864, tells the story of a Union spy working to seize control of the telegraph office by posing as the wounded Confederate Captain Thorne. The spy's false orders raise the suspicions of a southern agent, who uses a local girl in love with Thorne to set a trap. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

12 January 1977 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This revival of the drama played on Broadway in 1976, before coming to television. See more »


Version of Secret Service (1919) See more »

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User Reviews

19th Century Expectations?
10 March 2004 | by (Columbia MD) – See all my reviews

This is a Civil War melodrama written around the turn of the century by William Gillette, who is better known for the first stage adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.

Secret Service mostly still works pretty well. The dialogue is stilted by modern standards, but fortunately Lithgow, Streep, and company play it straight.

I had a problem with the conclusion, which may have something to do with changing standards of right and wrong. The hero makes a choice which the audience is evidently supposed to perceive as noble, but which may strike today's sensibilities very differently. I suppose the drama might be fuel for some interesting arguments about morality and ethics.

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