This is the 3rd episode of the 1958 to 1964 Private Eye series, 77 SUNSET STRIP. The series ran for a total of 206 episodes. Series regulars were, Efrem Zimbalist Jr, Roger Smith, Edd Byrnes and Jacqueline Beer. This was the start of the "cool" television P.I. series that hit the TV in the next few years. PETER GUNN, SURFSIDE 6, BROTHERS BRANNAGAN and HAWAIIAN EYE are a few examples of these series.
Efrem Zimbalist Jr and Roger Smith are hired by the U.S. Government to keep an eye on South American oil millionaire, Ray Danton. The Government types have received word that the Danton is on a hit list. The boy's instructions are not to let Danton know they are guarding the man.
Danton, a real playboy type, loves parties and giving away presents to all the pretty women he attracts. Zimbalist introduces himself and several "stacked" friends to the playboy at Dino's Lounge. Danton takes an immediate shine to the women, Arlene Howell and Dorothy Provine. Soon everyone is having a grand time and the booze is flowing freely.
At night, Zimbalist does the watch duty as he tries to keep up with the party monster, Danton. During the day, Roger Smith keeps an eye on the big yacht Danton crashes on.
After a particularly hard night of Champagne and cigars, Zimbalist returns to his apartment and finds two nasty looking men waiting. The two men, Lou Krugman and Paul Fierro, would like a few words with Zimbalist. Words are the last thing exchanged as fists soon start flying when our boy Efrem, asks them to beat it. Judo expert Zimbalist makes short work of the duo and then asks a few questions of his own. The pair of thugs work for the Government of the South American country Danton is from. They had wanted to know what Danton was doing.
After several more days of the same parties etc go by, Danton announces that he is sailing off the next night. That is after a big shin-dig on-board his huge yacht. Danton gives Zimbalist the keys to his car and asks him to pass them, and the car to Miss Provine. "I have plenty of cars, it is my gift to her." When Zimbalist drives off with the car, he is followed, then ran off the road by a big sedan. Zimbalist figures that someone had mistaken him for Danton.
That night, at the party on the yacht, the detectives keep a special eye out for any strange types. They have even brought friend Edd Byrnes along for extra muscle.
On board, disguised as a waiter, is Mario Alcaide. Alcaide is the hired hit-man out to do in Danton. Danton it seems has some enemies back in the old country. Alcaide plants a bomb in the huge cake that will be presented to Danton at midnight.
Alcaide though has miscalculated the timing of his plan. The yacht has set sail from the dock for a sail around the harbour. Alcaide cannot swim or get a launch to shore. He of course needs to stop the bomb from going off. There are a few frantic minutes as everyone tries to find out where the man had hid the bomb. The hit-man had been silly enough to get him-self knocked out during a scuffle.
The detectives though, figure out the bomb's location and toss the cake overboard where it explodes harmlessly.
This is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour in front of the boob-tube.
The director here is former big screen helmsman, Stuart Heisler. Heisler's film work include the film noir, AMONG THE LIVING, I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES, STORM WARNING and THE GLASS KEY.
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