Cannon (1971–1976)
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He Who Digs a Grave 

Cannon investigates an alleged murder-suicide involving rich and powerful families in a small town.



(novel), (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mayor Helen Blyth
Sheriff Jesse Luke
Arthur Gibson
Louise Gibson
Marion Luke
Hanna Freel
Deputy Coleman
Windom Salter
Jerry Ayres ...
Lenore Kasdorf ...
Sherry Benson


Cannon travels to the quiet, remote town of Mercer, California to help his friend Ian Kirk who is suspected of murdering his rich wife and her paramour Wade Gibson. Actor David Janssen plays Ian, a writer who met his wife Irene in Africa, got married and settled in her hometown. But Ian's considered an outsider who married for money. No one in town wants to believe that the local girl is responsible for her own death and that of her golden boy lover. The town would rather believe that the outcast is guilty of murdering his wife, whether or not he actually did it. As Cannon tries to prove his friend's innocence, he gets help from the mayor (actress Anne Baxter) but is stymied in his efforts by the sheriff's office. Several other viable suspects present themselves, people who had reason to hate Wade, including his stepfather and the sheriff's daughter.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Mystery | Drama





Release Date:

12 September 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The car the murders take place in is a Ferrari 365 GTS/4, more commonly known as a Daytona Spyder. See more »


The Holbrooke Hotel that Cannon is staying is only 2 floors high. So when Cannon complains to owners about the elevator being out of order and having to walk up and down 4 floors would of course be impossible. See more »


[first lines]
clerk: Fancy bottle, Mr. Kirk. Expensive too. Does that make the liquor taste better?
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User Reviews

Top-heavy with stars...and available on DVD
13 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

This is a two-part episode of "Cannon" and it is also unusual because of the number of big-name stars on hand...such as Anne Baxter, David Janssen, Murray Hamilton, Tim O'Connor and Barry Sullivan.

When the film begins, a woman and her lover are murdered. The hellish small town is like those you often see in shows like "Mannix", "Cannon" and "Quincy"....filled with prejudices and hatred towards outsiders. And, since the dead woman's husband (Janssen) is not from the town, they are quick to arrest him and assume he's guilty. Cannon has a seriously difficult time due to this, as he's an outsider who's come to town to try to help the outsider...and the local sheriff (Sullivan) seems willing to do ANYTHING to destroy Cannon's are most of the townsfolk. The only one who seems reasonable is the mayor (Baxter)...but who knows...perhaps she's just as corrupt and awful as the rest of them.

This is a very good movie-like episode. My only complaint is that it has LOTS of twists...perhaps one or two too many. Still, nice acting and an interesting story involving an evil small town (yes, it is a bit of a cliché, I know) make it worth seeing.

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