April Miller is a friend of Jake's, and Lt. Quint has Axminster arrested in the middle of the night to question him about her apparent suicide. April had come to Jake earlier in the evening... See full summary »

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Lynn Carlin
Karen Ericson
Robert F. Hoy
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April Miller is a friend of Jake's, and Lt. Quint has Axminster arrested in the middle of the night to question him about her apparent suicide. April had come to Jake earlier in the evening asking for his help. She'd had an accident on the road, and thought she had killed the woman in the other car. When Jake takes April back to the scene of the accident, they discover the car and the woman are now missing. Believing April has been murdered, Jake's investigation leads him to the door of the ex-governor and his estranged wife. Suspects abound, and an attempt is made on Jake's life. Written by Clintessence

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Drama | Crime

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2 March 1976 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Murder the Competition
27 April 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

CITY OF ANGELS – A lonely way to Die – 1976

"25 bucks a day, plus expenses"

This series is about a P.I. in 1935 Los Angeles. It features Wayne Rogers as the headliner. Rogers is a permanently broke Private Detective who goes by the handle, Jake Axminster. He works out of an office in the Bradbury Building. He is constantly at war with corrupt Police Lt Clifton James. Always in hot water, Rogers is aided by his somewhat loopy secretary, Elaine Joyce, and his lawyer pal, Philip Sterling. Some nice period detail and such help the stories along. (Rogers tools around in a beat up 1930's rag-top) The series only ran for 13 episodes. This particular episode is the 5th of the production run.

It is four in the a.m. and P.I. Rogers is dragged out of bed by a couple of Police Detectives. It seems that a woman he was with earlier in the night, has been found dead. Police Lt Clifton James would like a word or two. The woman was found in her running car inside a shut garage. Lt James accuses Rogers of killing her. Roger of course says otherwise. Rogers is taken downtown and tossed in a cell.

Lt James intends to give Rogers a dose of "friendly rubber hose persuasion". The treatment ends before it starts when Lt James receives a phone call. Rogers is cut loose to head home, no charges will be laid. Rogers heads home, but only to change and grab his gun. What he never told the Police, is that the now dead woman, Karen Ericson, had told him a strange tale the day before.

Ericson had been driving through a wooded area at night and hit a parked car. When she checked the other car she found a dead, red-headed woman, sprawled on the back seat. She had quickly left the scene, returned home and called her friend, Rogers. The two of them had returned to the scene but found no car or dead woman. Ericson says the car she hit was a blue Italian make. Rogers blows the whole thing off as imagination on Ericson's part.

Rogers now figures there is something rotten going on, why else kill Ericson. Rogers could see the suicide site was faked. He has a cop he trusts to check on any blue Italian made autos. He gets the list and a warning, stop looking into the case or there will be trouble. This suggests to Rogers that he is on the right track.

He roots around and follows the clues ending up at the home of the former State Governor. He calls on the man, Don Porter, who almost has him tossed back in jail. After hearing Rogers out, he admits to owning a blue Italian auto, but that it had been stolen several days before. It took a few days to report because Porter thought his daughter had the vehicle. Turned out she did not, so he then reported it stolen. Rogers does not buy it for a moment.

Roger goes looking for the daughter, Belinda J Montgomery. Montgomery works out of town at a help the poor camp. She is estranged from her wealthy family. Rogers has a few words with the woman who is less than kind when speaking of her father, Porter. It seems that Porter has been keeping a mistress for years. Rogers' ears prick up when "redheaded Jezebel" is mentioned.

More digging soon has various large gentlemen delivering a sound beating to the Private Detective. They also give Rogers another warning to stop investigating. Of course this has the opposite affect and Roger dives back into the mess.

He soon turns up a new prime suspect. The Governor's wife, Martine Bestwick, quickly rises to the top of said suspect list. Bestwick, along with her man Friday type, William Smith, have cleared the playing field of her rival. All the beatings and such from the Police etc was Porter trying to protect his wife. He admits that his long-time dalliance with the redhead, Lynn Carlin, has driven Bestwick slightly mad.

Porter offer cash for Rogers' silence. The P.I. can see that Bestwick is short a full deck and accepts the cash.

This one is pretty good. Though the actual killer is hinted at early, the viewer cannot be sure till towards the end. Bestwick was a Bond girl in two films of the series, FROM Russia WITH LOVE and THUNDERBALL. She is probably best known for the cat-fight she had with Raquel Welch in 1966's ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.


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