IMDb > "The Ford Television Theatre" The Payoff (1956)

"The Ford Television Theatre" The Payoff (1956)

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Blake Edwards (story)
View company contact information for The Payoff on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
3 May 1956 (Season 4, Episode 31)
User Reviews:
Duff gets duffed up a lot in entertaining bite-sized TV noir-lite See more (2 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Howard Duff ... Johnny Abel

Janet Blair ... Mary Higgins
Michael Fox ... Lt. Bernard Schuman
John Daheim ... Al (as John Day)

John Hart ... Lester Worth

Richard Crane ... Gil Bishop
Mel Welles ... Carl

Episode Crew
Directed by
John Meredyth Lucas 
Writing credits
Blake Edwards (story and teleplay)

Produced by
Lou Breslow .... producer
Cinematography by
Gert Andersen 
Film Editing by
Robert L. Swanson 
Art Direction by
Robert Peterson 
Set Decoration by
Charles Vassar 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Donald L. Gold .... assistant director (as Donald Gold)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Al Teitelbaum .... furs
Editorial Department
Henry Batista .... supervising editor
Other crew
Frederick Briskin .... production executive (as Fred Briskin)
Margaret Buell Wilder .... story editor (as Margart Wilder)

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Directed by
Marc Daniels 
Franklin J. Schaffner 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Edward Dein 
Mildred Dein 
Mary Roberts Rinehart  novel
Bill Scott  story (as William Scott)
I.A.R. Wylie  story

Produced by
Fletcher Markle .... producer
Garth Montgomery .... producer
Winston O'Keefe .... producer
Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

30 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Duff gets duffed up a lot in entertaining bite-sized TV noir-lite, 28 September 2011
Author: Manton29 from London, England

Cheap, silly, clichéd, but somehow highly enjoyable made for TV noir-light short included as a bonus on Columbia's Bad Girls of Film Noir Vol.1. Down at heel private eye (Howard Duff) gets led into trouble by sharp dame client (Janet Blair) in fight-fix drama. Duff's gumshoe is a weathered everyman (think Robert Ryan or Paul Kelly etc.) giving the impression of a man who's seen The Maltese Falcon and gone out and tried to be Sam Spade, but wasn't doing too well at it (in fact, Duff played Sam Spade in a radio series based on Hammett's character in the 40s before getting into movies). The dialogue-heavy screenplay is by Blake Edwards (Director of Days of Wine and Roses / Breakfast at Tiffany's), and must have been great fun to write - mainly a series of entertaining plot-heavy conversations between the protagonist and an array of colourful characters, and lot of cheesy expository voice overs. Full of holes, full of humour, and full of fun, with a really great punch up to finish, The Payoff pays off... sorry, I couldn't resist that.

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