Four Star Playhouse: Season 2, Episode 23

Meet McGraw (25 Feb. 1954)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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McGraw, a private eye, is hired by Lila Lamont to protect her from her threatening husband Louis.


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Title: Meet McGraw (25 Feb 1954)

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Episode cast overview:
Frank Lovejoy ...
Audrey Totter ...
Lila Lamont
Martha - Maid
Peter Whitney ...
Steve Darrell ...
Police Lt. Smith
Percy Helton ...
Hotel Desk Clerk


McGraw, a private eye, meets Lila Lamont at a bar. She wants to hire him as a bodyguard. Her husband has threatened to kill her if she divorces him. But when she mentions his name, Louis Lamont, McGraw turns down the job. Lt. Smith joins him at the bar to find out what his connection with Lamont is. McGraw bumps into an old lady on his way out. She seems to be mugged in front of him but it turns out she stole his wallet instead. In his hotel room awaits a man who offers to return his wallet if McGraw follows him to Lila's house where the old lady, Martha, happens to work as a maid. Once there, Lila flirts with him. McGraw wants to leave so she offers to drive him. While kissing in the car, they hear gunshots. Lila disappears. Lt. Smith arrives on the scene and tells McGraw that Louis is in jail so Lila must have lied. Written by Greg Philip {}

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Comedy | Drama




Release Date:

25 February 1954 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Tough P.I. episode
5 October 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Meet McGraw – 1954

This is an episode of, "Four Star Playhouse", which ran for 130 episodes between 1952 and 1956.

Frank Lovejoy is a private investigator who has just hit town from Chicago. He meets the client, Lila Lamont, in the hotel bar. Miss Lamont is played by, Audrey Totter.

"What's the job?" Lovejoy asks. Totter smiles and hands him a fistful of cash. "I need protection from my husband. I am divorcing him and he is not happy." Totter tells Lovejoy. Lovejoy realizes that Totter's soon to be ex is a rather famous mobster.

He shoves the money back at Totter and says he wishes to keep breathing. "People who annoy your husband develop problems in that area." Lovejoy finishes his drink and heads for his room. On his way to the front desk, he is bumped into by, Ellen Corby. She apologizes and moves on.

The desk clerk, Percy Helton ,gives Lovejoy his key and the bus schedule to Chicago. Lovejoy now discovers his wallet has been lifted. It must have been Corby. Oh, well. Up to his room he goes where he finds an unwanted visitor. A rather large, Peter Whitney "insists' he come with him to another room. Lovejoy decides to play along.

Whitney knocks on a door which is answered by Corby of all people. Also in the room is gunsel, Paul Picerni. Whitney and Picerni "suggest" that Lovejoy reconsider his decision about not working for Totter.

Totter now enters the room tells the boys to behave themselves. She also has Corby return Lovejoy's wallet. Picerni, Corby and Whitney are all former employees of Totter's husband. Lovejoy again tells Totter he has no intention of working for her. He is catching a bus back to Chicago.

Totter offers Lovejoy a ride to the station in her car, which Lovejoy accepts. After the pair jump in the car, Totter snuggles up to Lovejoy. The two engage in a spot of tongue wrestling.

This activity is interrupted by several shots through the car window. Lovejoy exits said car in a hurry saying he knew Totter was going to get him in trouble. Totter steps on the gas and takes off.

Now, a Police detective, Steve Darrell, steps up and has a few words with Lovejoy. "What are you doing getting mixed up with her for?" Lovejoy tells the cop about the job offer. Darrell tells him Totter does not need protection from hubby. He is cooling his heels in an out of town jail.

"What gives with the job offer?" Lovejoy thinks to himself. He decides to have a talk with Totter about the matter. No giving away the end this time. Suffice it to say there is a couple of rather unexpected twists and turns. And of course some gun-play is involved.

Three years later Lovejoy would play McGraw again in the short run series, MEET MCGRAW. This series ran for 42 episodes in 1957-58.

The director here was Frank (The Big Tip-Off) McDonald. The d of p was master lensman, George Diskant. His work include the noir, RIFFRAFF, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, PORT OF NEW YORK, BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, THE RACKET and BEWARE MY LOVELY. (b/w)

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