General Electric Theater: Season 3, Episode 9

The Face Is Familiar (21 Nov. 1954)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 11 users  
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A man who has a face no one can remember is suckered into serving as the stooge for a bank robbery.

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(teleplay), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Face Is Familiar (21 Nov 1954)

The Face Is Familiar (21 Nov 1954) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - Host
...
Tom Jones
...
The Boss
Jesse White ...
Mike
Kem Dibbs ...
Joe
Chick Chandler ...
Sam the Barber
Jean Willes ...
Irene
...
Marie (as Joy Lansing)
Laurie Mitchell ...
Stella
Joseph Kearns ...
Second Bank Teller
Wally Brown ...
Policeman
...
Woman in Restaurant
Paul Maxey ...
Man in Restaurant
Benny Rubin ...
Vending Machine Man
Grace Hayle ...
Gertrude Hanover
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Storyline

A man who has a face no one can remember is suckered into serving as the stooge for a bank robbery.

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

21 November 1954 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Benny had also appeared in a network radio version of this story on the series "Suspense" on January 18, 1954. See more »

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User Reviews

 
I think I recognise that lead actor...
5 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jack Benny's career in film roles essentially ended after 1945, when his starring film "The Horn Blows at Midnight" was so unpopular at the box office that it would be the butt of Benny's jokes for decades, and it became apparent that his real forte was his performances in his weekly radio series a brilliant comic persona that had evolved into an impossibly cheap and vain version of himself.

However, he continued to play acting roles in episodes of radio and later television anthology series, and this, for General Electric Theatre, is a very nice example. It's been said that in order to be a great comedian one must also be a great actor, and this programme would be good evidence in support of that. It's really Benny's natural, likable, and perfectly-timed performance as the unmemorable Tom Jones that makes "The Face is Familiar." It's a sweet, witty teleplay that goes over well.

Unfortunately, sprinkled in at random are jokes which work by making reference to Benny's character on "The Jack Benny Program." These work for cheap laughs, but spoil the illusion of "The Face is Familiar's" self-contained story. The constant canned laughter in the background is also very grating here.

As a previous reviewer alludes to, General Electric's sponsorship of this series seems to have worked differently than other sponsorships of the era. Its advertising spots are more reminiscent of particularly heavy-handed propaganda films than typical commercials. This, and the presence of Ronald Reagan giving brief continuity announcements, is a little off-putting, but I think any political subtext in the play itself is coincidental.


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