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"Johnny Staccato" A Nice Little Town (1960)

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Detective Show Goes Out of Its Way to Make Political Point...

3/10
Author: Adam Graham (adam@adamsweb.us) from Boise, Idaho
20 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this episode, Johnny Staccato went out of his way to make a political point, literally, taking the detective out of New York to a small town in some undisclosed state where a former soldier who defected to the Chinese during the Korean War was killed days after returning to his hometown. People in the town believe he was a traitor because he: 1) defected to the other side under torture and 2) wrote Communist pamphlets. As such, they're unconcerned about his murder. The episode takes a left wing caricature of rabid anti-Communists and what we get is an awkward strawman political debate. The criminals are not caught by the end of the show, and they kill the dead man's sister. Even after the town police agree to not tolerate any more violence, Johnny requests the body shipped back to New York City because he didn't think she'd wanted to be buried in the town. Overall, the episode was a big "Screw You" from New York and Hollywood to flyover country.

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