M Squad (1957–1960)
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Dead Parrots Don't Talk 

Not Rated | | Drama, Crime | Episode aired 3 May 1960
A penny arcade owner is robbed and murdered. Suspision falls on a local peddler. But Ballinger thinks there is more to this case than anyone is admitting.


(as Donald McDougall)


(teleplay), (teleplay)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Detective Lt. Frank Ballinger
Paul Newlan ...
Police Capt. Grey
Arthur Batanides ...
Joe the Peddler
Joan Zender
Robert Ellis ...
Tom Herrick
Bara Byrnes ...
Sheila Kent (as Bobbi Byrnes)
Warren J. Kemmerling ...
Sign Language Expert (as Warren Kemmerling)
Garth the Barber
Arthur Space ...
Dr. Green


A penny arcade owner is robbed and murdered. Suspision falls on a local peddler. But Ballinger thinks there is more to this case than anyone is admitting.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Crime


Not Rated




Release Date:

3 May 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Just watch the Birdie
8 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** While in the process of knocking off Ol' Pop Larson's, Forrest Taylor, penny arcade gun moll Sheila Kent, Bara Byrnes, blasts Pop's pet parrot Egor, together with Pop, who tried to defend his master. As it turned out it was Egor who got the last laugh by biting Sheila's boyfriend and partner in the robbery Tom Herrick, Robert Ellis, infecting him with the deadly, if not treated in time, parrot disease. At first it was local panhandler and deft mute "Joe the Peddler", Arthur Batanides, who got the third degree from M Squad Let. Det. Frank Ballinger, Lee Marvin, in being Pop's killer in him taking off with the money that Pop had hidden in his cash register. With Joe proving that he only took the money after Pop's murder he was given a pass and immunity in providing the police information to just who Pop's killer or killers are.

With Tom now deathly ill from parrot disease his girlfriend and fellow stick up man or woman Sheila tries to get him medical help without Ballinger and the Chicago police, who are out looking for him, knowing about it. With Tom slowly dying from parrot disease Shelia runs out of options and is forced to take her dying boyfriend to a local doctor, Dr. Green played by Arthur Space, who's in fact part of the dragnet in capturing the two on the lose stick-up artists.

****SPOILERS**** It's no hard task for Let. Det. Ballinger and his M Squad in capturing the gun toting Shelia who after trying to shoot it out with the police meekly surrendered when she saw that her, as well as the by now almost on his death bed Tom, situation was totally hopeless. Unlike Pop who together his courageous pet parrot Egor ended up dead both Shelia & Tom escaped the electric chair and got life behind bars. As for "Joe the Peddler" his peddling days were over by Ballinger giving him, for his help in finding Pop's killers, a job for the city's public service TV station, as well as the Chicago PD, as it's sign language interpretor.

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