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"M Squad" Face of Evil (1957)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Heat Wave Crazy

8/10
Author: gordonl56 from Canada
2 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

M-SQUAD – Face of Evil - 1957

This is the fifth episode of the 1957 to 1960 Crime series, M-SQUAD. The series ran for 117 episodes and features Lee Marvin as the headliner. Marvin is a Lt with the elite M-Squad unit of the Chicago Police.

A heat wave is slowing Chicago to a crawl. That is except for the Police, who are after the murderer of four women all from the same couple of block area. The latest victim is discovered by the dead woman's husband, Kevin Hagen. Hagen keels over after finding the body and is rushed to the hospital.

Police Lt Lee Marvin draws the case. His Captain, Morris Ankrum, is getting lots of grief from the bosses about closing the case. Needless to say, that the grief rolls down the chain of command with Marvin getting an ear full.

Marvin pays Hagen a visit for any info Hagen might recall. Hagen tells Marvin that he had seen a face at the window just as he discovered his slain wife. Whoever it was had taken off. Marvin next pays a visit to Hagen's apartment for a chat with the landlady etc.

While Marvin is having a look in the apartment, a face pops up at the window. It just as quickly disappears. Marvin gives chase and soon runs down, Werner Klemperer. Klemperer turns out to be the building janitor and a friend of the murdered woman. He supplies several other suspects that need looking into.

First up is Hagen's minister, Russell Thorson. This turns out to be a dead end as does the next lead, Maggie Stewart. Stewart is just a family friend of Hagen. Marvin is going nowhere fast till he has a check of Hagen's Army records. Seems the man had spent some time in a mental ward with severe battle-fatigue. A visit to the Veteran's hospital is now in order. There, Marvin talks with doctor, Barney Philips. Philips tells Marvin that Hagen could lose a screw at any time.

Marvin returns to Hagen's apartment for another talk with the man. He arrives just in time to stop Hagen from stabbing the visiting Maggie Stewart. The heat-wave had triggered some wartime memory and Hagen had slipped over the edge. He had killed the four women without knowing. A long stay at a mental hospital is now in Hagen's future.

The episode features two Oscar winners, Marvin, and director of photography, Lionel Lindon. (b/w)

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Is Poor Eddie The Killer?

7/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
20 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Warner Klemperer of "Colonel Klink" fame is among the guest stars here. He gets top billing among them, but Kevin Hagen should have, since he plays the principal suspect "Eddie Ferguson."

Eddie's wife was just stabbed to death, making it four women murdered in the neighborhood..... but, hold on: Eddie looks to be a nutcase. Although he is in the hospital, torn with grief over his wife's death, he looks and sounds a little goofy. He swears he saw the killer's face in a window, but could he have seen his reflection? Could it be that he's the one who killed his wife and the others?

In many respects, the mystery in here is more than obvious after we've watched the first 5-10 minutes and several of the suspects. I figured it out quickly (so it must be obvious) while "Det. Frank Ballinger" (Lee Marvin), our hero, takes a bit longer to add two-and-two.

By the way, I didn't recognize "Col. Klink" of "Hogan's Heroes," the mid '50s-early '60s hit TV show. I was shocked when the saw the ending credits and saw it name listed first and in bigger type." This was a decent episode, despite figuring it out early on, but it's a little talky overall.

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