MEET MCGRAW was a Private Investigator television series that starred Frank Lovejoy as P.I. McGraw. The show started as a stand-alone episode of the popular FOUR -STAR PLAYHOUSE in 1954. It took till 1957 before the actual series hit the airwaves. It ran for 42 episodes between 1957 and 1958. This particular episode is the 4th of the series run.
P.I. McGraw (Lovejoy) is approached by the right hand man, Grant Richards, of wealthy industrialist Barry Atwater. Richards offer Lovejoy 500 smackers to meet with his boss at his office. His boss, Atwater, has a matter that needs to be dealt with on the quiet side. The cash is right, so Lovejoy agrees.
Lovejoy meets with Atwater and the man tells him he wants Lovejoy to find his runaway wife. He wants her found, and brought back. Atwater does not wish the papers or media to hear about his family problems. Lovejoy listens and then tells Atwater it will cost him another grand. Atwater agrees and gives Lovejoy a picture of the missing wife. Lovejoy has a boo at the photo of the lovely young woman. (A drop dead gorgeous 26 year old Angie Dickinson)
Lovejoy hits up all his downtown snitches and offers a bit of cash for any info on the missing woman. Soon a clue is handed to Lovejoy by snitch, Paul E Burns. It seems Miss Dickinson is hiding out in a fleabag hotel downtown.
Lovejoy pays the woman a visit and forces his way inside her rooms. Dickinson swears she will kill herself rather than return to Atwater. It is a loveless marriage where she is only a trophy wife. McGraw decides he cannot return her to Atwater and promises Dickinson he will say nothing.
Lovejoy heads back to report to Atwater that he has found his wife, but, he has no intention of telling Atwater her location. Atwater and his man, Richards, tell Lovejoy he has made a big mistake. Atwater will get even.
Lovejoy returns to Dickinson's hotel room and finds the place swarming with the Police. It seems Miss Dickinson has taken a header out the bedroom window to the street below. She is at the emergency ward barely clinging to life. Two Detectives, Larry Blake and Ray Walker give Lovejoy a grilling about why he is interested in Miss Dickinson. They think that someone helped Dickinson with her quick trip to street level.
Lovejoy figures that Atwater or Richards must have had him followed during his first visit to Dickinson's rooms. The less than amused P.I. returns to Atwater's office for a chat of his own. Atwater's man, Richards, calls the office security goon, Joe Barry, to toss Lovejoy out. This does come off as planned and Barry gets himself tuned up by Lovejoy. Lovejoy then hands Richards a bit of his own as well.
Lovejoy then blasts Atwater with a bit of verbal abuse for being a meat head to his wife. Atwater decides that Lovejoy has a valid point and the two head off to see Dickinson at the hospital.
Not bad at all. The episode was written by actor, writer, producer and director, Blake Edwards. Edwards would hit it big with the PETER GUNN television series and the PINK PANTHER film series. Interesting to see Dickinson before she went blonde, the dark hair suits her very well.
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