Naked City: Season 4, Episode 2

Idylls of a Running Back (26 Sep. 1962)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 27 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Pro football star shot by younger woman when he opens his hotel room door. The press assumes Elvin "Colossus of" Rhodes was cheating on his wife, but Rhodes insists he doesn't even know the... See full summary »



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Title: Idylls of a Running Back (26 Sep 1962)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Paul Burke ...
Horace McMahon ...
Harry Bellaver ...
Nancy Malone ...
Elvin Rhodes
Nancy Wickwire ...
Norma Rhodes
Eleanor Ann Hubber
Harry Culverin
Joe Silver ...
Assistant D.A. Ketton
Bob Romann ...
Tony Cavalejo
Coley Wallace ...
Pixie Gates
Philip Sterling ...
Officer Schulberg


Pro football star shot by younger woman when he opens his hotel room door. The press assumes Elvin "Colossus of" Rhodes was cheating on his wife, but Rhodes insists he doesn't even know the quiet, plain waitress. The paper trail fits the woman's claim they were lovers - separate hotel rooms as the player was on the road, gift receipts etc. check out, as Rhodes' life unravels. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

26 September 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This show uses footage of an actual football game in which all of the players' helmets are open-faced without any face guard bars. However, the filmed closeup sequences done by the crew display one face guard bar on each of the helmets. See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing SANDY DENNIS as Eleanor Ann Hubber See more »

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User Reviews

In Dealing with those in this World, always remember; some people lie. They lie when they don't have to; because they're so used to it! And are they ever convincing!
25 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Samuel Clemmons, better known as Mark Twain, had a lot of memorable quotations that he bequeathed to mankind for the duration of Man's Life. One of my favourites is the one in which he says the definition of Golf as: "A Good Walk Ruined."

Another astute quote said: "A Lie can get itself halfway across the World before the Truth can get its shoes on." Indeed the obvious keen and incisive observations by Mr. Twain took notice of what would seem to be a universally held flaw shared by all of us weak and imperfect Mortal Human. That slice of negativity would be doubting what should be some of the most obvious and elementary facts; that are presented to us by some of our closest friends.So it is that we see some mighty powerful contradictions that co-exist and thrive in all of us. This is a situation that is not limited to Official Police Matters and yet it is probably most often encountered by the Cops in what could only be referred to as being Classic Examples. As we shall see, situations like this can have very serious consequences.

OUR STORY……………………We open up our story in the Bronx at the "House That Ruth Built", Yankee Stadium. But we immediately sense that there will be no Baseball Game that bright and sunny day; for everyone is wearing overcoats and some sort of head covering. Once inside the venerable Ball Park, we see that what it was is not (ho-hum, yawn) another Yankee World Series Game; but rather a Professional Football Game.*

Although the teams are never mentioned by name, the stock footage used to create the story's Football Game when inter-cut with scenes of the actors appears to be of a game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants (who did play their home games there prior to the dawning of The Meadowlands in New Jersey).

The story involves the insane infatuation that develops in the mind of one Eleanore Hubber (Sandy Dennis), a little, insignificant nebbish of a Young Lady for Elvin Rhodes (Aldo Rae), a big bruising Pro Football Running Back, deluxe!

It seems that Miss had been introduced to Football by her would be suitor, Harry Vaderci (William Daniels).** The normally quiet, wall-flower of a girl starts taking an interest in the Grid Iron and in Elvin Rhodes in particular. At one particular moment, while Eleanore is getting the Footballer's autograph, he flashes her; but with a fine, broad smile and nothing else. That's all that her feeble, self contained and reclusive mind needed. From that point on, she surmised, she and he were an "item". She did a Jules Verne-like job of inventing every little detail of their "Romance". She even checked into the same hotels on road games and faked evidence of having shared her room with him.

The whole situation hits a crescendo when she goes to his room, unannounced and when she knocks at the door and he opens, she shoots him with a .38 calibre revolver. He survives and she turns herself into Detective Adam Flint; offering a motive of "because I love him!" The story, with all of the various eccentricities to support her charges of an extra-marital affair, seems all too real and totally believable, not only to the Police, but also to Elvin's Mrs., Norma Rhodes (Nancy Wickwire). Det. Flint is too personally involved in the plight of what he perceives as being the poor, little, wronged girl. Flint even helps the flighty Miss Hubber in procuring a Mouthpiece, Barrister Ketton (Joe Silver).

There was just one problem; that being, that other than their brief meeting with many others present in getting his autograph, no one ever saw the two of them together. This 'minor' point eventually caused the whole false set of accusations to unravel. Elvin Rhodes is vindicated and as we fade out, Detective Flint, who was apologetic and had been cautioned by Lt. Mike Parker about getting too personally attached, now makes a telephone call to Mrs. Rhodes on behalf of Elvin and his innocence.

That would seem to leave only one question; for as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas remarked after his confirmation hearings, featuring Anita Hill, were over; "Now where do I go to get my good reputation back?"

We must mention that there's a certain obvious similarity to the Rubin Malamud 1952 Novel and later film, THE NATURAL (Delphi II/Tri-Star Pictures, 1984). In turn, The Natural was inspired by the real life story of Major League Baseball Player, Eddie Waitkus of the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies & Baltimore Orioles; who was shot by a mentally disturbed & stalking female fan at Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel in 1949.

Like all NAKED CITY episodes, "Idylls of a Running Back" has a fine cast of supporting actors; basically enlisted from the ranks of the Legitimate Stage, be it Broadway or "off". An interesting addition is a very brief appearance of character Football Player & Team Mate, Pixie Gates. Gates is played by Heavyweight Boxer and Joe Louis look-alike, Coley Wallace. Mr Wallace had the distinction of having portrayed "The Brown Bomber", Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis twice; once in THE JOE LOUIS STORY (Walter P. Chrysler Prod./United Artists, 1953) and again in RAGING BULL (Chartoff-Winkler Prod./United Artists, 1980). Now Schultz, I'm no mathematician, but that's 27 years in between those 2 pictures and Mr. Coley Wallace looks about the same!

NOTE: * This is during the early stages of the Pro Football expansion; what with a newly formed American Football League now in its 3rd Season as rival to the NFL.

NOTE ** The story gives William Daniels' character only the name of Harry; so we thought we'd give him one. Hence, we thought of dubbing him, "Harry Vaderci". Get it, Schultz? Kind of like being in a HONEYMOONERS episode with Kramden & Norton; don't you think? POODLE SCHNITZ!!

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