Stage 7: Season 1, Episode 16

A Note of Fear (15 May 1955)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Marge
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joan Banks ...
Fran
Christopher Dark ...
Bobby Starr
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Harry Wilson
Gordon Mills ...
Steve Randolph
Leonard Penn ...
Joe Collins
...
Announcer
...
News Vendor
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15 May 1955 (USA)  »

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Top television Noir
28 April 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

STAGE 7 – A Note of Fear – 1955

This is the 16th episode of the one season run of the anthology series, STAGE 7. The series ran for 25 episodes during 1955. The headliner in this film noir like episode is, Jan Sterling.

Jan Sterling is a night club singer with a problem. She is sure someone is out to kill her. It seems that Miss Sterling had appeared as a witness in a murder trial against a racketeer. The man, Leonard Penn, had sworn that if he got the chair, he would make sure Sterling would be killed.

It is the night of Penn's execution, and the jittery Sterling is walking through a park on her way to work. She hears someone following and fades into the brush to hide. A man comes up and looks around before continuing. Sterling does not catch the man's face, but notices the man's distinctive black and white shoes. She figures it is someone sent by the mobster, Penn.

The frightened Sterling hits the club and grabs her waitress friend, Joan Banks. She tells Banks about the strange man following her. Sterling has calmed down somewhat and joins the piano player out in the lounge. The piano man, Christopher Dark asks if she is okay. Sterling tells Dark about the man following her. They are joined by club owner, Lawrence Dobkin. Dobkin suggests that Sterling take the night off and return to her apartment.

Off she goes. Several minutes later a man, Gordon Mills, wanders into the club and grabs a seat. Guess what type of shoes the man is wearing. Mills asks if Sterling is around. He finishes his drink and heads back to look through the dressing rooms. Owner Dobkin asks what Mills is up to? Mills pulls out a badge and says it is a Police matter. Dobkin tells Mills that Sterling took a cab home.

A short time later, Mills is knocking on Sterling's apartment door. He flashes his tin again and gains entry. He tells Sterling that he is just keeping tabs on her till Penn gets his "electric cure." Twenty minutes later Sterling gets a phone call from the club. It is Miss Banks calling to say that Penn's date with death has been delayed. Banks also offers use of her family's small cabin outside of town. Banks figures that Sterling could use a place to unwind from the stress.

The cop, Mills, shakes hands with Sterling and says goodnight. He exits, grabs his car and heads for the station. Several minutes later, the piano player, Christopher Dark arrives at Sterling's place. He is there to drive Sterling out to the cabin.

Detective Mills stops to pick up the latest edition of the newspaper. The headline reads, MOBSTER PENN EXECUTED. What the hell? Into the car and back to Sterling's he tears. No joy there as the place is empty.

Now he speeds over to the club. A quick round of questions soon has the story. Banks had called Sterling after the piano man, Dark, had told her about the delay of execution. "There was no delay! The man was fried!" Mills says.

Banks quickly spits out where Sterling is headed. Mills grabs Dobkin and both rush for the car. On the road and out of town they roar with Dobkin giving directions.

Sterling and Dark have reached the cabin. Needless to say, Dark is there to put the long fall on Miss Sterling. A large blade is pulled by Dark as he advances on Sterling. Sterling of course figures it is the deep six for herself. Not so it turns out, as Mills boots in the door and gives Dark an overdose of lead poisoning.

A nicely done episode with veteran b-film and television man, Harry Keller at the directing controls. The always top notch, cinematographer, George Diskant, delivers his usual sharp lensing. Diskant is well known to fans of film noir for his work on films such as, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, RIFFRAFF, PORT OF NEW YORK, KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL, THE RACKET, BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, BEWARE MY LOVELY, ON DANGEROUS GROUND and DESPERATE.


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