A Greek immigrant to the US goes to work at a junkyard owned by his friend. As he becomes more successful, he brings his wife and sons over from Greece, but his wife dies in a flu epidemic,... See full summary »
A Greek immigrant to the US goes to work at a junkyard owned by his friend. As he becomes more successful, he brings his wife and sons over from Greece, but his wife dies in a flu epidemic, leaving him to raise his sons alone. The sons eventually win a scholarship to a prestigious military school, and when they return home they find that their father now has his own "empire" of more than 20 junkyards and is known as "The Golden Junkman". But his success is tempered by the scorn and ridicule heaped on his sons because their "junkman" father's lack of education. He resolves to solve that problem and make his sons as proud of him as he is of them. Written by
John Nesbitt (PASSING PARADE) was the initial host for this dramatic anthology series, and the debut episode, "The Golden Junkman," starred Lon Chaney in the title role of Jules Samenian, a Greek immigrant of unpolished English, who becomes the new manager of a junkyard owned by his friend Constantin (Peter Brocco). The ambitious Jules brings his family over from the old country, but a flu epidemic strikes down his wife, leaving the distraught husband alone to raise their two young sons. A cherished set of encyclopedias enables the boys to educate themselves, until their father is able to enroll them in military school, eventually graduating with honors. By this time, Jules has diversified and expanded the junkyard to include 20 more, becoming known as The Golden Junkman, while his pride in his sons' success is tempered by the ridicule they receive about their unschooled father, who they feel is smothering them. His initial pain at learning the truth manifests itself into a determination to become a learned student at a rival school, eventually earning a Bachelors' degree which he accepts in front of his two boys. Lon Chaney's wife Patsy later referred to this as her husband's finest television performance, supported by Thomas Browne Henry and young Corey Allen.
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