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Episode credited cast:
Patrick McVey ...
Steve Wilson
Dozo Dugan (as Olin Howlin)
Dotsie O'Connor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lois Austin


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Release Date:

11 December 1952 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Wilson busts up a phony mind-reading racket. See more »

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Death and the Psychic
16 January 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

BIG TOWN – The Shill – 1952

BIG TOWN was a series that ran for 249 episodes from 1950 to 1956. It is about the managing editor of a "Big Town" newspaper. The city is never named. For the first four years the editor was played by Patrick McVey. For the last two seasons the lead was played by Mark Stevens. This episode is from 1952 with Patrick McVey.

Illustrated Press editor Patrick McVey takes his assistant, Jane Nigh out to dinner at the "Club Zamba". She thinks they are going for drinks and dinner. Not so, as McVey wants to check out the entertainment act. An ex con McVey knows, John Hudson, is running a fake psychic act with Elena Verdugo as a mysterious Princess from the far-east. In on the gag, is Verdugo's husband, Steven Geary. Geary is the audience member whose mind the "Princess" reads.

What the older Geary does not know, is that his younger wife, Verdugo, is stepping out with Hudson behind his back. Hudson is also a top notch second story man. He burgles the houses of rich clients of the "Princess" in every town where they do their act. There is always a rich sucker or two who believe the act to be real. They hire Verdugo for private shows. Verdugo then cases the place and passes the info to Hudson. Hudson then does a bit of late night break and enter on the last night the act is in town.

Newsman McVey does not believe for a moment that Hudson is now reformed and on the straight and narrow. He does some record checking and discovers a string of country wide robberies. These always happen on the last day that the act is in whatever city.

He calls his Police Lt buddy and fills him in on the info. He asks the cops to meet him at the "Club Zambo". At the same time, Geary has finally clued into Hudson and his wife's affair. He confronts the pair and gets a pistol butt applied to the side of his head for his troubles. Verdugo and Hudson pack their bags and prepare to hit the train station.

They are interrupted by McVey and the Police. This results in a chase through the club and into the basement. Hudson pulls iron and accidentally shoots and kills his paramour, Verdugo. The Police then bring him down with a close range blast from a shotgun.

A decent episode for a low budget series, it features a quick pace and a good story. The director, William Asher would hit it big as the producer of the 1960's comedy series, BEWITCHED. He was also married to the series star, Elizabeth Montgomery for 11 years.

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