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'The Naked City' / 'Naked City', 17 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'The Naked City' (1958-59): - Season one consisted of 30 minute episodes very much based on the same style as Jules Dassien's classic 1948 Movie with John McIntire (later of 'Wagon Train' & 'The Virginian') starring as a more 'Americanised' version of Barry Fitzgerald's film Lt. Dan Muldoon Irish/American cop, a more experienced, more accessible, if 'world weary' upstanding version of the diminutive figure of Muldoon than the film version.

James Franciscus (later star of 'Longstreet') plays young Detective Jimmy Halloran well, with Suzanne Storrs as his wife Janet.

The Muldoon/Halloran partnership of veteran Det. & young partner set against a famous city backdrop of location filming no doubt inspired the similar Karl Malden/Mike Douglas team later in 'The Streets of San Francisco'

Harry Bellaver was supporting character Det. Frank Acaro from episode two and is the main continuity link for the show remaining throughout, The team were based at the 65th precinct

Horace MacMahon appears early on in episode; 'Stakeout' billed as 'Chief', later he is crusty Lt. Mike Parker, whose 'bark' was worse than his 'bite', replacing McIntire's character (killed off in episode 25 'The Bumper' at the actor's request) the first season almost divides into two versions with Det. Halloran, Lt. Parker & Det. Acaro the team for the initial season latter episodes.

The 30 minute episodes featured more action based tales than what followed.

'Naked City' (1960-63): - The show had ended in 1959 but returned as just; 'Naked City' in 1960, for seasons two to four with an expanded and revised format still set on the 65th precinct. These were hour long episodes starring Paul Burke (who rather resembled Franciscus) as the idealistic sharp young Det.Adam Flint, with his supportive aspiring actress fiancé Libby (Nancy Malone) plus Parker & Acaro continued in their established roles.

This team investigated the deeper 'human drama' episodes, with famous guest stars, some just starting out on their acting careers (young actors such as; Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Christopher Walken, etc appeared in supporting roles) plus a few lighter comedic episodes were included and some very complex/intense 'character driven' tales which featured many strong compelling acting performances often in rather 'offbeat' stories.

The show stands as the template for many TV Cop shows and dramas that followed with the city of New York itself being very much a featured 'star' of the show.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Real life history...as Boris bids farewell...!, 11 June 2011
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Gene Barry' Segment Episode

The series dips straight into real life history here following the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968...

Glenn Howard (Gene Barry) is one of many influential people on a train speeding through the Czechoslovakian countryside as the course of the Russian invasion unfolds....

They visit Mikhail Orlov (Boris Karloff - in his final acting role very shortly before his death). Orlov appears to be the helpless victim of a massive stroke, confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak, and with hands shaking, however this later proves to be all an act as, later in secret, a sprightly and sharp minded Orlov then rises up, speaks freely , and hands to Glenn Howard a copy of his manuscript of 'The White Birch' - his own autobiographical tale of his life under the Soviet rule pulling no punches...disguised as a copy of 'Tom Sawyer'...!

As Orlov resumes his 'stroke victim' act, Glenn Howard resolves to get the manuscript home and have it printed....however certain other suspicious parties have an eye on him...including 'Emilio Fazio' (Jean-Pierre Aumont), Russians such as 'Tartiana' (Susan Oliver) and other vested interested people such as 'Philip Saxon' (Roddy McDowall) and 'Ghernin' (Pete Duel)

With an all star guest cast including Roddy McDowall, Pete Duel, and Susan Oliver...plus Hollywood Legend Boris Karloff in his swansong acting appearance....together with it's actual historical setting, this episode is one of the strongest and most memorable of the entire series.

Susan Saint James appears as Research assistant 'Peggy Maxwell' once again crossing over into her overall Boss Glenn Howard's activities in this powerful Gene Barry segment episode.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Peggy Maxwell co-stars in this episode about a 'Lost' Shakespeare play..., 11 June 2011
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Tony Franciosa' Segment Episode

Howard Publications Star Reporter for 'People' Magazine Jeff Dillon (Tony Franciosa) and his key Research Assistant 'Peggy Maxwell' (Susan Saint James) here for once share the Lead spotlight ....

...with Susan Saint James (future co-star of 'McMillan And Wife', 'Kate And Allie' etc ) receiving her first ever major Television series co-star billing in this second season episode.

The story is unusually credited as: Tony Franciosa...and Susan Saint James as Peggy Maxwell in...'The King of Denmark'.

When 'People' Magazine's Jeff Dillon decides to do a feature on major plays through the ages...from Shakespeare to 'Hair' ...he gets his trusty 'Girl Friday' Peggy Maxwell to start digging for him...

In the course of her research Peggy is lead to an most unusual household...and talk of a possible 'lost' Shakespeare manuscript for a play titled: 'The King of Denmark'...which if proved true would be the most astounding literary discovery for centuries...

but is Peggy putting her life in danger by visiting the old house...?

Jeff Dillon later follows Peggy to the house looking for her, but where is she...? The people at the strange house all seem decidedly odd....even sinister.

Top supporting guest cast include Joseph Cotton as 'Henry Worthington-Rayner', and Noel Harrison as 'Stephen Talbot' plus Louise Latham as 'Miss. Digby'

This episode concentrates largely on featuring the award winning Susan Saint James as 'Peggy Maxwell' - her biggest on screen role in the entire series - Jeff Dillon is seen initially assigning Peggy to dig up what information she can for his story....and then Peggy carries the lead role for about 40 minutes...

Tony Franciosa's 'Jeff Dillon' then turning up later on looking for her, and then Dillon and Peggy jointly investigate for the final 30 minutes or so of this unusual and interesting tale.

'The Old Paper Caper'....?, 11 June 2011
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Robert Stack' Segment Episode

Howard Publications 'CRIME' Magazine Editor Dan Farrell (Robert Stack) rushes to the scene of a stand off at a rural Prison farm where prisoners holding hostages wish to issue their demands directly to the Ex-F.B.I. man turned Reporter...

However Dan Farrell later discovers the hostage situation has all been a front as cover for a daring prison breakout by three inmates, who have a special 'job' in mind, involving stealing used banknotes....

Dan Farrell on learning of his being 'used' resolves to capture the escapees.....the episode builds to an action packed conclusion with Dan Farrell aiming a truck at the convicts car as they try to flee...

A fine guest cast features Barry Nelson as 'Frank Sandler', Arthur O'Connell as 'Charlie Sherwin' and Lorraine Gary as 'Carla Frazer'.

A young Future 'Alias Smith And Jones' star Ben Murphy appears as Dan Farrell's assistant Joseph Sample.

Susan Saint James is also featured as Research Assistant 'Peggy Maxwell' making one of her occasional series crossovers into a 'Dan Farrell' story.

Barry Nelson's character 'Frank Sandler' appears with the headline: 'The Old Paper Caper' on the cover of 'CRIME' Magazine at the end of this episode.

Drug pushers using pharmaceuticals outlet...?, 10 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Robert Stack' Segment Episode

Howard Publications 'CRIME' Magazine Editor Dan Farrell (Robert Stack) becomes involved when three teenagers 'high' under the influence of drugs have a shootout with the Police, and one of the youngsters is killed....

A café frequented by the teenagers and also transport drivers comes under suspicion as a possible drug supply centre...?

Dan Farrell goes undercover and gets a job as a Truck driver with the firm that transports pharmaceuticals in order to watch the café.....but Farrell puts his life on the line as his Truck is run off the road...

Dan Farrell discovers even the friendliest of co workers might not be all they appear to be...

Good guest cast support notably featuring Van Johnson as 'Sullivan', June Allyson as 'Joanne Robins', and Broderick Crawford as 'Harry Ricco'.

Plus a young future 'Alias Smith And Jones' star Ben Murphy features as Dan Farrell's assistant Joseph Sample.

This episode includes a very surreal 'drug trip' sequence...

Van Johnson's character 'Sullivan' ends up on the latest issue of 'CRIME' Magazine cover at the end of this episode....

Series Note: Gene Barry makes one brief cameo appearance 'as Glenn Howard', pausing for a quick talk with Dan Farrell, then about to set off to a meeting with the Prime Minister...in this 'Robert Stack' segment episode.

Vulnerable Lady on the Rebound....?, 10 June 2011
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Gene Barry' Segment Episode

Once again Millionaire Publisher Glenn Howard (Gene Barry) heads across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom when he learns that his old friend Madeline Grey (Janice Rule), the wealthy daughter of Max Reddington (Laurence Naismith) has recently married a rather dubious power hungry British Politician David Windom (Nigel Davenport) - rumoured in some influential circles to be a potential future British Prime Minister - but who is deeply disliked by Howard's longtime friend Reddington....

The sudden and unexpected marriage after Madeline's first husband has only been dead for a very short time arouses Glenn Howard's suspicions... ...is the vulnerable Madeline being 'used' by the ambitious politician...?

Susan Saint James' regular supporting character Peggy Maxwell again accompanies her overall boss on this visit to England.

A strong British guest cast including Laurence Naismith, Nigel Davenport, and James Robertson Justice (as Detective Fitzwilliams) enhance this change of location Glenn Howard segment instalment.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
All the world's a stage....?, 10 June 2011
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Tony Franciosa' Segment Episode

English Hollywood hopeful actress Jenny Wilde (Pamela Franklin) meets 'People' Magazine's Star Investigative reporter Jeff Dillon (Tony Franciosa) in a club and attempts to get him to further her career.....

Dillon is initially uninterested but then decides to run a story on the plight of the 'would be' stars, with a particular emphasis on those who don't make it big....

Jeff Dillon is friendly with Radio Disc Jockey Billy Howell (Frank Gorshin - of 'Batman' fame as 'The Riddler'), Howell uses his Radio show to help young actors.

Dillon saves Jenny from the clutches of an 'Adult' movie producer, and gets her a trial for a 'proper' acting role on TV which she fails to obtain due to her nervousness and inexperience...

Howell then contacts Dillon as Jenny has rung his Radio show threatening to commit suicide as the countdown to her birthday nears....Dillon takes over at the Radio station to try to talk Jenny out of her decision...she repeatedly phones him, and at the end appears to have taken an overdose....

MAJOR SPOILER !!

...when in fact all the while it's ALL been a big act...just to gain her instant publicity, a massive radio audience, and as a bemused Dillon observes, no doubt the acting job offers will then come flooding in for her...

In the final twist, as a disbelieving Dillon leaves the Radio station...a young unknown 'wanna be' actress steps forward from out of the shadows , she hands him a bottle of sleeping tablets she HAD intended taking that night...only because of her listening to Jeff Dillon's attempts on the radio to talk Jenny Wilde out of committing suicide, the young girl duly changed her mind and decided it was better to live after all...

Jeff Dillon thus HAD saved a girl's life that night...

A strong guest cast, plus Susan Saint James regular supporting character 'Peggy Maxwell' make this an engrossing episode, possibly influenced by the famous 'Peg Entwistle' (also a British girl who came from Wales) Hollywood suicide case...the girl who jumped off the big 'H' letter in the 'Hollywood' sign on the hillside.

This episode also depicts the power of live Radio 'phone in' shows.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Glenn Howard learns 'when in Rome' ....life can be dangerous !, 10 June 2011
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Gene Barry' Segment Episode

Millionaire Publisher Glenn Howard (Gene Barry) flies out to Rome together with his Research Assistant Peggy Maxwell (Susan Saint James) to investigate the death of a known to him 'Playgirl' friend of a notorious American gangster...

In the course of his enquiries Glenn Howard discovers that a beautiful Contessa and an old friend of his are both deeply involved in the crime....

A Strong supporting guest cast includes Dana Wynter as 'Francesca', Ed Begley as 'Gene Sobel', Cesare Danova as 'Alfieri' and special guest star Louis Jourdan as 'Mario Leopardi'.

Semi Regular supporting cast of both Cliff Potts (credited as 'Potter') as Howard's assistant 'Andrew Hill' and Susan Saint James 'Peggy Maxwell' (again crossing over into her overall boss story) provide solid back up for Gene Barry's impeccable Lead character in this involved tale.

One Law for the influential When things are not quite as they seem...?, 10 June 2011
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Tony Franciosa' Segment Episode

When Pete Fowler discovers that wealthy and powerfully influential farmer Jesse Gil McRae (Darren McGavin), a seemingly charming and charismatic character of high public profile and good repute... is secretly involved in a major financial conspiracy, he is then shot to death....

....however his death is mysteriously then just recorded by the local Police as a 'suicide'...

Howard Publications 'People' Magazine Star Investigative Reporter Jeff Dillon (Tony Franciosa) is convinced Fowler would never have taken his own life...and begins checking into the death, aided by his faithful Research Assistant Peggy Maxwell (Susan Saint James)....

Jeff Dillon comes to realise just how powerful Jesse Gil McRae really is, with the law apparently in his pocket...

Good supporting cast includes Gary Collins as Sheriff Beal, and the famous Gypsy Rose Lee as Rosetta.

Series Note: Gene Barry makes a few brief cameo appearances 'as Glenn Howard' in this 'Tony Franciosa' Segment Episode.

All too real issue of unsafe slum housing conditions for the poor..., 10 June 2011
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler Alert !

A 'Robert Stack' Segment Episode

Howard Publications 'CRIME' Magazine Editor Dan Farrell (Robert Stack) becomes involved in the crusading activities of Father Bernard Torres (Ricardo Montalban) who is out to expose the corrupt landlord Milton Spencer (Edward Andrews) who is forcing local poor and immigrant workers to live in ghastly unsafe tenement housing conditions....

When Dan Farrell and his assistant Joseph Sample (Ben Murphy) are shown around the dilapidated buildings by Father Torres they find unsafe stairs, rats, leaky roofs, and black germ infested water pouring from the taps...!

Dan Farrell observes as Father Torres accepts a large bottle from the local children...then on them visiting Landlord Milton Spencer's lavish office to complain with the concerned Priest receiving a stern rebuttal, Father Torres opens the bottle...and lets out a flood of cockroaches on Spencer's Executive desk in order to let him have a taste of the dreadful living conditions his poor tenants are being forced to endure....

Father Torres ceaseless crusading and his continued drawing of public attention to the housing issue later duly leads to his contracted murder, arranged by Spencer and Dan Farrell then digs deep to expose the guilty party.....

Strong support includes John Kerr as Father Billy Keaton and David Sheiner as Lt. Martinez, in this sadly all too topical - then and now - social comment story of oppressed poor and wealthy landlords making a fortune.

The crusading Father Torres face is depicted on the cover of the latest issue of 'CRIME' Magazine at the end of this episode.


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