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Code 3: The Search (1957)
Child lost in the Woods
CODE 3 "The Search" 1957 CODE 3
CODE 3 was a Police procedural series about the LA County Sheriff's Department. The series ran for 39 episodes during 1957. The start and finish of each episode begins with Richard Travis giving a short blurb about the episode.
A young girl, Beverly Washburn, has gone missing and the Police are called in. A female detective, Jeanne Cooper, and her male partner, Douglas Kennedy draw the assignment. The missing girl's mother, Dorothy Green is losing her mind worrying about her daughter.
The Sheriff's department comb the area houses and start on the surrounding hills. The problem here is that night has arrived making searching difficult. The next morning the boys call in a chopper to overfly the wooded hills nearby. The girl is found with a busted ankle and rescued.
Some of the episodes are quite good, but this one is not exactly what one would call a burn burner. They cannot all be winners. Jeanne Cooper was the mother of actor, Corbin Bernsen.
Dragnet: The Big Lamp (1952)
Excellent bit of Television
DRAGNET "The Big Lamp" 1952
This is the 14th episode of the 283 episode run of the original Police Detective series, DRAGNET. This series ran from 1951 to 59.
Sgt Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and Detective Ed Jacobs (Barney Philips) are working the day watch out of Robbery Division. They are up for a day in court to testify against safe-cracker, Eddie Firestone. The Detectives and the Police forensics man, Herb Butterfield, do their bit. The jury though for some reason decides to find the crook, not guilty. Firestone blows town after his release.
Some months later there is another string of break-ins and safe robberies that fit with Firestone's style. The Detectives check out the known haunts of Firestone and soon pick up his trail. The man now seems to be married, has a fine car and a rather nice house. The Detectives wonder how he is paying for all this.
After conferring with Webb's boss, Tol Avery, the Police set up an around the clock watch on Firestone's movements. They soon discover he has a small apartment downtown. A quick look inside said flat finds a set of burglary tools and such.
Forensics Detective Butterfield has an idea on how to get clear cut proof on Firestone's next robbery. The Detectives cover Firestone's tools and garments at his apartment with a special dust. This dust will only show up under ultra violet light.
The next time a safe cracking that fits with Firestone's tactics happens, the Detectives have a look at the scene. Sure enough, there is dust on the safe etc that shows up under the ultra violet lamp. Firestone is grabbed up and shown the proof. They have him for sure this time.
This is a pretty entertaining bit of television. The cast and crew are far enough into the series, to have worked out the bugs.
Sgt Schultz as a Crook
The D.A.'s Man "A Girl's Best Friend" 1959
The D.A.'s Man was a Police drama series from Jack Webb's Mark VII production company. The series ran for 26 episodes during 1959. It starred John Compton, Herb Ellis and Ralph Manza . Compton is an ex-private eye who now works undercover for the New York District Attorney's office. He gets the goods on various mob and criminal types and hands the info to D.A. Ralph Manza. His contact is Herb Ellis. This episode is number 9 of the production run.
There has been a string of jewel robberies at the homes of upscale types. The robbery always happens during a party at the home. The main suspect is Regina Gleason, who has been at all of the parties. Miss Gleason is the squeeze of a wealthy business man, so why would she be involved with the robberies? The DA, Ralph Manza, sends his main undercover operative, John Compton to check out Miss Gleason. Compton touches base with several of his contacts, and soon digs up some dirt on Gleason. It seems that whenever her sugar daddy is out of town, she is seen on the arm of crook, Charles Franc. Franc and his brother, John Baxter, are known to dabble in the odd jewel heist.
Compton soon makes contact with the two brothers posing as an underworld jewel fence. He offers the pair a good return on their next heist. The two, Franc and Baxter like the sound of more cash and bite. Needless to say this does not go in the brother's favour as the Police swoop in at the exchange.
I'm starting to see why this series only ran for 26 episodes. The stories and acting is really a relic of 7-8 years earlier. The series uses a narrator to explain the action and it is rather annoying. Audiences were expecting a little more mystery and suspense in their entertainment.
John Baxter would hit gold in the mid 1960's on the popular HOGAN'S HEROES as Sgt Schultz.
The D.A.'s Man: Iron Star (1959)
Not much to see here
The D.A.'s Man "Iron Star" 1959
The D.A.'s Man was a Police drama series from Jack Webb's Mark VII production company. The series ran for 26 episodes during 1959. It starred John Compton, Herb Ellis and Ralph Manza . Compton is an ex-private eye who now works undercover for the New York District Attorney's office. He gets the goods on various mob and criminal types and hands the info to D.A. Ralph Manza. His contact is Herb Ellis. This episode is number 13 of the production run.
A man, Ed Prentiss, answers a knock at his apartment door and is surprised by a pair of push-in robbers. One of the masked pair, Fred Dale, gives Prentiss the butt end of a pistol knocking him to the floor. Robber Dale then rifles through various closets and drawers for valuables. The other robber, Rodd Redwing, helps Prentiss to a chair and wipes away the blood. Several minutes later the pair head out with their swag.
This robbery is one of a series that has the New York DA most annoyed. They assign their undercover man, John Compton to look into it. The only real clue is that Prentiss says that the second man, the one who helped him was a Native American.
Compton hits the local hangouts looking for the man. Compton is soon put on the trail of Redwing. He finds Redwing at a bar and the man gives up without a fight. The only reason he was involved in the last robbery, was because his wife and him were broke. He just wanted to go back to the Dakotas. Redwing gives the Police the name of the other man, Dale, who is quickly grabbed up.
This is one slow and dull episode. The poor story does not give the actors much to do besides stand around and talk. Also in the cast with a small bit, is veteran big screen man, Ted de Corsia. Actor Rodd Redwing was a firearms and quick draw expert. He was often hired to teach other actors the quick draw. His students included, Alan Ladd, Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford.
Meet McGraw: Vivian (1958)
Trouble finds McGraw in Havana
MEET MCGRAW "Vivian" 1958
MEET MCGRAW was a Private Investigator television series that starred Frank Lovejoy as P.I. McGraw. The show started as a stand-alone episode of the popular FOUR -STAR PLAYHOUSE in 1954. It took till 1957 before the actual series hit the airwaves. It ran for 42 episodes between 1957 and 1958. This particular episode is the 29th of the series run.
Lovejoy is down Havana way doing some marlin fishing when he gets involved in a case. He sees a pretty young woman, Joan Elan, who seems to be in a spot of trouble. The woman is a survivor off a liner that had struck a reef and sank. Elan suffered some head trauma and has lost her memory.
Seedy underworld type, Sebastian Cabot has zeroed in on the woman. He wants to use the woman as cover to help him smuggle various goods into the U.S. Lovejoy soon becomes a thorn in the side to Cabot. Lovejoy collects a sound beating for his troubles from several large gentlemen in Cabot's employ.
The Cuban Police are soon involved as they are most interested in talking to Miss Elan. She is the main suspect in a murder. While all this is going on, Lovejoy cannot help but notice a man, Kevin McConnell, hanging around everywhere he goes.
Lovejoy is rather upset with the beating and continues to annoy Cabot. Guns are soon pulled and various nasty types find themselves with a bit of un-needed extra ventilation. The woman, Elan, gets wounded and is rushed for medical aid. The new trauma has jogged her memory and she is united with her husband, McConnell. He had been trying to find her since the sinking of the ocean liner they had been on. Of course the murder Elan was suspected of had been the work of Cabot and his henchman.
This episode really misses the mark with a silly story and slip shod direction. The series as a whole is quite entertaining, so I guess the odd stumble can be forgiven.
The D.A.'s Man: The Witness (1959)
A Mob Murder
The D.A.'s Man "The Witness" 1959
The D.A.'s Man was a Police drama series from Jack Webb's Mark VII production company. The series ran for 26 episodes during 1959. It starred John Compton, Herb Ellis and Ralph Manza . Compton is an ex-private eye who now works undercover for the New York District Attorney's office. He gets the goods on various mob and criminal types and hands the info to D.A. Ralph Manza. His contact is Herb Ellis. This episode is number 10 of the production run.
This one starts off with the murder of a man in a New York apartment. The man doing the killing is mobster Robert Stevenson. There is a slight hitch though, Stevenson's 8 year old godson, Greg Irvin, is a witness to the killing. Stevenson gets the kid to promise never to say a word about the matter. Irvin likes Stevenson and agrees.
Stevenson now gets on the horn to his shyster lawyer, Robert Cornthwaite. Cornthwaite quickly shows with mobster Charles Maxwell in tow. Cornthwaite says they need to call the Police and report the shooting. Stevenson is not amused with this idea, that is, till the lawyer explains that Maxwell will lie and say he was a witness to the killing. Maxwell will of course swear it was all in self defence. Stevenson will get off in court and double jeopardy will attach. Then even if the kid, Irvin ever mentions the shooting in the future, it will not matter.
The D.A. sends in their undercover investigator, John Compton to see if he can dig up any concrete evidence on the killing. He poses as a magazine salesman and hits Stevenson's apartment building. He tries various apartments looking to find someone who heard or saw the killing. This soon finds Compton on the wrong end of a beating delivered by gangster, Maxwell.
The D.A. now decides to dismiss the charges against Stevenson. This causes the mobster to get itchy about the boy, Irvin. "What if he talks?", says lawyer Cornthwaite. The boy's mother, Maxine Cooper is now drawn into the discussion. Needless to say she is not happy with any idea of killing her son. It looks like she might be in line for a rub-out as well.
Of course our undercover man, Compton, breaks up the meeting and delivers a return beating to thug Maxwell. The Police rush in and put the grab on Stevenson and the crooked lawyer, Cornthwaite. Miss Cooper will be more than happy to tell the DA all about Stevenson's plans.
This is the second episode of the series that I have seen so far. It is starting to look a bit like a poor twist on the producer's (Jack Webb) earlier DRAGNET series. This episode was written by Webb and Bruce Gellar. Gellar was the creator of the 60's hit series, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.
Maxine Cooper is best recalled by film noir fans as Velda in the Robert Aldrich directed noir, KISS ME DEADLY from 1955.
Whiskey, a showgirl, and the Mob
The D.A.'s Man "Moonshine in Manhattan" 1959
The D.A.'s Man was a Police drama series from Jack Webb's Mark VII production company. The series ran for 26 episodes during 1959. It starred John Compton, Herb Ellis and Ralph Manza . Compton is an ex-private eye who now works undercover for the New York District Attorney's office. He gets the goods on various mob and criminal types and hands the info to D.A. Ralph Manza. His contact is Herb Ellis. This episode is number 12 of the production run.
The mob is running an illegal distillery to avoid the tax man and the government want it shut down. There has been explosion with the operation and 4 people have been killed. The Feds know the mob will just set up again at a new location. The Feds seek help from the New York end and Compton is soon pounding the streets looking for leads.
His first clue is a showgirl, Nina Vaughn, who hangs with a mid-range gangster, Johnny Seven. He stakes out the club where Vaughn works hoping to latch onto gangster, Seven. He of course takes in Vaughn's act while he waits.
By spreading a bit of cash he is soon introduced to said gangster. He tells the mob guy he has 50 grand and is looking for an "investment" opportunity. Seven's ears prick up of course at the sound of cash. He tells Compton he has such an "investment" that he could cut Compton into. 50 large will get him a 10 percent share in the next illegal still the mob sets up.
Compton agrees to the deal and tells Seven he will have the cash the next day. Compton quickly lets the D.A. and the Police in on the set-up. Compton is soon wired for sound so the Feds can have the proof they need. The meeting happens, the Feds get their evidence and Seven and company are rounded up.
This is the first episode of the series that I have seen. I'll need to see a few more before saying it is a keeper or not. The series has most of the same behind the camera crew as Webb used his earlier, DRAGNET series.
Also in the cast is long time bit player, Joey Forman. Nina Vaughn, who was only on screen between 1958 and 1961, does make an impression. Her dance routine is something to behold. What a set of pins this woman has.
Hong Kong: The Innocent Exile (1961)
HONG KONG "The Innocent Exile"1961
Rod Taylor headlines this 1960-61 series as a newsman who is stationed in Hong Kong. Taylor is constantly in trouble with various shady types who are always involving him in their troubles. It usually takes several round of fisticuffs, a dead body or two and a gun battle before things get settled. This is the 25th episode in the production run.
Reporter Rod Taylor thinks he has latched onto a big story involving the ward of a deposed South American dictator. The ward, Susan Kohner is being pursued by Secret Police types from back home. The main nasty here is, Joe De Santis. De Santis is following Kohner because he is trying to get a lead on the ex-dictator, Jay Novello. Novello it seems skipped out with 10 million belonging to the country. The new government wants it back.
Our man, Taylor, is soon mixed up in a three way mess with Kohner, De Santis and Novello. Taylor's pal, Hong Kong Police Inspector, Lloyd Bochner, is soon involved as well. Taylor has fallen for the pretty Miss Kohner and tries to keep her hidden away from the other two.
There is soon a bit of rough and tumble and a kidnapping that has Taylor chasing first one side, and then the other. Of course Miss Kohner is rescued in the nick of time and the villains are soon under lock and key.
While not a waste of time, this one really has too much story for the run-time. This cuts down on the action, and that is why people watch this series.
Dragnet: The Big Show (1953)
Whose baby is it?
DRAGNET "The Big Show" 1953
This is the 25th episode of the 283 episode run of the original Police Detective series, DRAGNET. This series ran from 1951 to 59.
Sgt Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and Detective Frank Smith (Ben Alexander) are working the day watch out of Juvenile Division. They get a call to the bus station about an abandoned baby. The Detectives find a woman, Virginia Gregg, at the station with a 7 week old baby. She tells the cops that a young woman off the same bus she had been on, asked her to look after the child for a minute. That had been several hours earlier.
The child is taken into care and Gregg is asked for details about the woman who left the child. After interviewing several others, including the bus driver who had been driving the bus Gregg was on, they realize that there is no other woman. The child had been travelling with Gregg.
It is off to the Police Station for some more questions. Gregg soon admits the child is hers. She then tells the Detectives that she could not take care of the child because her husband was returning from Army duty overseas. The problem here is that he has been gone two years. The child would get in the way when the husband returned in several days. She had decided that the child would get a home as an abandoned baby, and she would get her husband.
The story might sound silly to today's viewers, but at the time it was semi scandalous. Anyways, all is settled for the best for all involved. Miss Gregg is quite good here and runs up and down a whole range of emotions. It is a better episode that I make it sound.
Like most of the early episodes, the story is taken from one of the DRAGNET radio programs.
Hong Kong: Love Honor and Perish (1961)
Not one of the better Episodes
HONG KONG "Love, Honor and Perish" 1961
Rod Taylor headlines this 1960-61 series as a newsman who is stationed in Hong Kong. Taylor is constantly in trouble with various shady types who are always involving him in their troubles. It usually takes several round of fisticuffs, a dead body or two and a gun battle before things get settled. This is the 24th episode in the production run.
Reporter Rod Taylor has just landed in Hong Kong on a flight from the States. Also on the flight is Joan Caulfield who is Hong Kong to meet her husband, Warren Stevens. The deal here is that Stevens had skipped out of Caulfield four years before and Caulfield wants to know why. Stevens is a no show but there is a note for her to go to a local hotel and wait.
The next thing the viewer sees is Caulfield lying on the floor of her room after a beating. Taylor, being the only person she knows in town, is soon called. Then the Hong Kong Police are called in for a look see. Turns out there is no US Embassy record of Caulfield's husband being in Hong Kong. A quick look at the Police files though turns Stevens up under another name. Steven is a noted smuggler of gold and such based across the bay in Macao.
Needless to say Taylor and Miss Caulfield end up in Macao up to their necks in trouble. Stevens is wanted by a rival gang for killing one of their members. The leader of this group is John Marley. There is now a whole series of flying fists, chairs and lead exchanged before the matter is closed. Stevens had called Caulfield so he could use her as cover for an escape. The swine however ends up suffering from a lead overdose.
This one really suffers from a rather slip-shod story and poor direction. It is the weakest episode of the series. The look of the episode though is really top rate with twice Oscar nominated cinematographer, Philip Lathrop at the controls. He also handled the lensing duties for 61 episodes of the popular series, PETER GUNN. Also in the cast are Aki Leong, Joseph Sargent and Joseph Ruskin.