"Johnny Staccato" Evil (TV Episode 1959) Poster

(TV Series)

(1959)

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8/10
An intense essay
pfrank-417 December 2012
One of the more tightly wound episodes of the series, and sure enough, Cassavetes directed it. Also unusual among the episodes, there's no jazz here but rather gospel music. The show amounts to an exposé of fraudulent evangelists who take careless people's money. There are several memorable touches: The first line comes from the evangelist, in full face, close up: "Evil comes to you through your television sets." Quite a comment from a TV show. And the line is spoken by Alexander Scourby, one of the most famous voice-over artists in 1960s television. Another sparkling (if briefer) role is character-actor Elisha Cook as a follower. This series as a whole is quite impassioned and ardent; this accounts for its short life on network TV. This episode is one of the more impassioned of all.
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