Naked City (1958–1963)
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The Canvas Bullet 

A washed-up boxer needs fast money and desperately wants to get back into the ring to earn it despite knowing his health is at risk.


Stuart Rosenberg


Stirling Silliphant (teleplay), Ed Lacy (story)

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Episode credited cast:
James Franciscus ... Det. Jimmy Halloran
Harry Bellaver ... Det. Frank Arcaro
Harry Guardino ... Johnny Mills
Diane Ladd ... Kathie Mills
Clement Fowler Clement Fowler ... Gus Slack
House Jameson ... Doc Nearing
Vincent Gardenia ... Musso
Rocky Graziano ... Eddie Gibbs
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herbert B. Leonard Herbert B. Leonard ... Narrator (voice) (as Bert Leonard)


A washed-up boxer needs fast money and desperately wants to get back into the ring to earn it despite knowing his health is at risk.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prize fighter | manager | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama | Thriller





Release Date:

16 June 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

This episode was later rewritten as #4.6, "Five Cranks for Winter... Ten Cranks for Spring". See more »

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User Reviews

What are you his manager or his undertaker
13 January 2014 | by kapelusznik18See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** We see at the start of the "Naked City" episode boxer Johnny Mills, Harry Guardino, getting his head handed to him by his opponent Eddie Gibbs played by former middleweight champion of the world Rocky Graziano in what can be called the miss match of the century. Mills had no reason to be in the ring with Gibbs or anyone else but if it wasn't for his manager Gus Slack, Clment Fowler, he wouldn't have. It's that Mills needed the purse, $250.00, to get his wife Kathie, Diane Ladd,a two way ticked and a new spring dress on her way to Baltimore for a flower show that he was certain that she'll end up winning. With the new and improved white rose that she developed in her spare time while watering the plants on her and Mills fire escape in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

We then get this long flashback, as Mills was out cold from a combination of lefts and rights from Cibbs, in how all this transpired and how Mills who have already suffered severe brain damage in the ring got a chance to fight this unequal match with Gibbs. It was his good friend bookie & manager Gus Slack, Clement Fowler, who got this down and out drunk of a doctor Doc Nearing, House Jamerson,from a flop house in the Bowery to say, in writing, that he's O.K to fight again. It's just before Mills was about to be put to sleep by Gibbs forever that the police intervened and stopped the one sided slaughter. That's after the flashback, of Mills life, was over and were back from the past, the flashback, to the present.

With Mills barley alive and his concerned wife Katie by his side he realized what a fool he was in getting into the ring again for a measly $250.00 so she can attend a flower show that she most likely won't end up winning the grand prize anyway! With still enough gray matter between his ears Mills is now content to go back to work at his newsstand and forget about the worlds of boxing and bosomy. All it did for him is get his brains beat out in the ring with the only flowers he'll end up having are those on his tombstone.

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