The Life of Riley (1949–1950)

Five Dollar Bill 

Money goes missing and Riley thinks Junior is somehow involved despite the boy's protests he knows nothing. Riley agonizes over what to do for punishment. He does not want to loose the ... See full summary »

Director:

Herbert I. Leeds
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Jackie Gleason ... Chester A. Riley
Rosemary DeCamp ... Mom (as Rosemary De Camp)
John Brown John Brown ... Digger
Gloria Winters ... Babs
Lanny Rees Lanny Rees ... Junior
Sid Tomack Sid Tomack ... Gillis
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Storyline

Money goes missing and Riley thinks Junior is somehow involved despite the boy's protests he knows nothing. Riley agonizes over what to do for punishment. He does not want to loose the boy's love but sees the imperative to maintain discipline. A visit from a neighbor adds further information and Riley is not so sure about his course of action. Written by chapman_glen@yahoo.com

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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmtone Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last show of the series. See more »

Quotes

Digger: Every good undertaker has his ear to the ground - we pick up a lot of dirt that way.
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User Reviews

 
Junior's Punishment
18 April 2018 | by Jordan HallSee all my reviews

A $5 bill is missing from the Riley household. When Junior comes home with a new basketball that costs $4.95 the blame is placed on him. Junior insists he didn't take the money but can't tell where he got it. Riley tries to find a suitable punishment with Gillis insisting he needs a spanking. Riley and Peg begin to see it that way too. Riley says, "this is one of the worst features of being a father... Duty is duty and no matter how unpleasant it is, it's gotta be done." He then hands his belt to Peg, but she insists he does it. Riley comically stalls when he gets to Junior's room. He wants the rest of the family to think he carried out the punishment, however. Digger O'Dell (John Brown) visits and from it comes a revelation.

Reflecting upon the series, the original "The Life of Riley" is notable for being one of the earliest sitcoms, as well as for the role of a young Jackie Gleason. Interestingly, it did feel much like the radio series it was based upon and as such is perhaps exactly what it would be like if we could see the action of a radio program. Despite winning the first Emmy I overall found it to be an uneven series with a mix of good, average, and below average episodes. It could have been something special if the effort given to comical episodes such as "Tonsils", "Insurance", and "Riley's Firstborn" was given to other offerings. Some mixed in some heart for feel-good episodes. But, more often than not the episodes were a bit of a strain to get into and there wasn't enthusiasm to see what the next episode would bring.


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