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All Episodes Talk: Private Eyes (Are Watching You)

6 hours ago, Tom Holmberg said:

There's a couple of episodes written by Robert Leslie Bellem, the great "spicy" pulp writer who created "Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective", who I like, so I might watch those, though this version of Stu Bailey is no Dan Turner. This Stu is more soft-boiled than hard-boiled.

Some info on Bellem, if you are unfamiliar: http://thedabbler.co.uk/2011/07/greens-heroes-of-slang-4-robert-leslie-bellem/

Thanks for the link.  It's a very interesting article about someone I'd never heard of before.  I checked on IMDB and was surprised how many different tv shows he had written for.   The shows I remember from "Perry Mason" and "Superman" were good.  From the article he seemed like a prolific writer of books and scripts.

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On ‎6‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 6:30 PM, wilsie said:

It's a very interesting article about someone I'd never heard of before.

I looked for one of his stories online and didn't find one, but I'd guess there's some around.  There's some collections available from Amazon.  Bellem was a poet with hard-boiled slang.  :)

A lot of pulp writers (esp. those living in the LA area) ended up writing for early TV and even movies as the pulp magazines were disappearing.

Edited by Tom Holmberg.
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"Deposit With Caution" one of the Bellem written episodes will be on Thursday July 12.  I'm going to check it out to see if a good writer can help a not so good series.

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"Deposit With Caution" (Season 6, Episode 10) Stu Bailey rides the elevator to his new, lonely, depressing life.  New York Police detective John Frazier (perennial gangster Harold J. Stone) hires Stu to come to New York to clear him of bribery charges after $20,000 turns up in his bank account.  No sooner does Stu show up then he is beat up by an Old Salt (tough guy Ted de Corsia) in the lobby of Frazier's apartment.  Disheveled, Stu arrives at the apartment to meet Frazier and his hard-boiled daughter Kathy (Nancy Malone, Paul Burke’s girlfriend in “Naked City), who takes an immediate dislike to our favorite "transom snoop."  Bailey takes the case and tells Frazier to turn the money over to the police.

Frazier withdraws the money from his account, but is knocked out by the Old Salt and robbed before he can turn it in. The police and Frazier suspect Stu of the robbery, but he has an alibi. Stu questions homely, lovelorn bank teller Trudie Vogel (Virginia Gregg, Jack Webb’s go-to "Dragnet" character actress) about Dorn. She sends him to Dorn's house to talk to Viola Dorn (blonde broad Jean Carson, best known as Daphne, one of the “Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot” on “The Andy Griffith Show”), the disgruntled ex-showgirl wife of milquetoast bank teller Walter Dorn ( Booth Colman, Dr. Zaius. In the TV version of “The Planet of the Apes”). Dorn is the teller who claims he received the $20,000 deposit from Frazier.  Viola suspects her nebbish husband is playing around behind her back, giving Stu a photo claim ticket from Club Riptide.  Stu takes Kathy on a date to the pirate-themed Club Riptide and claims the photo, which shows Dorn and a suddenly beautiful, brunette Vogel together at the club.

Stu and Kathy return to further question Vogel, who finally admits she had been at the bar with Dorn, sent there on an all-expenses paid date by the "Psycho-Functional Institute" as part of their psychological "Cinderella" project! Stu returns to the Dorn house to find out who paid Dorn to lie about the money, only to find that Dorn's been murdered. Further questioning of Frazier turns up that he was scheduled to testify in the Denny Skipton (Glenn Cannon, “Hawaii 50” and “Magnum P.I.”) case, a murder which took place during a two-bit robbery. Kathy's boss and fiancé, lawyer Sam Venable (John Gabriel, "Ryan's Hope") is defending Denny, younger brother of real estate mogul Charles J. Skipton, and Frazier has evidence that Denny is innocent of the crime. Stu has one last run-in with the Old Salt.

Like all of the Season 6 episodes, this story is pretty much unrelentingly grim, leavened only by screenwriter Robert Leslie Bellem's signature use of hard-boiled slang (Stu's a "keyhole peeper", a "transom snoop", a "gumshoe"; Frazier's a "defrocked cop", etc.) and some decent acting by Malone and Gregg. There's nothing wrong with the script (if somewhat complicated, there were much easier ways for the villain to accomplish what he wants to do), but unlike previous seasons there's no Roscoe to lighten things up, no Suzanne to look beautiful, or Jeff to play slap guitar and sing Latin songs.  The cinematography seems uniformly dark.  Stu seems depressed, robotic, even when he's making out with the beautiful Nancy Malone.  

I could swear I saw Dick Van Dyke's stand-in, Frank Adamo, as one of the shopkeepers Stu questions.           

Edited by Tom Holmberg.
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1 hour ago, Tom Holmberg said:

"Deposit With Caution" (Season 6, Episode 9) Stu Bailey rides the elevator to his new, lonely, depressing life.  New York Police detective John Frazier (perennial gangster Harold J. Stone) hires Stu to come to New York to clear him of bribery charges after $20,000 turns up in his bank account.  No sooner does Stu show up then he is beat up by an Old Salt (tough guy Ted de Corsia) in the lobby of Frazier's apartment.  Disheveled, Stu arrives at the apartment to meet Frazier and his hard-boiled daughter Kathy (Nancy Malone, Paul Burke’s girlfriend in “Naked City) ), who takes an immediate dislike to our favorite "transom snoop."  Bailey takes the case and tells Frazier to turn the money over to the police.

Frazier withdraws the money from his account, but is knocked out by the Old Salt and robbed before he can turn it in. The police and Frazier suspect Stu of the robbery, but he has an alibi. Stu questions homely, lovelorn bank teller Trudie Vogel (Virginia Gregg, Jack Webb’s go-to "Dragnet" character actress) about Dorn. She sends him to Dorn's house to talk to Viola Dorn (blonde broad Jean Carson, best known as Daphne, one of the “Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot” on “The Andy Griffith Show”), the disgruntled ex-showgirl wife of milquetoast bank teller Walter Dorn ( Booth Colman, Dr. Zaius. In the TV version of “The Planet of the Apes”). Dorn is the teller who claims he received the $20,000 deposit from Frazier.  Viola suspects her nebbish husband is playing around behind her back, giving Stu a photo claim ticket from Club Riptide.  Stu takes Kathy on a date to the pirate-themed Club Riptide and claims the photo, which shows Dorn and a suddenly beautiful, brunette Vogel together at the club.

Stu and Kathy return to further question Vogel, who finally admits she had been at the bar with Dorn, sent there on an all-expenses paid date by the "Psycho-Functional Institute" as part of their psychological "Cinderella" project! Stu returns to the Dorn house to find out who paid Dorn to lie about the money, only to find that Dorn's been murdered. Further questioning of Frazier turns up that he was scheduled to testify in the Denny Skipton (Glenn Cannon, “Hawaii 50” and “Magnum P.I.”) case, a murder which took place during a two-bit robbery. Kathy's boss and fiancé, lawyer Sam Venable (John Gabriel, "Ryan's Hope") is defending Denny, younger brother of real estate mogul Charles J. Skipton, and Frazier has evidence that Denny is innocent of the crime. Stu has one last run-in with the Old Salt.

Like all of the Season 6 episodes, this story is pretty much unrelentingly grim, leavened only by screenwriter Robert Leslie Bellem's signature use of hard-boiled slang (Stu's a "keyhole peeper", a "transom snoop", a "gumshoe"; Frazier's a "defrocked cop", etc.) and some decent acting by Malone and Gregg. There's nothing wrong with the script (if somewhat complicated, there were much easier ways for the villain to accomplish what he wants to do), but unlike previous seasons there's no Roscoe to lighten things up, no Suzanne to look beautiful, or Jeff to play slap guitar and sing Latin songs.  The cinematography seems uniformly dark.  Stu seems depressed, robotic, even when he's making out with the beautiful Nancy Malone.  

I could swear I saw Dick Van Dyke's stand-in, Frank Adamo, as one of the shopkeepers Stu questions.           

Please hear the applause and laughter.  From the first lines, I was hooked on your review.  The way you described Harold J Stone, Nancy Malone, Ted de Corsia and their semi-noir language was hysterical.  It's hard to believe Bellem came up with the "Phycho-Functional Institute" "Cinderella" project as a way to blackmail Dorn to have to effect needed for Denny's case.  It's clever in a bizarre way.  

This episode was unnecessarily grim.  Roscoe, Suzanne, Jeff, Kookie, or even J.R. are missed.  It's just so odd to change everything but the name.  And that was Frank Adamo as a shopkeeper.  

Thank you for a review so much better than this episode or season.  

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5 hours ago, wilsie said:

This episode was unnecessarily grim. 

I don't think the writing of the non-"5" episodes is bad, it's just they're all one tone- depressing.  I supposed WB saved money by firing the rest of the cast (and they do seem to have some better guest stars), but changing formats doesn't really work.  Any of these scripts could have been done under the old 77SS they would have been interspersed with lighter episodes.

Glad you saw Frank Adamo too! 

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Okay, I broke down and I'm reviewing some Season 6 episodes.  So sue me!

*

"The Toy Jungle" (Season 6, Episode 11) The invisible Hannah Steno Service jr. shows up and it turns out, this being 77SS (even if it's not the real 77SS), she's an attractive blonde given to wearing tight dresses to work. She's attractive, but just not attracted to Stu. (There's no chemistry between them.) Stu proceeds to give her his dictation, double entendre not intended.

 Toy store owner Harry Devlin (Russell Johnson, The Professor on "Gilligan's Island) goes to an after-sales meeting at a local hotel only to discover his wife Doris (Patricia Crowley, "Please Don't Eat the Daisies"), dressed as a no-so-cheap lamppost Jezebel, coming out of a seeming gangster's poker game. Doris denies she's Doris, so Harry hires Stu to discover the truth. Investigating, Stu questions the hotel staff including bellhop Eddie ("Laugh In"'s own Henry Gibson), who promises to meet Stu later and spill the dirt. Doris comes a-calling to Bailey's new office and denies she was at the hotel. She claims Harry has a steel plate in his head from the war and he suffers from, in essence, PTSD.

Eddie finally makes it to the Bradbury Building only to be beaten to a pulp by a goon before he can deliver the goods. Later at the hospital Eddie names Vince Santell (Robert Clarke, “The Hideous Sun Demon”) as the poker player. Stu follows the trail to Santell's apartment only to discover he moved out in a hurry.  His landlady however has the phone number of a message for Santell that lead's to Sam Reardon (famous face Cliff Osmond, playing his usual fat simpleton role), owner of Reardon Toy Co., a toy import business. Reardon gives Stu Santell's address and Santell stonewalls Stu, but as he leaves he finds Doris at Santell's doorstep.  She tries to give him the "I'm not Doris" routine, but since Stu doesn't have a steel plate in his head he follows her home and confronts her. Doris says Santell is an "old friend" and that she thought it would be better to convince Harry he was hallucinating than explain her relationship with Santell!

Stu returns to Santell's new apartment.  Santell is an ex-con on parole for narcotics dealing. Santell explains he knew Doris when she was a chanteuse in a bar and that Reardon was secretly in love with Doris and had secretly set Harry and Doris up in the toy business.  Doris goes missing, leading Stu to Doris's ex-theatrical agent (famous face Jerry Hauser, who usually played fast-talking grifters or show business types, famous for having been hired as a regular on "I Love Lucy" and getting in a fight with Desi and being fired after one episode).  The agent points Stu to Doris's ex-girlfriend Lorraine Holt, in La Mesa, Calif, whose house he wrecks. Back in LA Stu solves the mystery, gets in a gun fight and saves the day.

The producers seem to have sensed the show wasn't working and started something of a move back towards the old days as Stu gets a secretary, some humor is added to the script such as a stripper's "dog act" at agent's office, and all the women fall for irresistible Stu. They seem to be trying, and largely failing, to give Stu a little life.  All he needs now is a hip parking lot attendant and a degenerate gambler as sidekicks, and a move back to his old office.

The detective work on these episode seem to be Stu just going from person to person, then suddenly he solves the crime.  Not that the detective work on the old show was all that great, but those episodes had other virtues, and these are supposed to be more serious, more nourish.

 

I have to admit that of all the sitcom families on TV when I was a kid I wanted to be in the Nash family on “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.” I wonder if the sheepdog in this episode was Ladadog?

*

"The Fumble" (Season 6, Episode 12) Rex Randolph, so embarrassed by the failure of Bailey & Spencer, changes his name to Charlie Carmichael, gets marries and quits the exciting life of a Hollywood and Bourbon Street detective to take a boring job ad a mid-level flunky at a chemical company.

Charlie Carmichael (Richard Long) is another pathetic loser married to the boss' daughter, Diana (Gail Kobe, who went on to a long career producing TV soap operas).  Diana, another of Stu's endless line of old flames, hires Stu to be Charlie's watchdog during the important sales meeting weekend in San Diego (based on previous shows we know how that's going to turn out).  Diana's father, Frank Harrison (famous face Robert J. Simon, who usually played military men, mean business men, lawyers, etc., as well as Darren's father on "Bewitched") is threatening to firing Charlie because he's a drunk and a bore. Instead of watching Charlie, Stu hangs around the pool with sportswear model Jana (a busty Sue Ane Langdon), hired to demonstrate the company's presumably stretchy new "miracle fabric."

Stu handles Charlie's drinking problem by slugging him and having a shvitz with him. Paul Lundeen (famous face and Jack Webb best friend and regular, Stacy Harris), Charlie's assistant who is subtly vying for Charlie's job, is tapped by Frank to give the big presentation. While Stu makes time with Jana, Charlie gets blind drunk, blacks out and ends up in a cheap hotel room in Tijuana with a dead prostitute (who hasn't THAT happened to?).

Trying to hunt down Charlie Stu questions Charlie's old football buddy, slimy photographer, Art Shore (character actor Chet Stratton), who leads him to butch judo instructor Lynette King (Irish McCalla, TV's original "Sheena, Queen of the Jungle"), who leads him to Charlie's ex-college girlfriend Julia Morrison (Lenore Roberts), who sends him to Club Samba in Tijuana (where I almost expect Jeff will suddenly appear singing one of his Latin songs and slapping his guitar).  A Mexican taxi driver reveals that Charlie was followed by a car with Calif. plates. 

Back in San Diego a search of Charlie's room turns up a clue that reveals who set Charlie up and also killed that whore (not that anyone seems much concerned with that).  Stu saves Charlie's job and his marriage, though Charlie still remains a pathetic loser who only fell into a marriage with Diana and a job with Daddy's company because he fell on a fumbled football.

The episode was worth watching just for the scene with Irish McCalla giving judo instruction.  There's a theory that two of the later episodes during Season 5 were pilots for a new WB show. But the soap opera-y nature of these season 6 episodes make me wonder if those earlier episodes weren't pilots for the new, but unimproved Season 6 77SS?

*

Monday night/Tuesday morning's episode is another Robert Leslie Bellem written episode.

Edited by Tom Holmberg.
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1 hour ago, Tom Holmberg said:

Okay, I broke down and I'm reviewing some Season 6 episodes.  So sue me!

Don't feel too bad, I recorded those two.  I started watching and will finish later.  I can get pulled into a lot of shows I really haven't planned on. watching.  I'll record shows sometime just in case.  I look forward to another Bellem episode.  

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