Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Raymond Burr

This seemingly unstoppable show was back for a 7th season in 1963. It had more than its share of excellent episodes. "Nebulous Nephew," with Hugh Marlowe, Arthur Space and Beulah Bondi, answers the question of whether or not a man is really a missing relative. "Reluctant Model," in which Lt. Tragg appears, deals with a forged painting and a handsome bearded artist played by Robert Brown. A woman leaves one million dollars to her nurse in "Festive Felon" and an elevator murder is featured in "Wednesday Woman" with a noteworthy Marie Windsor. A boy discovers that a famous actress is his mother in "Simple Simon" with an excellent Virginia Field and Victor Buono. In "Careless Kidnapper" with Mimsy Farmer, in which a doctor treating an alcoholic patient is blackmailed, Perry takes Della dancing until dawn! "The Drifting Drop Out "has a young man accused of murdering his criminal uncle's business partner. "The Bouncing Boomerang" features a wonderful Diana Whelan as a duplicitous wife with a secret partner in a land and insurance fraud.

Other notable episodes include: "Decadent Dean" with an excellent Lloyd Corrigan; "Bigamous Spouse;" "Bountiful Beauty" with Ryan O'Neal; "Nervous Neighbors" with Katherine Squire and Jeanne Cooper;  "Fifty Million Frenchmen" with everyone from David McCallum and Jacques Bergerac to Arthur Franz and Jackie Cooper; "Frightened Fisherman;" "Arrogant Arsonist;" Garrulous Go-Between;" "Illicit Illusion" with Ron Randell and Keith Andes; and "Antic Angel."

These were the two most outstanding episodes: "Deadly Verdict" begins with Perry's client being found guilty and sentenced to death! The story has to do with an old woman who may have been murdered by one of several heirs, including Julie Adams. This episode is particularly well-directed [Jesse Hibbs], creepy, and suspenseful." The Devious Delinquent," with Otto Kruger and an especially notable Virginia Christine, deals with a troubled young man accused of killing a blackmailing punk "friend." Robb White wrote the script, which has a great surprise ending.

Verdict: Still one of the best TV shows ever. ***1/2.

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