Video Theater 073: Michael Shayne: This is It, Michael Shayne

The pilot episode for the 1960-61 TV Series Michael Shayne. Includes a pitch to potential sponsors from star Richard Denning. The story was used season for Episode 8 and aired November 25, 1960

EP1730: Dragnet: The Big Church

Jack Webb
Friday and Romero investigate when a pastor reports that a young woman in his congregation and himself have both been receiving threatening letters.

Original Air Date: November 2, 1950

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DVD Review: Just Off Broadway

In Just Off Broadway , Private Detective Michael Shayne is serving on a jury. He becomes convinced the defendant is innocent, so he votes not guilty and debates it in the jury room….

Actually, that’s what he would do in a rational world. Instead, Shayne conceals evidence from the police, gets a sleeping draft from the sheriff, and uses it to drug his roommate so he can escape a hotel room where he is sequestered with the rest of the jury and sets off on a madcap night of investigation to find the real killer.

The story works well as a Comedy Mystery, particularly as it’s an early film for Phil Silvers, who the first television generation would come to know as Sergeant Bilko. His role is relatively small but he plays it to the hilt. Nolan’s Shayne is very fun and charming. Majorie Weaver is solid if not outstanding as the female lead.

The quality of the restoration is very nice and probably better than most films in the series that have released, and the physical disk itself has a very elegant look. However, this comes at a cost. It is more than a bit expensive for a sixty-five minute B-movie even with the better quality.

It is far from the best movie in the series, but it’s still an enjoyable hour despite the fact that Shayne isn’t given a shred of motivation for his illegal actions. However, I liked the end, which, after so much absurdity, offers a realistic ending in a very funny way.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0

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EP1729: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Two-Faced Matter

Bob Bailey
Johnny investigates a five-year-old theft perpetrated against a group of eccentric Ludite furniture makers.

Original Air Date: August 10, 1958

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EP1728: Nick Carter: The Case of the Candidate’s Corpse

Lon Clark
A nervous politician asks for Nick’s help and then a body is found dead in the candidate’s hotel room.

Original Air Date: September 26, 1948

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Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715