Month: June 2013

EP0976: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Lansing Fraud Matter, Parts Three and Four

Bob Bailey
Johnny closes in on the insurance agent as the beneficiary stubbornly refuses to admit the fraud.

Original Air Date: December 14 and 15, 1955

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EP0975: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Lansing Fraud Matter, Parts One and Two

Bob Bailey
A man with a $50,000 life insurance policy dies of malnutrition prompting suspicion.

Original Air Date: December 12 and 13, 1955

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Book Review: The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep was the first published Philip Marlowe stories. Marlowe is hired by General Sternwood to stop another blackmail attempt against for his youngest daughter, Carmen. Marlowe takes on the job and along the way tumbles into a blackmail racket, an illegal porn shop, a few murders, and the ever pressing question of what happened to Rusty Regan, the husband of Sternwood’s other daughter Vivian.

From there Marlowe has to navigate the corrupt world of the Sternwood girls, stop the blackmailer, and protecting the dying General Sternwood. As a mystery, the Big Sleep is top notch. The mystery grows more complex the deeper Marlowe gets into it. Marlowe’s world is packed with memorable characters that inhabit this gritty world.

And then there’s the writing, in the Big Sleep Chandler has a wonderful way with words. The book features quotes like this:

“I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings.”

“Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. You’re the second guy I’ve met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail.”

“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.”

“I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings.”

Fans who know Marlowe from the radio should be advised that the book is far edgier. It’s a world that includes a pornography-related plot and sexual references, though the book avoids graphic description However, the morally redeeming quality of the book is the character of Philip Marlowe, an honest detective living in a code of honor facing a corrupt world that runs from LA’s upper class to its underworld.

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

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EP0974: The Line Up: The Frivolous Forger Fracas

William Johnstone

Guthrie has an ID o a forger but how did he pass a bad check after he was jailed.

Original Air Date: October 11, 1951

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Telefilm Review: Lord Edgeware Dies

The second episode of the seventh Poirot series was Lord Edgeware Dies. This is notable as it’s the first time ITV adapted a Poirot story that had been previously adapted with Peter Ustinov, though Ustinov’s adaptation was, “Thirteen at Dinner.”

The Lady Edgeware, Jane Wilkinson wants a divorce from her unhappy marriage to Lord Edgeware and asks Poirot’s help. Poirot visits Lord Edgeware and finds to his suprirse that Lord Edgeware and already agreed to the divorce. Poirot reports this back to Lady Edgeware who says she never received the letter. That night, Lord Edgeware is murdered and the servants at his home point suspicion at Lady Edgeware. However, Lady Edgeware spent the whole with twelve respectable people at a dinner. Poirot sets out to find who committed the murder and is trying to frame the beautiful Lady Edgeware.

This film works great with the requisite twists, turns, and red herrings you expect from an Agatha Christie mystery, plus a solid performance by Suchet as well as the guest stars. This clearly beats Ustinov’s much more ambiguous adaptation. My one complaint in this film is its portrayal of Poirot having a crush on Lady Edgeware. I didn’t buy that, but the rest of film is pure gold.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

 

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EP0973: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Cronin Matter, Part Five and the Widow is Willing

Bob Bailey

 

Johnny suspects Dolly Cronin was murdered as he mourns her death.

Original Air Date: December 9, 1955

An insurance arrives to investigate the death of a wealthy man and the suspects line up.

Original Air Date: 1958 or ’59

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EP0972: Sherlock Holmes; The Golden Pince-Nez

John Gielgud

 

Sherlock Holmes investigates the murder of a professor’s aide.

Original Air Date: April 3, 1955

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