The Counterfeit League (1963 TVM)

US / 52 minutes / bw / Talent Associates, Paramount, CBS Dir: William Corrigan Pr: Robert Costello Scr: Harold Gast Cine: uncredited Cast: Bruce Gordon, Diane Ladd, John Balzac, Robert Readick, Joseph Warren, Jess Osuna, Joseph Dellasorte, Frank Ferrer, Alan Rich (i.e., Allan Rich), Charles Durning, Howard Caine, Henry Hamilton

In Durango, Mexico, Arthur Henry Moline (Gordon) conceives a great new counterfeiting plan: instead of printing fake bills he’ll print fake US Treasury checks, which can have a far higher face value and are generally trusted more than ordinary folding currency. He forces local printer Francisco Guiterrez (Dellasorte) to cooperate in his scheme.

Bruce Gordon as Moline

Anxious to insulate himself from the law, Moline sets up a distribution scheme whose kingpin eventually becomes motel owner, white slaver and general scumbag Bennett “Ben” Ulmer (Caine). Moline instructs Ben to cut Ben’s nephew Dorsey Ulmer (Osuna) out of the setup because Dorsey, who’s a few tokes short of nirvana, has a narcotics rap hanging over him. But Continue reading

Word Games (TVM 1979)

US / 94 minutes / color / Gambit, Universal, NBC Dir: Boris Sagal Pr: James McAdams Scr: Richard Alan Simmons Cine: Isidore Mankofsky Cast: Kate Mulgrew, Henry Jones, Lili Haydn, Robert Culp, Edie Adams, Bob Dishy, Rene Auberjonois, Priscilla Pointer, Allan Rich, Frederic Forrest, Barney Martin, Christopher Allport, Herb Armstrong, Neil Flanagan, Susan Connors, Miriam Nelson.

This was the pilot to a series spun off from Columbo and featuring the detection adventures of the wife whom the lieutenant constantly cites but never names. The series, by contrast, experienced a surfeit of names during its short lifetime (13 episodes), beginning as Mrs. Columbo, then becoming Kate Columbo, then Kate the Detective and finishing as Kate Loves a Mystery. As you’ll have guessed, in this spinoff the otherwise anonymous Mrs. Columbo is given a name, Kate; after a mid-series divorce from her more celebrated husband, she becomes Kate Callahan.

Kate Mulgrew as Kate Columbo.

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