snapshot: The Pigeon (1962 TVM)

US / 50 minutes / bw / Hubbell Robinson, NBC Dir: Don Weis Pr: Boris D. Kaplan Scr: Rik Vollaerts, Raphael Hayes Story: Rik Vollaerts, based on characters created by Ed McBain Cine: John F. Warren Cast: Robert Lansing, Ron Harper, Norman Fell, Gregory Walcott, Peter Falk, Roxane Berard, Frank Sutton, Morgan Woodward, Arthur Batanides, Harlan Warde, Nora Marlowe, Marjorie Bennett, Louise Lorimer, E.J. André, Richard Deacon, Harry Swoger.

Can a polygraph tell if someone’s lying if they’ve been hypnotized into making a false confession?

Gangster Tully Borgman (Sutton) hypnotizes sucker Greg Brovane (Falk) into believing that he was part of a supermarket robbery that left two guards dead, and feeds him with the names and descriptions of three invented confederates, then calls Steve Carella (Lansing) of the 87th Precinct with an anonymous tipoff.

Peter Falk as Greg Brovane.

Roxane Berard as Peggy Brovane.

As Tully tells his criminal buddies,

“The best part of the whole thing is the cops are looking for three guys that don’t even exist.”

Under questioning by Carella and Meyer Meyer (Fell), Brovane insists that what he’s telling them is the truth, and a polygraph test run by Continue reading

o/t: these books wot I read

Everyone seems to be reeling out their end-of-year Best lists at the moment. I have difficulty thinking that way: as soon as I decide Something is my favorite movie of the year I suddenly realize that Otherthing was pretty good too, maybe even better than Something — and, hey, wait a minute, what about Yetanotherthing? And then there’s . . . Another worry is that we’ve reached just the 1st of December. Is it not possible that something better than all of them will come along during the remaining 1/12th of the year?

So Noirish isn’t going to produce a Best of Year list. But, in a foolish, idle moment, I thought it might be of interest to offer a list of those books that I’ve read in my leisure time this year that I’ve particularly enjoyed; they may not all be the best that I’ve read during the year, but they all floated my boat at the time. Here they are, not ranked (although the first on the list is likely the book I’d rate highest) but in the reverse order in which I read them — most recent first. If others come along between now and December 31, I’ll add them. It’ll be noticed that in a couple of instances I was so impressed by my first encounter with an author that I broke my usual habit and read more of their books soon after.
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Floater, The (1961 TVM)

US / 49 minutes / bw / Hubbell Robinson, NBC Dir: Herschel Daugherty Pr: Boris D. Kaplan Scr: Winston Miller Story: The Con Man (1957) by Ed McBain Cine: Lionel Lindon Cast: Robert Lansing, Ron Harper, Norman Fell, Gregory Walcott, Gena Rowlands, Robert Culp, Natalie Norwick, Paul Bryar, Wally Brown, Andy Albin, Victor Sen Yung, Dal McKennon, Ralph Manza.

Floater - 2 the magazine ad set to lure gullible gals

The pilot for the shortlived (1961–2) TV series 87th Precinct, this sees the boys of the 87th tackle the case of a floater found in the river. The medical examiner reports that she didn’t drown but was dead of arsenic poisoning before going into the water, and that she has a small tattoo of a heart with “MAC” inside it on the sensitive flesh between her right thumb and forefinger. Detectives Steve Carella (Lansing) and Meyer Meyer (Fell) soon identify her in the Missing Persons records as Scranton native Mary-Louise Proschek, who ran away from home to the big city to escape boredom and find love. The tattoo is recent, and so Carella, Meyer and Detective Bert Kling (Harper) start combing the city’s tattoo parlors to see if anyone can recall Mary-Louise.

Floater - 1 Lansing as Carella

Robert Lansing, more than adequate as Steve Carella.

Steve is accompanied on one such visit by his mute wife Teddy (Rowlands). Although the tattooist, Charlie (Yung), has never done such a tattoo—he explains it would be painful—Teddy becomes fascinated with the idea of having a tattoo of her own: a butterfly on her shoulder. Some while later, Continue reading