Cool and Lam (1958 TV pilot)

US / 30 minutes / bw / Paisano, CBS Dir: Jacques Tourneur Pr & Scr: Edmund Hartmann Characters: Erle Stanley Gardner Cine: Lucien Andriot Cast: Billy Pearson, Benay Venuta, Maurice Manson, Maggy Mahoney (i.e., Margaret Field), Judith Bess Jones, Sheila Bromley, Don Megowan, Movita, Alison Hayes, John Mitchum, Tristram Coffin, Alex Sharpe, Erle Stanley Gardner.

Erle Stanley Gardner, under his A.A. Fair pseudonym, wrote thirty books in his Donald Lam & Bertha Cool series. According to the immensely useful Fantastic Fiction site these were: Continue reading

Special Investigator (1936)

US / 61 minutes / bw / RKO Dir: Louis King Scr: Louis Stevens, Thomas Lennon, Ferdinand Reyher Story: “Fugitive Road” (1935; New York Herald Tribune) by Erle Stanley Gardner Cine: Edward Cronjager Cast: Richard Dix, Margaret Callahan, Erik Rhodes, Owen Davis Jr, Ray Mayer, Harry Jans, Joseph Sawyer, J. Carrol Naish, Sheila Terry, J.M. Kerrigan, Jed Prouty, Russell Hicks, Boothe Howard, Si Jenks.

Special Investigator - 0 opener

Chicago shyster Bill Fenwick (Dix) has just won his latest case, defending mobster Bennie Gray (Rhodes)—a result that brings him both a reproof from the judge for being as bad as the criminals he defends and a fat check from Bennie—when his kid brother George (Davis, whose performance, despite his billing, lasts mere seconds), an investigator for the DoJ, is gunned down by gangster Eddie Selton (Naish). Selton is wounded in the exchange, but escapes.

Grieving, Bill realizes the error of his ways, telling his mercenary fiancée Judy Taylor (Terry): “I’m not a lawyer, Judy. I’m what crooks call a mouthpiece.” To her dismay he refuses the next mobster case lined up for him by the friendly Bennie—the Joe Costello case—and nixes their engagement; she’s none too worried, especially after he gives her Bennie’s $15,000 check as kiss-off . . . and even more so because she’s already seeing more of Bennie than strictly she oughter.

Bill gives Bennie no hint that he’s decided to Continue reading