Hello, one and all. It’s Mrs. Crankipants again with another Sunday Matinee. Once again, I’m featuring another teevee show rather than those Godawful, grade Z horror movies that the regular guy likes so much. Mrs Crankipants likes her television. She likes it almost as much as she likes the mailman who wears shorts. She likes it almost as much as the disability check he brings. She likes it almost as much as the guy at the Social Security that okayed the disability checks, but he made me promise not to mention his name. Sorry, Earl.
Today’s presentation is an episode of the original Dragnet television series featuring an incredibly young Lee Marvin playing a cold-blooded killer with a yen for health food. This is before he had snow on the roof; before the Oscar® for Cat Ballou, and well before his gal-pal showed us that you don’t need to put a ring on it to get half. There’s no such thing as free milk. Trust.
In this episode Jack Webb as Sargent Joe Friday and his partner Ed Jacobs track down Lee Marvin’s character who is suspected in a at least one murder to a dingy hotel. After some fisticuffs where Jack Webb somehow cleans Marvin’s clock, they take him down to the station for questioning. There’s the usual back and forth between the cops and the suspect, but Marvin finally cops to what turns out to be a string of murders. He tells Friday that he’ll spill if he can get some grub at a joint of his choosing. The cops agree, and they wind up at Helga’s Health Shop where Marvin wolfs down vegetable burgers, yogurt and beets while Friday and Jacobs gag down Swiss cheese on wheat bread. This crap is poison for guys who live off of coffee and cigarettes!
In between gulps of food, Lee Marvin tells about the string of murders in a matter-of-fact, almost friendly manner as if he was discussing a hobby. It reminded me of Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but Marvin is more chilling than the excellent Rooker in that the murders seemed to mean as much as a cigarette he smoked. Marvin was great and you could see he was destined to be a star!
Speaking of cigarettes, this program has been brought to you by
No, not really. I wish it was. I miss Chesterfields. I’d suck down a carton of them and stub ’em out in the Christmas ashtray I got from Gimbels!
Lee Marvin gets a whiff of that sweet perfume they dole out to murderers at San Quentin. I wonder if the health food joint delivered his last meal.
PS – If you’re having trouble viewing the movie, head on over to The Internet Archive. The episode is in the public domain and can be watched or downloaded in a number of formats for FREE! Check it out HERE!