M is for Mother - Director: William Witney., written by Ken Pettus (as Steven Thornley), DOP was John L. Russell.
This episode stars Darren McGavin as Mike Hammer, Bart Burns as Captain Pat Chambers, Diana Barth as Sylvia Dutton, Coleen Gray (Kiss of Death (1947), Nightmare Alley (1947), The Killing (1956)) as Thelma Dutton, Stacy Harris as a Raffik's thug, Vito Scotti as Geta Harry Swoger as Big Jim Raffick
Hammer has an appointment on the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower, at the Art Deco landmark the Top of the Tower. He's meeting Sylvia Dutton who asks Mike to investigate an associate of her mother's who she thinks is scamming her out of $25,000.
|Sylvia Dutton (Diana Barth)|
|Pat Chambers (Bart Burns) and Mike|
Hammer heads over to Geta's to get a line on some bookies.
|Geta (Vito Scotti)|
|Sylvia and her mother Thelma (Coleen Gray)|
|Thelma Dutton (Coleen Gray)|
One scam is being played on Mike by the daughter. Mike discovers that Sylvia's mother Thelma is actually part of a con team who have been running their horse betting scam for years. It's what brings in the income and is paying Sylvia's tuition.
|Big Jim Raffick (Harry Swoger)|
A slightly below average episode but nice to see Coleen Gray 5.5-6/10
Pen Pals - Director was Ray Nazaro, written by Frank Kane, DOP was Bud Thackery.
Darren McGavin as Mike Hammer, Mike Connors as Marty, Betty Lynn as Mona, Ed Kemmer as Simmons, Dort Clark as Luger, Angela Austin as Holly
A couple of cons get out of the pen and go looking up an old cell mate Marty (Mike Connors) who has made good and married into a curio business down in Coney Island.
When they walk in the shop they see Mona standing upon a table showing off her legs as she is arranging a shelf. They like what they see.
The two cons Luger and Simmons want Marty, since he's a respectable business man now, to give them the inside info on the alarm systems and layouts of the neighboring stores so they can burgle them at night.
|Luger and Simmons come calling|
|Mona (Betty Lynn) with Luger (Dort Clark) and Simmons (Ed Kemmer)|
|Marty (Mike Connors) center|
Mona confides in her hammer-tommically correct friend Holly, who is, as Mike narrates for us in his oice over "One step up from a Hooch Dancer in Coney Island." Holly tells him that Mona needs a detective. Mike goes to meet her on the beach.
|hammer-tomically correct Holly (Angela Austin)|
|The Wonder Wheel|
|Mona (Betty Lynn)|
When Mike talks to Mona he finds out the names of the two cons Luger and Simmons. She tells him the Luger works down at the Neptune Boat Station.
He warns Luger to back off. Luger goes running back to Simmons. Simmons and Luger decide to rob the store that night, they kidnap and hold Mona so he won't back out. They also first have to deal with Mike.
Simmons tells Luger that he will arrange a meeting with Mike in an alley along side an attraction. There they will knock him off.
Mike gets the call from Simmons, he wasn't born yesterday and arrives at the meeting place early to scope things out.
Luger takes a shot at Mike who cases him down.
Mike has Luger take him to Mona who they've got hog tied in their rented room.
Luger makes a try at Mike while he is untying Mona, a fight end with Luger falling trough the window.
Meanwhile Mike sets a trap fro the unsuspecting Simmons who arrives to loot the store only to run into Mike and the police.
The end of the episode finds Mike back in Holly's arms.
This one is a fun episode with cheesecake, lots of Coney Island location shots, and a noir-ish chase. Dort Clark who plays Luger I first saw as a regular guest on Car 54 Where Are You, he was good at playing small time crooks, con men, shysters, used car salesman, soldiers policeman etc. through the 50s and 60s.
A good balanced episode. 7/10