Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"The Thirty-Two Friends of Gina Lardelli" (1959).

Rita Moreno with
Jeffrey Hunter, ca. 1956
The former teacher of model Gina Lardelli (Rita Moreno) appeals to private eye Lucius Crane (Robert Middleton) to investigate when her death is chalked up to suicide. This episode was the pilot for the TV series The Fat Man (based on the character created by Dashiell Hammett and the radio series with J. Scott Smart) that did not pan out. The writers are Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts (Ironside, Mannix, Shake Hands with the Devil, White Heat).


Mike Doran said...

A fun follow-up fact:

In 1968, Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts took over as producers of Mannix, which had just barely made renewal on CBS.
Goff & Roberts changed the format in toto, dropping the computerized PI agency, and making Joe Mannix a somewhat well-to-do solo private eye.
About midway through the season, Goff & Roberts produced an episode titled "A Pittance Of Faith" - which is essentially a rewrite of their script for " ... Gina Lardelli", imbedded above.
G&R put a pseudonym on the Mannix script ('Blake Ritchie', one they'd used before), but the basic premise of the story was the same - as were a few of the character names, such as 'Lardelli'.
If you'd like to compare, the Mannix episode can be found in the second season DVD set.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Fascinating! Thanks for sharing.