Saturday, August 3, 2013

"The Phony Police Racket" or "A NALE in the Coffin"


"This is the city-- Los Angeles, California. In 1877, early settlers sent a carload of California oranges east and began a great migration west.
Not many oranges grow in the city today, but, if you have the money, you can buy anything from a glass of juice to a three hundred room hotel. 
People sell and people buy. If the sellers don't give a dollar's worth for a dollar, the buyers find out quick and the seller doesn't stay in business long.
Some sellers take money for goods and services they don't deliver. When that happens, they wind up doing business with me. I carry a badge." 


"It was Thursday, November 15. It was hot in Los Angeles.
We were working the day watch out of Frauds Division, Bunco Section.
The boss is Captain Lambert. My partner is Bill Gannon. My name's Friday."




Some helicopter shots with which we are familiar.



The Old Attic / Antiques / Thrift Shop /  Boutique / Store For Rent / Real L.A.



Robert Knapp is back.

Leaving PAB to go investigate:



Soundstage: Little Sister's Serves Big Drinks:


Art direction was bananas in this surreal, low-rent bar. The Tahiti poster is cool, but the other details are not as authentic. Leis, paper pineapples, and a gaggle of grass skirts makes a pretty off the wall (if iridescent) bar theme.

In the above picture, Friday is breezing past a really cool textile. 


It's a touch difficult to discern which backlot bar set they are using. 
My first thought is the bar set with the Famous Chili sign -- the Burt Mustin episode.
Alas, I don't suppose it is. Perhaps it is pieced together they way they change the walls around in Gannon's house. 




I WAS CHEATED THE DAY I WAS BORN


YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT YOU CAN GET AN EGG FOR TEN CENTS


National Association of Law Enforcement.
You have to watch the episode in real life to catch all the nuance involved in executing this swindle.
Compared to internet crimes, it would seem that this one actually requires a lot of patience and talent.
I don't understand how swindlers rationalize their consciences.


Eddra Gale and Stuart Nisbet. Wearing hats.

Stuart has a cute pantomime for tearing up paper. He does it several times in succession.


KNAPP ATTACK!

Name all of the typefaces!!
This prop is an excellent midcentury artifact.


They appear to employ Futura and Helvetica.


Oh-oh...It's the crazy guy from the SWBMAGCDwhatever.
He's their go-to-guy for playing local businessmen. 

He exhausts me.


HE EXHAUSTS ME, TOO.


That looks like one dry publication. Sheesh!

Well, here is a sequence we're used to:



But as usual, all roads lead to a soundstage.

This one is a printing outfit. Notice with what a light touch the absolute barest hints of printing operation are imposed on this precious soundstage:


1. Victor Millan pretends to wipe his hands clean on a rag which isn't dirty. (Cute trick.)

2. A bank of filing cabinets - must have been ubiquitous.
Friday and Gannon obscure the frosted amber glass behind which must lie all of the large and loud printing machinery.


So spare.


Yes, Gannon and Friday walk us through another phony address that is really a vacant lot.
This happens several other times as the series rolls along.

Our typical carefree highway sequence:


Gannon's house made over as a rest home:


Wicker furniture for days!


I HAVE NIGHTMARES THAT THE WICKER FURNITURE COMES ALIVE


Friday and Gannon stood in this place when we went home with Officer Gannon and before we left for Big Bear.


ONE K EIGHTY
ONE K EIGHTY

THERE IS AN INTERESTING CONCRETE WALL ON THE LEFT OF THE WHITE VAN



Kent McCord is back to lend a hand, as usual.


Surprise! We're about to bust the baddy and we get treated to some footage of the fridaymobile driving up to a construction site.


Blueprints, hard hats, keys hanging on a board, a big red fire extinguisher, a pinboard. 
They call it a "construction shack" but nowadays, it's a mobile unit, a trailer.
We've been in a construction shack styled set when we were investigating that time Don Dubbins took the side of hate.



He's got a face that just says 'slap me silly'.
That's G.D. Spradlin for you.


This final set is the boiler room.


It's a monotone mess. It works, though. There are some neat chairs and table lamps.




HOLD THE PHONE


These are the Glengarry leads.
Coffee is for closers.
Second prize is a set of steak knives.
Third prize is you're fired.


No, third prize is you are going to Chino.


Well, damn.


"On January 10th, trial was held in Department 183, Superior Court of the State of California, for the County of Los Angeles."



Paul G. Fremont
and
Preston C. Densmore

Now serving their sentences in the state prison, Chino, California.


"The other suspects were tried and found guilty of impersonating police officers and the sale of membership cards in a false police organization. The maximum penalty for such offenses is a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment for one year, or both.


S2e13

Aired 7 December 1967

Starred
Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
G.D. Spradlin as Preston C. Densmore
Del Moore as Wesley Hundorn
Eddra Gale as Ethel Gower
Nydia Westman as Jennifer Salt
Kent McCord as Officer Jim Reed
Robert Knapp as Captain Lambert
Ben Hammer as Paul G. Fremont
Victor Millan as Salvador Cabo
Stuart Nisbet as Axel Varney
Don Ross as Bart Emerson

Art Direction - Russell Kimball
Set Decor - John McCarthy & John Sturtevant
Costumes - Vincent Dee

Written by Henry Irving

Next week's episode is a technical treat - the inner workings of a trial board.
Not enticing to you? Well, it will be here when you are ready.

2 comments:

  1. I like how Friday refers to his industrial/regular guy clothing as "soft clothes."

    Is this where Kent McCord gains his Adam-12 identity as Officer Reed?

    I can see why Fellini thought Eddra Gale had star quality - she does.

    Man, do I ever miss tiki bars and tiki restaurants!

    Good job, Suzy Dragnet!

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    Replies
    1. I'm super-appreciative of how much you share with the blog. I'm so ready to get back to work on it.

      I'm so glad you're enjoying it. Thank you.

      Best,
      Suzy Dragnet

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