December 2012

A List by Josef Hoffmann

Asimov, Isaac: Mystery Tune (also: Death Song), in: Show Business Is Murder, edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg, Carol-Lynn Waugh, N. Y. 1983
Music: a simple melody. Crime: murder of a piano player.

Brown, Fredric: Murder Set to Music, in: The SAINT Mystery Library # 3, edited by Leslie Charteris, N. Y. 1959 (originally published as “Murder to Music,” in: The Saint Detective Magazine, January 1957)
Music: jazz standards. Crime: murder of an ex-jazz musician.

Music & Crime

Chandler, Raymond: The King in Yellow, in: The Simple Art of Murder, Boston 1950; (originally published in Dime Detective Magazine, March 1938)
Music: jam session of “hot music.” Crime: revenge killing of a star trumpet player.

Christie, Agatha: Swan Song, in: The Listerdale Mystery, London 1934; reprinted in: Thomas Godfrey (ed.): Murder at the Opera, London 1989.
Music: opera La Tosca by Puccini. Crime: murder of a baritone.

Cody, Liza: Walking Blues, in: John Harvey (ed.): Blue Lightning, London 1998.
Music: rock music. Crime: overdose of a rockstar.

Deaver, Jeffrey: Nocturne, in: John Harvey (ed.): Blue Lightning, London 1998.
Music: Mozart; Smokey Robinson. Crime: robbery of a Stradivarius.

Gorman, Ed: False Idols, in: Ed Gorman (ed.): The Second Black Lizard Anthology of Crime Fiction, Berkeley 1988.
Music: rock’n’roll, especially Elvis Presley. Crime: murder of an old, nearly forgotten rock’n’roll singer.

Gruber, Frank: Words and Music, in Black Mask 22, No. 12 (March 1940); reprinted in: Frank Gruber: Brass Knuckles, Los Angeles 1966.
Music: a romantic hit-tune. Crime: poisoning of a song-writer.

Harvey, John: Cool Blues, in: John Harvey (ed.): Blue Lightning, London 1998.
Music: jazz, especially Duke Ellington. Crime: a series of thefts against women.

Hoch, Edward D.: The Spy Who Went to the Opera, in: Thomas Godfrey (ed.): Murder at the Opera, London 1989.
Music: opera La Gioconda by Ponchielli. Crime: espionage, attempt with a bomb.

Howard, Clark: Horn Man, in: Ed Gorman (ed.): The Black Lizard Anthology of Crime Fiction, Berkeley 1987.
Music: Traditional Jazz in New Orleans. Crime: murder of two lovers.

Music & Crime

Irish, William (C. Woolrich): The Dancing Detective, in: The Dancing Detective, Philadelphia 1946 (originally published as “Dime a Dance,” in: Black Mask 20, No. 12 (February 1938)).
Music: jazz standards in a dance mill. Crime: a taxi dancer is strangled to death.

Leonard, Elmore: When the Women Come Out to Dance, in: The Best American Noir of the Century, ed. by James Ellroy & Otto Penzler, Boston, N. Y. 2010 (originally published in: Elmore Leonard: When the Women Come Out to Dance, London 2002).
Music: dance music for strippers, for example Bad Company. Crime: murder of a rich husband.

Mertz, Stephen: Death Blues, in: Ed Gorman (ed.): The Second Black Lizard Anthology of Crime Fiction, Berkeley 1988.
Music: Rhythm&Blues. Crime: attempted murder against a blues veteran.

Moseley, Walter: Blue Lightning, in: John Harvey (ed.): Blue Lightning, London 1998.
Music: blues, played with a trumpet. Crime: shooting of a woman.

Paretsky, Sara: Grace Notes, in: Windy City Blues, N. Y. 1995.
Music: sheet-music by Mozart. Crime: burglary.

Rankin, Ian: Glimmer, in John Harvey (ed.): Blue Lightning, London 1998.
Music: rock music of The Rolling Stones. Crime: killing of a concert-goer.

Reeves, Robert: Danse Macabre, in: Black Mask 23, No. 12 (April 1941); reprinted in: Otto Penzler (ed.): Pulp Fiction The Dames, London 2008.
Music: Swing, torch-songs. Crime: murder of a dance hostess.

Stout, Rex: The Gun with Wings, in: Curtains for Three, N. Y. 1951; reprinted in: Thomas Godfrey (ed.): Murder at the Opera, London 1989.
Music: operas. Crime: killing of a tenor with a revolver.

Underwood, Michael: Death at the Opera, in: Hilary Watson (ed.): Winter’s Crimes, London 1980; reprinted in: Show Business Is Murder, edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg, Carol-Lynn Waugh, N. Y. 1983.
Music: operas by Richard Wagner. Crime: murder of a opera-goer.

NOTE: Earlier on this blog: MUSIC AND CRIME: 50 NOVELS, by Josef Hoffmann.

SWORDFISH. 2001. John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Sam Shepard, Vinnie Jones, Camryn Grimes. Director: Dominic Sena.


   As a recently released felon, famed computer hacker Stanley Jobson (Jackman) is recruited by the beautiful and alluring Ginger (Halle Berry) to work for the mysterious (and ruthless) Gabriel Shear (Travolta). Needing money to help regain custody of his young daughter (Camryn Grimes), Stanley accepts, and during the rest of the movie he learns to regret his decision, many times, over and over again.

   This is one of those movies where you are better off not asking questions and sitting back to enjoy the ride. If, that is, you are not bored with watching someone typing at a keyboard and pretending they are breaking into various money accounts scattered around the world. The less-meaningful (but visually far more spectacular) action that takes place is largely confined to a mini-prologue that works about as well as anything in the movie (with a bank under siege with hostages wired to blow up) and in the last thirty minutes or so, when all of the safety latches are set loose.


   Lots of large-scale explosives going off, in other words. Cars careening around busy city streets and smashing into each other, large guns being fired and causing all kinds of havoc, and tons of other vehicles of several makes and models veering out of control and smashing into tall buildings and on several different levels. That still leaves an hour to fill, which of course does not mean there are not plenty of bad guys willing to do all kinds of bad things in those remaining sixty minutes.

   Travolta and Jackman have the good parts, and both do well in them, with Travolta taking (in my opinion) top honors as a truly Machiavellian mastermind, over the top and subtly clever at the same time. Amazing. (Unfortunately, with the need for pyrotechnics to keep the action crowd happy, “over the top” seems to prevail, more often than not, over common sense.)

   This following statement may seem to be totally contradictory, or maybe it’s just me, but Halle Berry appears too aware of herself to be truly sexy, but those commentators who have described her much-maligned topless scene as “gratuitous” should watch the movie again.

   Or if not, at least the ending. (Think subtle.)

— August 2004


NEVADA. Paramount, 1927. Gary Cooper, Thelma Todd, William Powell, Philip Strange, Ernie S. Adams, Christian J. Frank, Ivan Christy, Guy Oliver. Based on a novel by Zane Grey. Director: John Waters. Shown at Cinevent 38, Columbus OH, May 2006.

NEVADA Gary Cooper

   Gary Cooper is “Nevada,” a wandering cowboy with a tendency to get into trouble, who, with his sidekick Cash Burridge (Ernie S. Adams), seeks refuge on a ranch whose owner’s sister (Thelma Todd) quickly develops an interest in Nevada that’s not welcomed by Clan Dillon, her suitor, played by a polished (as always) William Powell. Ranches in the vicinity are being victimized by cattle rustlers and Nevada goes undercover in an attempt to ferret out the secretive mastermind whose identity is known only to Cawthorne (Ivan Christy), foreman of the ranch owned by Todd’s brother.

   It’s good to see Todd in a leading dramatic role and she and Cooper make a highly combustible pair of lovers. The unmasking of the villain and the rehabilitation of the trouble-prone Nevada come together in a fast-paced climax that wraps up this fine Western drama in a most satisfying fashion.

   The touch I most enjoyed was a meeting between Nevada and the still unidentified villain, with the villain’s face masked by a light shining into Nevada’s eyes, a nice variation on the masked villains of the ever popular chapter plays of the ’20s and ’30s.

William F. Deeck

CONSTANCE & GWENYTH LITTLE – Great Black Kanba. Doubleday Crime Club, hardcover, 1944. Dell #181, paperback, 1947 [mapback edition]. Rue Morgue Press, softcover, 1988.

LITTLES Great Back Kanba

   Of all the subgenres in crime fiction, amnesia is my least favorite. The Little sisters here have made me forget — unintentional and probably unfunny joke — that bias with a not too plausible but entertaining story of a young woman who loses her memory after a blow to the head while on an Australian train-called Great Black Kanba, or snake, by the aborigines — in the early days of World War II. Worse, the young woman’s identity is mixed up with another female’s, and she is laid claim to by an odd family containing a blackmailer and perhaps a murderer.

   Apparently the different areas of Australia built different gauge railroad tracks. To travel through Australia meant getting off one train and on to another; each change creates problems for the protagonist. The young woman loses her memory on one train, and on two others some unfortunate people have their throats slit.

   Good fun with a plucky heroine, but don’t look for fair play.

— From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 13, No. 4, Fall 1992.

NOTE: For a long insightful commentary on the Little sisters and their approach to mystery fiction — “comic cozies” — check out this page on the Rue Morgue Press website.


THE COUCH. Warner Brothers, 1962. Grant Williams, Shirley Knight, Onslow Stevens, William Leslie, Anne Helm. Screenplay by Robert Bloch, based on a story by Blake Edwards & Owen Crump. Director: Owen Crump.

THE COUCH Robert Bloch

ROBERT BLOCH – The Couch. Gold Medal s1192, paperback original, based on the film of the same title, 1962.

   I spent last October reading ghost stories and watching old monster movies, as I usually do, and I like to close out a month like that with some Robert Bloch, so this year I picked The Couch, the 1962 Warners film and Bloch’s tie-in novelization (Gold Medal, 1962) of the screenplay he wrote with Blake Edwards and producer/director Owen Crump.

   Which makes me wonder who was responsible for spinning a story out of what is essentially a shaggy-dog joke; imagine the set up: a guy walks down the street, murders a perfect stranger, then hurries to his psychiatrist’s office to talk about his mental problems.

   The film that results could hardly be called stylish, but The Couch has a certain blunt impact I found hard to resist. Director Crump (also a writer and producer in his time, mostly of shorts and TV shows) puts the images on screen with a minimum of fuss—no tricky camera angles or long takes—but with admirable efficiency, probably thanks to cinematographer Harold Stine, who cut his teeth on TV shows like Dick Tracy and Superman.

THE COUCH Robert Bloch

   As far as the story goes, it’s as fast and simple as the direction, with David, a mental patient just released from Prison, seeing a psychiatrist as a condition of his parole, and passing his time with random killings just before each visit — which probably beats reading old magazines, but still….

   As the story proceeds, though, we get more than a loose catalogue of killings as the narrative is pegged to the things David’s shrink (and we the viewers) learn about him and his motives for mayhem. Or maybe what we think are his motives. Or maybe what David thinks are his motives, as the story turns into a tricky game of mental cat-and-mouse: the psychiatrist’s search through David’s psyche mirroring the Police hunt for the killer.

   The acting, like the directing, is generally efficient and unfussy, but Grant Williams (best remembered as The Incredible Shrinking Man) plays the killer with a hysterical charm that adds nicely to the tension; one never knows whether (or when) he’s going to be the All-American Clean-Cut Boy or the Out-of-Control psycho, and he conveys both aspects of the character energetically and artfully enough to make one wish his career had gone further.

THE COUCH Robert Bloch

   And speaking of the cast, I should add that the perplexed psychiatrist at the center of it all is played by none other than Onslow Stevens. To most folks that is hardly a name to conjure with, but he is known to fans of old monster movies as the last Mad Scientist of Universal’s grand old days, in the delirious House of Dracula, where he contended with Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s Monster, carrying his part with the seriousness proper for a final farewell.

   Moving on to Bloch’s novelization of this, I was impressed that he put more effort into it than it really needed, and came out with a book worth reading in itself. Bloch adds a subtle sexual context to the tale where the movie couldn’t (not in 1962 anyway) and he takes time out to carp about the L.A. traffic and the collapse of civilization in general.

   There are even a couple of eerily prescient bits where Bloch looks into the minds of people hearing about the serial killings and describes reactions—ranging from normal shock to paranoid fantasy — that seem to strangely pre-echo those of today (Events caught up to me as I wrote this.) However much I like Robert Bloch, I never thought of him as a writer for the ages until I read this and reflected sadly on how short a distance we’ve come in fifty years.

PETER DUCHIN & JOHN MORGAN WILSON – Blue Moon. Berkley, paperback reprint; 1st printing, November 2003. Hardcover first edition: Berkley, 2002.

peter duchin

   Peter Duchin, son of famed pianist and bandleader Eddie Duchin, is a bandleader of some renown himself, so when he sits down to play — well, in this case, write a mystery — it certainly comes as no great surprise that his leading protagonist is Philip Damon, famed pianist and bandleader, and son of Archie Damon, leader of one of the most famous high society orchestras of the 30s.

   Write what you know, they always say, and it’s obvious all the way through this name-dropping debut murder mystery novel that Peter Duchin knows whereof he writes. Aided and abetted by his Edgar-winning co-author, John Morgan Wilson, they together turn in a nicely tuned performance.

   The Edgar, by the way, was for a book entitled Simple Justice, the first in Wilson’s noirish Benjamin Justice series, of which there are now five:

         Simple Justice, 1996. [Edgar award, best first mystery]
         Revision of Justice, 1997.
         Justice at Risk, 1999. [Lambda award, best mystery]
         The Limits of Justice, 2000. [Lambda award]
         Blind Eye, October 2003.

   The Justice series is, from what I’ve heard, rather tough and not for the faint of heart, but in Blue Moon, everything is frothier and very much light-hearted. As bubbly (in an early 1960s high society sense) as a murder mystery can get, you might almost say. The name-dropping begins in earnest on page two, and continues throughout the book.

john morgan wilson

   Appearing on various occasions, many with speaking parts are: Jackie Kennedy, Truman Capote, George Plimpton, Joseph Kraft (and on the west coast) Joe DiMaggio, Herb Caen, Cary Grant, Kim Novak, Carol Channing, Alfred Hitchcock, Willie Mays, Melvin Belli, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Nina Simone, Gerry Mulligan, and I probably left out many others.

   Nothing like hobnobbing with the stars. And there’s also nothing like the sit-up-and-say-oh-my-gosh effect that occurs on page 35 when the ballroom suddenly goes black, a scream rings out, and when the lights go back on, there is a body lying dead on the floor. When was the last time I read this happening? Ever? Did it happen only in the movies? Someone with a better memory than I will have to come up with the answer.

   Damon’s own person demons (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) are also at work here. His wife, to whom he was married only three blissful years, was murdered two years earlier, and the case was never solved. Somehow the two deaths are connected, but how? Not trusting the abilities of a black homicide detective named Hercules Platt, whose name should remind you of some other famous detective, but I digress, Damon decides to do some amateur sleuthing on his own.

   More deaths occur, and Platt proves himself worthy enough to be invited for an encore, both in an upcoming second pairing, Good Morning, Heartache (Berkley, 2003) and on stage, as Platt (surprisingly) has his own amateur sideline as an after-hours and more than competent jazz saxophonist. The detective work is more melodramatic in the closing than I’d prefer, but the period (a mere 40 years ago) is well-evoked, and the overall ambiance is suave, sophisticated and easy going down.

— November 2003.

[UPDATE] 12-26-12.
Two additional Benjamin Justice novels published since this review was written are Moth And Flame (2004), and Rhapsody in Blood (2006). There seems to have been only the two books in the collaborative Philip Damon series.

Thoughts on a December Evening
by Walker Martin


   While looking through the Western Story duplicates that I obtained recently, I’ve been involved in that occupation that has driven collectors crazy for generations. Yes, I’m talking about the heartbreaking job of comparing issues to see which copy is the better one. The better condition copy you keep for your own collection and the lesser condition copy eventually finds a new home.

   Why did I use the words “crazy” and “heartbreaking” above? Because sometimes the copies have different flaws that make it almost impossible to choose one issue as the “better” one. For instance, many times I’ve compared the two copies of the same issue and seen a small piece out of the cover of one issue; but the other copy has some spine problems or perhaps the pages look white compared to almost white, meanwhile someone has scribbled on the contents page “VG” and maybe the back cover has been bent or maybe, etc, etc, etc.

   I’m like the horse caught between two bales of hay; I can’t make a decision and so I starve to death. Or in the case of the collector, you keep both issues!

   A while back we were discussing items that we sometimes find inside pulp magazines or comments that a prior owner has written. I’m looking at the June 5, 1920, issue of Western Story and it has a great N.C. Wyeth cover showing a cowboy riding a bucking bronco while two pals cheer him on.

   Unfortunately, a prior owner by the name of Frederick Gutzwiller has chosen to scribble on the cover. He has written his full name plus the date of Sunday June 13, 1920. He has even added the time: 1 PM. In addition, he must have reread the issue more than 10 years later, because he has written June 1931 and June 1932. There also is a stamped date of January 1935.

   Inside, on the contents page he has written beside some of the stories these dates again. In addition he has rated some of the tales with the comments “poor” and “No Good”. One story he particularly hated because on page 49 where the story “Duty” by S.S. Gordon begins, he has written “29th of June 1932” and slammed it with both “Poor” and “No Good”. But wait, he’s not finished. He then puts on the top of every other page the initials “N.G.”, standing for no good.

   Between pages 90 and 91, Mr Gutzwiller, I presume, has tucked a 16 page pamphlet titled, “Cultural Directions for Will’s Pioneer Brand Nursery Stock”. I see the booklet was published in Bismark, North Dakota. At first I had no idea what this booklet was about but upon reading further I found out it all about planting fruits, vegetables, plants, and trees.

   I also have pulps where Mr Gutzwiller has listed on the covers the various prices realized for eggs, vegetables, and livestock. What I find so interesting about all this, is that he made these notations more than 80 or 90 years ago and probably is long dead. Yet he lives on with his name prominently displayed on some old magazines for collectors to puzzle over and wonder about. I guess that is a sort of immortality, more than some of us will ever receive.

   In fact, as soon as I sign off this computer, I’m going to start writing my name, address, and date on the covers of my pulps. I have a lot, so this might take me quite awhile. I can hardly wait to scribble “Walker Martin” on the set of fine condition Planet Stories that I won at the Frank Robinson auction held by Adventure House.

POSTSCRIPT: Today I’ve spent the whole day continuing to compare issues, which I find to be a lot of fun. There is nothing that make me happier than to look at a fine condition Western Story that I just obtained recently and then see that it is about a dozen times better than my old copy which is sort of brittle and faded, just like me!

   Replacing the old, battered copy with the nice condition copy is like being reborn. I feel like a new collector instead of an old one. If I can find hundreds of nice Western Story magazines at this late stage, then what new worlds are waiting to be conquered? Or collected!

William F. Deeck

RICHARD BURKE – Murder on High Heels. Gateway, hardcover, 1940; Arrow Mystery Library #5, digest-sized paperback, no date (1943).

RICHARD BURKE Murder on High Heels.

   Once the thrill, not likely to last even microseconds, has passed from the discovery that the detective’s name is Genghis Donne — his brother’s name is Kublai — which occurs on the second line of Page 1, there isn’t much left of interest here.

   Since Clarence Elden, the murdered man, was president of the New York branch of the American Purity League, was owner of a sizable pornography collection, and apparently had a planned assignation with a female for purposes ostensibly impure, Burke could have had some fun with this situation. He doesn’t.

   Occasionally I am introduced by mystery authors to others as a “critic.” I respond that actually I am a reviewer. Reviewers appraise, or try to appraise, as in my case, what the author has written; critics tend to deal with what the author would have written if the author had been only half as talented as the critic.

   Thus, I am not going to criticize Burke for what he didn’t do in his first novel. I shall merely say that what he did was create, or more accurately borrow, stock characters — among others the dumb and antagonistic cop, the dumb and friendly cop, and the show girl down on her luck — and a plot so forlorn that I kept reading only in the hope that something, anything, fresh might appear. My hope was dashed.

— From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 13, No. 4, Fall 1992.

Editorial Comment: Although author Richard Burke wrote nine other mysteries, this was the only appearance of Genghis Donne. (See also Comment #1.)


THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BEANS BAXTER. Fox, 1987-88. CAST: Jonathan Ward as Benjamin “Beans” Baxter Jr., Jerry Wasserman as Number Two, Stuart Fratkin as Woodshop, Karen Mistal as Cake Lase, Elinor Donahue as Susan Baxter, Kurtwood Smith as Mr. Sue, Scott Bremmer as “Scooter” Baxter, and Rick Lenz as Benjamin Baxter Sr. Theme composed by Joseph Vitarelli, Trumpet solo by Maynard Ferguson. Opening animation by International Rocketship Limited– Marv Newland. Creator/Executive Producer: Savage Steve Holland. Producer: Anthony Eaton.

   Recently, I had put on my Indiana Jones hat and went off to explore a land of lost treasures … my storage locker. There I found some ancient Kodak Videotapes, one of which contained three episodes of a forgotten favorite of my past … THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BEANS BAXTER.

   It is 1987 and Fox network had just begun. It had placed a lineup that included 21 JUMP STREET and MARRIED WITH CHILDREN on Sunday prime time. The network then turned to Saturday. Originally, Fox had announced its Saturday lineup, that included spy sitcom THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BEANS BAXTER, would premiere May 30 1987, but that was delayed until July (BEANS premiered on July 18, 1987). In the June 8, 1987 issue of “Broadcasting”, “FBC” (what the magazine called the Fox network) President James Kellner claimed the reason for the delay was so the network could focus all its promotional efforts on the encouraging ratings of the Sunday lineup.

   The original order for BEANS was for thirteen episodes (“Broadcasting” 7/13/87). The 8/17/87 issue of “Broadcasting” reported Fox had renewed BEANS and ordered thirteen episodes. While only seventeen episodes were aired, BEANS would remain on the air in reruns from December 1987 until April 1988.

   Beans Baxter was a typical 16-year old boy with a sitcom family of a younger brother, Mom and Dad. Dad worked for the Post Office or so the family thought. Dad’s new position forced the family to move from Kansas to Washington D.C. One day Beans sees his Father killed, then learns that his Dad is a spy and still alive. Dad works for the American spy organization called The Network. He had been kidnapped by an evil organization called UGLI. Network’s “Number Two” agrees to let Beans help find and save his Father.

   Beans would receive his assignments in ways mocking MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and GET SMART, from a master of disguise who turns up in such places as a toilet seat cover dispenser in a men’s room stall or the family toaster.

   The series was a one-camera sitcom that featured silly, absurdist humor with little concern for reality or deep thought. Creator Savage Steve Holland off beat humor has been featured in such films as BETTER OFF DEAD (85) and animated kid series EEK THE CAT (92).

   The cast was believable, a challenge considering the scripts and premise, but beyond that nothing memorable. The opening animation for the theme by Marv Newland (BAMBI MEETS GOZILLA, GARY LARSON’S TALES FROM THE FAR SIDE), and theme music fitted the fun off beat silly mood of the series.



“Beans Runs for President.” (8/1/87) Written and Directed by Savage Steve Holland. Guest Cast: Karen Haber, Taylor Negron, and Adrian Darval *** Beans must interrupt his campaign for High School President to save the daughter of the United States President who had been kidnapped by some angry Clowns.

   Silly, brain-dead fun. The daughter is doing something she believes in as she joins an anti-nuclear protest … she believes it is a great place to find a boyfriend. It was 1987 and Clowns were just beginning to become clichés, yet even today the visual humor, such as the group of Circus Clowns armed with machine guns patrolling the hideout, holds up.

Ratings: 3.2

   Opposite BEANS was ABC’s Movie CHAPTER TWO (79) repeat: 5.4; CBS’s Movie STILL IN THE NIGHT (82) (rating unknown); and NBC’s 227 repeat: 11.6

“Beans & Satanical Backwards Masking Conspiracy.” (8/8/87) Written and Directed by Savage Steve Holland. GUEST CAST: Dee Snider, Tim Stack and Lorraine Foreman *** Mother approved music is turning teenagers into evil demons lounge lizards who play the accordion. It is all a plot by Mr. Sue and UGLI to take over the World. Can Beans, Dee Snider and rock and roll save the day?

   A very funny Exorcist take off with Snider the perfect choice as the music Exorcist.

Ratings: 3.6

   Opposite BEANS was ABC’s THE ELLEN BURSTYN SHOW 4.8, CBS’ Movie GUILTY CONSCIENCE (85) repeat 6.8, and NBC’s 227 repeat 12.1

“Beans’ Wicked and Awesome Adventure at College.” (8/15/87) Written and Directed by Savage Steve Holland. Guest Cast: Ian Tracey, Amanda Wyss and Jennifer Stewart *** The Network is after a college student radical in search of information about UGLI. They want Beans to find out if the student radical’s ex-girlfriend and member of a college sorority know where he is.

   Cake is tired of Beans ditching her (due to his spy work) while they are on dates, so she decides to follow him. She becomes convinced he is gay. Confusion and misunderstandings cause much of the humor resulting in a weak stupid sitcom episode.


   Opposite BEANS was ABC’s THE ELLEN BURSTYN SHOW at 3.3, CBS’ Movie CHASE repeat 10.6, and NBC’s 227 repeat 12.7.

   So does my old favorite hold up or disappoint? While THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BEANS BAXTER is nothing special, this mash-up of typical mindless 80s sitcom and spy thriller had enough moments to make me hope I have the rest of the episodes on tape somewhere in the forgotten areas of my storage locker. That maybe the only way to see them again as even the collectors market seems to have forgotten this one.

Additional Source:

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