ONE SHOE MAKES IT MURDER. CBS, 06 November 1982. Robert Mitchum as Harold Shillman, Angie Dickinson as Fay Reid, Mel Ferrer as Carl Charnock, José Pérez, John Harkins, Howard Hesseman, Cathie Shirriff. Teleplay by Felix Culver, based on the novel So Little Cause for Caroline, by Eric Bercovici. Director: William Hale.

   Truth be told, Harold Shillman (possibly Schillman; sources vary) is not a PI. He’s an ex-cop from LA, who’s hired to do the kind of job that PI’s do in all of the books I’ve read with PI’s in them. Which is to say, he’s hired by a suspended casino owner in Lake Tahoe to find his wife, who’s gone missing.

   That’s the story he’s told, anyway. If you’ve read as many books with PI’s in them – and yes, I know: you’ve probably read more than I have – you know right away that there’s more to the story. The surprising thing is that right after he’s found her, he sees her falling from one of the top floor windows in the hotel where she was staying.

   Finding her was easy. Maybe too easy. But what the police suspect is that her death was not a suicide, which is what they were supposed to believe, but murder. How do they know? She landed with only one shoe on. The other is still in her room, several feet from the terrace where she supposedly jumped. What woman would walk across a room with only one high-heeled shoe in order to jump out on her own.

   Tagging along with Shillman, played by a world-weary Robert Mitchum at his aging world-weariest, is Angie Dickinson as Fay Reid, who as a twice-married call girl who, as it turns out, is one of the perks of the job. Both she and Shillman have issues behind them, but more than that, it somehow also happens that she knew the dead woman in their mutual past.

   There is a bit of romance involved as well, as well as a light easy tone to the tale that makes the whole affair go down very easily. And who can resist Robert Mitchum playing yet another PI, even though the detective part of the tale is not the primary reason I’m going to ahead and say that if you like PI movies but haven’t seen this one yet, you should.

   No, the real reason you should watch this is Robert Mitchum. No surprise there, I’d say.