Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dial "M" for Marvin

With Marvin as violent cop
the M Squad shot over the top
It's murder and gore
with hot, jazzy score
Chicago, from penthouse to flop

Lee Marvin starred as Lt. Frank Ballinger in M Squad (1957-60), bringing his usual thick lipped, loose limbed insolence and bravado to the role. The crime-ridden TV series was set in Chicago, and was hated by the city's image-conscious mayor, Richard J. Daley. The Chicago footage consists of stock and pick-up shots of Marvin cut into the studio-based material. (Though in a recently aired episode the snow and ice was clearly not in L.A.) You can listen to clips from M Squad's soundtrack (by Count Basie, Benny Carter, John Williams and Stan Wilson) here.

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