"TV Noir" celebrates the tarnish on television's golden years
"TV Noir" also packs in a few outliers that aren't to be missed. In the 1954 episode "Bond of Hate," from British series The Vise, a bitter married couple realize their only recourse is to kill each other. Pamela Abbott's performance as the harpy-like wife stands next to the late Ann Savage's turn as the powder keg hitcher in Detour (1945) as an example of how to completely own nearly every second of screen time. Another must-see is the bizarre quiz show, The Plot Thickens (1963); it features an older, but still randy Groucho Marx as part of an "expert" panel that attempts to solve a short whodunit penned by Robert Bloch of Psycho fame. It even had its own mascot: a black cat named Lucifer, which guests were instructed to pass around for good luck. Also of note: television's early years were also the golden age of sponsorship, and many of episodes in "TV Noir" include each show's original commercials — including a very young Mike Wallace shilling for Revlon lipstick.
Sept. 30-Oct. 6
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