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Collector's Item - The Left Fist of David

USA 1958
produced by
Herb Meadow for 20th Century Fox/CBS
directed by Buzz Kulik
starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Whitney Blake, Thomas Gomez, Eduard Franz, Dick Ryan, Dick Winslow, Harvey Parry
written by Herb Meadow, music by Bernard Herrmann

TV-pilot

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Henry Prentiss (Vincent Price) is a top appraiser, running an appraisal company with his partner Muncie (Peter Lorre), a former art forger gone legit. his latest assignment is to catalogue a vast art collection - that's supposed to house the legendary Left Fist of David. Thing is, nobody knows exactly what this Left Fist of David is even supposed to be, only that it's priceless for one reason or another.

Enter Ivan Hagar (Thomas Gomez), an art collector of the illegal sort who would (literally) kill to get the Fist and who threatens Prentiss and Muncie every step along the way so they hand the Fist over to him once they have found it. Problem is, Prentiss and Muncie not only have no desire to hand the Fist over to the villain, they don't even know if it's there. Thing is, Hagar would not accept it not being there, no matter what. So Muncie, forger that he is, fabricates something resembling a mummified hand to trick Hagar into thinking they have found the actual Fist - after all, nobody knows what the Fist might be, so why not a mummified hand?

Hagar is only almost tricked by the appraisers' deceit, but they manage to catch him off guard nevertheless, and in the fight that follows, they not only manage to overpower him, but also to break a chandelier - which turns out to have hidden the actual Left Fist of David - a fortune in pure gold, made to look like a fist.

 

A failed pilot for a series that never was - and in a way, one can see why this one has failed: The work of appraisers just doesn't hold enough interest or promise enough suspense to keep the audience coming back week after week. That said though, taken by its own merits, this pilot is pretty decent, it tells a story with quite a few fun twists and turns, and with Vincent Price and Peter Lorre - a few years before they would become the dream duo of horror comedies -, it features a great couple of leads, ably supported by baddie Thomas Gomez.

Maybe not a 50's TV classic but well worth a look.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD