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Screen Directors Playhouse - Rookie of the Year

episode 1.10

USA 1955
produced by
Sidney S. Van Keuren for Hal Roach Studios/NBC
directed by John Ford
starring John Wayne, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, James Gleason, Patrick Wayne, Willis Bouchey, Harry Tyler, William Forrest, Robert Lyden, Tiger Fafara, Charles Ferguson
story by W.R. Burnett, screenplay by Frank S.Nugent

TV series
Screen Directors Playhouse

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mike Cronin (John Wayne) is a veteran reporter with a small fry local newspaper who thinks he's just one story away from making it big - so when he figures Lyn Goodhue (John's real-life son Patrick Wayne), the New York Yankees' rookie of the year, is actually the son of Buck Garrison (Ward Bond), a former baseball star who has fallen from grace - and was banned from the sport for life - for accepting bribes, he thinks he has the story of his life he can actually sell to his New York newspaperman friend Shafer (James Gleason).

But then Lyn's girlfriend Ruth (Vera Miles) shows up in his hotelroom with a gun, threatening to shoot him if he ever publishes the story. Cronin has no problems disarming the girl - but she makes him listen to reason (and to his heart), that it's just unfair to sacrifice Lyn for a mistake his father has made before he was even born. So when Shafer calls Cronin for the story, he tells him he has none ... and learns that everybody knew about Lyn's father anyhow, just nobody printed it out of respect for the boy's career.

And wouldn't you know it, karma kicks in right away, and despite of not havingt a story, Cronin gets the New York job he wanted so much anyhow ...


Now on paper this must sound great: John Ford directs John Wayne on his first excursion into television - but on (the small) screen, this episode of Screen Directors Playhouse hardly lives up to his promise: Sure, it's smoothly directed, and sure, Wayne is everything you'd expect him to be ... but the story the film is just too weak, too one-dimensional and too predictable to really convince. Actually, I'd go so far and say that because of the weak plot, the whole thing is an utter disappointment ...


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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD