Guestbook - 2005
Happy New Year to all Highway Patrol Fans World Wide! It's the show's 50th Anniversary 1955 - 2005. Long may you run. 10-4...
Gary Jan 01/2005 01:21 PST
After reading William Boyett's obituary in the Los Angeles Daily News, I realized that I remembered seeing him in the Disney movie "The Rocketeer," one of my all time favorites!! I didn't know much about him before, but after reading the obit, it became clear that he had a long, long career in showbiz. Boyett was what is called a "working actor," one of the few among the multitude of actors who actually "make a living" in the biz. He had a good life.
Mike email@example.com L.A. Jan 02/2005 15:48 PST
In 1956, while on hiatus from the production of 'Highway Patrol', Broderick Crawford co-starred with pal Glenn Ford in one of the greatest Western movies of all-time,
'The Fastest Gun Alive' produced by MGM in Cinemascope!
Glenn Ford plays a meek general storekeeper George Temple, in the little town of Crosscreek, where he is constantly belittled by the town's macho men for not carrying a gun. Temple (Ford) is married to beautiful Jeanne Crain, and they are expecting their first child. However, Ford's character is a bit self-tortured, after running away from several towns. Mrs. Temple (Crain) wants to settle in Crosscreek, but Glenn Ford is showing the tell-tale signs of restlessness. He is a reformed gunslinger, son of a U.S. Marshall, who although quick with a gun is also a coward at heart!
On the other hand, there is Broderick Crawford's character Vinnie Harold, an unrepentant gunman, killer, and bank robber. Vinnie and his two sidekick thugs well-played by John Dehner, and Noah Berry, Jr. ride into a town and demand to see a man called Fallon. Fallon claims to be the 'Fastest Gun Alive', a title that the proud Vinnie Harold claims for himself. Vinnie bellows on main street to the entire town, 'I demand to see this man Fallon right now!' Fallon shows up, and attempts to beg off a fight, but then makes the mistake of drawing on Crawford's character. Before Fallon can slap leather, Broderick Crawford guns him down. A sage blind man in town warns Vinnie that there is someone faster than he is, and then Crawford asks for the gunman's name and where he can find him. The blind man professes that, 'I don't know his name, but sooner or later there is always gonna be someone faster than you!' The town marshall played by Glenn Strange arrives with his posse, and since it was technically self-defense, merely orders Vinnie and his killers to leave town. They do, but Vinnie Harold is clearly rattled by the prophecy of the blindman.
In the next town, Vinnie Harold and his gang rob a local bank, when a local citizen asks, 'Aren't you Vinnie Harold?' in front of a dozen witnesses. Crawford's Harold guns him down in cold blood with the retort, 'Now you can be positive!' After Harold's gang leave, we learn that the young murdered man was the brother of the sheriff, who imediately rounds up a posse to hunt down these killers.
Back in Crosscreek, a fed up Glenn Ford gets drunk, and then decides to show up the town windbags by putting on his gun. In the main street of Crosscreek, Ford plugs two silver dollars thrown into the air with a single gun and two shots. Ford's George Temple brags that he is the 'Fastest Gun Alive', and the town cheers him on to the distress of his wife.
Being pursued by the sherrif's posse, Broderick Crawford's Vinnie Harold and his gang decide to pass through nearby Crosscreek for fresh horses. They are about two hours ahead of the posse when they arrive on Sunday morning to an empty town! They entire town is in the church, where Glenn Ford gave his gun to the minister, and swore to God and his wife that he was through with gunplay forever. Ford offers to leave town because once the word spreads that he is the 'Fastest Gun Alive', gunslingers from all over the west will descend on Crosscreek making it's streets unsafe for the residents. One town leader played by Leif Ericson offers to make everyone swear before God, that they will tell no one of George Temple's skill with the gun. Everyone willingly agrees, and Glenn Ford and his wife decide to stay in Crosscreek after all.
However, Crawford's Vinnie Harold and his two gunmen break into the town saloon, where the owner's little boy is playing truant from the Sunday services. John Dehner crows to the little boy that Vinnie Harold is 'The Fastest Gun Alive', but the boy says no. At first Crawford and his goons laugh until the boy pulls out of his pocket two silver dollars shot clean through by Glenn Ford. Vinnie wants to know the name of the gunman, but the boy sensing his evil intentions instead clams up. The boy's father shows up looking for the boy, but finds Broderick Crawford and his gang, who demand to know who shot the silver dollars. Like the boy, the bartender refuses to answer, and when John Dehner is about to get violent, Vinnie intervenes, who says, 'Leave that kid alone, he's got grit, and so does his old man!'
Instead Vinnie has John Dehner go to the church, and demand that the fast gun come out into main street and draw! Glenn Ford refuses saying he just took an oath to God to give up his gun. When no one comes out, Crawford orders his men to splash kerosine on every town building, and then threatens to torch the town in five minutes unless the big gun comes out! Now the entire town is terrified as everyone will be wiped out by such a fire. The town debates, and Glenn Ford admits that he is by nature a coward. Finally, the only decent member of the town fathers, Leif Erickson goes to put on Ford's gun but Ford stops him as his friend would be facing almost certain death. Glenn Ford steps in, and finally puts on his gun belt even, though he is terrified.
Vinnie Harold's men take off as the sheriff's posse must be drawing near, but Crawford's character is now obsessed with either being 'The Fastest Gun Alive' or face his own death, and the rest be damned!
Glenn Ford and Broderick Crawford face each other down on main street, and although both men are clearly frightened, they are on an irreversible collision course! We see both Colt pistols blast away, and then the scene suddenly cuts to the sheriff and his posse coming down main street Crosscreek. Both of Vinnie Harold's men are dead, with their bodies slung across their saddles. The sheriff arrives at the church just as the town is finishing a funeral service. There are two fresh graves, one headstone says, 'Here lies Vinnie Harold, killed on this day in 1889 by George Temple', and the othere reads, 'Here Lies George Temple, the Fastest Gub Alive, killed on this day in 1889 by Vinnie Harold'. The sheriff is satisfied that the murder of his brother has been avenged by George Temple and regrets his death. Then the camera pans the mourners and we see Glenn Ford standing there with his wife! He asks Leif Erickson what was in his coffin, who smiles and says that it "contains a bunch of rocks, a six-gun, and the reputation of 'The Fastest Gun Alive'" as Ford and his wife can now lead a quiet happy life!
'The Fastest Gun Alive' was a huge box office hit, being one of MGM's top grossing films in 1956! It boasts a suspenseful film score by Andre Previn, and was brilliantly directed by the forgotten Russell Rouse. Broderick Crawford scores a knockout performance as the sadistic, but still human gunfighter killer Vinnie Harold, and goes toe to toe with that great American film star Glenn Ford, who was also born to play his part! The back-up cast is nothing less than first-rate, and that includes Russ Tamblyn and Alan Josleyn.
Glenn Ford and Broderick Crawford were friends, and had previously co-starred in the films, 'Convicted' (1950), and 'Human Desire' (1954). In 1971, Glenn Ford had his old buddy Broderick Crawford as a guest star on his televison series, 'Cade's County'!
'The Fastest Gun Alive' is not only one of either Glenn Ford's or Broderick Crawford's best films, it's one of the greatest Westerns ever produced! 'The Fastest Gun Alive' is a favorite on Turner Classic Movies, and is a treat for all ages! Don't miss it!
Ralph Schiller firstname.lastname@example.org Winfield, Il,USA Jan 03/2005 12:13 PST
Ralph..did you ever see Brod with Bill Boyett in Big House?
Gary Jan 03/2005 15:15 PST
I have scene Brod in 'The Big House', but unfortunately not for many years. I remember it as being very good, with a super back-up cast that included Ralph Meeker, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Charles Bronson, let alone Bill Boyett!
Next time it pops up on the cable, I will look for it! Brod left us so many great films and television episodes.
Ralph Schiller email@example.com Winfield, Il,USA Jan 04/2005 09:58 PST
Dear Mr.Gary I Heard That Bill Boyett Died Art Gilmore Was The Announcer Of The Theatrical Trailers Please Write,E-Mail And Call One Of The Channels TV Land,Hallmark,Goodlife TV Network,Trio,Encore's Action Channel Or MTV Evening About Putting Highway Patrol On TV Please Write And Call TV Land About Having Broderick Crawford In Highway Patrol On TV And Please E-Mail Me Tonight Dellie Goose Hutchinson
Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson Delliegoos@AOL.COM Tacoma,Washington,USA Jan 06/2005 20:29 PST
I have doubts if Nick Or TV Land or any of the other kiddie oriented cable channels will ever rerun Highway Patrol. After watching many of the episodes on VHS I have realized that the show is at times very violent. When watching it as a youngster during the 60's it went over my head, but now I realize just how much violence there was in the show - probably too much for the goody goodies of today. I'm surprised they were able to get away with as much as they did in the 50's. HOWEVER, maybe a channel like the "Spike" channel that thrives on brutal police pusuits, "Cops," (and don't forget "Girls Gone Wild!") just MIGHT have the cajones to rerun the show!
Mike firstname.lastname@example.org L.A. Jan 07/2005 01:27 PST
I agree with you Mike. However, the violence was never gratuitous or against children. This is spell out in the Writing Guide located under the Articles section. As far the show being seen again on TV, Iíve pretty much have given up on that idea. Besides the DVDs that are out in the market today are pretty good. I like being able to pick the episode Iím in the mood for at anytime and watching it. 10-4!
Gary Jan 07/2005 01:51 PST
First of all, I love your site, Gary! I'm 55 years old and I too have fond memories of Dan Matthews and The Highway Patrol. I just bought 51 episodes on DVD off of eBay. Maybe you can help me with a bit of trivia from the show. I know that the opening shot of each show, with the roadblock, was shot somewhere on the 101 freeway before it's completion. What about the shot, during each opening, of the patrol car backing out of a parking lot and then the ZIV Television logo comes on. I realize, if I'm correct, that this was a scene from the episode "Prison Break" and is supposed to be at a restaurant called the "Golden Pheasant". Did this restaurant ever exist and do you know it's location? Thanks, and keep up the good work!
Kerry Duvall email@example.com Jan 10/2005 13:51 PST
Great site. This was my favorite show growing up and I would love to see it on reruns. It's a shame TV Land has not really relized what a great show this is.
Lloyd Whisenant firstname.lastname@example.org newport beach, Ca Jan 10/2005 22:50 PST
i would like to say the highway patrol was the show that i grew up with Dan Matthews and William Boyette,,and now i just found the web site of highwat patrol,,and it makes me fill like a kid agin,,i love the show,,and thanks for the web site,,Edward Stickland
Edward Strickland,jr email@example.com Rowland, North Carolina 28383,Robeson Jan 19/2005 19:24 PST
Gary, I thought your name and face were familiar. i used to teach kids aikido at the baseline firestation and subbed for Mrs. Baker at Lone HIll. Is she retired from Judo? I have two kids taqking Aikido out here in redlands, but in the fifities was a big fan of Highway patrol. Since Ohio didn't have mountains or mines TV was foreign country to me, but I still think the Ohio Highway Patrol winged tire logos in the fifties (Akron you know) had California CHP beat. Still doing KATA yourself?
Dennis Clayton parkclay@ verizon.net Moren Valley Ca. Jan 22/2005 20:45 PST
Purely accidently by dumb luck, I found a previously 'lost' feature film starring Broderick Crawford!
I was visiting the folks in sunny Florida, and went shopping at a chain store called 'Big Lots',which sells everything including DVD's. The DVD's appeared to be the same old public domain titles that are available everywhere. However, on the cover of one of their 'Dollar Double Feature' DVD's was a photograph of Broderick Crawford! The title was 'Ransom Money', but the description was actually for his 1955 film, 'Big House,USA', which co-starred Ralph Meeker, Lon Chaney, Jr, and Charles Bronson. That film was about a kidnapping of a young boy. I assumed that 'Big Lots' had retitled 'Big House,USA', or had gotten their copy from a re-release or TV print that had a title change. I bought the DVD for a single dollar, and discovered to my delight that I was dead wrong!
'Ransom Money' was produced by Canyon Country Productions in 1970, and released by the General Film Corporation. GFC was a distributor that specialized in releasing cheapies, exploitation flicks, and independent films to theaters and drive-in's across the South and in the Western states.
'Ransom Money', which clocks in at 84 minutes gives Broderick Crawford top-billing above the title! The story has a rich, beautiful widow, and her ten year old son driving to the Grand Canyon. Every step of the way, their sedan is followed by a white Volkswagon bus. Mrs. Patrick then stops to see the rim of the Grand Canyon, where she makes the foolish mistake of leaving her son unattended while checking into the nearby lodge. While wandering away down the path, her son is snatched by an unseen kidnapper! Mrs. Patrick,who is well-played by Rachel Romen, returns in just a few minutes to discover that her son is missing! She finds a ransom note in her car, but when she shows it to a Park Ranger, the writing had disapeared when exposed to direct light!
Her instructions are to check into a hotel in downtown Phoenix and await further instructions. The kidnapper is an electrical wiring expert, and contacts Mrs. Patrick by either her car radio, or in the hotel room television! Finally, she contacts the FBI for help, and they call in their best man from the Los Angeles bureau, Special Agent Weaver played by Broderick Crawford. Make no mistake about it, this 'G-Man' is our very own Dan Matthews, in all but name only! Although he is sporting a pencil thin mustache, Broderick Crawford is an older, but wiser version of the 'Highway Patrol' inspector, right down to the fedora hat! He even swaggers and struts to the police cars just like good old Dan! Agent Weaver takes over the case, and works with his Arizona counterpart,who is played by Gordon Jump in a surprisingly solid performance. Jump finally gained fame as the bumbling, foolish station manager on 'WKRP In Cincinnati' on CBS from 1977 - 1981.
However, this kidnapper has spun an incredible web of deceit and dead-ends, that stymie our G-men every step of the way! On top of that, there is an interfering financial advisor to Mrs. Patrick, poking his nose in the case. When he complains that he is going to report his misgivings of Special Agent Weaver's handling of the kidnapping to his superiors, Crawford retorts, "Yeah, why don't you call J. Edgar Hoover? He would be really happy to hear from you!' Crawford then throws him out, but the financial advisor is working in cahoots with the kidnapper. For his part, the kidnapper is enjoying himself playing a sadistic, life and death game of 'cat & mouse' with both the widow, and the FBI. A frustrated Crawford sighs, 'It's a race, and right now this guy is ahead of us by a country mile!'
A million dollar ransom is paid, and in return the kidnapper will release the son on Bonner's Flats, a local, vast, dried-up lake bed. However, there's a catch, in that the boy will be wired with a remote control bomb to go off if the FBI moves in to apprehend the kidnapper! As ususual, he terrorizes the widow by setting off a bomb, blowing up a look-alike manequin of her son. Crawford drops off the money inside a suitcase via airplane and a parachute! The boy is released, but he has a ticking time bomb around his neck. In a very harrowing scene, Crawford and his men get the bomb off the boy's neck only seconds before it is detonated, since as usual this kidnapper broke his word.
FBI files come up with a suspect, who is an expert in electronics and demolition, but he is officially dead. The investment couselor is betrayed by his partner, and murdered, but not before he fingers the kidnapper by name to the FBI. The murderer and kidnapper are in fact the deceased suspect of the files. However, Agent Weaver tells his fellow agent Jump that they will be able to catch this mastermind criminal in Las Vegas, where he will try to spend his blood money. Special Agent Weaver leaves in his FBI sedan, but shortly after the car crashes in what appears to be an accident! There is a very grim scene, of a body shrouded within a white sheet being loaded into an old Cadillac ambulance. The ambulance driver looks on the ground, and finds Broderick Crawford's fedora hat. The driver then sadly shakes his head, and throws the 'Dan Matthews' hat into the ambulance right next to the body. Our beloved cop, was finally killed in the line-of-duty.
Gordon Jump and his fellow FBI agent go to Las Vegas anyway, and track down the suspect at the Stardust Hotel. There he is being arrested by casino security for passing counterfeit money! Broderick Crawford's cop get's his man after all with a last laugh, as he had switched the ransom money with counterfeit, printed with the ink that vanishes shortly after exposure to light!
'Ransom Money' is not a major Hollywood production, and is clearly a 'B' film, probably produced on a budget of around $350,000 to $450,000, with about a quarter of that amount going for the star's salary. However, 'Ransom Money' is a good suspense thriller, that is both well-written, and directed with solid acting. Photographed in Eastman Color, the cinematography is gorgeous, making excellent use of the Arizona scenery, giving us a suspensful mystery film on a picture postcard! It's a shame that the source print of the DVD is an old 16MM TV print.
Broderick Crawford gives a solid, wonderful, but wistful performance that is really the last bow and farewell of his Dan Matthews character!
After it's sporadic 1970 release, 'Ransom Money' probably disapeared except for a few televison airings on a few local channels. This title is also missing from the IMDB film credits of co-stars Gordon Jump and Rachel Romen.
Besides picking up a copy at 'Big Lots', you can order a DVD of 'Ransom Money' from either 'WWW.Amazon.Com' or 'WWW.BarnesandNoble.Com', by looking for the title 'Action Classics: 50 Movie Pack'.
Ralph Schiller firstname.lastname@example.org Winfield,Il,USA Jan 25/2005 12:17 PST
I have it and agree with Ralph that it is by all means The HP feature movie that was never made. Brod was Dan Mathews all over again. The death scene with the fedora is terrible. Worse then when Spock dies in Star Trek II!
Gary Jan 25/2005 17:58 PST
I'm looking for 2 Original decals to take them on my
Motor-cycle Gastank ( Star -California Highway Patrol-)
Who can help me to order?
Greetings from Germany
Jens Lehmann email@example.com Blomberg,Nordrheinwestfalen,Germany Jan 26/2005 05:30 PST
As a former Texas State Trooper "A-class 1979" and now as the Chief Deputy of a Texas County I chose law enforcment as a career and Broderick Crawford had a lot to do with choosing the proffesion I did.As a child being glued to the TV in the late 50s my day was always made on Tuesday nights cause I knew THE HIGHWAY PATROL was going to be on tv and Broderick was and still is my hero.
Meredith firstname.lastname@example.org Feb 08/2005 14:22 PST
When we were little in the early 60's my Mom always let us watch Highway Patrol, my brothers and sister. I always loved that show,I was always looking to see a scene where the Highway Patrolman was riding his Harley Davidson FLH.I wish TV Land or some channel would show reruns of that show. I would watch them all over again and again. What a wonderful show. I today ride a Harley Davidson FLH myself. Long live Highway Patrol Starring Broderick Crawford.
Jennifer Pearl email@example.com California Feb 15/2005 23:48 PST
Highway Patrol is one of my favorite shows, and I am glad that I was able to purchase some episodes on VHS. Eventually I will want to buy Highway Patrol on DVD & a DVD Recorder. Can someone give me a few tips on this? Should I wait it out longer before purchasing a DVD Recorder? Salespeople somehow have given be a runaround on DVD Recorders - All had different answers even for the same models, & it was confusing. I liked the Panasonic & Toshiba, but they seemed a little pricey, and it sounded like they could do everything that met my expectations, including putting digital photos on them.
PAUL Feb 16/2005 14:54 PST
highway patrol was and still one of my most loved shows and always will be,,i grew up watching it and it:s still one of the best shows ever made,,
Edward Strickland,jr firstname.lastname@example.org Rowland,North Carolina, Robeson Feb 18/2005 19:41 PST
I have enjoyed your website. I think Broderick Crawford and the series "Highway Patrol" are to a great deal, responsible for what I have been doing for the past 31 years of my life.
Barry Waldrop, Sergeant, Tennessee Highway Patrol email@example.com Jackson, Tennessee Feb 21/2005 12:54 PST
I just read the fantastic interview from 1974 of Broderick Crawford by writer Syd Gillinham, 'Tough Guy With A Heart Of Gold' from the London magazine, 'My Weekly'!
Thanks for finding that forgotten treasure and sharing it with all of us on your website. Those lucky Londoners must have been astonished to see that great American face suddenly walking down their streets!
Wouldn't it be great if we could go back and see Broderick Crawford give his live performance of 'That Championship Season' back in 1974? Jason Miller would not get a film version of his acclaimed play off the ground until 1982. The leading part of the aging high school Coach Delaney was bandied about for all those years among several movie legends including Jackie Gleason, James Cagney, Broderick Crawford, until it was finally filmed with Robert Mitchum. The co-stars were Bruce Dern, Paul Servino, Stacy Keach, and Martin Sheen. A poor TV re-make was filmed in 1999, with Paul Sorvino returning in the lead as the Coach. Once again, Hollywood missed the boat as they should have given the lead to the actor who played it so brilliantly on the London stage, Broderick Crawford, who was still making films and TV guest shots.
Ralph Schiller firstname.lastname@example.org Winfield, Il,USA Feb 22/2005 07:05 PST
I'm looking for an episode that aired sometime in 1994. It has a pregnant lady and a man driving a 1975 Pontiac TransAm white in color. They were driving through Sevier County Utah.
Kathey Banks email@example.com Feb 24/2005 18:25 PST
Brilliant, just brilliant
Len Stephens firstname.lastname@example.org England Feb 25/2005 04:15 PST
Clint Eastwood sure has come a long way since his days as a supporting player on "Highway Patrol," as his movie "Million Dollar Baby" tonight won 4 Academy Awards, including the "Best Director" and "Best Picture" awards! You've come a long way, Clint!
Mike email@example.com Los Angeles Feb 27/2005 21:57 PST
I found a TV/DVD site which supposedly has a link to "let the studios know which shows you want on DVD". The site is www.tvshowsondvd.com You have to register to fill out your request, (which I have not done because I hate "registrations")! - Maybe some of you out there have more patience than I do!
Mike firstname.lastname@example.org L.A. Mar 02/2005 02:27 PST
He was such an excellent character actor. He was very earthy
as if he stepped out of a John Steinbeck novel like Tortilla Flat or a Joseph Conrad novel. When he was acting you did not see Crawford you seen the part he was portraying. He was fantastic!
Frank Mort Jr. email@example.com Uptown Chicago; Simon City U.S.A. Mar 12/2005 08:12 PST
Broderick Crawford was my number one guy on TV.
He seemed like he stepped out of John Steinbeck's novel
"Tortilla Flat". He was so strong and quite a character.
Bravo for Highway Patrol and all the other stuff he did.
And thanks for this great site.
frank mort jr firstname.lastname@example.org Uptown in Chicago and the good ole U.S.A. Mar 20/2005 12:28 PST
Great site Gary! I remember watching Highway patrol on KTLA Channel 5 here in Los Angeles in the late 1960's. It was considered and old show then, but I remember the prints were in beautiful condition, I have bought the entire 156 episodes from different sources and the film has not been cared for. I would love to get my hands on the original prints and make my own DVD release of this series. Some company who has the bucks could make a small fortune restoring the film and releasing these episodes on DVD.
Maybe a company like Columbia House which Iím a member Iím slowly collecting the entire series ďPerry MasonĒ and they have restored that show beautifully. The same can be done with Highway Patrol.
Doug email@example.com L.A. CAL Mar 26/2005 07:52 PST
excellent pages about the CHP and photos and sounds
James K Biehl firstname.lastname@example.org Lake of the Woods, California, USA Apr 06/2005 13:03 PDT
Thanks for your site. I brings back alot of happy memories.
John Beene Apr 07/2005 21:25 PDT
Great website. I am a 30 year retiree from the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Ray Todd email@example.com Mt. Pleasant, S.C. USA Apr 15/2005 12:22 PDT
Recently, in Monroe, MI, I met a man who said that he had been "the bad guy" and driver in a lot of scenes from Highway Patrol. I forgot his name...we were at the museum in Monroe,and he answered a question for me about the town and then, upon finding out that I was from Louisiana, he asked me to talk to the group there. He was very interesting and had a wonderful personality. Any help appreciated......
Sadie Hill firstname.lastname@example.org Rayville, LA Apr 15/2005 19:29 PDT
Great site! Lots of fond memories from my early years. Thanks!
Steve Dittmann email@example.com Overland Park, KS Apr 18/2005 20:24 PDT
If they ever put on DVD I would like to purchase for it was a show i watched as a kid. Everyone loves cop and robber movies but this was the best.
Neil E. Collins 1764 Hendrickson ave Merrick NY 11566 917 797-5873 cell Apr 21/2005 08:38 PDT
Great site. Very interesting.
Warren Lemley firstname.lastname@example.org Washington, PA USA Apr 23/2005 17:09 PDT
I have made a 1/18th scale model of the Buick. It looks great. Love the show since I was a kid. 60 now.
Gary Levy Tallgary@comcast.net Apr 25/2005 14:00 PDT
I enjoy the new additions to the ever-growing 'HighwayPatrolTV' website. I went to a Hollywood Collectors Show in Chicago over the last weekend, where they had many stars and dealers selling collectibles.
I looked all over for anything I could find on Broderick Crawford, and found only a few items. One dealer had two autographs that were taken from the pages of a fan's autograph book for about $40.00 each. Then I located a great still from 'Goliath And The Dragon' (1960) where Mr. Crawford was sitting on a throne wearing a colorful toga, and sneering at Goliath! The autographed 8 x10 b/w photo was going for $55.00.
I was going to buy it, but then I found another 8x10 b/w photo of Broderick Crawford. It was a close-up from the late 1970's, of a bearded Mr. Crawford, wearing a dark sweater in a very serious, but thoughtful pose. It was going for $50.00. My wife told me to choose this one because this portrait was much more effective in that it shows the pensive artist behind the famous film star. It looked like the sort of photograph that would be used for a stagebill or perhaps for a theater lobby, and our hero was doing a lot of stage work at this point in his career. It was personally autographed to some friends of the star, but I didn't care. I framed it the other night and discovered some printing on the back of the 8x10 glossy that read, 'Foto By Kelly Crawford' and a business telephone number!
Thanks Gary for this website!
Ralph Schiller email@example.com Wifield, IL USA Apr 26/2005 06:32 PDT
THanks so muich for putting this all together. I sent a request to TVLand to consider airing HP. What great nostalgia.
Don Leckey firstname.lastname@example.org Ann Arbor, Mi Apr 26/2005 09:46 PDT
Brings back some great memories of when television was good entertainment, not the kind of crap we see now. Thanks a million.
Bob Arturi email@example.com Pearl River, Rockland County, New York Apr 26/2005 16:37 PDT
great site !!!!!!!
Howard Hersh hojo1018@aol Apr 26/2005 17:50 PDT
Great Site! I've been a fan all my life. My name is actually Dan Matthews, (two 't's).
Dan Matthews firstname.lastname@example.org Redding, CA, USA Apr 27/2005 16:32 PDT
I just read about your Buick in AutoWeek and checked out your site. very nice.
In addition to being into cars, I'm also a helicopter fan and wanted to tell you the photos on your site feature a Bell 47D-1 helicopter...the D-1 was the first of the 47s sold in any kind of numbers.
Also, here's what a Bell 47 site http://cellmath.med.utoronto.ca/B47/video_shelf.html says about Highway Patrol...
"Highway Patrol. 1955-59. Ziv TV. B&W.
Whirlybirds fans will fondly remember this well-liked, long-running crime drama starring the dour, barrel-chested, deep-voiced Broderick Crawford as Captain Dan Matthews of the Highway Patrol. The adventures were diverse and featured perils aplenty, but through it all Crawford and cast portrayed a strong yet dignified approach to law enforcement. The series pioneered the use of the Bell 47 on prime time television. Patrol guru Gary Goltz informs us that a 47 was featured in no less than 14 of the series episodes, including the first (not broadcast) and the second, which aired in the autumn of 1955 --- two years ahead of Whirlybirds! Series director Herbert L. Strock is reputed to have been a solid proponent of the Bell 47's role in the series. The 47s were supplied by National Helicopter, the firm that also did most of the Whirlybirds flying for Desilu (see below). National pilot Roy Bourgois commanded the Patrol 47s, which not infrequently carried star Crawford in hot pursuit of the law breakers. You will find details on the 14 Bell 47 episodes of Highway Patrol, plus extensive key data and photos on the entire series and cast, on Gary's excellent Highway Patrol WEB Site at www.best.com/~gdavis/highway-patrol/ ".
I'm about your age and grew up with all the super old shows..."Whirlybirds" being my favorite. Enough so that I sought out one of the few flight schools that still trains on Bell 47s and learned to fly helicopters in one...a Korean War surplus machine at that.
I can also relate to your love of TV cars. For me it came a bit later. The 1971 CBS Rod Taylor series "Bearcats!" sparked an interest in antique cars and I fell in love with the 1912-16 Stutz Bearcat. After finding out what an original car was worth, I started looking for one of the two replicas made by George Barris for the series. After almost 30 years, I found one and restored it to its prime time glory.
This is a rather round about way to tell you I admire your drive (no pun intended) to have a Highway Patrol Buick...it's a great looking car and it's neat that you share it with fans. Hopefully, we'll meet at some charity event and I'll have a chance to see the Buick in person...
John Boyle, Washington
John Boyle Apr 28/2005 14:51 PDT
Still trying to find the episodes that my father, Gordon Wynne appeared in. As you say, they do not air on TV and I can't seem to identify which ones he appeared in. Any help, gratefully appreciated. Gordon Wynne died in the mid-60's and I have been slowly accumilating his movies and TV appearances. Thanks
Duke Wynne email@example.com Apr 28/2005 16:38 PDT
Thanks for all the information. I remember the "Highway Patrol" show from the 50's and this brings back many memories. Also the 1955 Buicks were great. My Grandfather had a Black and White 2 dr "Post" Special with Dynaflow and not much more, if it would still exist it could almost be a Highway Patrol car- as a young kid I wondered why Grandpa had 3 "holes" on his Buick while the ones on Highway Patrol had 4! Years later I would find out as I really enjoy automotive history. I also had a cousin who had a 55 Super and a Aunt that had a 55 Roadmaster, My first Car was a well used 55 Special 4dr-wish I had it today.
Parkis Waterbury May 02/2005 18:44 PDT
Do you have any pictures of your car or post cards for sale the autoweek is great but to small i watched every one i think what you have done is great need to get a post cart or pic to frame Thanks Ed Burns
Ed Burns firstname.lastname@example.org Charlotte NC USA May 09/2005 02:28 PDT
After 'Highway Patrol' ceased production after 156 episodes, Broderick Crawford resumed his motion picture career with an MGM picture, 'The Decks Ran Red'(1959) with James Mason and Dorothy Dandridge. Then he journeyed to beautiful Italy to make a 'Hercules' epic that was running into financial difficulties after 4 weeks of filming.
American-Internation-Pictures, the only Hollywood studio dedicated to making double-features for 'Drive-In' theaters decided to step in and finance the remainder of this epic which they re-named, 'Goliath And The Dragon' (1960). AIP had already jumped on the 'Hercules' bandwagon started by the sucessful Italian movie with that name starring Steve Reeves, when they released 'Goliath And The Barbarians' (1959) also starring Reeves.
Starring an unknown, slightly balding, body builder re-named Mark Forest by the studio, 'Goliath And The Dragon' is at least an entertaining picture in the 'Sword And Sandal' genre. Goliath is the hero and champion of the ancient city of Thebes, that is under threat from both the Gods, and the tyrant of Olcania. Broderick Crawford of course plays the hateful, sadistic King Eurystheus, wearing both a toga, and a long diagonal facial scar! Unfortunately, viewers will immediately notice that Mr. Crawford's trademark voice is missing and was dubbed in by a poor imitator. Apparently when AIP bought the film, the original producers still hadn't dubbed the English sountrack, and the studio was too cheap to pay Mr. Crawford to come back and dub his own voice!
Even so, Goliath saves his beloved city of Thebes from conquest by Eurystheus' Olcania, and his wife from being kidnapped and slain by that tyrant. By the way, I may be wrong, but wasn't the city of Thebes in Egypt, and not in ancient Greece? Goliath does combat to the death with a three-headed dog, a flying bat-like man, a lovable Puff-the-Magic Dragon type, and a ridicules man-in-an-obvious-bear costume! However, there is an exciting battle between Goliath and an elephant that was about to crush the hero's brother in a public execution that was ordered by the sneering Eurystheus! When Goliath fells the mighty pachyderm, an outraged mob of citizens attack Eurystheus' soldiers, and allow our hero and his brother to escape. Also Goliath's beautiful wife is snatched by a demon-like centaur in the one genuinely scary sequence of the entire film.
In the end, Goliath enters the caves beneath the palace of Eurystheus, and like his counterpart Samson, uses his strength to destroy the stalagmite pillars that support the tyrant's palace above. Goliath and his army storm the palace after the walls collapse, but the evil Eurystheus has a final card to play. He is holding Goliath's wife over his elaborate snake pit, which contains every poisonous serpent known to man. If Goliath doesn't go on his knees and swear allegiance to Eurystheus, he will toss Mrs. Goliath into the pit. Goliath proves his love by immediately going onto his knees, and begging the king to spare his wife! This only causes Eurystheus to laugh and brag that he has the upper hand, and will not spare her after all! Just as he is about to toss Goliath's wife to her death, a spurned former mistress of the king sacrifices herself to pull Eurystheus down into his own snake pit! There is a riveting last shot of Eurystheus futiley wrestling with several serpents before expiring! Goliath, his wife and family, and army return to their home city of Thebes to live happily ever after.
AIP released 'Goliath And The Dragon' (1960) on a double-feature with Vincent Price's 'The House Of Usher' (1960) to great box-office success. I remember seeing this film at the movies when I was all of seven, and being terrified at the mythical monsters in it!
Filmed in something called 'Colorscope', 'Goliath And The Dragon' (1960) is not one of Broderick Crawford's vintage films, but he does play his role with great wit along with his usual powerhouse acting. His only previous Italian film was the forgotten gem 'The Swindle' (1955)(AKA 'Il Bidone') with Richard Basehart, for the famed director Frederico Fellini! Before returning to Hollywood, Broderick Crawford first went to Yugoslavia where he filmed 'Square Of Violence' (1961), which was picked up by MGM for US release.
'Goliath And The Dragon' is available in a sharp, pristine widescreen DVD that was digitally remastered from the original 35MM negative by 'www.somethingwierd.com'. In fact the beautiful color photography of sunny Italy, is perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of 'Goliath And The Dragon'!
Ralph Schiller email@example.com Wifield, IL USA May 10/2005 08:45 PDT
What a great show!!Got to get it on tv land!I sent them an e-mail,hope they consider.Time the kids see something good on tv.Highway Patrol was my favorite as a child growing up in West Virginia.
Sheriff Robert H. Beltner firstname.lastname@example.org Grafton,WV. USA May 17/2005 19:28 PDT
Loved Highway Patrol as a kid.
Fond memories going through your site.
Dave Pitt TENNISGARAGE@CFL.RR.COM Winter Park, FL May 29/2005 08:42 PDT
I love this site! I remember H/P when I was a kid, my favorite show. Thanks so much for giving me some wonderful memories.
Wayne Shepley email@example.com Scottdale Penna. USA Jun 03/2005 20:12 PDT
Attention Broderick Crawford Fans!
When I reviewed the feature film 'Ransom Money' (1970) in January 2005, that film was not even listed on Broderick Crawford's extensive film credits on 'www.IMDB.com' for Internet Movie Database!
I am happy to report that 'Ransom Money' was added to the IMDB in May and is now officially one of Broderick Crawford's 93 feature length motion pictures! It has also been added to character actor Gordon Jump's IMDB film credits as he appears in the film as well.
There is no doubt that this website, 'HighwayPatrolTV.com' had everything to do with it! Thanks Gary for creating this great place for us to visit and hang our hats!
Ralph Schiller firstname.lastname@example.org Winfield,Il,USA Jun 06/2005 11:00 PDT
I was a small child...but loved the show. Broderick Crawford was a well-respected, award winning actor from film and stage...but to me, he'll always be Dan Mathews.
Ed Tennessee Jun 15/2005 18:42 PDT
Best damn cop show ever (for it's era). I just wish it would be shown in reruns on TV Land. Remember, When your on the highway, It's not always whose right, But whose left! 10-4 10-4 10-4!
Ret. Chicago P.D. Traffic Man, Jack Ross ROSCOE3430@NETSCAPE.NET Chicago,Il USA Jul 01/2005 23:21 PDT
In case fans are not aware, just wanted to let you know that SONY are conducting a poll to determine which TV shows they might consider putting out on DVD.
Highway Patrol is among the titles being considered, and if fans would like to add their support they can do so by voting for the programme at:
Let's hope something comes of it.
John Marshall email@example.com Berkshire, England Jul 08/2005 02:09 PDT
This is really good news John. Thanks. We'll get this up front the site ASAP! 10-4...
Gary Jul 08/2005 21:57 PDT
I voted. Now we need to figure out a way to vote multiple times.
Mike firstname.lastname@example.org Jul 15/2005 00:33 PDT
I figured it out. Vote again using a different screen name.
Mike Jul 15/2005 00:55 PDT
Dear Sirs Please Ask MGM Then To Be Back In Business And In The Distribution,Syndication,Cable And Broadcast Business Please Ask MGM Then To Merge With Sony,Warner Bros And United Artists Then To Become MGM/Sony/WB/UA Inc With Other Divisions MGM/Sony/WB/UA Inc Please Put MGM,Columbia Pictures,Warner Bros And United Artists Back Into Business And Please Rescue Those Studios And Become Big Time With Their Libraries Then Getting Bigger And Please E-Mail Me Tonight Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson
Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson DELLIEGOOS@AOL.COM Tacoma,Washington,USA Jul 15/2005 20:57 PDT
Voting on subsequent days also works. We need to make more headway on this. Vote everyday with different screen names. Keep voting.
Mike Jul 20/2005 01:26 PDT
Growing up in Pasadena, California. I favorite show I
loved to watch on television, was the Highway Patrol. I am
very interested in coming up to the Clairmont Village, on
the second Saturday of this coming month of August to see
the 2150. I get off at the Metrolink station for the Clair-
Geoffrey Shepherd email@example.com La Mesa, Caifornia, u.s.a. Jul 25/2005 13:11 PDT
Dan Matthews was my hero growing up.......Does anyone know what state these episodes took place in???
Frank Rizzo firstname.lastname@example.org Dublin Ireland Jul 25/2005 20:35 PDT
Gary,I got your e-mail. The La Mesa auto show ends August 25. It would be great if the 2150 could be on display at the San Diego Automotive Museum. Under the museum's website, under contacting us, it gives information on who
to contact to display a car. Under google type in San Diego
Geoffrey Shepherd email@example.com La Mesa, California, U.S.A. Jul 27/2005 19:07 PDT
Please Ask MGM Then To Be Back In Syndication And Distribution Business Becoming MGM/Sony Television Distribution Please Put On Highway Patrol And The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson DELLIEGOOS@AOL.COM Tacoma,Washington,USA Jul 30/2005 10:05 PDT
I suggest putting this link in your Favorite Places and voting daily!
Gary Aug 01/2005 09:47 PDT
Hello I own the porsche 550 spyder depicted on your site and posted by Gary... Please include a link to my site www.spyderforhire.com It has additional information about the made for TV movie in which Gary and his patrol car will appear.
Peter Stavrianoudakis firstname.lastname@example.org Modesto, CA 95354 Aug 04/2005 12:00 PDT
Dear Mr.Gary Thanks A Lot For Sending Me A DVD Of Highway Patrol Please Ask MGM To Merge With Columbia Pictures To Become MGM/Columbia Television I Used To Watch Highway Patrol Miss Eve Had Used To Watch Highway Patrol A Long Time Ago When She Was Younger I Liked This Show Very Much And I Want Then To Tahk You For Sending Me This DVD Of This Series Today's Shows Are Nothing But Garbage I Like Twentysomething,Thirtysomething,Fortysomething And Fiftysomething Shows Better Than Today's Shows And Please E-Mail Me Today Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson
Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson DELLIEGOOS@AOL.COM Tacoma,Washington,USA Aug 04/2005 17:11 PDT
Through pure dumb luck, I recently stumbled across a forgotten chapter in the long, successful career of Broderick Crawford.
I had just read "The Golden Age Of Chicago's Childrens Television" by authors Ted Okuda and Jack Mulqueen, where they have a chapter on Bill Jackson, who hosted and created in the 1960's and 1970's the popular and beloved local children's shows, 'Cartoon Town', 'B.J. And Dirty Dragon', and 'Gigglesnort Hotel'. In the late 1970's Mr. Jackson was teaching at CALARTS (The California Institute Of The Arts')in Valencia, California. While working at the college, Bill Jackson made one last effort to launch another children's television series, but this time for national syndication.
Enough money was scraped together to shoot a television pilot called 'Le Hotspot', for a show starring Mr. Jackson, his trademark Dragon puppets Dirty Dragon and Lila, as well as a live action cast including Broderick Crawford!
The pilot was shot from November 17 - 21, 1980 at CALARTS, using the professional television studios on campus, and elaborate sets were built for this one-shot pilot. The Dragon puppets in the storyline open up their very own night club and restaurant, which is of course named 'Le HotSpot', as they are always breathing a little fire and smoke. Le HotSpot becomes so trendy and popular that it undercuts the business of the other club in town called "Big Al's". That club is run by the gangster Big Al himself, and he is played by our Broderick Crawford! Mr. Crawford as Big Al pays a visit to Le HotSpot to give a friendly warning to Bill and his Dragons.
'Le HotSpot' has a large cast of extras, including several beautiful models for the nightclub scenes, with at least one reported to have been a former Playboy Playmate or Penthouse Pet centerfold!
Michael Lans was Bill Jackson's main puppeteer and has his very own website, where he details his work on 'Le HotSpot'. He has even posted 33 color photos from this forgotten TV pilot, and one can see the extensive sets for built for Dirty Dragon's nightclub. Broderick Crawford is seen looking very spiffy wearing a well-tailored pin-stripe suit, fedora, a red carnation and sporting a dapper mustache! It appears that Big Al is about to be seduced by a female Dragon if that's possible!
Michael Lans recalls shooting the exterior of the night club at a disco in Pasadena, where he also played the doorman for the Dragon's club. He remembers Broderick Crawford as Big Al pulling up to the door of 'Le HotSpot' in a gorgeous 1930's vintage Pierce-Arrow sedan.
Mr. Lans says the pilot, which was shot on videotape, remained unseen even by himself, and 'went nowhere.' Bill Jackson said the finished pilot was terrible, but the behind-the-scenes photos themselves tell a differant story. Both the cast and crew seem to be having a grand time making this little TV show that seems to parody the roaring 20's.
Michael Lan's website is 'www.reallans.com/lehotspot.shtml', where you can view the sharp color photos for yourself. Has anyone out here seen this TV pilot with Broderick Crawford or have any further info on it? Please let us know.
Ralph Schiller email@example.com Winfield, IL, USA Aug 11/2005 11:02 PDT
Gary,CHP officers from the El Cajon Division are interested
in seeing the 2150 in La Mesa. I just recieved a DVD with
five episodes of the Highway Patrol. I will be on vacation,
going to Santa Fe, New Mexico.I will back two days before
August 25, the last day of the La Mesa Auto Show. The motel
where I am staying has a data port. I may e-mail you.
Geoffrey Shepherd firstname.lastname@example.org La Mesa, California Aug 11/2005 12:12 PDT
Great web site that brings back some very fond memories of a GOOD TV show. Thanks for all your hard work in putting this together 10-4 ?
W.C. Humphrey email@example.com Kansas City, MO USA, (formally of California) Aug 26/2005 18:50 PDT
Justl loved the show---it had all the right stuff (for the 50's) Brod and those Buick cruisers----way cool!!!
bruce firstname.lastname@example.org Troutdale,Oregon Aug 27/2005 15:30 PDT
Dear Gary Please Restore MGM As Major Movie Studio When It Merges With Sony And Resurects The United Artists Name I Used To Watch Highway Patrol I Did Watch The DVD Then And Please E-Mail Me Today Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson
Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson DELLIEGOOS@AOL.COM Tacoma,Washington,USA Sep 03/2005 17:48 PDT
My uncle, Donald Verk worked on the Ziv productions. I remember being on the set of Bat Masterson, Seahunt at Marineland, and the Shrinking Man, and Cisco Kid.
Donna Hattem Gallagher email@example.com Sep 07/2005 15:27 PDT
GREAT SITE.......THE MEMORIES COME FLOODING BACK. WHERE CAN I BUY THE FULL DVD SET.
RICKY RICKANGELO7@YAHOO.COM JOHNSTOWN,OHIO Sep 20/2005 10:30 PDT
Really enjoyed looking at some of the old pictures, brought back some fond memorys of when I was a kid. Thats one show I remember watching every week, Also the video caps where nice to see. Thanks for putting this on the web, enjoyed very much.
Jeff Ellison firstname.lastname@example.org Madison Heights, MI. USA Sep 26/2005 06:29 PDT
Wish these old Highway Patrol episodes would come back. Anybody know of a fan club around for this show? Great web-site.
Paul Sep 28/2005 06:44 PDT
There is a seller on 'www.Amazon.com' that is offering 'Highway Patrol: Every Episode' on DVD. The boxed set contains 38 DVD discs, and is going for the retail price of $289.oo!
This does not appear to be Sony/Columbia or MGM/UA, so this DVD may simply be the scratchy episodes on VHS/DVD that we have been watching for years from several sources.
Has anyone purchased this set? If yes, how is the picture quality?
Perhaps we should wait for the official DVD's. After all the first season of 26 episodes of 'The Adventures Of Superman' is available on DVD from Warner DVD.
Ralph Schiller email@example.com Winfield, IL, USA Oct 03/2005 12:15 PDT
What do I like best about this show? THE BABES!! Fred really knew how to put on a "show". Those tight sweaters and sexy skirts - ooh-la!-la! For instance, the woman in the 'Policewoman' episode. And the dark haired woman in the 'Bank Messenger' episode. (At the end Dan says: "Take Beauty and the Beast away". What a great line.)! Lots of others, too. (Have you ever seen such well dressed or well coiffed criminals)? lol. I am partial to the dark (short)-haired beauties myself. And most of the female dispatchers have that 'front office' appeal, you know. Gary, how about doing a page devoted to pics and bios of "The Babes Of Highway Patrol"!
Mike L.A. Oct 03/2005 23:33 PDT
Happy 10-4 Day everyone.
Ralph, those episodes are being offered by a guy out of KY. They are on a par with ones offered by Stark Maynard. They are good but still an official release.
Mike, I like the idea of the Babe's page! My favorites are the nice gal in Mountain Copter and the heartless one in Girl Bandit. Blast Copter and Female Escapees also have good ones.
Gary Oct 04/2005 06:53 PDT
WHENEVER THE LAWS OF ANY STATE ARE BROKEN, A DULY AUTHORIZED ORGANIZATION SWINGS INTO ACTION. IT MAY BE CALLED
THE STATE POLICE, THE STATE TROOPERS, THE MILITIA, THE RANGERS, OR THE HIGHWAY PATROL. I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN THAT
LEAD-IN FROM THE 50'S. HEADQUARTERS TO 2150, HEADQUARTERS BY. GREAT SERIES.
C.S. HARVEY EL PASO, TEXAS Oct 04/2005 13:28 PDT
Great site. I misplaced your card, but the story about the recent Hollywood event is on the Voice of America website at voanews.com
You can do a search, or look for the "Entertainment" section. Cheers.
Mike O'Sullivan Oct 10/2005 07:08 PDT
One of the greatest TV shows of the '50's. The phrase "Ten-four over and out " was what made Broderick Crawford and Highway Patrol such a good show back in it's days. Sure wish they would put it back on tv in reruns.
Dan B. Willard Sampson@direcway.com Fairfield Texas -USA-75840 Oct 11/2005 21:15 PDT
To whom it may concern. How do I recieve or aquire episodes to this great show when times were simple and justice pure. Sincerely Dave. Thank You.
Dave dfernan463aol.com Los Angeles, CA 91364 Oct 16/2005 00:00 PDT
Dear Gary Please Ask MGM/Sony To Remaster Highway Patrol The TV Series Is Celebrating Its 50th Anniversary I Remember Watching Old Ziv TV Shows Highway Patrol,Sea Hunt,Home Run Derby,Miami Undercover,Ripcord And MGM Shows Dr.Kildare,The Man From U.N.C.L.E. And Flipper Even Daktari And Please Don't Eat The Daisies And The Donna Reed Show From Screen Gems I Remember Watching Highway Patrol As A Toddler Back In The 1960's I Have Not Seen The Series I Watch The DVD Of Highway Patrol I Like To Watch The Series On DVD And I Would Broderick Crawford Died Almost 20 Years Ago The Highway Patrol Cast And Crew Are Not With Us Anymore They Are Dead And In Heaven I Like To Buy The Highway Patrol Collectibles I Like 50's And 60's Collectibles I Got 50's And 60's Collectibles Of Old TV Shows I Do In 1953 Ryder Sound Services Signed A Deal With ZIV Television Studios In Hollywood To Service A Dozen Of TV Shows On Ziv Lot The Ryder Rerecording Stage Was On The ZIV Lot In 1960 Ziv Merged With United Artists Television And Became ZIV-United Artists Television In Hollywood In 1962 ZIV-UNITED ARTISTS TELEVISION Had Became UATV ZIV TELEVISION PROGRAMS WAS IN HOLLYWOOD I Like To Watch The DVD Starting Now I Would Watch It Broderick Crawford Will Live In Reruns Columbia Pictures Originally Wanted Spencer Tracy For The Lead Role In All The King's Men So Broderick Crawford Got The Role MGM Will Get The Movies Like The Wizard Of Oz,Gone With The Wind And Ben Hur And Their Other Movies And TV Shows Back In The MGM Vaults Once Again 20th Century-Fox Television Will Reclaim The Syndication,Distribution And DVD Rights To Two Westerns The Rifleman And Daniel Boone They Will Return In The 20th Century-Fox Vaults Soon 20th Century-Fox Will Merge With Peter Rodgers Organization 20th Century-Fox Will Buy Out Weiss Global Enterprises,SFM, And Peter Rodgers Organization Their Libraries Will Now Become 20th Century-Fox's Completely And Please E-Mail Me Today
Delbert "Dellie Goose" Hutchinson DELLIEGOOS@AOL.COM Tacoma,Washington,USA Oct 22/2005 11:50 PDT
In 1954, Twentieth Century Fox studios released the big budget, Cinemascope, 'Color by De Luxe' production, 'Night People'. Sharing top billing over the title was Fox's top leading man, Gregory Peck, and Broderick Crawford, who was on loan from Columbia studios. 'Night People' was filmed entirely on location in what was then West Berlin during the height of the 'Cold War'. It was directed and produced by Nunnally Johnson.
In 1954, West Berlin was a NATO bastion of two and a half million free Germans held under siege by the Russians some two hundred miles deep, inside Communist East Germany. The Soviets were determined to take the city, and the Western powers were just as determined to hold it at all costs.
In 'Night People', an American soldier stationed with the U.S. Army's 'Berlin Brigrade' by the name of Johnny Leatherby escorts his German 'frauelin' home from a date. While returning to his barracks, Corporal Leatherby is violently snatched and kidknapped off the streets of Berlin by East German Soviet agents! At the U.S. Army headquarters, Gregory Peck is the Provost Marshall, head of the Army's Military Police, and whose job it is to get Johnny Leatherby returned from the Russians. Peck's Colonel is unable to even negotiate the return of the G.I. because the Russians and their East german allies claim no knowledge whatsoever of Cpl. Leatherby. Working for the Colonel is a wily Master Sergeant Eddie McCulloch well-played by Buddy Epsen, and his beautiful American secretary Ricky, played by the perfectly cast beauty Rita Gam. Ricky is in love with her handsome, decent, but thick-headed Colonel, who only has eyes for the moment with a German woman named Hoffy. 'Hoffy' Hoffmeir played by Anita Bjork is a former refugee who fled both the Nazis, and the Communists, and was supposedly tortured by both. Epsem's Sergeant always knows a 'doll' somewhere handy where he can obtain just about anything for his demanding Colonel!
Back in Toledo, Ohio an auto parts multi-millionaire tycoon, Charles Leatherby gets word on the Country Club golf course that his wife has collapsed, and it's our Broderick Crawford! When he arrives home the doctor hands him the telegram that his wife recieved telling her that his son Johnny has been kidnapped in Berlin. In a rage, he crumples the telegram, and immediatley grabs a telephone, reassuring his distraught wife that he will get Johhny back even if he has to go to Germany.
Back in West Berlin, Gregory Peck's Colonel is swamped with telegrams from U.S. Senators, Congressmen, two state Governors, and the U.S. State Department. Borderick Crawford's Leatherby has a great deal of influence and power, and he is playing every card he has in order to get his son back safe and sound. Of course all of this infuriates Peck who considers the 'big wheel' American to be an interfering amateur gumming up the process. When Broderick Crawford flies in to Berlin, we see a couple of American soldiers talking at Templehof Airport. One G.I. says that Leatherby has very high connnections. When the other sergeant asks exactly how high, he is informed, 'You wanna know how high? He plays golf!' This was a comical reference to President Eisenhower, who was famous for being a fantical golfer!
Gregory Peck's German girlfriend has contacts with the Soviets and the East Germans, and tells him that the Russians would be willing to trade the soldier for two German refugees in Berlin. Would the Colonel hand over these two people who escaped the 'Iron Curtain', a husband and wife, in return for Cpl. Leatherby? Peck agrees in principle, and is horrified to hear that Broderick Crawford's Charles Leatherby wanted to offer the Russians a huge amount of ransom money for the return of his son!
When the Military Police Colonel, and the headstrong American business tycoon meet face to face, they take an instant dislike to each other. Crawford is demanding action, and Peck admits that he is playing the Russian's game, saying, 'All I can do is keep punting, and hope for a fumble!'
In the meantime, Gregory Peck and Broderick Crawford go to a Berlin caberet, where the millionaire sees the female piano player, and her blind husband, whom the East Germans want in return for his son. Crawford is stunned as the middle-aged pianist is a lovely middle-aged woman strongly resembling his own wife. When he asks what had they done for the Reds to want them to be handed back, Peck's Colonel sneers, 'Who says they done anything? They just want them because they escaped. Do you still want me to give these people up for your son?' A flustered and clearly shaken Leatherby steels himself and fires back, 'All I know is that I want my Johnny back, and if they want these people, then hand 'em over, and hand 'em over now!' Crawford asks Peck, 'Colonel, what do they want?' Peck's Military Police Colonel says, 'They want us out of here Leatherby. They want West Berlin!' Crawford shruggs his shoulders, and says, 'I want my Johnny, and if they want Berlin, then give it to them. I don't care!' At that point Gregory Peck looks Broderick Crawford straight in the eye, and says 'Suppose they want Toledo, Ohio next?'
The Military Police move in at once to arrest and detain the couple, but not before they both swallow strychnine poison in a desperate effort to prevent being sent back over the 'Iron Curtain'. The two are immediately rushed to the U.S. Army Hospital in Berlin, where they are under the care of Army surgeon, Major Foster, comically played by the always dependable Walter Able.
Gregory Peck is informed by Foster that the husband may die, but he expects to get the wife to pull through. A desperate Peck contacts his girlfriend Hoffy to see if the Russians will trade for just one of the two in case the man dies. Hoffy says that she will get back to him. In the meantime, the Colonel is told by British Intelligence that a Russian Army Colonel,who was a double-agent was officially dead of a coronary. This Soviet officer was tipping off Peck's Colonel on Soviet espionage activities inside West Berlin, and was defecting with his family to the USA within 24 hours. Instead he was exposed as a traitor, and the Russian Colonel and his family committed suicide rather than face imprisonment, torture and death. The British officer even provides a photograph of the Soviet agent,who had the Russian colonel turned in. It's a photo of Hoffy, Peck's German girlfriend! With delicate questioning by sergeant Buddy Epsen, the papers on the defection of the Russian colonel were locked in Peck's briefcase, and were never out of his sight. That is except when he spent the night over at Hoffy's apartment! A furious Gregory Peck calls Hoffy, and begs her to broker the deal for both sides in person, not letting on that he knows she is a Russian agent.
Under the Colonel's plan, a Russian ambulance will cross the border into West Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie, containing Corporal Leatherby. That vehicle is not to stop until it reaches the ambulance entrance of the U.S. Army hospital, and the drivers of the vehicle are not to step foot onto West Berlin soil. Hoffy will be present to officiate the swap, and both the man and woman if alive, will be put into the ambulance and be escorted by U.S. Army Military Police back to the border.
With Hoffy on her way not knowing she is walking into a trap set by the Colonel, a now distraught Broderick Crawford tells Peck that since he can do nothing more here, he might as well go back to his hotel room. In a sudden rage, Gregory Peck says, 'So you fly in here from Toledo, and use your big wheel status to foul up all of our hard work. Now that everything is getting sticky, and muddy, you want to bug out. Don't you dare leave or take another step. I want you to see with your own eyes, every filthy, dirty thing I have to do to get your son back!'
A U.S. State Department Official appears at the hospital (solidly played by Max Showalter),who informs Gregory Peck of State Department policy, 'Colonel we can't approve or authorize you to hand over two refugees for the Russians! (a slight pause) That is unless you get the boy back!' and he leaves.
The German woman comes out of her coma, and speaks fluent English! She claims to be a British citizen who married her husband a German general before the war and remained with him. She pleads with the Colonel not to send them back, and maintains that her husband was never a Nazi. Gregory Peck, 'Yeah, yeah, I know. No one was a Nazi. I don't know how that rumor ever got started that there were Nazis in Germany!' British Intelligence confirms the woman's story, and that when she could, she did send useful bits of valuable information to the British during the war. Now Peck is up a creek without a paddle, as there is no way he can hand over a British citizen to the Russians!
Broderick Crawford confronts Gregory Peck at the hospital, and instead demands that the Colonel not hand over this couple to the Russians for torture and death. When Peck asks him if he realizes that he may not get his son back, Crawford grits his teeth, and says, 'My Johnny is going to have to take his chances, because it's just not right to send them back. I speak for my wife as well.' Peck loooks at Crawford wistfully, and says, 'Leatherby no matter what you do for the rest of your life, you will never stand as tall as you do right now.'
Checkpoint Charlie calls in saying that the Russian ambulance has crossed the border and will be at the hospital in just a few minutes. Peck's Colonel asks Crawford if he has any American money on him, and he hands over a large wad of big bills, and asks him 'Why?' Peck says he will tell him later, but if everyhting works out, he won't want the money back.
Hoffy enters the hospital, looking for Gregory Peck, but spots the resting British woman in the emergency room all alone. She stealthily enters the room and starts to touch the woman when she hears that great American voice say, 'Can I help you maa'm?' She turns and sees Broderick Crawford standing there like a sentinal. She asks for the Colonel, and he points her out the way, not realizing that he probably saved the English woman's life.
Gregory Peck greets Hoffy and they plan the swap. Walter Abel's Army surgeon comes in and tells them both that the man has just died, and he recieves a reprimand from Peck for his medical incompitance, who shrugs and leaves. Hoffy says that before the deal is completed that she must see for herself the dead body of the former German general, or the Russians will back off the deal. The ambulance arrives, and Peck, Crawford, and Hoffy go to the entrance. The ambulance opens it's back doors and there is a Russian soldier holding a machine-gun on a clearly-drugged Corporal Leatherby. Peck orders Crawford to go inside the ambulance and verify that it is in fact his son. He sits next to the soldier and says, 'Johnny! Johnny!'. The soldier partially revives hearing that deep, clear voice, and answers 'Dad? What are you doing here?' Peck has the Army medical people remove the soldier from the ambulance and the Russian guard and drivers are starting to get trigger happy, but several jeeps full of armed U.S. Army Military Police show up as if on cue. Hoffy goes with Peck to see the dead German, and insure that the living widow is put on that ambulance. Instead, Gregory Peck confronts her as a traitor, spy, and murderess of his Russian friend who was planning to defect and settle in Paris, Texas to be a farmer. Peck cold cocks 'Mata Hari' Hoffy, as his secretary Rickey calls her, and has her wrapped in bandages and placed onto the ambulance! Then Peck orders the Russian ambulance to cross the border into East Berlin, and the reluctant Russian soldiers agree as they are under watchful eyes of the heavily armed M.P.'s! Gregory Peck's Colonel didn't appreciate being played for a romantic sucker by Hoffy, so adding insult to injury, he placed that huge wad of U.S. currency from Crawford into Hoffy's purse and throws it into the ambulance, knowing the Russians will assume she betrayed them for good old Yankee capitalistic dollars! Both the husband and wife fully recover and remain in West Berlin.
The next day a fully recovered Corporal Leatherby and his father, Broderick Crawford thank Gregory Peck for all his efforts in getting him back safely. Peck says, 'That's enough soldier. You need to know that your Dad made quite a decision last night that was vital to the success of the mission. It was major league stuff, but we both agreed that we will never speak of it again. Good luck to you both.' With that the soldier and Broderick Crawford leave, and Peck looks out over the balcony. In the backround, we hear Armed Forces Radio broadcasting the return of the missing soldier, and that the State Department thanks the Russians for their cooperation, claiming it was proof positive that they are truly interested in peace! Peck smiles, and knows that it's a crock, but doesn't care because in this skirmish he beat the Russians at their in own game! The radio plays John Phillip Sousa's stirring 'Star And Stripes Forever' march as the uniformed Gregory Peck stands at the balcony next to an American flag that is flapping in the wind as he looks over the beautiful free city of West Berlin, reassuring everyone that this distant, remote outpost was in good hands, and standing fast!
'Night People' is a nail-biting, edge of the seat-of-the-pants 'Cold War' thriller with a taut 93 minute running time. It also brilliantly reflects the paranoia of the era. 'Night People' was tightly written and directed by Nunnally Johnson, and based on an actual 'Cold War' incident. Johnson would later direct such outstanding motion pictures as 'The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit' (1956), and the critically acclaimed 'The Three Faces Of Eve' (1957). Nunnally Johnson died in 1977.
'Night People' is certainly more Gregory Peck's film than Broderick Crawford's. It was Peck's twentieth film of his career total of fifty-seven, and continued his long string of box office hits.
Co-starring in a big budget, major studio production in the brand new Cinemascope process was a feather in the cap of Broderick Crawford. 'Night People' was also a big hit at the box office as America simply couldn't get enough of these 'Cold War' thrillers. Broderick Crawford gives a brilliant, and sensitive performance as an American father fighting for the life of his son held in captivity behind the 'Iron Curtain',while wracked with conflicting feelings about right and wrong. Crawford often shows enormous restraint as a 'big wheel' trying to curb his usual steamroller tactics as they could jeopardize his son's safety. Gregory Peck and Broderick Crawford work togeter superbly, and their join scenes generate real electricity. By going toe to toe with an Academy Award winning powerhouse actor like Broderick Crawford, and holding his own, Gregory Peck proved to everyone that he was more than just a handsome clotheshorse. Gregory Peck died in 2003 after a long and distingushed film career, including an Academy Award.
'Night People' was Broderick Crawford's forty-sixth feature film out of his long career total of ninety-three by my counting. It came right after 'The Last Posse' (1953) and just before 'Human desire' (1954) for director Fritz Lang, and Broderick Crawford was at the zenith of his film career.
Walter Abel and Buddy Epsen provided some welcome comic relief in this otherwise relentless susprense thriller. Walter Abel was a top sought-after character actor in Hollywood with a forty year film career. In 'Night People' Abel's Army doctor, Major Foster is always bumming cigarettes from every stranger he meets than bragging to everyone that he gave up smoking years ago! Walter Abel died in 1987.
Buddy Epsen would also co-star with Broderick Crawford again in the World War Two action film, 'Between Heaven And Hell'(1956) with Robert Wagner. Even bigger fame was only a few years away for Epsen with two back to back hit televsion series! First, there were nine seasons of 'The Beverly Hillbillies' (1962-1971)with the starring role of Jed Clampett. He then followed that phenomenal success with a long-running hit detective series 'Barnaby Jones' (1973-1981) in the title role! Buddy Epsen died in 2003.
Ralph Schiller firstname.lastname@example.org Winfield, IL, USA Oct 24/2005 12:34 PDT
I just wanted you to know that as a boy of the 50-s I was enamered by the program. My dad was a policeman, and we never missed an episode. My Grandfather watched it with us and drank Ballantine Beer for the simple reason that Broderick Crawford said it was good beer.
I am now 56 years old and am a police officer my self. But I wonder if I would be here today, were it not for the influence of my Dad and Dan Matthews. I was in Hollywood last year and was surprised to be able to watch "Highway Patrol" on the TV there late at night. Many fond memories from days gone by.
Thank you for sharing these times with me.
Al. Wharton email@example.com Hamilton, NJ USA Oct 29/2005 00:37 PDT
Just found your HP website. Was a real pleasure looking around. What a thrill to hear Art Gilmore's voice after so many years! Thank you for doing such a cool thing. Ten-Four.
David McDonald Honolulu, Hawaii Nov 02/2005 02:53 PST
I stumbled on this site. After picking myself up I enjoyed it from beginning to end. My childhood was a ZIV Production. Little did I know.
David Metsch hohnerdm@aol,com Nov 10/2005 14:13 PST
Hi Gary -
It's just after 4 PM, Thanksgiving. I was planning to spend the holiday with my family, but sudden car troubles pre-empted that.
So, I went online and - quite by a quirk of fate - found your Highway Patrol site. That was around 7 this morning... and I think I've finally covered it all.
Let me just say I never believed anyone could have been as dedicated to this TV program as I am. Your 24/7 devotion eclipses my own.
I've always looked for a '55 2-door sedan. Living in LA also, I once saw what a believed was an original CHP car in a body shop near Compton, but it wasn't for sale.
By the mid-70's I had owned four 1957 Buicks - including a Special 2-door sedan I bought because the license plate # was nearly identical to one of the 'regular' cars used in the series.
My friends and I would drive around, playing Highway Patrol, chasing each other all over San Fernando Valley. I even carried a set of jumper cables on the front seat, and would reach in thru the open window, bark into one end, then throw them in before jumping into the car and taking off after one of my friends.
(You see, I'm just a kid who never grew up.)
One of my friends from back then found the RCA "Impact" record album at a junk shop for a quarter, and it had the HP theme song. I eventually pried it away from him for something like $5 (1973 money, of course). He's been trying to get it back ever since.
My favorite exercise is to note all the flubs - like missing wheel covers, 4-door sedans that mysteriously change into 2-door hardtops, blackwalls tires that become white at the end of the chase, turn signals that wouldn't go off, carburetors that flood, etc.
Well, I could go on and on....
So, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for putting together such a truly awesome website on the best cop show that ever existed. It's the cars that made it work.
PS: My favorite episode is the one with the stolen 1955 Thunderbird.
.... OOOPS! I mean "late model sports car".
Jason Houston Bakersfield, California Nov 24/2005 16:52 PST
Please note that it is with great regret that I discovered today an Associated Press report on the death of veteran producer/director Herbert L. Strock. Mr. Strock died last Wednesday of heart failure after a car accident at the Riverside County Memorial Hospital in Moreno Valley, California. His passing was reported by his daughter Leslie Mitchner.
Mr. Strock worked as both director/producer of 'Highway Patrol' and other great television series like 'Sea Hunt' with Lloyd Bridges, 'Sky King' with Kirby Grant, 'Maverick' with Jack Kelly and James Garner, and '77 Sunset Strip'. He also directed several horror/science-fiction cult classics like 'I Was A Teenage Frankenstein'(1955), 'The Blood Of Dracula'(1957), and 'The Devil's Messenger'(1964) starring Lon Chaney, Jr.
Herbert L. Strock was 87 and always loved meeting his many fans of film work at Hollywood/Monster/SCI-FI conventions.
Ralph Schiller firstname.lastname@example.org Winfield, IL USA Dec 05/2005 06:38 PST
Herb's obituary is up on the site under articles. He was a good friend and I will miss him. 10-4!
Gary Dec 06/2005 00:19 PST
I'm glad I emailed Herb Strock a few times with some questions I had about the show. He was nice enough to reply and answer each time. I also bought his book. At 87, he seems to have had a good life. I'm sure he will be missed by family and friends.
Mike L.A. Dec 11/2005 21:45 PST
Beautifull page I will come back to have some other looks, Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford was my favotite TV progamm when I was a child, it was ammaising to see the way people drove those beatufull Buicks and Fords.
Thank for these memmories and Brod can be sure that Iīll say a pray for him tonight.
Leonel Hernandez email@example.com Puebla, Mexico. Dec 17/2005 11:51 PST