Pass the Popcorn…

YouTube P.I. Treasures. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow…

They’re here, they’re gone, but I’ve caught the following items recently. I’m not going to list anything that’s available on DVD, Blu-Ray or on legit screening channels, but I will suggest some video goodies that may–or may not–be totally legit.

Of course, the video quality of some of these may be dubious (at best), but what can I say? I’m a sucker for old movies, obscure TV shows and other long-lost bits and pieces of private eye history.

All you have to do is stream.

  • City of Angels | Watch it now!
    One of the greatest (well, sometimes) private eye shows ever, is back online. But for how long? Someone named “Maljardin” has posted all thirteen episodes of the 1976 Depression-era private eye drama, created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell of Rockford Files fame, and starring Wayne Roger as glib, tough-talking gumshoe Jake Axminster. Our pal Jeff over at The Rap Sheet tags the show as “… eminently watchable, a Chinatown-inspired program that delivers plenty of suspense, eccentric characters, and 1930s atmosphere.”
  • The Writer in America: Ross Macdonald (1978)  | Watch it now!
    A wonderful mini-doc from the seventies on Ross Macdonald, originally created for public television, that CrimeRead’s Dwyer Murphy calls “fascinating and unexpectedly beautiful.” He’s right.
  • Murder is News (1937) | Watch it now!
    Fast-talking, hard-boiled gossip columnist Jerry Tracy (straight from the pages of Black Mask) speed raps his way through this B-film Canadian quickie.
  • The Westland Case (1937) | Watch it now!
    Feature film with Preston Foster as Bill Crane and Frank Jenks as Doc Williams.
  • The Lady in the Morgue (1938) | Watch it now!
    Feature film with Preston Foster as Bill Crane and Frank Jenks as Doc Williams.
  • Meet Nero Wolfe (1936) | Watch it now!
    Feature film with Edward Arnold as Nero Wolfe, with Lionel Stander as Archie.
  • The League of Frightened Men (1937) | Watch it now!
    Feature film with Walter Connolly as Nero Wolfe, with Lionel Stander as Archie.
  • The French Key | Watch it now!
    Feature film with Albert Dekker as Johnny Fletcher and Mike Mazurki as Sam Cragg.
  • Nero Wolfe (1959) | Watch it now!
    Unaired/unsold pilot starred Kurt Kasznar as Nero Wolfe and William Shanter (yes! Capt. Kirk) as Archie Goodwin.
  • Marlowe (2007) | Watch it now!
    Unsuccessful pilot with Jason O’Mara as a contemporary Phillip Marlowe.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, with special thanks to Evan Lewis, Lee Goldberg, J. Kingston Pierce, and all the others who dig up this stuff. And hey, if you tumble onto something good, don’t by shy–share!

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