Created by Edward J. Lakso and Stanley Roberts
“He’s been beaten up, almost run over by a car, accused of an inter-racial romance, and beaten up again… all for a client he doesn’t even have.”
— from an ad in TV Guide
In The Pigeon (1969), his TV-movie debut, a pre-Candy Man Sammy Davis Jr. plays LARRY MILLER, a hip, wisecracking private eye who–naturally–gets in way over his head. There’s some vaguely coherent business about an ex-girlfriend from school, a young girl in danger, a missing diary that the Mob wants and a frame job. Turns out Miller’s the pigeon.
But it’s all really just a wink-wink to His Samminess and his fading Rat Pack cool, which may be enough for some older viewers.
To be fair, some of Davis’ wisecracks are quite good, and he gets to bounce them off a relatively impressive cast that includes old pros Pat Boone (as Miller’s shifty partner), Dorothy Malone and veteran character actor Roy E. Glenn who plays Miller’s father, a police lieutenant. But it’s not enough to make this a must-see, except for the faithful.
Sometimes the Candyman just can’t.
Still, I love the bit in the blurb op there about our Sammy being accused of an “inter-racial romance.”
Gee, what would Frankie say?
- THE PIGEON
Written by Edward J. Lakso and Stanley Roberts
Directed by Earl Bellamy
Executive producers: Aaron Spelling and Danny Thomas
Starring Sammy Davis, Jr., as LARRY MILLER
Also starring Victoria Vetri, Roy Glenn, Dorothy Malone, Pat Boone, Ricardo Montalban, Patsy Kelly, Norman Alden, Bernie Dobbins, Bill Quinn, Victoria Vetri, Roy Glenn, Judith Jordan, Francis De Sales, Monica Peterson