A favorite of mine, among suave private eyes is Peter Gunn. It was first a television show and a few years later, a movie. The Dell Comic's Four Color #1087 comic book stories were written by the prolific Paul S. Newman with Mike (Justice League of America) Sekowsky & Frank (Sherlock Holmes) Giacoia artwork.
Peter Gunn, played by Craig Stevens, is a well-dressed private investigator whose hair is always in place and who loves cool jazz. Where other gumshoes might be coarse, Gunn is a sophisticate with expensive tastes. He operates in a nameless, fictional riverfront city and can usually be found at Mother's, a smoky wharfside jazz club that he uses as his "office", often meeting clients there. Petef's standard fee is $1,000. He has a reputation of being one of the best investigators and trustworthy. He sometimes works cases out of the state and on at least one occasion out of country, with one case occurring in Mexico and another involving a tour of Western Europe.
Peter Gunn's girlfriend, Edie Hart (Lola Albright), is a sultry singer employed at Mother's; she later opens her own place. His pet name for Edie is "Silly". Herschel Bernardi costarred as Lieutenant Jacoby, a police detective and friend of Gunn. Occasionally he refers people to Gunn as clients. Hope Emerson appeared as "Mother", who had been a singer and piano player in speakeasies during Prohibition. For the second season, "Mother" was played by Minerva Urecal. Bill Chadney played Emmett, the piano player at Mother's.
Preview of the two Peter Gunn stories in the issue.
"The Harmless Hobby"
Peter Gunn's friend Doc Clipp has taken up a hobby in retirement, making counterfeits of old stamps for his own enjoyment. This draws the attention of both the Stamp Dealers Association, which offers him $10,000 to stop making the copies, and a counterfeiting gang, which abducts him and wants him to make fake stamps for them to peddle.
"The Purple Clue"
Peter and Edie are on their way to see a client of Peter's when they are forced off the road by a purple car. Peter and Edie are picked up by Lt. Jacoby, who is then called to a big chemical plant fire. The plant's owner Jason Colby says his former partner Porter Brandon is responsible for the fire. A plant guard says a purple car was seen going from the plant right before the fire. Gunn checks out Brandon's car, but it's green, not purple. However Gunn catches Brandon in a lie while questioning him and has to find evidence linking him to the purple car.
"William J. Burns"
Facts about the life of William J. Burns, late 19th and early 20th Century detective.
Back-up Peter Gunn Private Eye Pioneers feature.
Facts about Allen Pinkerton, 19th Century detective. Abraham Lincoln cameo.
Back cover Peter Gunn Private Eye Pioneers feature.
In addition to the comic book, Peter Gunn came out as an original novel by noted mystery writer Henry Kane.
The music of Peter Gunn, by the great Henry Mancini was the best, top notch, as you'd expect. It's cool jazz to read by. The television score is still out there on CD, but all I've found for the movie soundtrack is on vinyl with a fantastic movie poster cover. I still love listening to as much as I do Ennio Morricone's Man with No Name soundtracks.
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