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The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: NBC Episodes

From June 12, 1947 to September 9, 1947:

Special Note: The plot style of the Philip Marlowe series introduces what we're calling a First Line Narrative. This slightly cryptic message is used as a hook to pique the interest of the audience. In the following comprehensive descriptions of each episode, there is a reference to the First Line Plot. This First Line Plot is tagged so as to separate it from the hook statement, the First Line Narrative. Some episodes have both listed in the description.

Beginning of the NBC Series

A newspaper article from the New York Times dated April 27, 1947 indicates Milton Geiger will write all the NBC scripts. The BBC reports that Chandler never wrote any of the episodes, but retained final approval on the scripts until he died in 1959.

Van Heflin assumes the lead role.

The following episodes were listed as broadcast 10:00 p.m. on Tuesdays on NBC.

Date Aired: 47/06/12
Episode Number: NAud
Available: YES (probably edited version of episode 1)
Title: Who Shot Waldo
Description: The plot concerned forty one matched pearls with a diamond propeller clasp... a good reason for murder!
Cast: Van Helfin ('Philip Marlowe'), Milton Geiger (writer), Lurene Tuttle ('Lola Barsaly'), Wendell Niles (announcer).
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. Audition Program
  3. This was the lead into a 13 episode series on NBC to fill the summer vacation slot for Bob Hope. Van Heflin starred as Marlowe in this summer replacement series.
  4. Based a Philip Marlowe short story by Raymond Chandler titled "Red Wind", published in Dime Detective Magazine, Janurary 1938.
  5. The same story was re-done a year and two weeks later with a different cast CBS Episode 'Red Wind'.
  6. The show is introduced as "The Pepsodent Show".
  7. This is the same script as the premier shows, NBC Episode 01 'Red Wind' and CBS Episode 001 'Red Wind', broadcast September 26, 1950.
  8. There are discrete audio clues to differentiate the audition show from the premiere release. These clues are detailed here.
  9. There was no scheduled broadcast of the audition this date.
  10. It is likely this episode is a misdated copy of show #1 with small cuts. Other than the cuts in the beginning, there are no differences with episode 1.
First Line Narrative: N/A
Show Opening: "Lever Brothers Company presents The Pepsodent Program -- The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Starring Van Heflin." [Music] "Pepsodent presents Philip Marlowe, Hollywood's famous private detective created by Raymond Chandler. Philip Marlowe -- tough, cynical private eye of Murder, My Sweet, the sardonic case-hardened detective of The Brasher Doubloon, Lady in the Lake, and The Big Sleep. You've seen him in action in all of those top-flight mystery pictures. Now, in order that you may continue to enjoy this exciting mystery series, Pepsodent brings you The Adventures of Philip Marlowe on the air with a cast of noted radio players. And starring MGM's brilliant and dynamic young actor, Van Heflin." [Music]
First Line Plot: [Wind and Music] "There was a rough desert wind blowing into Los Angeles that evening. It was one of those hot, dry Santa Anas that comes down through the mountain passes and curl your hair, make your nerves jump, and your skin itch."

Date Aired: 47/06/17
Episode Number: N01
Available: YES
Title: Red Wind
Description: Marlowe witnesses a chance killing involving a shady lady whose string of pearls. He tries to protect the damsel in distress and recover her forty one matched pearls.
Cast: Van Heflin ('Philip Marlowe'), Lyn Murray (composer, conductor), Wendell Niles (announcer), William Conrad, James Fonda (producer, director), William Johnstone, Harry Bartell, Lurene Tuttle, Milton Geiger (writer).
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. Based a Philip Marlowe short story by Raymond Chandler titled "Red Wind", published in Dime Detective Magazine, Janurary 1938.
  3. This is the same script as the Audition show, NBC Audition 'Red Wind' and CBS Episode 001 'Red Wind', broadcast September 26, 1950.
  4. There are discrete audio clues to differentiate the audition show from the premiere release. These clues are detailed here.
  5. This broadcast is listed as the Premier broadcast on WNBC at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
  6. There was no Post Show plot promo for the following week.
First Line Narrative: N/A
Show Opening: "For the safety of your smile, use Pepsodent twice a day... See your dentist twice a year." [Music] "Lever Brothers Company presents The Pepsodent Program -- The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Starring Van Heflin." [Music] "Pepsodent presents Philip Marlowe, Hollywood's famous private detective created by Raymond Chandler. Philip Marlowe -- tough, cynical private eye of Murder, My Sweet, the sardonic case-hardened detective of The Brasher Doubloon, Lady in the Lake, and The Big Sleep. You've seen him in action in all of those top-flight mystery pictures. Now, in order that you may continue to enjoy this exciting mystery series, Pepsodent brings you The Adventures of Philip Marlowe on the air with a cast of noted radio players. And starring MGM's brilliant and dynamic young actor, Van Heflin." [Music] [Pepsodent Commercial]
First Line Plot: [Wind and Music] "There was a rough desert wind blowing into Los Angeles that evening. It was one of those hot, dry Santa Anas that comes down through the mountain passes and curl your hair, make your nerves jump, and your skin itch."

Date Aired: 47/06/24
Episode Number: N02
Available: NO
Title: Pitt 13
Description:
Cast:
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. There is a title conflict on this episode. Popular logs indicate "Pitt 13" as the title. The Chicago Tribune is the only newspaper to report the broadcast title as "Trouble is My Business" for this date.

Date Aired: 47/07/01
Episode Number: N03
Available: YES
Title: Daring Young Dame on the Flying Trapeze
Description: Philip Marlowe faces a band of gangsters under the big top.
Opening Line: There comes a certain time of the year when I don't want to see midget auto races. I want to see midgets.
Notes: NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

Date Aired: 47/07/08
Episode Number: N04
Available: YES
Title: King in Yellow
Description: King Leopardi; murder; Hollywood night club; Big Bear country; famous jazz musician with a passion for yellow clothes and his trumpet are wandering the hall in his yellow pajamas.
Cast: Van Heflin ('Philip Marlowe'), Raymond Chandler (creator, writer), Milton Geiger (adaptor), Gerald Mohr, Wendell Niles (announcer), Lyn Murray (composer, conductor).
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. Based a non-Philip Marlowe short story by Raymond Chandler titled "The King in Yellow", published in Dime Detective Magazine, March 1938.
  3. King Leopardi is played by Gerald Mohr who would later take over the lead role in this series on CBS.
  4. Post show promo: "Philip Marlowe crouched in the darkness of Beverley Glenn and waited for those footsteps to come closer and then all at once the Sandman hit him without bothering to remove the sand from the sandbag. And when Marlowe woke up in the morning, his wallet and gun were gone and he was wanted for murder."
First Line Narrative: N/A
Show Opening: "For the safety of your smile, use Pepsodent twice a day... See your dentist twice a year." [Music] "Lever Brothers Company presents The Pepsodent Program -- The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Starring Van Heflin." [Music] "Philip Marlowe, the famous private detective of Murder, My Sweet and Lady in the Lake, created by Raymond Chandler, brought to you on the air by Pepsodent, and starring MGM's dynamic young actor, Van Heflin." [Music] [Pepsodent Commercial] "Now, Van Heflin, in The Adventures of Philip Marlowe." [Music]
First Line Plot: "Hollywood after midnight is like any other city after midnight -- night moves in and the city becomes hushed and stealthy. The night clubs close up one by one, but now and then, the police whistle and the prowl car siren serenade the sleeper."

Date Aired: 47/07/15
Episode Number: N05
Available: NO
Title: The Sandman
Description: Marlowe becomes involved in an act on a radio show which results in murder.
Cast:
Notes: NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

Date Aired: 47/07/22
Episode Number: N06
Available: NO
Title: Gold Fish
Description:
Cast:
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. The newspaper 'The Fresno Bee' reports that Van Heflin is wearing sideburns tonight because he is also filming the movie Tap Roots, set in the Civil War era.

Date Aired: 47/07/29
Episode Number: N07
Available: NO
Title:
Description:
Cast:
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. From the Fresno Bee and Portsmouth Times newspapers, Tuesday, July 29th:
    Writers for "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe", heard tonight at 6:00, have announced that a high frequency dog whistle will be used in tonight's broadcast, when Van Heflin stars in the mystery story of a dog trained for war, who returns to his home, an incurable killer. The whistle blast is said to be of such high frequency that human ears cannot detect it, but listeners are urged to try it on their dogs at home and see whether Fido, seated comfortably at the family radio, gives any sign of detection. The high frequency dog whistle is expected to effect one of the highest canine "Hoopers" in radio history, say the writers.
  3. From the Portland Press Herald newspaper, August 1, 1947:
    ... another program. This one had to do with a crumb who switched dogs on a little boy, one, the ringer, a vicious war dog trained to kill, and the second, the real dog, trained to protect.

    My man Marlowe figured out who murdered the blind girl’s husband almost as soon as he arrived at the scene of the crime. We had a few sirens and then the mean guy who switched dogs caught on that Marlowe had figured the crime. He put the war dog onto him.

    I had hoped Marlowe would climb up and kick the teeth out of the dog, but he made some kind of a deal with the guy, who called off the dog. Then Marlowe went over to the house where the blind girl was, and the thing started all over again...

    The big climax came when Marlowe blew a dog whistle, one of those audible only to dogs, making a chump out of the bad guy. He turned his ringer loose, and the girl’s real dog responded to the whistle, broke his chains where the bad guy had him tied up, and killed the ringer dog just as he was about to kill the blind girl. You never beard anything like it.

Date Aired: 47/08/05
Episode Number: N08
Available: YES
Title: Trouble Is My Business
Description: Marlowe takes on a new case when crooked politicians become involved in murder. Marlow confronts the client with "Philo Vance has an office here on the forth floor if you want..." John Arbogast has been murdered, and a $50,000 blackmail attempt leads to more mayhem.
Cast: Van Heflin ('Philip Marlowe'), Lyn Murray (composer, conductor), Wendell Niles (announcer), Raymond Chandler (creator, writer), Milton Geiger (adaptor).
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. Based a Philip Marlowe short story by Raymond Chandler titled "Trouble is My Business", published in Dime Detective Magazine, August 1939.
  3. Van Heflin appears though arrangements with Metro Golden Mayor, producers of The Romance of Rosy Rich staring Van Johnson.
  4. Van Heflin does a post show promo for C.A.R.E.
  5. Post show promo is not available.
First Line Narrative: N/A
Show Opening: "For the safety of your smile, use Pepsodent twice a day... See your dentist twice a year." [Music] "Lever Brothers Company presents The Pepsodent Program -- The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Starring Van Heflin." [Music] "Philip Marlowe, the screen's most famous private detective, created by Raymond Chandler, brought to you on the air by Pepsodent, and starring MGM's brilliant and dynamic young actor, Van Heflin." [Music] [Pepsodent Commercial] "Now, The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Starring Van Heflin." [Music]
First Line Plot: "The moment old man Jeeter came into my office, I made up my mind not to vote for him if he ever ran for president. He was tall and thin with straight compressed white lips. He wore a neat pin stripe flannel suit with a small rose bud in the lapel. He carried an ebony cane and he wore spats. He looked a smart 60 and unless his ulcers got nasty, I gave him another 15 years, which was pretty big of me. He sat down, speared me with those barbed gray eyes and came right down to business."

Date Aired: 47/08/12
Episode Number: N09
Available: NO
Title:
Description:
Cast:
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. From the Fresno Bee newspaper, Tuesday, August 12th:
    In the drama and adventure spots tonight you will hear Van Heflin, star of "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe", at 6:00. Van, in the role of the master detective takes on a new case when crooked politicians become involved in murder.

Date Aired: 47/08/19
Episode Number: N10
Available: YES
Title: Robin and the Hood
Description:
Cast: First Line: Go ahead. (whistle) Quiet.
Notes: NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

Date Aired: 47/08/26
Episode Number: N11
Available: NO
Title:
Description:
Cast:
Notes: NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

Date Aired: 47/09/02
Episode Number: N12
Available: NO
Title:
Description:
Cast:
Notes: NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

Date Aired: 47/09/09
Episode Number: N13
Available: NO
Title:
Description:
Cast:
Notes:
  1. NBC Series of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
  2. This is the last show in the NBC series. The New York Times reports Bob Hope in this time slot the following week.

End of the NBC Series


To Continue:

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: Introduction

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: Episodes Listed by Date
The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: Episodes Listed by Title

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: NBC Episodes (June 12, 1947 - September 9, 1947) (current page)
The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: CBS Episodes 001 - 057 (September 26, 1948 - November 5, 1949)
The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: CBS Episodes 058 - 114 (November 11, 1949 - September 15, 1951)

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: All Episodes (June 12, 1947 - September 15, 1951)

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe: Raymond Chandler Bibliography

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