The following is Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s contribution to The Mary Astor Blogathon, currently in progress from May 3-10 this week and sponsored by Dor at Tales of the Easily Distracted and Ruth at Silver Screenings. For a list of the participants and the films/TV shows covered, click here. (Warning: This review contains spoilers.)
Hyatt swings into action and contacts associates Don Corey (Anthony George) and Jed Sills (Doug McClure) at Checkmate, who head out to Brack Acres for an investigation. Meanwhile, at Brack Industries, the company’s board unanimously agrees to appoint Martin in charge of the company—seeing as how he’s essentially been running the day-to-day operations anyway. Daniel is not quite able to hide his loathing for his uncle and mother, and the fact that he’s putting away a lot of booze doesn’t help.
The missing tape finally surfaces—it was O’Neill who hid the recording in the greenhouse, and he asked his daughter (who conveniently stumbled across it) to continue to conceal it from Daniel. But because Felice is in love with the young Brack, she turns it over to him and all the suspects have a listen in the presence of the Checkmate detectives.
So naturally I was curious to see how one of my favorite actresses—and the subject of this here blogathon, as they say ‘round my neck of the woods—would fare…namely Mary Astor. Alas, she’s a bit of a disappointment—though it’s not a reflection on her performance; I think it’s simply because she doesn’t really have much to do. The episode focuses mainly on the tortured Scott Marlowe, an actor who specialized in juvenile delinquent roles in several 50s movies (notably The Cool and the Crazy)…and to be honest, his shtick starts to get old by the first commercial break. (I was actually rooting for Mar and Frank Overton’s characters—Overton is another favorite of mine; yet he, too, is wasted in his part—to put Marlowe out of his misery so we could knock off early for the day.)
As for Mary Astor…she was nearing the end of her interest in show business: she did a few more guest appearances on shows like The Defenders, Burke’s Law and TV’s paradox (Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey) before exiting the stage with a small role in Hush, Hush…Sweet Charlotte (1964). I wish her Checkmate role had been more of a showcase for such a talented thesp…but even Academy Award winners have to buy groceries.