Thursday, 17 May 2018

Side-Pod - The Young Savages: A Glistening Pompadour

Hark! It's an 87th Precinct Podcast Sidepod

The team takes in the John Frankenheimer directed film "The Young Savages" from 1961. The film was based on Evan Hunter's "A Matter Of Conviction" from 1959 and is the tale of Hank Bell (Burt Lancaster) and his quest for the truth in preparation for his prosecution of three Italian street-gang members accused of the First-Degree murder of a Puerto Rican boy. When placed alongside the 87th Precinct book "See Them Die" of 1960, it seems streets gangs were much on Hunter's mind.

As we go along we hear some great jazz-slang, Paul's Bin Mystery, Stephen's very best Audiobook voice and discuss another link to the world of Columbo!

Join us soon as we slide back out of the 'real' New York back to the parallel-world of Isola and the 87th Precinct for the next book in the series, "The Empty Hours". Fare thee well. 

Thursday, 10 May 2018

On-Screen Carellas (and Carella substitutes!)

Here, for your delight and wonder, is a selection of the actors who have played our favourite Detective (2nd Grade) from the 87th Precinct, Steve Carella. Remember that Carella is described as:

"[giving] the impression of great power...
a fine-honed muscular power. He wore his brown hair short.
His eyes were brown, with a peculiar downward slant that
gave him a clean-shaved oriental appearance. He had wide
shoulders and narrow hips." (Cop Hater, 1956)

It's clear that McBain had a vision for his leading-man and, as with the other cops in the squad, his description is oft-repeated through the years. One of the questions that crops up a lot when discussing the 87th Precinct is "Who would you cast to play....?" - so here are some of the answers given by various producers and casting directors over the years.

click to enlarge

Not all of these actors played an exact Steve Carella, though - Tatsuya Nakadai plays Chief Detective Tokura in Kurosawa's High & Low (1963). His character is the closest the film has to Carella, but also combines aspects of Lt. Pete Byrnes. Also, Vinod Khanna, is based on the character in High and Low, rather than Carella in the book King's Ransom, but he's our only Bollywood Cop (Chief Inspector Gill), so he counts!

There are (probably) some missing Carellas. Some of the Japanese TV productions are hard to trace and sites such as IMDB rarely have character names and when they do they're often renamed to make them realistic for the setting. Without seeing these films and TV plays, it's hard to tell who is who. 

Another interesting point is that Robert Loggia, in the 1958 film version of Cop Hater, is playing a character called "Carelli" - quite why the name is changed by one vowel it's hard to tell, although I suspect that Carelli sounds even more Italian than Carella, thus reinforcing the character's ethnic background. 

Let us know who's your favourite out of the image above and if you've any suggestions who you'd like to see (or have seen) in the role.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Additional notes on the Lady, Lady, I Did It! Bonus episode - Henry Morrison

McBain's Lady, Lady, I Did It! is dedicated to Henry Morrison. A good story I've found about Henry is from Lawrence Block who recounts their time at the Scott Meredith agency and MANHUNT magazine here.

Henry Morrison, McBain's dedicatee, was an important part of the Scott Meredith agency. As with Evan Hunter, whose name was changed from Sal Lombino which was considered to sound too "Ethnic", Morrison was born Henry Moskowitz & changed it at Meredith's request.

There's more detail about Morrison, Meredith and the mysterious 'black box' pulp/porn publishing phenomenon in this article. By all accounts Henry Morrison was a much respected member of the agency.

Although I can't find an official up-to-date website, it appears Henry Morrison is still a literary agent having founded his own agency, Henry Morrison Inc., in 1965. It seems he notably handled Robert Ludlum - you may spot Henry's name in the credits of the Bourne movies as Executive producer!

Ed McBain's Lady, Lady, I Did It! - Episode 14, Bonus: Novelty P*nis Frying Pan

Hark! It's an 87th Precinct Podcast bonus episode!
FULL DISCLOSURE - we suffered our first ever real technical problem during the recording of this episode, so part way through there's a brief music-snippet to paste over the join. We do 'fess up to it and we didn't lose too much, so it's all okay!
In our follow-up to the main podcast episode, we finally reveal the details about Stevo's idea for the show "Criminals and Little and Large"! With amazing skill, Morgan manages to tie our chatter about 1980s/90s British comedy Double Acts back into the world of Police Procedurals, so all's well that ends well.
We have a good bout of Book Huffing and explore the peculiar differences between two seemingly identical editions of Lady, Lady, I Did It! and throw in a bit of detail about the history of Bar Codes and the sorts of things that can crop up if you're not careful with your internet searches.
Join us again soon for the next book in the series, "The Empty Hours" (1962) and some other Hunter/McBain items! Please remember to rate, review, and share wherever you can. Thanks for your support!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Ed McBain's Lady, Lady, I Did It! - Episode 14: Relatively Politely Spoken Flautist

Hark! It's the 87th Precinct Podcast!
The year is 1961. 87th Precinct fans have had to wait an entire year since their last fix and they're desperate for another story - McBain finally provides them with the 14th novel in the series, the brutal and heartbreaking Lady, Lady, I Did It!
Join us for our usual mix of book-review and contextual-chatter (sorry, there's quite a bit of preamble this time!), as we discover all about what was going on around the world in music, TV and politics. Listen whilst Paul relates some communication from Hunter's literary agent Jane Gelfman (thanks, Jane!) and try not to get fed up with us as we mention the Carry On... films yet again.
Thanks for listening and please, as always, share on social media, rate and review in your podcast apps and feel free to send us messages on FB, Twitter, Insta or email ( Join us soon for a bonus episode and then get reading the collection of novellas, The Empty Hours (1962). Fare thee well!

Monday, 23 April 2018

Book List Update

I wish this was a post saying there was a new or long-lost 87th Precinct story coming out, but sadly not. However, it is a post to say that we've updated the book list here to include the several short-stories and novellas about the 87th Precinct that were released in some form or other in the latter years of the series. 

Also included is the link (legitimate!) to the story Ed wrote for the BBC 'End Of Story' competition. The idea was that established authors would write short stories without an ending and submissions would be made by unpublished writers. The best would be picked by the author themselves. McBain also wrote an ending and this is the version linked to on the book list.

In regard to the numbering system, I've chosen to add them as 'sub' numbers (i.e. 48a, rather than making it 49) to more accurately express their place alongside the main body of 87th Precinct stories. The scholar Ted Bergman, who we have to thank for so much good 87th Precinct research, used the other system, but I think it's generally considered that we have 55 actual published 87th Precinct stories (including the Christmas novella), so anything additional to that is a bonus. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Ed McBain's See Them Die - Episode 13, Bonus: A Papier-mâché Inspector Morse

Hark! It's an 87th Precinct Podcast Bonus Episode

I mean, we do talk a bit about McBain in this rather silly appendix to our main podcast. Stevo, of course, provides us with the results of his book-huffing and we delve deep into the sorts of books you could get from the discount mail-order shops advertising in the NYT in 1962. 

We also, as usual, retread some "Carry On..." ground and hark back to the days of the kids TV magazine show "How?", just in case you've not go enough UK emphera inside your heads. With a nod to the podcast, The Five By, we speculate on how you could turn the world of the 87th Precinct into a board game. 

Oh, and Melvyn Bragg pops by to tell us some more about 'In Our Time'.

See you soon for "Lady, Lady I Did It!". Please like, rate, review and share wherever you can, ta!