Mr. Terrific

Season 1 Episode 6

Stanley the Safecracker

Aired Monday 8:30 PM Feb 20, 1967 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Stanley the Safecracker
Safe cracker "Fingers" Maclaine (Stephen Strimpell in a dual role) is released from prison two days early. Anxious to see his girl Dolly and to meet the new criminal gang he's joining, Fingers soon finds himself again in police custody and finishing his sentence in a small hotel room. B.J. Reed has arranged for Stanley Beamish, armed with a supply of power pills, to infiltrate the gang of bank robbers while his double Fingers sits twiddling his thumbs. The real Fingers escapes and uses his underworld connections to find out what's going on. When he appears at the gang's hideout, the jig is up for Stanley. Our hero must use his wits, such as they are, to trick the crooks into letting him take a power pill so that he can turn the tables and send them all up the river.moreless

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  • The one, true surviving episode of Mr. Terrific is a harmless, enjoyable entry from the era of the silly TV premise. It illustrates that this show may be worth reviewing.

    We\'ve accepted the premise of a pill that endows Superman-like powers. We believe that it only works on one clumsy, well intentioned man child. So is it also possible that our hero has an identical twin who is a hardened criminal?

    Sure, why not? I imagine that Hal and Stanley\'s Service Station also sees 20 or 30 1928 Porters, which are the reincarnated parents of their owners, every week. It\'s the 60s for crying out loud.

    The identical twin ploy was often used on series where the writers were running out of ideas. (One can only imagine how empty they must have been on The Patty Duke Show.) But as possibly the only complete, unedited episode of Mr. Terrific that is available for viewing today, Stanley the Safecracker holds up pretty well.

    Stephen Strimpell shines playing his usual Stanley Beamish character as well as safecracker \"Fingers\" Maclaine. He also gets to play Stanley posing as Fingers and Fingers posing as Stanley. There are no real belly laughs in the script, but the comic pacing is much slicker than evidenced by The Pill Caper.

    The supporting cast is strong too. Barbara Stuart, the real life wife of Dick Gautier and a regular on Gomer Pyle USMC, plays Fingers\' girl friend Dolly. She\'s perfect in the role. As the members of the gang Stanley has to infiltrate: Robert Strauss, Mike Mazurki and Sammy Shore are both comical and imposing.

    Mazurki, a 6\'6\" former wrestler, is especially antagonistic and a natural foil for the \"powered up\" Stanley. There\'s something very amusing about watching the slightly built Strimpell manhandling this gigantic bruiser: a Popeye cartoon come to life.

    The regulars: Gautier, John McGiver and Paul Smith are all here, each enforcing his usual relationship with Stanley. It\'s doubtful any of these characters would have truly developed even if the series had been picked up for another season, but still there is a sense of camaraderie that belies the true life indifference and, occasional, antagonism.

    It may not be classic comedy, but Stanley the Safecracker leaves the viewer wondering if maybe Mr. Terrific could be worth another look.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (2)

    • David Carlile (Detective) is credited as Dave Carlile.

    • Unique, perhaps, among episodes of this series, Stanley the Safecracker was actually aired again, complete and unedited, more than thirty years after the show was cancelled. Malcolm Bondon, winner of TVLand's Ultimate Fan Search in 1999, made this episode one of his weekly picks, although he had never before seen Mr. Terrific.
      There are some good prints floating around out there.
      This also appears to be an outstanding segment with some amusing lines, whimsical situations and snappy direction.