My Three Sons

Season 8 Episode 11

The Heartbeat

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Aired Unknown Nov 18, 1967 on ABC
7.7
out of 10
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Episode Summary

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The Heartbeat
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One stormy night while Steve is in San Francisco, Katie is alone in the Douglas house while the rest of the family is attending a ballgame. Her tenseness builds as late in the night she hears a scary rythmic noise, and hysterically calls Steve to report that the family has not yet returned and that she hears a loud thumping sound.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
    Barry Livingston

    Barry Livingston

    Ernie Thompson Douglas (1963-72)

    William Demarest

    William Demarest

    Uncle Charley O'Casey (1965-72)

    Fred MacMurray

    Fred MacMurray

    Steve Douglas (1960-72)

    Don Grady

    Don Grady

    Robbie Douglas (1960-71)

    Stanley Livingston

    Stanley Livingston

    Chip Douglas (1960-72)

    Tina Cole

    Tina Cole

    Katie Miller Douglas (1967-72)

    Jack Smith

    Jack Smith

    Stan Jackson

    Guest Star

    Guy Wilkerson

    Guy Wilkerson

    Night Watchman

    Guest Star

    Olan Soule

    Olan Soule

    Dr. Smallwood

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (7)

      • The scene in which Charley and the boys go down into the basement uses a long continuous take. This technique, used to create a sense of realism, was first developed in the U.S. by directors like Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock in the 1940s. Here, we watch the camera pan across the water on the floor; then up the stairs; next, the guys open the door and try to turn the light switch on (it's broken); and they slowly proceed down to the bottom step. The next edit does not occur until more than a minute later when the camera cuts away to the coffin-like box in the corner of the cellar.

      • With the automatic sub-pump located in the cellar, we are given the impression that the entrance to the cellar must be from inside the rear service porch as that's where Charley and the boys come running from when they hear Steve caught in the ghost trap.

      • Uncle Charley becomes scared when he learns that the house's previous owner died at 97 years old. This might be pure coincidence, but what was the owner's name? In the first California episode, Charley answers a telephone call for a 'Walter Brownbinder'. Purely hypothetical but maybe he could have been the original owner?

      • As the episodes of each season were shot out of order to accomodate the filming schedule of the show's headliner Fred MacMurray, it is interesting to note a line he gives as Steve in this episode lamenting that he hasn't been able to spend as much time with the new addition to the family (Katie) as he would like to. You might like to know that even though this episode is the eleventh in air date order, it was in fact one of the first filmed for this season, commencing in early June, 1967 where by comparison, Robbie and Katie's wedding from several episodes back was not filmed until late July the same year!
        This type of "pre-production planning" is used by television companies who have to arrange schedules and still deliver the finished film product on time in order to meet their network airdates.

      • Jack Smith's two other notable TV appearances were as the Reverend that officiates at the Wedding ceremony of Jeannie and Tony Nelson ('The Wedding') on "I Dream Of Jeannie". He spoofed his original "You Asked For It" role as the announcer of the mythical 'You Wanted To See It' on the "Happy Days" two parter, 'Fearless Fonzarelli' -- you remember, the one where Fonzie attempts to drive his motorcycle up and over a record 14 large garbage cans!

      • Jack Smith plays the owner of Jackson Real Estate that originally sold the house. For trivia sake, the house was built around 1946 and the owner was a man who died in his 90s -- which leads the boys to believe the house is haunted! In reality, the house, which was really a facade on the CBS Studios backlot, was originally a huge barn with gambrel roof, that was erected in 1940 at Republic Pictures for a western film that starred Gene Autry. It was known as 'The Melody Ranch' on the Republic backlot. [The late Autry later opened his 'Melody Ranch Studios' - after the name of the picture - in Newhall, California; the Studio has new owners but still exists today.] In the late 1950s a new facade was added to make it appear as a house on the studio backlot. Shots filmed in the backyard of the house property show the out of sight garage that gives credence to the above. Astute viewers of old CBS programs will be able to discern the house quite easily. It is highly visible (without the front picket fence) in the background of many old episodes of the original "Perry Mason" series, starring Raymond Burr. Used little after "My Three Sons" ended (possibly because it was now so indelibly linked to the show), it along with some other period pieces on the residential street backlot, were razed as late as 1992 to make way for modern staff car parking at the motion picture and television facility. Prior to this, the house was used mainly as a storage area for lighting and other production equipment. According to the current studio map on the website for the CBS Studio Center (now commonly called "CBS Radford"), the residential street still runs north and south, with a cross street running east and west, and just past the tall trees behind where the Douglas house once stood runs the Los Angeles River, which also runs through the 40-acre studio backlot.


      • Certainly one of the funniest and best remembered of the 'California' episodes. The show's writer, Bernard Rothman, became a well known producer, writer and composer on the Children's TV Circuit working frequently with Shari ('Lambchop') Lewis among others. Rothman is listed as Bernie Rothman on the script of this episode noted as Production # 2245-0665, in the Don Fedderson Archives at UCLA.

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