Did you know horror legends Vincent Price and Peter Lorre made a pilot for a TV show back in 1958? A TV show about two crime-solving antique dealers? I sure didn’t, not until just two days ago.
I’ve always adored both actors separately and together. If you’ve never seen their hilarious team-up in Roger Corman’s 1963 version of The Raven (with young Jack Nicholson, no less!) you are missing out. Lorre first became famous playing a terrifying serial killer in the 1931 German movie M. He’s also known for appearing opposite Humphrey Bogart in the Maltese Falcon. If you don’t recognize Price for his many movie appearances, you’ll recognize his voice from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
It became a moral imperative for me to seek out a Vincent Price/Peter Lorre TV show and I was thrilled to find it in three parts on YouTube. The show was called Collector’s Item. The video quality is not great, but you can see that this was a pretty-high budget production. The acting is terrific, the sets look pretty good, and the action… well… as much action as you’re likely to get from Price and Lorre. They’re better at dialogue than throwing punches. It’s still well worth a watch. That’s why I’m embedding the three YouTube videos for your viewing pleasure. Here’s part 1:
Now for part 2:
And here’s the thrilling conclusion:
Unfortunately, this program was never picked up for a regular series. One can imagine the network executives viewing this and asking, “Just who is the audience for a show about mystery-solving antique dealers?” or “Where’s the scary stuff?” The audience for a Vincent Price and Peter Lorre TV show, it turns out, is definitely me. The scares might come in the form of worrying if Lorre will fall and break a hip. I still loved every minute of it. I hope you enjoyed it as well.
Now I’m off to ponder the possibilities of crime-solving antique dealers in the late 1950s and horror-starts turned detectives for my next books.