David Niven and Charles Boyer were two of the stars who formed FOUR STARS in the 1950s, and did many television programs as stars or producers. THE ROGUES was to be a series for them and Gig Young to alternate the leading role each week as the hero/anti-hero of the episode. Gig Young joined them to do the episodes, but as time passed he was the lead in most of the episodes (occasionally Boyer would appear). Larry Hagman (not yet on I DREAM OF JEANNIE, and decades from DALLAS and "J.R.Ewing") substituted for Young on several later episodes. And Dame Gladys Cooper and Robert Coote rounded out the family of regulars - the Fleming/St.Claire clan - who took on the greedy and cruel of the world.
They had great villains: Walter Matthau (before his "Whiplash Willy" performance catapulted him to stardom), George Sanders, John McGiver, Robert Webber, Everett Sloane, Telly Savalas (before THE DIRTY DOZEN and before he discovered lollipops in Kojack), J.D.Cannon, and others. In every episode the clan would manipulate the antagonist at his weak spot and remove a sizable amount of his (occasionally her) cash. Webber is a pretentious sex-magazine publisher (actually it is not fair to Bob Guiccione or Hugh Hefner to compare him to them - they have more class), who they convince to buy the original "Shakespearean" manuscript of THE AWFUL TRAGEDY OF KING HAROLD THE FAIR. It is neatly denounced as a forgery by Shakespearean critic and expert John Abbott at the episode's end.
Sanders is left with the ruins of his couturier business (based on stolen fashion ideas) when he is manipulated into cornering the marabou market. Before he does he has a choice moment of near apoplexy dealing with a call from an hysterical woman (Dame Gladys, trying to slow down Sanders for the plot) demanding he produce her philandering husband "Harry". Sanders ends up telling her he fully sympathizes with "Harry" for his philandering before slamming the phone down. Coote scares the hell out of selfish Horatio T. White (John McGiver), shipping tycoon, by dressing up as McGiver's dead partner appearing at a window on a stormy night. Young tells a corrupt Arab sheik that he has the weapons he ordered (and gives the "ace of spades" as his calling card. The sheik turns red in the face claiming he has no knowledge of the man. The memories of the bits from the shows warm me...I wish the shows would be revived one day. Or put on DVD
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