I remember back in the day that the thing Lee Marvin remembered about his TV series M Squad was that Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger was not allowed any kind of personal life. Even Dragnet's Joe Friday had one, if you remember in both incarnations of that series there was scenes in the squad car where Jack Webb had scenes with Ben Alexander and Harry Morgan where they would talk some personal business. Even Joe Friday wasn't always a cop.
But Frank Ballinger was as Marvin put it 'no booze, no broads, no vices of any kind'. His life was truly his job. And on the M Squad of the Chicago PD, the squad that handled the toughest cases, Lee Marvin was all business.
The only other series regular was Paul Newlan as Marvin's captain. Week after week Marvin just did his job and did it well. And after playing mostly toughs and psychos in supporting roles on the big screen, Marvin got to be a good guy.
The theme from M Squad was done by Count Basie, a tribute to a town that certainly has its history in the origins of jazz. The shows were reflective of Marvin's character, neat and compact and got right down to business.
You can't ask more of a cop show.
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