Martin Kane, Private Eye
Crime / Drama
Cast: William Gargan as Martin Kane (1949-1951)
Lloyd Nolan as Martin Kane (1951-1952)
Lee Tracy as Martin Kane (1952-1953)
Mark Stevens as Martin Kane (1953-1954)
Walter Kinsella as Happy McMann
Nicholas Saunders as Sergeant Ross
Frank M. Thomas as the Police Captain
Martin Kane, Private Eye began as a radio program from 1949-1952, sponsored by United States Tobacco Company, and began as a television series in 1951 and ran until 1954, airing on NBC. The actor playing the title character changed over the seasons, drawing from a roster of Hollywood character actors. William Gargan was the first Kane, followed by Lloyd Nolan, Lee Tracy and Mark Stevens. Also essential to the show was Walter Kinsella, who played Happy McMann, proprietor of a tobacco shop which served as the story's home base.
Format One: Martin Kane, Private Eye 1951-1953
Background: New York City . The investigations of Martin Kane, a private detective who achieves his desired results through determination and force of character. The name was shortened in August 1953 to Martin Kane and coincided with Kane no longer hanging out in the tobacco shop. Titles are based on what happens in the episodes.
Format Two: The New Adventures of Martin Kane 1953-1954
Background: Europe. The cases of Martin Kane, an American private detective who assists various international police departments.
Starring William Gargan as Martin Kane:
Fortune Teller Warning (1951)
A naive man is told by a fortune teller to beware of evil. Later his life savings is stolen from his pocket, and Kane once again has several suspects to pursue.
Altered Will (1951)
A wealthy inventor is shot and killed, with the killer trying to make it appear to be a burglary, but it simply doesn't add up.
Reclusive Sisters (1951)
Three destitute sisters live in an old house left to them by their father. After a visit their lawyer is butchered and packed away into a steamer trunk. Into this peaceful situation stumbles Kane.
The District Attorney Killer (3/1/1951)
A man sentenced to die clears another of a crime he did not commit, before pulling a gun and killing the D.A., saying the gun was given to him by his defense attorney.
Face of the Inventor (03/22/1951)
A wealthy inventor is shot and killed, with the killer trying to make it appear to be a burglary, but things just don’t add up.
Hotel Con Game (1951)
Starring Lloyd Nolan as Martin Kane:
A Jockey is Murdered (1951)
A jockey favored to win loses the race and is stabbed. And Martin has to find out who did it.
A Crooner is Murdered (1/31/1952)
A popular band leader is shot dead and Kane wades through the potential suspects: A dancer, a press agent, a music arranger, and the club owner, all of whom had opportunity and motive.
The Black Pearl (3/27/1952)
Martin is blamed for murder after a wealthy client of his is killed.
Starring Lee Tracy as Martin Kane:
Trouble on Board (1953)
Masquerading as a sailor, Kane investigates the disappearance of a young crew member and discovers the activities of a drug ring.
The Comic Strip Killer (04/23/1953)
A comic strip artist is drawing strips based on a real murder case. He promises to reveal the killer, but is killed before the strip is published.
Eyewitness Resurfaces (05/28/1953)
An eyewitness to a crime cowers on a skyscraper ledge as the police hunt for the killer.
Subway Robbery (6/11/1953)
Mr. Miller is robbed of his life savings in a subway. The money was being carried in a paper bag when another man bumped into him and switched bags. But how did the other man know he was carrying money in the first place? Kane is brought into the case.
Kane in Bermuda (6/25/1953)
Kane travels to Bermuda to guard a $100,000 crown and the beauty contest winner who is wearing it. She has been dating a married man and Kane is asked to warn her off, but she ignores him and turns up dead.
Starring Mark Stevens as Martin Kane:
Milk Bottle Burglar (05/20/1954)
Kane finds something sinister in a milk theft when the body of a known criminal is found shot. Mark Stevens stars as Martin Kane.