Badge 540

May 29, 2012

Watched over the long weekend.  Anybody remember this show?

Update, 5/29/12: Okay, let me put you guys out of your misery before you waste too much time on this.  The image is from the Paul Wendkos film The Case Against Brooklyn (1958), a late, minor film noir about police corruption.  One of the investigators (played by Brian Hutton, the director of Where Eagles Dare) is seen watching the fictitious TV series Badge 540.  The movie doesn’t make much of it, as irony or any other kind of comparison between “real” cops and TV cops, and you only get a few glimpses of the “show,” which is probably why nobody seems to have mentioned Badge 540 anywhere on the whole internet.

But somebody could compile a really interesting piece about all of the fifties movies that include television as a subject, up to and including the creation of fake programs.  There are a lot of them.

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7 Responses to “Badge 540”

  1. Toby O'Brien Says:

    I feel like you’re messing with us, that this will turn out to be some fictional TV series in another TV show or in a movie. (Based on the look of the TV set, maybe something from the fifties, early sixties.) But all I could think of was ‘L.A. Confidential’ and that TV show was “Badge Of Honor”…… Now I’m really curious to find out the story behind this frame grab.

  2. michael Says:

    This is such a mystery title that when you google it, this article is top on the list.
    There were countless TV-Film syndicated shows during the fifties, but I wonder if it is another series with a more famous title that uses “Badge 540″ for syndication. You know, like “Badge 714″ was the syndicated version of old whats-it-name.

  3. Stephen Bowie Says:

    I’m afraid Toby’s on the right track with this one … but does anyone know where this comes from? I, too, was impressed that it remains Google-proof.

  4. Mark Speck Says:

    Anyone we know in it?

  5. Paula Says:

    How about TV shows with fake TV shows? In the 1958 Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet episode “Top Gun,” the neighborhood’s kids are enthralled with a TV western series, “Tex Barton” starring Tex Barton, an actor playing the legendary lawman “Tex Barton.” (Tex is played by another legend, Ben Johnson.) They even filmed a scene for this fake TV show with Tex confronting a bad guy in a saloon. You can watch the scene on Ozzie’s TV along with the kids. When Tex comes to town for the opening of a supermarket, Ozzie enters a quick draw contest. If you can outdraw Tex, you win a teepee! The entire episode is a treat, especially a “flashback” to Ozzie’s ancestors, the gunslinger and the saloon gal (played by Ozzie and Harriet, of course).

    • Stephen Bowie Says:

      Oh, yeah — there’s a million of these, I bet. The underrated “Showdown With Rance McGrew” is the first one that comes to mind.

  6. Toby O'Brien Says:

    I wonder if there was a general theme to how TV was treated within those movies, considering how it was perceived as a threat to movie box office receipts back in its early days……


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