Collector’s Item, “The Left Fist of David”

In 1958 CBS produced this pilot for a prospective mystery series starring Vincent Price and Peter Lorre as a pair of antique dealers (hmm, I wonder if there’s some intended subtext there) searching for a mysterious but highly valuable artifact called the Left Fist of David (hmm, I wonder . . .). Had the pilot gotten picked up, the series would’ve involved them searching for rarities each week; whether the subsequent episodes included vague yet snicker-inducing entendres is not known.

It’s easy to see why the network didn’t bite. “The Left Fist of David,” directed by Buzz Kulik from a script by Herb Meadow, just isn’t very good, being a rather bland and unengaging mystery. Mostly this has to do with the Fist itself, a macguffin so poorly defined that the characters don’t even know specifically what it is, only that it’s really, really valuable. Perhaps the scripts would’ve improved once the series reached the air.

Equally problematic are its stars. Price and Lorre do just fine on their own, exhibiting the flair that continues to make them favorites to this day, but as a crime-solving duo they lack any chemistry or dynamic interaction, making it very unlikely audiences would want to follow their exploits week after week.

Still, COLLECTOR’S ITEM is an interesting curio and perhaps worth a peek from buffs of Price and Lorre, or television obscurities.

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