Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: The Rogues


THE ROGUES is another short-lived series from the Sixties. It ran for one season, 1964-65, and while I didn't see every episode (it was on opposite CANDID CAMERA and WHAT'S MY LINE, two shows that my father loved), I saw enough of them to know that it was a charming, well-written, very entertaining series.

The premise was pretty simple. Three retired con men who were cousins – Charles Boyer, David Niven, and Gig Young – used their larcenous skills to help people who'd been taken advantage of. The idea was that the three leads would alternate, but Gig Young wound up being the star of most of the episodes. British actor Robert Coote often stole the show as Cousin Timmy. The series had that sophisticated, international charm, although most of that was achieved through the use of stock footage.

THE ROGUES was a funny, lightweight piece of fluff that was never intended to be anything else. At least that's the way I remember it. I don't believe it's ever been released on DVD and there are only a couple of clips on YouTube. There probably aren't all that many people who even remember it. But as usual, I do.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great show! I haven't thought about it in years but I really liked it a lot. Amen to your Robert Coote comment.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't remember it. Probably watching CANDID CAMERA.

Todd Mason said...

Did you ever read Bob Greene's memoirs? I'll have to go look back, but one of them involves in minor but telling part how much he was impressed by THE ROGUES and then his gradual disillusionment with rogues, generally (rather a naif, Greene).

Bill Crider said...

I remember this one well. Liked it quite a bit. The cast might have been the reason.

Steve Weddle said...

fantastic

Richard Moore said...

I remember watching it and enjoying it. This was one of many Four Star productions on about that time with Dick Powell at the head and David Niven, Charles Boyer and Ida Lupino as the other three stars.

A recent series with a similar premise is the British "Hustle" with the most recognizable star Robert Vaughn. It's a clever program based upon the episodes I've seen on AMC.

Good to see Robert Vaughn in something other than the lawyer ads that are apparently syndicated round the country to firms in various markets. The tagline is "Call the hurt line."

Mike Doran said...

Greetings from Chicago, the cradle of MEtv ...

... which airs The Rogues every late Saturday/early Sunday at 3am (Central Time).
My DVR is slowly filling up with the episodes, which I believe MEtv is running in the original broadcast order. I am prepared to keep them stored for as long as there's no DVD set available.
(MEtv carries a lot of Four Star shows, mainly The Rifleman, Honey West,and The Big Valley; I serenely await the original Burke's Law, Richard Diamond, Robert Taylor's Detectives, and Dick Powell Theater.)
(Well, it might happen ...)
I don't know if any systems or stations in Texas are carrying MEtv right now. If any are, this might be the time to chat up any friends you have in those areas. You won't regret it.

Todd Mason said...

Richard, and everyone, you can see HUSTLE on both public stations (it's syndicated to them now) and HDNet, if you have that cable channel in your array (the one with DAN RATHER REPORTS, owned by Mark Cuban).

Todd Mason said...

LEVERAGE is a slightly lesser variation on the same theme, on the TNT cable station. Even has the same sort of token tall, cute British woman.

RJR said...

I LOVED The Rogues. You're oicking good ones, James. How about Checkmate? Hong Kong?

RJR

RJR said...

Richard, not only nice to see Vaughn in Hustle, but David McCallum working on NCIS. The Men from active are back!

RJR

michael said...

The series is available on DVD. Amazon is selling Volume One with ten episodes.

James Reasoner said...

Michael, thanks for the info. I didn't know that.

James Reasoner said...

Todd,
I've read some of Bob Greene's work but don't recall coming across any mention of THE ROGUES.

Todd Mason said...

It's his 1964 diary volume, James, BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL.

James Reasoner said...

Thanks, Todd. I haven't read that one, but I'll look for it. I remember I liked JOHNNY DEADLINE, REPORTER, a collection of Greene's columns.

Cap'n Bob said...

I remember it, too. It always remided me a bit of Checkmate, which Bob mentioned. Maybe because it was underlit like so many British shows.