Buy "Rome Take Away Three" and all the other episodes from I Spy Season 2
as Coly Collisis
Alf Kjellin as
Elisha Cook as
as Sam Drake
as the butler
as (Mrs. Sherman
Carlo Delle Paine
as the stranger
+ images from key scenes on 3
Season 2 - originally broadcast
December 28, 1966
French: "Le maître-chanteur de Rome" (The Master- Singer of Rome)
Writers: Tim Ballinger, Mort Fine & David Friedkin
Director: Alf Kjellin
Investigating a serious security leak in Italy, they encounter a blackmail plot involving a U.S. embassy employee who is threatened with scandal.
Cast (see images at left )
Nehemiah Persoff (Coly Collisis), Alf Kjellin (Dean Sherman), Ulla Stromstedt (Tilde), Elisha Cook (Erick Magnuson), Sam Reese (Sam Drake), David Mauro (butler), Valerie Starrett (Mrs. Sherman), Lisa Donzell (Penelope), Carlo Delle Paine (the stranger)
(Unnamed cast shown on page 2
German: "Schachmatt, Senor Collisi!" (Check Mate Senor Collisi)
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS
Synopsis: A deported American attempts vengeance.
Highlights/Comments: Bill Cosby doing the tango. Robert Culp in final scene as he confronts Tilde's slayer. Good editing as they take Coly to Tilde's apartment.
I SPY REVISITED
This was an episode I really disliked the first time round because of its dour nature. Although it lacked plausibility in that Collisis must have known who Kelly and Scotty were from the photographer's studio, it seemed much better dramatically as a unit. Frilly scenes with girls and the tango just managed to keep it from being totally depressing. Some more highlights ….. Long sequence as Kelly and Scotty follow Sherman through Rome to a bouncy score …… The shock of Sherman's suicide ……Scene at tailor's when Scotty shouts, “feel it!” ….. The appearance of frequent I Spy director Alf Kjellin was something special, and he added an interesting dramatic touch.
The “I Spy” Forum comments on "ROME TAKE AWAY THREE"
June 18 2003 at 1:55 AM
Colonel, I can't wait to see what you say about ROME, TAKE AWAY ALL THREE- I quite like that episode- always thought Alf Kjellin had such a poignant presence.'
June 26 2003 at 7:23 PM
From: Colonel Benkovski
I think we've reached the point where we've been doing these reviews for about 2 years now, and we are just about at the half way point in the series. If everyone is ready, here's my take on Rome Take Away Three.
I like the title, very appropriate and a little bit cynical -- three deaths all at the hands of Collissi, one of the most unpleasant characters in the series. Nehemiah Persoff makes the first of 2 appearances in this episode playing Collissi (the other episode he was a more comedic character in The Honorable Assassins). Persoff is a familiar face to anyone who watches reruns of 1960's television programs, I think he was guest on just about every major show in the 60's. He did the rounds on Twilight Zone, Gilligan's Island, Man From UNCLE, and countless others. He seemed to be quite versatile, adept at both silly comical roles, slimy villains, and panicked victims. he did an excellent job with his role in this episode, playing a man with a pathological and unrational hatred of the USA, a gangster with plenty of money and valuable possession, but no class or decency whatever.
The whole show is basically a revenge story. Collissi has entrapped American diplomat Dean Sherman (There's that name Sherman again, was he Cathy Sherman's father from There Was A Little Girl?). The incriminating evidence are photos of Sherman with Tilde, a model who is Collissi's mistress. She has evidently seduced Sherman, and Collissi threatens him with exposure unless he leaks information to Collissi, which apparently Collissi sells to the enemy side. Sherman is driven to suicide, and the guys are ordered by their superior Sam Drake (a short screen-timed but interesting character) to "deactivate" Collissi, in whatever way they see fit. "Throw him to the wolves", says Sam Drake.
Sherman was played by Alf Kjellin, who we know more intimately as a frequent director of several I Spy episodes. He looks the part, he looks exactly like what the popular picture of an American diplomat was for decades - a tall, istinguished looking, handsome, Ivy-League educated, man of the world. Mr. Kjellin's accent comes through in some of his dialogue, I am not sure where he was originally from, but he has a slight Scandinavian sounding accent when he speaks some of his lines. But he plays the despair of the character extremely well, especially when he says that line about "Fix me a weak drink. one that befits my character!". In spite of what he has done, Scotty (and the audience) can conjure up some genuine sympathy for him, though Kelly can barely hide his contempt and disgust.
Tilde is a played by an actress named Ulla Stromstedt, with who I am unfamiliar. She is one of the most beautiful women who guest starred in the series, lean, blonde, with an incredible figure and no warmth at all, except toward the second character who dies -- the photographer Magnussen. She plays the character well, and we even feel a bit sorry for her when she turns out
to be victim number 3.
Magnussen is played by Elisha Cook, Jr., a stalwart character actor who had memorable appearances in The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and some other classic films noir. Like his stature, his role is short, but he did a great job with it, switching from a tough exterior when he was standing up and showing Kelly and Scott that he was not afraid of them, but switching to genuine fear when Collissi shows up, of whom he is very much afraid - with good reason. At least Collissi had the guts to kill Magnussen himself instead of send someone to do it for him.
There is some wonderful location filming in this one, as is usual in the Italian based episodes. Great shots of the streets, sights, and cafes of The Eternal City. In fact, sidewalk cafes play a prominent role in this episode, being the venue in no less than 4 of the scenes.
The tension between Kelly and Scotty on one hand, and Sherman on the other make the first and second cafe scenes really hum. The sequence where the hired assassin (one of the oddest looking actors I've ever seen) follows Sherman around Rome, and the guy following them both is excellent, great scenery, and good by-play as the assassin walks past Sherman on the steps, and hides in an alley waiting to shoot him. There is some dubbed dialogue between Kelly and Scott at a street crossing which is very noticeable, but other wise the sequence is perfect.