Fame Is the Name of the Game
|Fame Is the Name of the Game|
|Based on||Three Women
by Tiffany Thayer
|Written by||Carol Sobieski|
|Screenplay by||Ranald MacDougall|
|Directed by||Stuart Rosenberg|
|Theme music composer||Benny Carter|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Editor(s)||Edward W. Williams|
|Cinematography||John F. Warren|
|Running time||100 min|
|Production company(s)||Universal TV|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal TV Distribution|
|Followed by||The Name of the Game|
Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966) is an American TV-movie that aired on NBC and served as the pilot episode of the subsequent series The Name of the Game. It was directed by Stuart Rosenberg. It was produced by Ranald MacDougall, who also wrote the teleplay, from the novel Three Women by Tiffany Thayer.
The film stars Anthony Franciosa as investigative journalist Jeff Dillon. It also presents the screen debut of 20-year-old Susan Saint James as Peggy Chan, Dillon's new editorial assistant. (In the series, St. James's character is renamed Peggy Maxwell, and she is the research assistant to all three of the rotating lead characters.) In the film, Jeff Dillon writes for Fame magazine, a publication of Janus Enterprises, and Glenn Howard (George Macready) is just the managing editor. In the subsequent series, Dillon writes for People magazine, a division of Howard Publications, and Glenn Howard (Gene Barry) is head of the whole company.
In the weeks before the telefilm's first broadcast, NBC ran an unprecedented blitz of TV ads which erroneously billed Fame is the Name of the Game as television's first "world premiere" of a "major motion picture". The film garnered phenomenal ratings leading to the spin-off series.
An investigative reporter looks into the murder of a call girl. His investigation unearths her diary, with the names of many prominent people in it. He sets out to find her killer from among the names contained in the diary.
Anthony Franciosa as Jeff Dillon
Jill St. John as Leona Purdy
Jack Klugman as Ben Welcome
George Macready as Glenn Howard (replaced by Gene Barry in the subsequent series)
Jack Weston as Griffin
Susan Saint James as Peggy Chan (Peggy Maxwell in the series)
Lee Bowman as Cruikshank
Robert Duvall as Eddie Franchot
Jay C. Flippen as Dizzy Shaner
Nicholas Colasanto as Lieutenant Lewis
- Marill, Alvin H. Movies Made for Television, The Telefeature and the Mini-Series 1964-1986. New York, 1987, New York Zoetrope. Page 130.