8.3/10
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13 user 5 critic

M Squad 

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | TV Series (1957–1960)
The hard-hitting adventures of tough Lieutenant Frank Ballinger, a member of the Chicago Police Department's M Squad, an elite crime-fighting unit.
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3   2   1  
1960   1959   1958   1957  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Lee Marvin ...  Detective Lt. Frank Ballinger / ... 117 episodes, 1957-1960
Paul Newlan ...  Police Capt. Grey 103 episodes, 1957-1960
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Storyline

Captain Grey headed an elite Detective squad in the Chicago, Illinois Police Department dedicated to fighting organized crime. Lieutenant Frank Ballinger was one of the police officers who worked alone to arrest the villains. Written by J.E. McKillop <jack-mckillop@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballinger de Chicago See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(117 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The show was inspired by the exploits of legendary Chicago crime fighter Detective Superintendent Joseph Morris. Detective Lieutenant Frank Pape, who worked for Morris, served as a Technical Advisor on the show, without getting credit, however, because of his active status within the Chicago Police Department, which banned police moonlighting. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Frank Ballinger: [spoken in voiceover near beginning of each episode, as he tells audience about a recently committed crime] My name is Frank Ballinger, detective-lieutenant, M Squad, a special detail of the Chicago police.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From M Squad
Composed by Count Basie (from September 1958)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They Don't Make 'Em Like This Any More
4 July 2010 | by kayaker36See all my reviews

Straight out of the James M. Cain hard boiled school of crime fiction (minus the sex, of course) this was TV by men for men. Each episode began and ended with a pithy remark or two by the hero/narrator Detective-Leut. Frank Ballinger about "my town"--Chicago, that is.

Oddly, this fifty-plus year old series can still provide insights and observations that seem fresh, about police work, about human nature in general. The tough, minimalist dialog contains lines that make you want to write them down for future use.

Lee Marvin is perfect. He was only mid-thirties when this series was shot but looks somewhat older, or anyway more mature, with his lived-in face and prematurely white hair. Marvin personifies toughness but he's no Steve McQueen. That is, he can handle a line of dialog articulately, use his voice like a woodwind, yet lose none of his manliness.

The only aspect of the character of Lieut. Ballinger that is a bit unrealistic is his almost monkish attitude toward women--imposed on the character due to the prevailing broadcast standards of the time. In this series women are mostly trouble, or else the grieving widow of a police officer or the wife of a criminal, astonishingly naive about what her man really does.

Without all the technical advances of today's television production, this show accomplished more with just tight writing, solid acting and straightforward directing.


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