Don Corey and Jed Sills operate Checkmate, Inc., a very high priced detective agency in San Francisco. Helping them protect the lives of their clients is British criminologist (once an Oxford professor) Carl Hyatt.

Creator:

Eric Ambler
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



2   1  
1962   1961   1960  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Secret Agent (1964–1967)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

John Drake (Patrick McGoohan) is a special operative for M9, specializing in security assignments against any subversive element which threatened world peace.

Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Peter Madden, Earl Cameron
Mission: Impossible (1966–1973)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An elite covert operations unit carries out highly sensitive missions subject to official denial in the event of failure, death or capture.

Stars: Peter Graves, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris
The 39 Steps (1935)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
Window on Main Street (1961–1962)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Cam Brooks, a writer, returns to Millsberg, his hometown, and renews his friendship with the editor of the local newspaper, Lloyd Ramsey. The inhabitants of the town were subjects of Cam's ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Young, Constance Moore, Ford Rainey
Frontier Circus (1961–1962)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A one-ring circus travels through the American West in the 1880's.

Stars: Chill Wills, John Derek, Richard Jaeckel
Ichabod and Me (TV Series 1961)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Life in a small New England town, as seen through the eyes of the current and formers editors of the local newspaper.

Stars: George Chandler, Robert Sterling, Christine White
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

The Wiere Brothers were an internationally known trio of slapstick comedians. In this series, the brothers worked for Henry Slocum in a Hollywood prop shop along with Kitty Mathews, ... See full summary »

Stars: Herbert Wiere, Harry Wiere, Sylvester Wiere
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

German raider, using various disguises, forces British ship to surrender. Story told from German point of view.

Director: Duilio Coletti
Stars: Van Heflin, Charles Laughton, Mylène Demongeot
The Law and Mr. Jones (1960–1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Abraham Lincoln Jones is a lawyer assisted by his law clerk, young C.E. Carruthers, and his secretary Marsha Spear. His cases usually did not involve violence but rather "white collar" ... See full summary »

Stars: James Whitmore, Janet De Gore, Conlan Carter
Hennesey (1959–1962)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

United States Navy physician, Lt. Charles W. "Chick" Hennesey and Navy nurse Lt. Martha Hale are assigned to the hospital at the U.S. Naval Station in San Diego, California.

Stars: Jackie Cooper, Abby Dalton, Roscoe Karns
Checkmate I (2015)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.8/10 X  

Six people are thrown together during an elaborate bank heist where any move can alter the outcome. Is it coincidence, or are they merely pawns in a much bigger game.

Director: Timothy Woodward Jr.
Stars: Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Sean Astin
Checkmate (1935)
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An under-cover detective lodges with a family as he tries to foil a gang of jewellery thieves.

Director: George Pearson
Stars: Felix Aylmer, Evelyn Foster, Sally Gray
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Anthony George ...  Don Corey 70 episodes, 1960-1962
Doug McClure ...  Jed Sills 70 episodes, 1960-1962
Sebastian Cabot ...  Dr. Carl Hyatt 70 episodes, 1960-1962
Edit

Storyline

Don Corey and Jed Sills operate Checkmate, Inc., a very high priced detective agency in San Francisco. Helping them protect the lives of their clients is British criminologist (once an Oxford professor) Carl Hyatt.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two daring private eyes head off violent crimes in this thrilling and unique new series by famed mystery author Eric Ambler (season 1)

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ajedrez fatal See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jamco Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(70 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Car 54, Where Are You?: Quiet! We're Thinking (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Three engaging series leads, two became stars
21 October 2006 | by Cheyenne-BodieSee all my reviews

Checkmate Inc. was an elite San Francisco firm that would prevent (or checkmate) a crime before it occurred. Don Corey (Anthony George) was the owner of the firm and Jed Sills (Doug McClure) was his young associate. Dr. Carl Hyatt (Sebastian Cabot) was a criminologist at a local university who served as a consultant to Checkmate. All three actors worked as a team in each episode, rather than alternating as episode stars. Sebastian Cabot was the standout, but all three actors were very appealing, and their interactions made the show compelling.

Checkmate Inc. worked out of Don Corey's beautiful Nob Hill bachelor pad. The set for this apartment was sensational, and was almost a fourth character. I really loved that apartment. I waited for the scenes that took place in Corey's elegant home, hoping to get a different angle on it. (Checkmate's John J. Lloyd won the Emmy for Outstanding Art Direction and Scenic Design.)

The three leads probably weren't paid much money, but the producers splurged on guest stars. A cool group of actors: Lee Marvin, Inger Stevens, Peter Lorre, Claire Bloom, Dan Duryea, Cyd Charisse, Richard Conte, Terry Moore, David Janssen, Angie Dickinson, Jack Lord, Elizabeth Montgomery, Charles Laughton, Tina Louise, Robert Lansing, Susan Oliver and Ralph Bellamy were a few.

My favorite episode was "The Murder Game", an Agatha Christie type story by Douglas Heyes ("Kitten With a Whip") that had an undercurrent of dark humor. A famed criminal lawyer (John Williams), who never lost a capital case, is dying. He learns that one of the clients he got off on a murder charge was really guilty. The lawyer invites several of his former clients to his house for a party, including the guilty one. He plans to murder the murderer. The lawyer also invites his former colleagues Don Corey and Carl Hyatt, and challenges them to stop him. "Checkmate" was on Saturday nights its first season, right after "Perry Mason", who the lawyer might have resembled.

Thriller writer Eric Ambler created this show. Ambler was married to "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" producer Joan Harrison, who may have produced some of the early episodes.

John Williams received a Grammy nomination for the striking theme music. Saul Bass created the dazzling opening title credits.

Robert Lansing and Robert Sterling auditioned for the lead role of Don Corey along with Anthony George. Lansing was the choice of Universal executive Richard Lewis who developed the show, but CBS president Jim Aubrey didn't like Lansing's looks.

The Doug McClure character was originally going to be a woman, to be played by the lovely Joan O'Brien.

In the second episode of the second season, a new regular was mysteriously added. Jack Betts played investigator Chris Devlin. Betts had the tall, dark and handsome looks of Anthony George. Maybe George was having contract disputes with Universal, or maybe he had health issues. Or maybe Universal already had plans to move Doug McClure over to "The Virginian" the next season. Jack Betts had the lead in his first episode (with guest star Tony Randell) but after that he didn't get much screen time. I'm only sure of him being in one other episode (with guest star James Whitmore.) Jack Betts is still a very busy working actor ("Spiderman").

For me, this show jumped the shark the second season when "Checkmate" moved out of Don Corey's posh apartment into an expensive office suite. It just wasn't the same without that Nob Hill apartment. But for its first season, "Checkmate" was my favorite show, along with Rod Taylor's "Hong Kong".

Aaron Spelling tried to do a remake of "Checkmate" in 1970 called "The Most Deadly Game". George Maharis, Inger Stevens and Ralph Bellamy starred in the pilot. With that cast (two of whom were veterans of "Checkmate"), it should have worked. But even with Joan Harrison as one of the line producers, the execution was nowhere near as good as "Checkmate". Yvette Mimieux replaced Inger Stevens after her death.


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 8 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed