Also known as Climax Mystery Theatre
Genre Anthology
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Allen Reisner
Ralph Nelson
Buzz Kulik
Paul Nickell
William H. Brown, Jr.
David Swift
Jack Smight
Don Medford
Anthony Barr
Presented by William Lundigan (1954–1956)
Mary Costa (1956–1958)
Theme music composer Leith Stevens
Composer(s) Jerry Goldsmith
Bernard Herrmann
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 166
Producer(s) Martin Manulis
Bretaigne Windust
Running time 45–48 minutes
Original channel CBS
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run October 7, 1954 (1954-10-07) – June 26, 1958 (1958-06-26)

Climax! (later known as Climax Mystery Theater) is an American anthology series that aired on CBS from 1954 to 1958. The series was hosted by William Lundigan and later co-hosted by Mary Costa. Many of the episodes were performed and broadcast live.


Notable episodes

In 1954, an episode of Climax! featured Ian Fleming's secret agent James Bond in a television adaptation of Casino Royale. It starred American Barry Nelson as American secret agent 'Jimmy Bond' and Peter Lorre as the villain Le Chiffre. This was the first screen adaptation of a James Bond novel, made before EON Productions acquired the Bond film rights - although EON would not, in fact, obtain the rights to Casino Royale until the late 1990s. This adaptation is available on DVD as a bonus feature on the MGM DVD release of the 1967 film adaptation of the novel, which is in every other respect a satire of the Bond genre.

The only other episode of Climax! available on DVD is a Gore Vidal penned adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, referred to on Climax! as simply "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde".[1] It stars Michael Rennie, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and Lowell Gilmore; it is available in the DVD box set "Classic Sci-Fi TV - 150 Episodes" from Mill Creek Entertainment.

In an earlier episode of Climax!, during an adaptation of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye, actor Tristram Coffin, playing a dead body, arose in shot and walked off stage. The event was widely covered in the media of the day, later becoming an urban legend that was attributed to Peter Lorre and the previously mentioned adaptation of Casino Royale.[2]


Season 1

  • The Long Goodbye
  • The Thirteenth Chair
  • Casino Royale
  • Sorry, Wrong Number
  • The Gioconda Smile
  • The After House
  • An Error In Chemistry
  • Epitaph for a Spy
  • The White Carnation
  • Nightmare In Copenhagen
  • The Bigger They Come
  • Escape From Fear
  • The Mojave Kid
  • The Leaf Out of the Book
  • The Valiant Men
  • The Box of Chocolates
  • South of the Sun
  • The Great Impersonation
  • The Darkest Hour
  • The Champion
  • Private Worlds
  • Flight 951
  • The First and the Last
  • The Deliverance of Sister Cecilia
  • No Stone Unturned
  • A Farewell to Arms
  • The Unimportant Man
  • The Dark Fleece
  • To Wake at Midnight
  • The Dance
  • Wild Stallion
  • The Escape of Mendes-France
  • The Healer
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • One Night Stand
  • Edge of Terror
  • Fear Strikes Out
  • Deal a Blow

Season 2

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Public Pigeon #1
  • Silent Decision
  • Night of Execution
  • Sailor On Horseback
  • Thin Air
  • House of Shadows
  • The Pink Cloud
  • Scheme to Defraud
  • A Promise to Murder
  • Portrait in Celluloid
  • A Man of Taste
  • The Passport
  • The Day They Gave the Babies Away
  • Bailout at 43,000 Feet
  • The Prowler
  • The Hanging Judge
  • The Secret of River Lane
  • Gamble on a Thief
  • The Fifth Wheel
  • Nightmare By Day
  • The Sound of Silence
  • The Louella Parsons Story
  • Pale Horse, Pale Rider
  • An Episode of Sparrows
  • Spin Into Darkness
  • The Lou Gehrig Story
  • Sit Down With Death
  • The Empty Room Blues
  • Flame-Out on T-6
  • The Shadow of Evil
  • Figures in Clay
  • Faceless Adversary
  • To Scream at Midnight
  • The Circular Staircase
  • A Trophy For Howard Davenport
  • Phone Call For Matthew Quade
  • Fear is the Hunter
  • Fury At Dawn
  • The Man Who Lost His Head
  • Child of the Wind
  • No Right to Kill
  • The 78th Floor
  • Throw Away the Cane
  • Dark Wall

Season 3

  • Bury Me Later
  • Burst of Violence
  • The Garsten Case
  • The Fog
  • Island in the City
  • Journey Into Fear
  • The Midas Touch
  • Night of the Heat Wave
  • Flight to Tomorrow
  • Night Shriek
  • The Chinese Game
  • The Secret Thread
  • Savage Portrait
  • Strange Hostage
  • Ten Minutes to Curfew
  • Carnival at Midnight
  • The Gold Dress
  • Circle of Destruction
  • The Trouble at Number 5
  • The Stalker
  • Stain of Honor
  • The Long Count
  • And Don't Ever Come Back
  • Night of a Rebel
  • Let It Be Me
  • Strange Sanctuary
  • Don't Touch Me
  • Mad Bomber
  • Avalanche at Devil's Pass
  • Strange Deaths at Burnleigh
  • Bait for the Tiger
  • The Hand of Evil
  • The Disappearance of Amanda Hale
  • Mr. Runyon of Broadway
  • The Man Who Stole the Bible
  • A Taste for Crime
  • The Trial of Captain Wirtz
  • False Witness
  • Payment for Judas
  • Walk a Tightrope
  • The High Jungle
  • The Giant Killer
  • Trail of Terror
  • Murder is a Witch
  • The Stranger Within
  • Deadly Climate

Season 4

  • Trial By Fire
  • The Secret of the Red Room
  • Necessary Evil
  • Along Came a Spider
  • Jacob and the Angels
  • Mask For The Devil
  • The Largest City in Captivity
  • Tunnel of Fear
  • Keep Me In Mind
  • Two Tests on Tuesday
  • A Matter of Life and Death
  • Murder Has a Deadline
  • The Devil's Brood
  • Hurricane Diane
  • To Walk the Night
  • Shadow of a Memory
  • Scream in Silence
  • Thieves of Tokyo
  • Sound of the Moon
  • Burst of Fire
  • Four Hours in White
  • The Secret Love of Johnny Spain
  • Albert Anastasia, His Life and Death
  • The Thief With the Big Blue Eyes
  • So Deadly My Love
  • The Great World and Timothy Colt
  • On the Take
  • The Volcano Seat
  • Shooting for the Moon
  • The Deadly Tattoo
  • The Big Success
  • The Disappearance of Daphne
  • Time of the Hanging
  • The Push-Button Giant
  • Spider Web
  • House of Doubt
  • Cabin B-13


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