While a rumpled Philip Marlowe may have been the typical private detective of the 1940s, Peter Gunn was definitely the epitome of one in the '50s. Cool, composed, and never, ever with a wrinkle in his Italian suit, Peter Gunn was as sophisticated as they come. When he wasn't solving crimes he was dating the beautiful lounge singer Edie Hart, or sipping a martini at his favorite jazz club, Mother's.
Created by the hugely talented Blake Edwards for television, Peter Gunn relied on a talented cast of actors to bring its characters to life. Strong, debonair and wickedly handsome, Craig Stevens was cast as detective Peter Gunn. The lovely Lola Albright played Gunn's ever-loyal girlfriend, Edie, while humor was added with the addition of character actor Herschel Bernardi, as Police Lt. Jacoby.
Purely (and effectively) designed to capture a younger, hipper audience, the theme music for Peter Gunn was created by Henry Mancini and became a hit in its own right. Edwards went on to create the cool cat Pink Panther for the big screen and again tap the genius of Mancini to come up with a hit theme song for that film.
Sample from the Peter Gunn Theme,
by Henri Mancini
The scripts for the Peter Gunn television show featured dialog that was short and snappy and had as much style as substance. The show ran for two years on NBC and one on ABC, and proved that it was not just important to solve a crime, but to look good at the same time.