Thursday, June 20, 2013

On DVD: Dollar a Second (1953)

People of my generation only know Jan Murray as a frequent panelist on game shows like Hollywood Squares & Break The Bank, but he was also a former host himself.

Murray helmed two game shows in the 50's, and both were included in Alpha Video's "Lost Quiz Shows of the 50's" single disc set. Both were also acquired by maverick producer Chuck Barris. Dollar A Second is the lesser known of the two shows, but lasted four years, from 1953-7. Barris attempted a pilot in 1981 that went unsold, which illustrates just how obscure the show has become.

In truth, aside from the rapid fire questions read by Murray to contestants, the stunts those players have to perform often will remind some of Truth or Consequences, which lasted much, much longer than Second did. Factor in the curiosity that Mogen David wine was a sponsor of Second, something you won't see today, except maybe on a risk-taking cable channel.

Following is a sample episode:

Soon enough, we'll take a look at Jan Murray's other game show, Treasure Hunt.

Rating: B-.

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