Four Star Playhouse (1952–1956)
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The Man in the Cellar 

A little girl who regularly talks to imaginary friends grows frustrated when her parents refuse to believe that there is a real man in the cellar.


Robert Florey


Gwen Bagni (screenplay) (as J. Gwen Bagni), Marc Brandel (story)


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Episode cast overview:
Charles Boyer ... Dr. Dumont
Fay Baker ... Claire
Beverly Washburn ... Janet
Mae Clarke ... Mrs. Braun (as Mae Clark)
John Doucette ... Moretti
Peter Raynolds Peter Raynolds ... Danny
Elaine Williams Elaine Williams ... Secretary
Donald Murphy Donald Murphy ... Mr. Reeves
Aline Towne ... Receptionist
Frank Gerstle ... Mr. Braun


A psychiatrist learns that a man he recently had committed to a mental hospital has escaped. He keeps in touch with the police, fearing the man will again try to kill his spouse. Meanwhile at home, Dr. Dumont humors his young daughter and all her talk of imaginary friends. The girl tells him about her newest friend: a man she says has just moved into their basement. Written by Jay Phelps <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

30 September 1954 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Four Star Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A misstep for an otherwise excellent series.
16 February 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This episode of "Four Star Playhouse" started off quite well but got bogged down later because the plot device required that a very brilliant psychiatrist (Charles Boyer) suddenly become very dim...the same goes for his wife.

When the show begins, a charming and brilliant psychiatrist seems to perform a miracle with a young boy and his father. Because of this, it's very odd that his next meeting is with a woman who thinks he's an idiot. She is inexplicably angry because the Doc had her husband institutionalized after he tried to murder her...and she is somehow angry at the doctor!

Later when he goes home, his young daughter keeps talking about a man living in their basement. Never once did either parent wonder if perhaps the man might not be imaginary but real! Again and again, the kid keeps dropping clues...and each time the parents ignore it. Eventually, the kid practically clobbers them upside the head until even these dummies can't avoid concluding that a mad man is in the house. Duh.

The last straw for me was when the wife yelled out "We'll all be killed thanks to your psychiatric nonsense"....couldn't have said it any better myself!

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