Kraft Suspense Theatre (1963–1965)
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Charlie, He Couldn't Kill a Fly 

An alcoholic, loudmouth, unemployed man on the verge of losing his wife and son is arrested for murder. He actually is a witness to who committed the crime but no one except a family friend... See full summary »


Bernard Girard


Irv Pearlberg (as Irving Pearlberg)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Keenan Wynn ... Charlie Kling
Beverly Garland ... JoAnne Kling
Richard Kiley ... Lou Franklin
Michael Burns ... Frankie Kling
Berkeley Harris Berkeley Harris ... Pete Francis
Myron Healey ... Lt. Bill Thaler
Joan Staley ... Beth / prostitute addict
Noam Pitlik Noam Pitlik ... Benny Galati
Walter Brooke ... Spinner / addict in bar
Roy Glenn ... Piano Player
Darryl Richard Darryl Richard ... Ralph
Elaine Earl Elaine Earl ... Nan
Frank Evans ... Joe
Joseph Mell Joseph Mell ... Harry
Tony Franke Tony Franke ... Jonesy


An alcoholic, loudmouth, unemployed man on the verge of losing his wife and son is arrested for murder. He actually is a witness to who committed the crime but no one except a family friend believes him to be innocent. He becomes a hero to his neighbors as the murdered man was a drug dealer and begins to revel in the glory. When his friend finds the real killer it may be too late as the "hero" is now fully prepared to go to prison. Written by dubchi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

7 May 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Roncom Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Pathé)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Goodbye, Charlie
7 December 2009 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

Poor Charlie, an alcoholic loudmouth whom nobody likes, not even his wife and son, sees a murderer run out an apartment while in a drunken stupor, and is himself arrested for the murder, as he was standing over the dead man, in a daze, when the neighbors arrived to see what the commotion was about. Things go from bad to worse, as we learn that Charlie's wife is two-timing him with a guy who, as things turn out, is the only person who believes in his innocence. Even Charlie's wife thinks he's guilty, as the murdered man was a small time local drug dealer who'd sold their teenage son some reefer a while back and whom Charlie had once said he'd like to kill.

This is an above average episode of the often excellent Kraft Suspense Theater. There are some interesting plot twists, as Charlie (at last) bonds with his son after he's accused of the crime and everyone in the neighborhood regards him as a hero because he killed a dope dealer. Of course he didn't do it, but he enjoys his newfound fame, and actually begins to sober up and take responsibility for his actions. Alas, Charlie, though aware of his innocence, has decided to admit to the crime, as this has caused people to for the first time in his life treat him with respect. The tragedy and paradox in this is that Charlie, a man who's spent his adult life dreaming and drinking (his wife supports him), evading responsibility as husband and father, now that he's earned some respect, takes responsibility alright, but for something he didn't do. It's like he's gone three quarters of the way to becoming a "new man", with that last quarter the toughest of all to work through.

There's a lot to like in this episode, and some subtlety and sophistication in the way the characters develop: Charlie's wife almost immediate refusal to believe in her husband's innocence suggests that perhaps she never had faith in Charlie to begin with, which tell us a thing or two about the dynamic of their marriage. The man whom the wife is seeing is a nice guy who, though he may be cheating with another man's wife, also wants to see some kind of justice done for the guy so as to at least do a good deed for a man whose marriage he's in the process of destroying. More than anyone, this guy knows that Charlie, for all his flaws, wouldn't kill a fly.

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