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Harvey Middleman, Fireman (1965)

Harvey Middleman (Gene Troobnick) is a happy fireman. He’s been a fireman for 14 years and never wanted to be anything else. He wanted to be a fireman ever since the blaze in the 8th grade when he rescued Dorothy Popovitch.

He’s also a happy husband (he married his high school sweetheart), father to two kids and homeowner (his house in Jersey has a sign outside that says “The Middlemans live here”) – until he gets himself into a predicament.

Harvey has a love affair with Lois (Patricia Harty), a beautiful blonde woman who he rescues from a burning building, impulsively kisses, and asks to lunch. Ecstasy is brief, however, and he squirms in a guilt complex before being loosed from the shackles of illicit love in an amusing way, leaving him a chastened and wiser man.

Hermione Gingold is good for laughs as professional family counsellor Mrs Koogleman, from whom Harvey seeks a salve for his feelings of guilt.

Arlene Golonka, with her funny little voice and cute face, is a joy as Harriet – the wife who watches and waits and is rewarded for her controlled patience.

Ruth Jaroslow is seen briefly as Harvey’s mother, who wanted her only son to be a doctor and still thinks he is not too old at 35 to start medical school.

Will Mackenzie is handsome young fireman, Dinny, and Charles Durning is the older fireman, Dooley, who always wanted to be a priest.

Besides writing the story and directing the film (his first long-player), Ernest Pintoff composed the musical score and – with Robert L Lawrence – co-produced for Columbia Pictures.

Harvey Middleman
Gene Troobnick
Mrs Koogleman
Hermione Gingold
Patricia Harty
Harriet Middleman
Arlene Golonka
Will Mackenzie
Harvey’s Mother
Ruth Jaroslow
Charles Durning
Peter Carew
Stanley Myron Handelman
Trudy Bordoff
Neil Rouda
Comet Receptionist
Gigi Chevalier
Stacy Graham
Mr Koogleman
Maurice Shrog

Ernest Pintoff