Taking off from my recently published list of my 50 most wanted films, this is the start of a new series which I’m calling Most Wanted Films Found (MWFF). As some of the films on that list are easier to track down than others, I decided that, once the list was up, I would try to start crossing films off of it. And I decided to start with a film which I had already missed one window of opportunity to see and wasn’t going to waste another: Ernest Pintoff’s 1965 comedy, Harvey Middleman, Fireman.
First, a quick rundown of the story:
Harvey Middleman (Eugene Troobnick) is a New York City fireman, living a cheerfully average life in the New Jersey suburbs with his wife Harriet (Arlene Golonka) and two young children. One day, responding to an apartment fire, he rescues pretty young Lois (Patricia Harty), and they impulsively kiss. Harvey grows infatuated with her, and the feeling seems to be mutual; meanwhile, he begins to lose his temper at Harriet and his co-workers more frequently.
While trying to decide just what to do about his feelings for Lois, Harvey decides he needs professional help, and consults Mrs. Koogleman (Hermione Gingold), a psychiatrist working for the city health department, who seems more than a bit preoccupied with her own affairs.