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Half a Life


What do you get when you mix bar, a handsome stranger, and a lonely middle-aged woman? True love? Or is it just another recipe for disaster?



Air Dates

  • First Run - February 27, 1976
  • Repeat - July 18, 1976





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14 Responses to Episode 0439

A middle aged female professor is frustrated at her inability to hook a man. She and her roommate spend girls' nights out with other spinsters but one night the two go off to a bar and she is 'picked-up' by a charming and attractive man. The relationship develops to the point where she will do virtually anything for him. It becomes apparent that he is interested in more than just her money… she is privy to state secrets that he also wants!


An episode that demonstrates how sexist the 1970s were. the women in this show mope around b/c they aren't married - mistakening believing that a meaningful life can only be created in connection with another person. Instead of confronting this misconception head on, one falls pray to a scam artist - who, quite perceptively says "you don't love me, you love the idea of me."


Nice commentary on co-depency here, with an appropriate conclusion. Tony Roberts tends to play in the better stories, and this is no exception. Future host Tammy Grimes is good here too. Great news section preceding the recording I heard - Nixon visits China post-pardon, George Bush Sr. appointed CIA head and a presidential wanna be with the last name of Jackson states that "one day a woman will be in the Supreme Court". Times do change!

Mike in Grand Rapids

another great CBS show! This could be a lifetime movie

Gina Schackel

This is a good story. Easy to listen to. Decent plot. One of the better episodes.


As with so many of the CBSRMT episodes, this one imitates life very well. I particularly enjoyed the female voices.


Great episode. The voice acting was exceptional, especially from Tammy Grimes.


A pretty good drama with a happy ending (at least in my mind). I do agree with Gina that it could be a Lifetime movie (and perhaps already has been).


I'm sure this has been a Lifetime movie, many times over. Their specialty is Women As Victims. I don't see how looking like a young Spencer Tracy makes this guy attractive. Ol' Spence was not handsome, just a good actor. Co-dependency is a scary thing. Despite the annoying voice, Tammy Grimes is strong here. Tony Roberts is basically always good, and is in many of the best episodes here.


Even the "happy" ending in this one is kind of depressing.


Tammy Grimes and Tony Roberts are both good in their roles, but this story is awful, imo. A middle aged woman and her single friends sit around moping and pining for a man. Finally, Winnie meets someone (at a pick-up place) and she desperately and pathetically clings to him, stupidly falling for all his tricks. Also, I don't like Winnie's attitude toward her friends. She hates being with them, doesn't appreciate them, and says nasty things to them after she gets a guy. She rubs their loneliness and 'singledom' in their faces and acts snooty and superior. Personally, I think Winnie comes across as a very nasty, self centered person and I find myself not liking her character at all. I get the feeling that she mostly wants love so she can boast and feel superior to her friends. The guy sees through this and actually mentions it toward the end of the episode. I totally agree with his view. He sees what really makes her tick. Even though he is a jerk, I can kind of see why he picked her as a target, lol!


For those who are offended that this episode is sexist with women sitting around moping for a man, let me remind you of the 60's TV series The Lucy Show, where Lucy and Ethel are widowed or divorced women sitting around and moping for men! (The earlier episodes before Lucy works for Mr. Mooney at the bank). I recall that the critics loved the show, calling Lucille Ball TV's best comedian.


Who doesn’t long to have a significant other? Most unattached men long for a woman as well. I don’t think this is even remotely sexist. Please.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Sam Dann’s mystery story was definitely a dramatic tale, yet a romantic one that was easy to follow. Everything was going smoothly, up until the final scene in the final Act. I was expecting the main character to reveal something about her that would’ve shocked her lover since he revealed who he really was; let the tables turn on him and give everyone a shocking climax. Instead, she ended up back where she started as. Naming this episode as “Half A Life” is a good fit. Another way to title this, would be “Homely Girl, Lonely Girl” or “Larking Encounter” or “The Two Leftovers.” In E.G. Marshall’s Prologue, his intro was cut off; something to do with being lucky and be wiser later on? In ACT-1, he quoted journalist H.L. Mencken about his death/epitaph, which connects with our main character who happens to be a Homely Girl. In ACT-2, mentioning essayist Henry David Thoreau (who wrote the “Walden” book) in regards to a quiet desperation, which connects with our main character again. In ACT-3, after the so-so finale, our Host concluded to what our main character had settled for. In his Epilogue, he states that love is the greatest mystery of all. I think he should’ve said it is 1 of the greatest mysteries of all because there are other mysteries; such as the Afterlife, the number 13, Dreams, the Supernatural, the Extraterrestrial, and the Universe itself. Sound effects of the doors, phone ringing, car engine, traffic noise, background music at the bar, wind, background noise at the Bank, door buzzer, and classical music at the party were very supportive. The music tracks were helpful on making this story become more dramatic as it progresses. The best part in this, was the cast: Tammy Grimes (as Dr. Winifred Prentiss), Tony Roberts (as Paul Jones), Marian Haley (as Sue Anne), and Earl Hammond (as Mr. Mossman, the Bartender, and Mr. Starlight). Both Tony Roberts and Earl Hammond were terrific in their parts. And Marian Haley and Tammy Grimes were outstanding for playing “The Two Leftovers.” Marian Haley’s performance is memorable as her role in #0751-FIRE AND ICE. And Tammy Grimes’ performance is memorable as her role in #0545-THE QUEEN OF CATS. Check this episode out if you enjoy Romantic-Drama mysteries. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


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