The Grey Nurse Said Nothing

Last updated
"The Grey Nurse Said Nothing"
Playhouse 90 episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 5
Directed byRon Winston
Teleplay by Sumner Locke Elliott
Produced by Fred Coe
Original air date26 November 1959
Running time90 mins
Episode chronology
"The Hidden Image"
"The Tunnel"
List of episodes

"The Grey Nurse Said Nothing" is a television play written by Sumner Locke Elliott. It was based on elements of the Shark Arm case but is mostly fictitious. The play was screened in the US in 1959 [1] as an episode of Playhouse 90 . It was performed on American and Australian television. [2]



A shark is captured and throws up an identifiable human arm, with a tattoo. It is presumed the arm belongs to a boatman. A local tycoon is arrested for murder.

Witnesses at the trial include the tycoon's alcoholic wife, whom the boatman tried to seduce, and a local school teacher in love with the boatman.



The play was set in Australia, a location that was uncommon on American TV at the time. [2]

The show had a cast of 120. Sumner Locke Elliot provided the sounds of a kookaburra because none were available; he imitated one in the studio. [3]


The Los Angeles Times called it a "suspenseful telecast" in which the cast "gave universally good performances." [4]

The Chicago Daily Tribune called it "thoroughly enjoyable". [5]

Related Research Articles

George Peppard American actor

George Peppard was an American actor. He is best remembered for his role as struggling writer Paul Varjak in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, and for playing commando leader Col. John "Hannibal" Smith in the 1980s television series The A-Team.

Judith Anderson Australian stage and screen actress (1897–1992)

Dame Frances Margaret Anderson,, known professionally as Judith Anderson, was an Australian actress who had a successful career in stage, film and television. A pre-eminent stage actress in her era, she won two Emmy Awards and a Tony Award and was also nominated for a Grammy Award and an Academy Award. She is considered one of the 20th century's greatest classical stage actors.

Sondra Locke American actress and director (1944–2018)

Sandra Louise Anderson, professionally known as Sondra Locke, was an American actress and director. She made her film debut in 1968 in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to star in such hit films as Willard, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Every Which Way but Loose, Bronco Billy, Any Which Way You Can and Sudden Impact. She worked often with Clint Eastwood, who was her companion for 14 years. She also directed four films, notably Impulse. Locke's autobiography, The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey, was published in 1997.

<i>The Bob Cummings Show</i> American television sitcom 1955–1959

The Bob Cummings Show is an American sitcom starring Bob Cummings, which was broadcast from January 2, 1955, to September 15, 1959. The Bob Cummings Show was the first series to debut as a midseason replacement.

Jim Hutton American actor

Dana James "Jim" Hutton was an American actor in film and television best remembered for his role as Ellery Queen in the 1970s TV series of the same name, and his screen partnership with Paula Prentiss in four films, starting with Where the Boys Are. He is the father of actor Timothy Hutton.

Edd Byrnes American actor

Edward Byrne Breitenberger, known professionally as Edd Byrnes, was an American actor, best known for his starring role in the television series 77 Sunset Strip. He also was featured in the 1978 film Grease as television teen-dance show host Vince Fontaine, and was a charting recording artist with "Kookie, Kookie ".

The Shark Arm case refers to a series of incidents that began in Sydney, Australia, on 25 April 1935 when a human arm was regurgitated by a captive 3.5-metre tiger shark, subsequently leading to a murder investigation and trial.

Janet Munro British actress

Janet Neilson Horsburgh, known as Janet Munro, was a British actress. She won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the film Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959) and received a BAFTA Film Award nomination for her performance in the film Life for Ruth (1962).

Guy Doleman New Zealand actor

Guy Doleman was a New Zealand actor.

Sumner Locke Elliott was an Australian novelist and playwright.

Jean Willes American actress

Jean Willes was an American film and television actress. She appeared in approximately 65 films in her 38-year career.

Reginald Thomas Lye, was an Australian actor who worked extensively in Australia and England. He was one of the busiest Australian actors of the 1950s, appearing in the majority of locally shot features at the time, as well as on stage and radio. Lee Robinson called him "one of the best character actors in Australia." He moved to England in the early 1960s,, but returned to Australia when the film industry revived in the 1970s.

<i>Tammy Tell Me True</i> 1961 film by Harry Keller

Tammy Tell Me True is a 1961 American Eastmancolor comedy film directed by Harry Keller and starring Sandra Dee and John Gavin, Charles Drake, Virginia Grey and Julia Meade.

The General Motors Hour was an Australian radio and television drama series.

Ken Scott (actor)

Ken Scott was an American actor best known for his work in films in the 1950s and on television after that.

David Cahill was an Australian actor, writer producer and director, notable for his work directing in TV in the 1950s through to 1970s. It has been argued he was one of the best directors working in Australian TV.

Thunder on Sycamore Street 3rd episode of the first season of The General Motors Hour

"Thunder on Sycamore Street" is a 1960 Australian television play directed by David Cahill. It was based on a script by Reginald Rose.

Ric Hutton (1926–1996) was an Australian actor. He worked in Britain, Australia and the United States of America. Best known in Australia as the voice of " Black Jack Seager" in the hit Radio series "The Castlereagh Line" written by Ross Napier The Castlereagh Line

"The Grey Nurse Said Nothing" is a television play episode from the Australian televison series The General Motors Hour. It was produced and directed by David Cahill. It was made by Channel Seven who later called "the most ambitious dramatic production ever attempted in Australia... [written by] one of the world's foremost authors of television plays and the cast is Ihe largest ever assembled for an Australian television dramatic production.... the greatest care has been taken to achieve the maximum possible standard in the production of the play which covered a total period of approximately eight weeks."


  1. Television Preview The Washington Post, Times Herald ]26 Nov 1959: D23.
  2. 1 2 Vagg, Stephen (17 November 2020). "Forgotten Australian TV Plays: The Grey Nurse Said Nothing". Filmink.
  3. "A TV drama recalls the Shark Arm Murder". TV Times. 9 June 1960. pp. 8–9.
  4. Shanley, John P. (27 November 1959). "TV Review: Murder Trial Is Basis for Suspenseful Show". New York Times. p. 59.
  5. Staccato Format Is Still Bad Anderson, Robert. Chicago Daily Tribune 1 Dec 1959: b10.