This was an episode of the 1953 to 55 police series, THE MAN BEHIND THE BADGE. Each was a story from a different American city about a crime. The episodes show how the crime was committed, and how the local Police solved the case. Charles Bickford would give a short blurb at the start, and finish of each tale about the men involved.
This week's episode is set in Portland Oregon.
The police have been called in to stop a string of vicious robberies. A pair of Halloween masked thugs are hitting small businesses at closing time. One rifles the cash drawer while the other applies a healthy dose of pistol butt to the proprietor. Don Haggerty and William Boyett are the police detectives assigned to the case.
They check out the usual dives, bars and low-rent rooming houses but keep coming up empty. One of the last places they check is a soup-kitchen and flop-house ran by a street preacher named "Brother Daniel".Strother Martin plays the preacher who is only too happy to show the police around the mission. He offers to inform the police if he hears anything of interest.
That same night there is another robbery and beating. This time however the store clerk, William Schallert, manages to pull the mask off one of the bandits. Schallert, though bloodied and battered, gives Haggerty and Boyett the lead they need to make an id. They follow the trail which leads them back to Strother's mission. They find the suspect, Claude Akins, holed up in one of the rooms.
A quick exchange of gunfire and Akins is killed. But who is the other bandit? A quick look around turns up all they need to put the pinch on brother Martin. The pair had been using the mission as an effective cover for their robbery spree. A 50' style police procedural with a twist. The cast does some good work here, particularly Strother Martin, who steals the show as the bible thumping low-life gunman.
This quick paced and rather violent episode was directed by, Harold Daniels. Daniels is known to noir fans as the helmsman of 1951's ROADBLOCK with Charles McGraw.