This is episode 2 of the 26 episode run of the, 1960 –1961 series, DANTE. Howard Duff plays a reformed gambler who is opening a nightclub in San Francisco.
It is opening night at DANTE'S nightclub and the place is packed. In the crowd is a local Police detective, Mort Mills, as well as rival mobsters, Jack Kruschen and Damien O'Flynn. Hal Needham is tagging along as O'Flynn's gunsel..
The Police are there because they figure Duff's club is just a front for a gambling club. The mobsters both assume the same and want a piece of the action.
Duff has words in his office with all three, first, detective Mills, then mobster Kruschen, and lastly, gangster O'Flynn. Duff tells them he is running a straight business now, and that his gambling days are behind him.
The first two say OK and return to the bar for drinks. O'Flynn though, has decided to cut himself in for a piece of Duff's club. Duff tells him to get stuffed and shows him the office door.
O'Flynn says that Duff will regret not taking the "deal".
Later that evening, while Duff is glad-handing the crowd he notices O'Flynn's pet gunman, Needham, has disappeared. He sees him upstairs with a revolver taking aim at O'Flynn's mob rival, Kruschen.
The last thing Duff needs is a killing on his first night open. The Police are just looking for an excuse to close him for good.
Duff hotfoots it up the stairs taking three steps at a time. He tackles Needham, and the two begin a very well staged bout of fisticuffs. Duff prevails with the final knock down. He hands Needham and his gun over to Mills, who also scoops up O'Flynn on his way out.
This is a pretty good half hour's worth of entertainment.
Also in the cast are Alan Mowbray, Tom D'Andrea, Norman Alden, Carol Kent and Nan Peterson. Some might remember Nan Peterson from b- film, LOUISIANA HUSSEY.
Hal Needham turned into one of Hollywood's more famous stunt-men. He also became a director of action comedy films, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, HOOPER, CANNONBALL RUN etc.
The director of this fine tidbit is, Ida Lupino. Duff and Lupino were married at the time.
Lupino starred in such films as, OUT OF THE FOG, LADIES IN RETIREMENT, HIGH SIERRA, ROADHOUSE, LUST FOR GOLD, WOMAN IN HIDING, ON DANGEROUS GROUND, BEWARE MY LOVELY, PRIVATE HELL 36, WOMEN'S PRISON, THE BIG KNIFE and WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS.
As a director, she helmed, THE HITCH-HIKER, OUTRAGE, THE BIGAMIST as well as 30 plus TV episodes.