SUSPICION - Doomsday 1957
This episode is from the Alfred Hitchcock produced series,"Suspicion". The series ran from 1957-59.
In this episode we have Dan Duryea as a bank job artist. He is a smooth operator who only pulls a job once or twice a year. He poses as a big time cattle rancher who flies in for big cattle sales to establish a cover. He then slips away and does his real business.
He collects a different crew each time and plans the job out to the last detail. 10 years and he has never come close to being caught. Needless to say this new perfect plan turns out to be anything but. The crew includes such noir regulars as Robert Middleton, Bing Russell, Paul Birch, Edward Binns and Charles Bronson.
First thing to go wrong is that Binns recognizes Duryea. It seems they had been in the Army together 15 years earlier. A quick trip down a country road with a bullet to the back of Binn's head ends that loose end. Then one of the other men turns out to have an over-fondness for the bottle. Duryea plans the same end for him after the job.
Duryea, who likes things to go smooth and by the numbers, is now thinking about calling the whole robbery off. He just cannot shake that feeling that something is wrong. He decides to go ahead anyway. The job goes like clockwork and they make off with $300,000 in cash.
Duryea just makes it to the getaway car when he is dropped to the ground by a bullet in the back. He is grabbed up by one of the other holdup men and dumped into one of the getaway cars. They head to the hideout while Duryea is slowly bleeding to death. He figures it is one of the crew trying a double cross for all the loot. While listening to the radio Duryea hears of the capture of the men in the other car.
Then, there is a story about two men who, while arguing over a fishing boat, had exchanged several shots. It seems it was one of these bullets that hit Duryea. Duryea laughs and then drops dead. The perfect plan has a less than perfect outcome.
This is a nicely put together little episode with some good work from director Bernard Girard. Girard worked on quite a few series during the 1950s and early 60's. The story and screenplay was by Sy Bartlett. Bartlett was best known for the novel and screenplay "TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH". The d of p was Bud Thackery who was a long time fixture at Republic Studios. His work included, UNMASKED, NO MAN'S WOMAN, TERROR AT MIDNIGHT, ACCUSED OF MURDER and COOGAN'S BLUFF.