This is a "live" episode of the long running anthology series SUSPENSE, which ran for 260 episodes between 1949 and 1954; it was a television offshoot of the popular radio series of the same name.
The setting is the house of a small town doctor. It is 3am and there is a storm raging outside. The bell for the door starts to ring. The doctor (Mark Roberts) goes to answer. He opens the door and in pops Hume Cronyn. "I need help for a fellow out in my car," he says.
Cronyn and a woman (Cara Williams) return carrying a wounded man (Dennis O'Keefe) between them. Roberts sees that it is a gunshot wound and reaches for the phone. A pistol stuck in his face by Cronyn persuades him otherwise.
"You are going to fix him up or else!" Cronyn growls. They lay the man on the examination table. Roberts does a quick once over and tells Cronyn the man needs a hospital.
Just then, Roberts' wife and small girl (Charlotte Keane, Sandy Wiggerston) come down the stairs. They had been woken by the racket and came down to see what the problem was. Cronyn waves the pistol and tells them to "shut up!"
Roberts calls Keane over to help, explaining to Cronyn that she is a nurse and he needs her help.
Now we find out that the wounded man is Cronyn's brother and that Williams is his sister in-law. Williams is really upset with Cronyn. "We were happy till you showed up! You had to talk him into pulling a hold-up! Now look at him!" she shouts.
Just then, the door buzzer goes off. A voice from outside asks if everything is OK? Roberts tells Cronyn that it is the local cop. He must have seen the lights and stopped. "Answer the door and get rid of him," says Cronyn. Roberts does as he is told and tells the cop (Arthur O'Connell) that it is just a minor problem with a patient.
O'Connell steps inside to shake off the rain. He sees Cronyn and asks him his name. Cronyn gives him a false one and tells O'Connell they had stopped to get a friends' twisted ankle wrapped. O'Connell says there was a botched hold-up in town. It seems a guard was killed and they are looking for two men and a woman.
O'Connell sees the other two and goes for his revolver. They match the description of the wanted hold up bunch. Cronyn is quicker off the mark and puts three slugs in O'Connell, killing him.
Cronyn waves the pistol again and tells Roberts to get the wounded man ready to move. Roberts, his wife (Keane) and Williams go over to O'Keefe. He is, however, dead as the proverbial doornail. Cronyn sees the look on their faces and rushes over.
Cronyn grabs up Doc's daughter. "You failed to save my brother, so I'm taking her along as a shield." As Roberts and Keane plead for the girl's life, Williams steps up behind Cronyn, and using the dead cop's gun, gives Cronyn an unhealthy overdose of lead. Williams has had enough of her dear brother in-law.
Cronyn is quite good here as the slightly "loose" in the head gunman.
Roberts had roles in GILDA, DEAD RECKONING, EXPOSED, THE INVISIBLE WALL, DETECTIVE STORY and SHED NO TEARS. Williams had bits in LAURA, BOOMERANG! and KNOCK ON ANY DOOR.
(BTW, the actor listed here, as Dennis O'Keefe, is NOT the actor we know from RAW DEAL, T-MEN etc.)
The director was television vet Robert Stevens. The screenplay was by Charles Robinson from a story by popular pulp writer Henry Kane.
(Note: in one of the scenes, a cameraman can be seen pushing a camera out of the way. Early TV was a work in progress!)