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Barry K. Barnes
An engaging crime drama with welcome bits of humor
PC 49, Archibald Berkeley-Willoughby, is walking his beat on a bitterly cold evening. He thinks how quiet and boring his task is; the tedium is broken by his girlfriend Joan who brings him a thermos of coffee. And then a gang of thieves make off with a truck filled with 200 cases of export whiskey, killing the Cullen's Company guard as they flee. Soon thereafter Archie and Joan are having tea at Ma Brady's (not Ma Benson as listed in the IMDb credits) a diner frequented by truck drivers. While there driver Ted Burton sees that his truck filled with a load of cigarettes is being stolen and takes off after the thieves and is unfortunately shot for his efforts. There have been six truck robberies within the month and Archie, taking on the persona of known (and now dead) thug Vince Kelly, infiltrates the gang. The gang's leader, the cold Barney, does not completely trust Archie and tells him that for his first robbery job he will have a partner, a thug named Skinny. Here things get dicey as Skinny was a pal of the real Kelly. Archie also learns that Barney is not the top boss of the gang and he is determined to find out who the real boss is. This is a thoroughly enjoyable B movie. It is suspenseful but also has some humor. One of the funniest bits is when Sgt. Wright meets one of thugs, Fingers, at Ma Brady's. Fingers has the habit of making swans out of tinfoil. Wright sees a swan that Fingers has made and comments on how much his daughter would like the swan. Fingers gives him the swan and when leaving Wright says to him "Thanks for giving me the bird." I don't know if that expression was commonly used then as it is now but if it was, that is quite a risqué, and funny, line. Hugh Latimer and Patricia Cutts were excellent in their roles of Archie and Joan. Joan is refreshingly feisty and willing to weigh into fighting the thieves. The supporting cast is also very good. The show ends on a humorous note as PC 49 returns to walking a beat. I much preferred this movie to its sequel, A Case for PC 49. Good enough to watch a second time.
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