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Ann Morgan Guilbert
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Andy Griffith, Ida Lupino, Michael Brandon, James A. Watson, Tim McIntire headline this rather unseen television film from 1972. Griffith plays a super in for a New York apartment block who gets himself in deep trouble. Griffith's wife, Ida Lupino, is going out for the night to stay with her ill sister. Griffith figures on a night out at the local bar for a few drinks, is in order.
At the bar, he runs into Susanne Hildur. The leggy and well-built girl is soon hitting on the flattered Griffith. Hildur is down on her luck and needs a place to stay for one day. Griffith decides that maybe this is his lucky day to get a bit of strange, and offers her a place. He takes her to the apartment of a tenant who is off on vacation.
Of course this is just too good to be true. Soon after Griffith takes Hildur upstairs, they are joined by Brandon, Watson and McIntire. The men tell Griffith that they also need a place for a day. Play along and everything will be cool. They will not tell his wife about him trying to step out. Griffith figures that what can one day hurt, and agrees.
He returns to his apartment and finds that Lupino has returned early from her trip. He tries to play it cool, but Lupino can see he is nervous about something.
Meanwhile, up in 7A, the men and Hildur are going over a plan to rob the bank located next to the apartment block. The trio of men are all Vietnam vets with plenty of explosives know how. They plan on going down the side of the building to the bank roof, then blowing their way in. They have been planning the caper for some time, and know all the Police patrol times etc.
The next day, Griffith sees several of the group go out. He decides to have a look in 7A, maybe they have all left. What he finds is the plans for the robbery and all the equipment for the heist. Needless to say he is caught in the apartment by the thugs.
Brandon, the leader of the bunch has Lupino brought up to join the happy little group. Brandon gives Griffith a sound beating and ties both Lupino and Griffith up.
That night the men head up to the roof and down onto the bank. Hildur, still in the apartment, starts making fake emergency calls to the Police and Fire Department. She gives them the addresses of apartment buildings away from the area. This is to pull the Police patrols away.
The three men now blow a hole into the bank and drop into the safe area. They stuff everything of value into their bags. They then start back up the side of Griffith's apartment building.
The local foot beat cop though, has heard the explosions, and rushes to the sight. He sees Brandon, Watson and McIntire scaling the side of building. Out comes his revolver and he starts blasting. He nails McIntire and wounds Watson.
Brandon and the wounded Watson head to the apartment to collect Hildur. Needless to say the Police are quicker off the mark and soon have them cornered in the building. Brandon has Watson place a bomb on the building elevator roof. He then sends Miss Lupino down to the Police with a message. Let them leave, or the whole building goes up in 20 minutes.
Brandon, Watson and Hildur now grab up Griffith to use as a hostage. Brandon holds a sawed off to Griffiths while they wait for the elevator. Hildur now decides that this really is not her idea of fun, and refuses to go. Brandon laughs and shoves Griffith into the just arrived elevator. He then blasts Watson with the sawed off. A one way split sounds better, and besides, the wounded Watson would slow him down.
Griffith decides to act and jumps Brandon. The two wrestle for the gun and Brandon catches a full load in the shoulder. Without giving any more away, the bomb still needs to be found and defused.
The director here is big screen veteran, Paul Wendkos. Wendkos started out in 1957 with the Dan Duryea film noir, THE BURGLAR. He followed this with THE CASE AGAINST BROOKLYN and several of the GIDGET movies before switching to television work.
With only a 74 minute run time, this entertaining television work moves along at a decent pace.
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