Shackled prisoner Stephen Fontaine tries to tries to negotiate an escape from Sergeant Rockwell while en route to San Quentin.



(teleplay), (story) (as Sanford Wolf)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock - Host
Sgt. Rockwell
Stephen Fontaine
Train Conductor
Betty Harford ...
Edith Evanson ...
Lady with suitcase
Gary Hunley ...
Billy - Boy on Train
Kay Stewart ...
Billy's Mother


Sgt. Rockwell is an honest cop, but $50,000 is enough to tempt even someone like him. He's transporting a prisoner on a passenger train. The man is Stephen Fontaine, a thief with the silver tongue of a devil. As the sergeant leafs through a magazine about sports cars, Fontaine tells Rockwell that a pickpocket on the train has put an envelope in Rockwell's jacket pocket. Rockwell checks, and sure enough it's there. Inside the envelope is a key. Fontaine tells the sergeant what it opens, where to get in and what's inside. $50,000. All the sergeant has to do is let his prisoner escape. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

27 January 1957 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Train Station Announcer: [off screen] Announcing the departure of northbound train 146 for Bakersfield, Tulare, Fresno, Merced, Martinez, Richmond, Berkeley and Oakland. Now boarding on track number three.
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User Reviews

Good Acting--Good Suspense
12 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When you take two contrary personalities like the men in this episode, and they are played by good actors, the sparks that fly are well worth the effort. This is about integrity. Gary Merrill's character has been down this road countless times before. He knows that prisoners he is transporting are pretty desperate, not wanting to end up in the federal prison at San Quentin. This man is not a violent criminal, so he is diminished a bit in importance to the audience. He's not going to the gas chamber or anything. He sets in motion a series of incentives for Merrill to take the bate and allow him to escape. Merrill is haggard and tired and probably deserves something for all the time he has given to the state. But he heroically resists the efforts of his prisoner to dissuade him (or does he?) The strength of this story has to do with the close proximity of the two men. There are virtually no outside observers. It's just them. The conversation is believable. The con- man uses his silver tongue to near perfection as he angles for his fish. The deputy parries each move. Right up the the end we are left in doubt as to how this will all resolve itself. One of the best of the Hitchcock canon.

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