Amazing Stories: Season 1, Episode 15

One for the Road (19 Jan. 1986)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Fantasy | Horror
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 105 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

In 1934, a couple of South Bronx barflies try to kill drunk Mike Malloy for his insurance money and find they're tangling with much more than they bargained for.

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Title: One for the Road (19 Jan 1986)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Francis
...
Dan
...
Joe
...
Tony Maroni
...
Mike Malloy
...
Salvation Army Officer
Mark Tymchyshyn ...
O'Farrow
Mike Finneran ...
Customer
Matt Amott ...
News Kid
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Storyline

In 1934, a couple of South Bronx barflies try to kill drunk Mike Malloy for his insurance money and find they're tangling with much more than they bargained for. Written by Anonymous

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19 January 1986 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode takes place in 1934. See more »

Goofs

When they are trying to kill Malloy by exposing him to the cold, his shirt has already been opened. In the next shot it's closed again, and Malloy suddenly has a scarf on. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Fantasy Story That Was Based On An Actual 1932 Case
22 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mike Malloy (Douglas Searle) was a hard drinking derelict. He had little money on him, and it was the Great Depression, so his cadging drinks was upsetting to the local speakeasy-cum-bar owner in the Bronx, Tony Marino (here called Tony Maroni - Al Ruscio). But Tony is in need of cash to keep his business afloat. Money problems are also bothering some of his other customers, such as Dan Kreisberg (Geoffrey Lewis) and Joe Murphy (Joe Pantaliano). About four others start discussing ways of raising money with Tony (James Cromwell is one, and - although not listed on this cast - William H. Macy is another) all soon start thinking about insurance. And then they think of Malloy. They realize that Mike may be a cadging pest of an alcoholic bum, but he might be valuable as an insurance risk.

They get an insurance policy or two on the life on Mike. And then they start giving him liquid carte blanche regarding their bootleg booze. He can have all types of drinks, as many as he wants. And possibly after he leaves the bar he'll fall asleep in the cold winter weather and freeze to death, or he'll have a fatal accident. And then they split the policy money.

Well, you know what the poet Robert Burns said to a "wee timorous mousey.": "The best laid plans of mice and men are bound to go agley!" Malloy has a "wooden leg". He can take up huge quantities of booze, drinking everyone under the table. And he will leave the bar three sheets to the wind, but be back for more the next day.

SPOILER COMING UP:

Well, our geniuses decide they have to arrange the accidental demise of Malloy - whether he likes it or not. But each scheme seems to fail. In the end (of the episode) they do manage to cause Malloy to fall off a bridge, but they are seen by policemen, and all are arrested. They all go to trial, are convicted of first degree murder (all blaming each other) and all are executed. The new owner of the bar is talking to a customer at the conclusion, and commenting on the fates of his predecessor and the others. Then he turns to an elderly man in the corner - it's Malloy, back for another drink. The new owner kindly gives the smiling Malloy one!

Now comes the odd part. Michael Malloy was a murder victim in such a real crime (in the Bronx, New York) in 1932. Unfortunately he was murdered - no supernatural activity to save him in real life. But the killers, who did it for insurance, were all caught and executed for the murder. An account of the actual story is found in the Random House, Modern Library Edition of Edmund Pearson's STUDIES IN MURDER from 1938, on pages 297 - 306, with the title "Malloy the Mighty".

This episode was a darkly comic screenplay (which was an easy thing to do - after all the original story is a comedy of criminal frustration). Searle, as Malloy, is properly indestructible and consistently, sweetly cadging his drinks. The gang are as confused a bunch of mugs as one can see outside of a "Bowery Boys" film. It was a good episode, and doubly so as it is the only version of the story ever put on film.


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