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Something for an Empty Briefcase 

Joe wants a different future than one as a petty hoodlum and when he attempts to rob an aspiring dancer Noli, he glimpses the possibilities. He imagines purchasing a briefcase as a start but his crime partner is reluctant to let him go.

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(television play)
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Noli (as Susan Douglas)
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Joe
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Mickey
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Sloane
Frank Maxwell ...
Lou
Peter Gumeny ...
The Policeman (as Pete Gumeny)
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Storyline

Joe wants a different future than one as a petty hoodlum and when he attempts to rob an aspiring dancer Noli, he glimpses the possibilities. He imagines purchasing a briefcase as a start but his crime partner is reluctant to let him go.

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Drama

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Details

Release Date:

17 July 1953 (USA)  »

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After Sloane roughs up Joe and leaves, Joe stumbles against the sink. It almost falls to the floor, revealing that it's only a prop. See more »

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Routine Story Saved by Fine Performances
6 December 2015 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Campbell Playhouse: Something for an Empty Briefcase (1953)

Joe (James Dean) gets released from jail and wants to go straight but he's desperate for some cash so he decides to do one last robbery. He ends up holding up dancer Noli (Susan Douglas Rubes) but after a brief discussion he doesn't take her money. The two quickly hit it off and she's all the reason he needs to go straight but a gangster refuses to let Joe go so easily.

SOMETHING FOR AN EMPTY BRIEFCASE certainly isn't a masterpiece or a great film but most people will want to check it out since it's an early appearance for Dean. Sadly the actor died before he could form much of a career but with REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, EAST OF EDEN and GIANT, there's no doubt that his legacy will live on. The majority of his work was for live television and he's pretty good here. I thought he did a good job with the role and he was certainly believable. Those method acting moments that you'd see Dean do in films are also on display here. Of course, films give you the benefit of many takes to get something right whereas television is one shot.

I also thought Susan Douglas Rubes was good in her part as was Robert Middleton as the gangster. The story itself is pretty forgettable as it borrows from countless film noir stories. Still, if you're interested in checking out Dean it's worth watching.

Episode: B


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