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:
Susan Douglas Rubes ...
Noli (as Susan Douglas)
...
Joe
Don Hanmer ...
Mickey
Robert Middleton ...
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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Genres:

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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User Reviews

 
God Save James Dean
27 October 2008 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

On a hot summer day in New York, 21-year-old James Dean (as Joe Adams) shoots the breeze with gangster pal Don Hanmer (as Mickey). Mr. Dean, already a thieving ex-con, tells Mr. Hanmer he wants to go straight. After admiring successful businessmen carrying briefcases, Dean vows to get a briefcase of his own. But, before changing his life of crime, Dean decides to pull one more job. In a dark alley, he snatches pretty ballerina Susan Douglas (as Noli)'s purse. A policeman (Pete Gumeny) unexpectedly interrupts the crime, which saves Ms. Douglas, and her rent money, from Dean. Sensing God is at work, Douglas covers for the philistine Dean. Then, succumbing to her Christian spirit, Dean goes to Douglas' apartment; and, the two being dating.

"Buy the book that Joe buys," the teleplay advises, "the book that can change you life." After discovering what can fill his "empty briefcase", Bible-believing Dean is, more than ever, determined to go straight. Unfortunately, mafia-type leader Robert Middleton (as Sloane) needs Dean for his next big heist. And, Mr. Middleton does NOT take "no" for an answer…

This short, flawed drama is interesting to watch. Forgive a personal aside (you won't find many in my little reviews): someone who knew him in the early 1950s once told me I reminded him of James Dean. It was a nice compliment, but not one I could fathom. However, there is something about Dean's appearance, movement, and body type in this TV appearance which (finally, for me) made sense of the comparison.

Dean and the others perform their parts as well as can be expected, in a woefully inferior production. The story is very silly, highlighted by Douglas' inadvisable actions during her abduction. Also, watch out for Dean to collide with a wobbly wall sink.

The influence of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift shows up in Dean's performance. Look for the Brando influence when Dean acts with "Mickey" Hanmer, who had, by then, married and divorced Brando's sister Jocelyn.

Inconsequential and insightful.

**** Something for an Empty Briefcase (7/17/53) Don Medford ~ James Dean, Susan Douglas, Don Hanmer, Robert Middleton


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