A woman hires Kimble to be the caretaker of her brother who was disabled in a car accident. Her boyfriend wants her to run away with him along with her brother's insurance money. Kimble becomes the unwitting patsy in his scheme.
Richard Kimble ('David Janssen') finds a temporary job along the Santa Monica Pier as a personal aide for the paralyzed Leslie (Robert Duvall), who owns and operates a gift shop along the pier with his attractive sister Norma (Angie Dickinson). Leslie received a large financial settlement after the car accident that paralyzed him, and Norma and her lover, Lars ('John Erickson') are secretly plotting to kill Leslie and take the money. Kimble throws a monkey wrench into their plans, however, when he uses therapy to help Leslie regain movements, enough for Leslie to want to take the money and get out of his depressing existence along the boardwalk. Meanwhile, Norma has fallen for Kimble and is torn about what she wants for her future. Written by
The title refers to the expression "to grab the brass ring" which derives from a challenge provided on carousels in in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Those patrons using the outside horses could grab at a series of rings made of iron or the special one made of brass that usually won the patron another free ride. See more »
Save up a lot of loneliness and you're apt to spend it somewhere. This time, on a lonely pier livened only the sound of an ancient calliope, and the brass ring caught by a fugitive, can only give him a brief ride to nowhere.
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Kimble, using the name Ben Horton, comes to a pier in southern California looking for work. Lars (actor John Ericson) directs him to Sessions' Gift Shop, run by Norma Sessions (actress Angie Dickinson). Kimble feels something for Norma, and she starts flirting with him from the start.
The job involves caring for Norma's brother Leslie (actor Robert Duvall) who was crippled in an accident. Leslie is unpleasant and suspicious of everyone, but Kimble eventually wins him over. Part of Kimble's charm to Leslie is that he gives Leslie physical therapy that gives Leslie some extra ability to move and for the first time makes him hopeful for his future.
Kimble is unaware that Norma and Lars have a plan to lure Kimble into killing Leslie so Norma and Lars can run away with his insurance money. Kimble faces enormous danger from the plotting of Norma and Lars, and from the involvement of the police.
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