Hawaii Five-O (1968–1980)
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You Don't Have to Kill to Get Rich - But It Helps. 

A sophisticated operation is blackmailing rich and prominent visitors to Hawaii. One of the victims has told Tolliver, a private investigator, about his situation. Tolliver tells his friend... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Al Harrington ...
Sam Tolliver
Ric Marlow ...
William Speer
Tommy Fujiwara ...
Larry (as Tom Fujiwara)
Bill Edwards ...
Wally Schuster
Glenn Cannon ...
Al Eben ...
Wisa D'Orso ...
Joyce Hensley
Jorie Remus ...
Elithe Aguiar ...
Girl #1 (as Elithe Aguiar [Hung])
Charlene Silva ...
Girl #2 (as Sharlene Silva)


A sophisticated operation is blackmailing rich and prominent visitors to Hawaii. One of the victims has told Tolliver, a private investigator, about his situation. Tolliver tells his friend that he'll work to get him free of the blackmailers. Meanwhile, a young woman has turned up dead -- which brings Five-O into the case. It turns out she was among numerous women used as bait, but she has become too hot to handle when one of the blackmail victims committed suicide. Tolliver, meanwhile, poses as a rich man to attract the attention of the blackmailers. But he has no intention of ruining the operation. Tolliver intends to take it over. Written by Bill Koenig

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 September 1972 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title comes from the common saying "You don't have to be rich, but it helps" meaning that those with money can get through times of trouble easier than those who are not wealthy. See more »


When Tolliver and Schuster meet in the airport, it's supposed to be in Texas, as evidenced by all of the signs and posters prominently displayed around them. But outside the windows mountains can be seen, which are nowhere to be found around Dallas, but which are nearby the Honolulu airport. See more »

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User Reviews

Despite an over the top character played by 'the Shat', a very interesting episode.
26 April 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I really, really liked this show--as it has one of the coolest plots of any episode of "Hawaii Five-O". So, even though William Shatner plays a character very broadly, it's very good. Plus, while Shatner overacts a bit in his portrayal of a Texan, it IS quite entertaining.

Near the beginning of the show, you see a few scenes of a dead woman who has her feet tied to blocks and was tossed out to sea. The sight of this seemingly dead woman with her long hair whooshing back and forth in the current is quite stunning--and I remember it scaring me a bit when I saw this particular episode as a kid. In fact, I couldn't remember any part of the show OTHER than the dead woman when I saw it again almost 40 years later! How she got there and why anyone would do this is the subject of the episode, though her body is only discovered part-way through the show. Before that, the police were looking for her as a missing person--not a murder victim.

The way this woman ties in to murder is that she worked for a very organized 'company' of sorts that specialized in tracking rich folks coming to the islands and setting them up with sexy girls--and photographic this for blackmail purposes. Rich businessmen with families are their marks and it's interesting to see this all so organized and efficient. Shatner comes into the story when his friend is blackmailed after a visit to Hawaii. Shatner is a private detective who agrees to also pose as a rich guy with a family--though his motives are NOT as pure as you'd think. Yes, he wants to catch the group at work--but then, hopefully, take control of the business himself! I guess his plan was to eventually franchise the idea--with locations in Vegas and other vacation spots! The show is pretty entertaining because the blackmail organization is so incredibly efficient and well thought out---so much so that it seems plausible. The only minor problem is that Shatner's character is quite slick but he also has an 'Achilles heel'--one a guy this smart should NOT have had. Can Five-O get to the bottom of this? And, can Shatner manage to avoid getting his head blown off as well? Overall, the plot is brilliant and entertaining---very, very entertaining.

By the way, there were two minor glitches I noticed in the episode. First, there was a scene at what is supposed to be the airport in Houston, but it is clearly Honolulu's airport. You can see the palm trees and mountains in the distance! Second, while the dead woman is a great scene, she is supposed to have been tossed in a shipping channel--most likely because this is so deep that she'll never be found. But, if you look carefully, the water appears to be about 15-20 feet deep AND is crystal clear! Minor mistakes...but mistakes nonetheless.

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