The young leader of a street gang pretends to buy a gun from a sports store proprietor, then uses it to shoot him in cold-blood. After a series of armed robberies occur, police suspect the same youth is responsible.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Alwyn Kurts ...
Leonard Teale ...
Norman Yemm ...
George Mallaby ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kurt Beimel ...
Shopkeeper
Stanley Berkoff ...
Costa
Manuel Bugeja ...
Martino
Vincent Gil ...
Bill Wood
Peter Hepworth ...
Keith Morgan
Brendon Lunney ...
Brian Clark
Frank Rich ...
Bianchi
Alan Rowe ...
Frank Edwards
Bob Ruggiero ...
Conti
Anne Scott-Pendlebury ...
Pina Bianchi (as Anne Pendlebury)
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The leader of a street gang pretends to buy a gun from a sports store proprietor and then cold-bloodily shoots him dead with his own gun. When a series of armed robberies occur after the murder, police suspect the same youth is responsible. Written by Darren Smith

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Action | Drama

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Release Date:

12 October 1971 (Australia)  »

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Robbery, Murder
24 September 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Homicide – A Game of Chance – 1971 This is another episode from the long running Australian series, HOMICIDE. This series ran 510 episodes between 1964 and 76.

A young man, Brendon Lunney, walks into a Melbourne gunsmith shop. He asks to see a shotgun for hunting rabbits. The owner hands him a high-end weapon. Lunney loads the weapon, points it at the owner, then fires. He then rifles through the cash box, grabs some boxes of shells and calmly exits.

Homicide Detectives, George Mallaby, Leonard Teale, Norman Yemm and Inspector Alwyn Kurts arrive at the murder scene. They check with the other stores close by looking for witnesses. They come up with a possible description that leads nowhere.

Lunney, now at his apartment, meets up with partners in crime, Peter Hepworth and Vince Gill. Hepworth steals the cars they use for their jobs, while Gill, who swings a wicked baseball bat, is the added muscle when needed.

The three have decided that working is a drag and plan to live the high life on some ill-gotten gains.

Lunney heads out to see his girl, Anne-Scott Pendlebury, at the pub. During their conversation, Pendlebury mentions that her father, Frank Rich, is going to a high stakes poker game that night.

That evening Hepworth steals a motor and the three thugs, with handy nylon face-masks, pay a visit to the card game. They wave the shotgun around and help themselves to the pot and the player's wallets.

After the robbery, the Police are called and Mallaby and Yemm show to take statements. "Did anyone know you play for this much cash? And did you tell anyone where the game was?" Yemm asks the players. "Just my daughter," says Rich. "But I always tell her in case she needs to reach me."

Later in the evening, Rich tells daughter Pendlebury about the robbery. "Pretty scary," Rich comments. "But it will not stop the game. We will play again tomorrow at a local club." Rich then turns in for the night.

Pendlebury now calls Lunney and asks to meet the next day. Lunney, in the middle of counting up the tally from the job, agrees to the meet.

The next day, the two are having coffee and Pendlebury tells Lunney what happened to her father. "That's terrible!" Responds Lunney. Then the silly girl tells Lunney about the new game her father is joining that afternoon. And of course she gives him the location of said game. Lunney leaves saying he has some business to take care of.

Lunney heads back to the apartment. Hepworth, has just read the day's paper and discovered that Lunney had murdered the gun shop owner. This is news to him. He wants out. Robbery, no problem, but he wants no part of murder. Lunney laughs and says. "It is too late now. You are in it, like it or not."

Lunney sends Hepworth out to rustle up a new car for today's holdup. They are going to hit the card game again and then split town.

Detectives Teale, Mallaby and Yemm are checking all possible ties between the murder and the card game robbery. They pull in Pendlebury for a talk. She tells them about her boy, Lunney. "He is such a nice guy". The Detectives all look at each other, then ask Pendlebury for a description. Needless to say it matches the man from the murder. Bingo.

They hit Lunney's apartment guns in hand but the place is empty. Back in the cars and off to the new card game location.

Lunney and gang, already at the location, are finding that this robbery is not quite going to plan. It takes them longer than planned to get inside. One of the card players, after last night's robbery, has brought a pistol with him.

Lunney fires a blast through the door fixing that problem. He kicks in the door and demands the cash. At this time the idiot girl, Pendlebury, walks in to see her father. Lunney grabs her and puts the shotgun to her head. "Hand over the cash!" He bellows.

The Detectives now arrive and rush inside. Hepworth and Gill do not like where this whole thing is going, and run down the back stairs. They do not get far as the Police have surrounded the building.

Inside, Lunney refuses to drop his gun. He shoves the girl towards the exit holding the barrel firmly to her back. Detective Mallaby, standing in the shadows, pulls Pendlebury out of harms way as Lunney is given a lead surprise.

Great stuff. This is a real gritty bit of television. Even at this late date, 1971, the series was shot in black and white, which gives it a wonderful look. (b/w)


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