M Squad: Season 1, Episode 8

The Hard Case (15 Nov. 1957)

TV Episode  |  Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Crime
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 11 users  
Reviews: 2 user

A jewelry store robbery sends the thief to prison, but his claim that the night watchman, a former big-league ballplayer named Lightnin' Joe Adams, was in on the heist costs Adams his job. ... See full summary »



(teleplay), (teleplay)
0Check in

"Hand of God" - What to Watch

IMDb sits down with the cast of the thriller drama "Hand of God," including Ron Perlman, Julian Morris, Garret Dillahunt, and Alona Tal.

Watch our interview

Related Items

Search for "The Hard Case" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Hard Case (15 Nov 1957)

The Hard Case (15 Nov 1957) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of M Squad.
« Previous Episode | 8 of 117 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode complete credited cast:
Lt. Frank Ballinger
George Mathews ...
Ray Foster ...
Harry Slaughter
Howard Negley ...
Lightnin' Joe Adams
Paul Newlan ...
Captain Grey
Walter Reed ...
States Attorney
Mack Williams ...
William Murphy ...
Danny Davenport ...
Prisoner recognizing Ballinger
Michael Bachus ...
Jack Reynolds ...
Chris Randall ...
Joseph DeVictoria ...


A jewelry store robbery sends the thief to prison, but his claim that the night watchman, a former big-league ballplayer named Lightnin' Joe Adams, was in on the heist costs Adams his job. Lt. Frank Ballinger goes undercover in prison to find out from the robber whether Adams was involved in the crime and what happened to the loot. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Crime


Not Rated




Release Date:

15 November 1957 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Jailhouse Rock
30 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a different angle for a crime. A young punk, "Harry Slaughter" (Ray Foster), is fingered for a jewelry robbery. He gets sent to jail but says he doesn't have the jewels, that the night watchman caught him before the cops arrived and he took the gems. The night watchman says that is not true and wonders why the cops are even thinking of believing the crook.

The watchman, a former big-league ballplayer named "Lightning Joe Adams," played by Howard Negley) winds up losing his job and begins to hit the bottle. At his age, he won't have much of a future drinking it away. Series star "Lt.Ballinger" (Lee Marvin) and his boss feel sorry for him.

Frank (Lee Marvin) has a plan: go undercover in jail and try to find out from Slaughter where the jewels really are. In his quest to do that, Ballinger has some really tense moments. At one point, I figured he was a goner, for sure.

I've noticed the tempo of this show picking up a bit in recent episodes, and this is another good one. A large part of that, of course, is the great acting and the great voice of Marvin, who makes his character a legit tough guy who gets your attention. He's always great to watch.

One of the guards in this story is an actor you've seen in a lot of George Matthews. He plays "Bricker" in here, a sadistic and corrupt guard. Matthews had a tough face, a tough New York City accent, and was especially good at playing villains. Here's a bit of odd trivia on him: reportedly, he is one of the small minority of Hollywood actors who has an unmarked grave.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Please release this on dvd! glenponder
Great show!! Pity DVD quality isn't better! Little Caesar
On location shooting in Chicago? chappy0301
M Squad ( Lee Marvin) 1957 -- count-doowop
Where did they live? Johnboy1221
Franks car tractorsnmoo
Discuss The Hard Case (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: