Schlitz Playhouse: Season 4, Episode 10

Midnight Haul (12 Nov. 1954)
"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" Midnight Haul (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Glenn Sheridan
K.T. Stevens ...
Eileen Thomas
James Bell ...
Pop Cehagen
...
Wink
James Anderson ...
Buck Snyder
Leo Curley ...
Curley
Stuart Randall ...
Matt Hallahan
Richard Benedict ...
Ace
Alan Reynolds ...
Walter Osborne
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Comedy | Drama

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12 November 1954 (USA)  »

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Excellent early television!
14 June 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is an episode of THE SCHLITZ PLAYHOUSE OF STARS. This anthology series ran for over 350 episodes from 1951 to 1959.

Kevin McCarthy is an undercover F.B.I. agent. He is working for a trucking outfit the mob has targeted. Every time a cargo goes out with a high-end cargo the vehicle is hi-jacked. The insurance pays but this series of events cannot continue for long.

James Bell, the trucking business owner, is losing all his contracts to rival lines. McCarthy is sent out on a midnight run hoping to evade the hi-jackers. About 30 minutes into his trip he comes across a car wreck. He stops to help but soon finds himself on the wrong end of a pistol. Lee Van Cleef plays the gunman who is not adverse to a little laying on of the old pistol butt.

After a nasty pistol whipping, McCarthy is dumped in the ditch. The mobsters then drive off with his truck. McCarthy has however pulled a fast one. The truck is empty. The load is still back at the warehouse. His suspicions are now confirmed, it must be someone within the company tipping off the mob.

After returning to the warehouse, McCarthy takes the real cargo and heads out hoping to meet the hi-jackers again. Before leaving though, he paints a large X on the roof of the truck with fluorescent paint. He then contacts the F.B.I. and arranges for a helicopter to follow at a discreet distance.

The hi-jackers were of course not amused when they found the first truck empty. The mob wastes no time in grabbing up McCarthy and his now full truck. They drive both to an out of the way warehouse. Inside, a snarling Van Cleef inquires if the last beating he gave McCarthy had been to his liking. A phone call interrupts. It is the big boss coming down himself to see the cargo.

While Van Cleef is distracted with the arrival of the boss, McCarthy drops the other gangster, Richard Benedict, with with a quick right and relieves him of his gun. The trailing F.B.I. arrive and there is a brisk exchange of gunfire. Van Cleef is dispatched and the big boss captured. A neat little half hour.

The rest of the cast includes K.T. Stevens and James Anderson. The story was from Charles Marquis Warren. The director was Gerald Mayer. Mayer did DIAL 1119 and THE SELLOUT. The d of p was vet TV man, George Clemons.


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