Screen Directors Playhouse: Season 1, Episode 16

No. 5 Checked Out (18 Jan. 1956)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Romance
7.2
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A young deaf women confronts desperate crooks who are using one of her remote resort cabins for a hideout.

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Title: No. 5 Checked Out (18 Jan 1956)

No. 5 Checked Out (18 Jan 1956) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

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Mary
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Willy
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Barney
Ralph Moody ...
Jarvis
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Storyline

A young deaf women confronts desperate crooks who are using one of her remote resort cabins for a hideout.

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Comedy | Drama | Romance

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18 January 1956 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A very familiar sort of plot, but it is well handled.
22 January 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The 1950s was an incredible time for television. Many of the best actors, directors and writers had moved from the big screen to TV and shows like "Playhouse 90" and "Screen Directors Playhouse" assembled some amazing talent. Here, Ida Lupino directs Teresa Wright, Peter Lorre and William Talman in a drama about some crooks who have chosen Wright's isolated hotel in which to hide out from the law. Wright plays a deaf woman who is terrified of these men and it is very reminiscent of many other films--including a few in which Miss Lupino appeared (such as "Deep Valley", "On Dangerous Ground" and "Beware My Lovely"). It also is a bit like the later film "Wait Until Dark" (with Audrey Hepburn)--though in this case the terrified woman is blind, not deaf.

It was nice to see Wright once again, as she retired from films when she was still relatively young. This is one of her last appearances before completely retiring. In the film, she plays a woman who later became deaf--she was not born that way nor did she use sign language to communicate. The only problem with this was that she seemed to have too easy a time reading lips--in real life it's not THAT accurate a way to understand what people are saying. My daughter is deaf and know that there is this myth about perfect understanding by deaf people reading lips. This really is only possible if the person is hard of hearing--when they can hear enough to allow them to be that accurate.

As for Talman, he is a name you won't recognize but a face you will instantly recognize if you are a fan of film noir or 1950s cop shows (like "Dragnet"). He's got a truly unattractive face for films but this was a plus for the genre. On top of that, he was a fine actor.

Finally, there's Peter Lorre who is just wonderful as a cold and despicable killer. He is completely indifferent to having just killed someone--giving it less thought than you might about what shirt to wear. He was able to do quite a bit by doing very little--appearing effortless in his casual performance.

Unlike some films where baddies hide out with nice people and hold them hostage (such as in "Suddenly"), here Talman falls almost instantly in love with Wright. While this is a bit ridiculous since it happened so quickly, it is a twist on the familiar--and a lot like "Deep Valley". And because Lorre plays such a cold psycho, eventually it pits these two partners against each other, as Lorre decides that Wright is a liability that needs to be eliminated.

It's all well done and interesting, though I wish they'd consulted with some real deaf people to get the story correct. As not only don't deaf people have magical lip reading ability (also called 'speech reading') but a deaf person probably would have felt or even possibly heard the gun shots that went off hear her at the end of the episode. Still, it is well worth seeing and was, incidentally, co-written by Lupino.


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