This one is the fifth episode of 1959-60 undercover cop series, TIGHTROPE. The series ran for a total of 37 episodes and starred Mike Connors in the lead role. Connors is a deep undercover cop who is assigned to various cities across the country on tough cases.
There is a bank robbery crew working their way through the US South-West. They hit mid sizes banks by kidnapping the bank manager's wives and kids. They then force the managers to fork over the cash in the vaults. The managers play ball and nobody gets hurt. This comes to an end when one manager, John Qualen, gets tied to a chair and shot full of holes. He had annoyed a trigger happy member of the crew, Richard Jaeckel.
Undercover detective, Mike Connors is soon called in. He is to try and infiltrate the gang and feed the info back to the Police. Connors, soon shows gang boss, Simon Oakland, that he is a handy man to have around when there is rough stuff happening.
Connors is soon drafted into the gang in time for the next job. Bank manager, Alan Baxter, and his wife, Andrea King, are to be the next victims. The heist goes off like a dream and the gang high-tails it out of town. They however run into a slight problem, a Police roadblock that Connors had arranged.
Guns are pulled and used. Gunman, Jaeckel, dashes into the underbrush with Connors in hot pursuit. The two shoot it out with Jaeckel ending up as a well-ventilated stiff. Simon Oakland and the rest of the gang are getting the same treatment back at the roadblock. Connors again fades into the night.
I really like this series, it moves along at a fair clip and supplies more than enough action and violence.
The series was produced by film noir vet, Russell Rouse. The two-time Oscar nominated, one time winner, wrote 36 of the 37 episodes. He also directed several of them. His film work as a director, include, THE WELL, HOUSE OF NUMBERS, WICKED WOMAN, THIEF, THE Oscar and NEW YORK CONFIDENTIAL.
This particular episode was helmed by actor turned director, Abner Biderman. Biderman was an in demand character player during the late 30's and up to the mid 1950's. He made the switch to directing when the studio system ended.
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