Arch Hammer arrives in the city and checks into a seedy hotel. He looks like any other man but looks can be deceiving. Hammer has the ability to change his appearance at whim, a trick he definitely uses to his own advantage. He takes on the appearance of the recently deceased musician Johnny Foster. who died in a car accident. He goes to meet Maggie, a lounge singer who is mourning Foster's death, and convinces her to run off with him. He then takes on the appearance of Virge Sterig, a gangster whose bullet-riddled body was recently found in the river. He then visits mob boss Penell who double-crossed him to get his share of the money their most recent job. An unplanned change of face doesn't go over well, however. Written by
Spelling of Sterig is given as Steric in newspaper article. See more »
Virge, this is the happiest day of my life!
This is the happiest day of your life, how come you look like somebody just stuck lemon juice in your beer, huh?
No, Mr. Penell, you're not so happy. You got no reason to be happy. Believe me, Mr. Penell, I know. You got no reason to be happy. No reason at all. Now if you could've kept me in the river, a cold clammy little item without a voice,
*Then* you could've been happy. But this is one double-cross, Mr Penell, that...
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Harry Townes is an ordinary man, but with an extraordinary talent. He can change faces by concentrating on the alterations he wants to make. He also acquires the persona and memory of that person, although there are some holes in the logic as the script plays out. Needless to say, holes or not, this makes for some interesting situations.
As Ross Martin, a small time Romeo, he rekindles love affair with sultry torch singer Beverly Garland, whose performance far surpasses the ordinary and should have won her a TZ Supporting Actress Oscar, if such were given. As other characters, he picks up interesting threads in their lives, using his rubber face to escape tight situations.
Really clever idea, especially well executed by ace director John Brahm. His use of neon montages and off-angle camera shots enclose us in weird, urban atmosphere where anything might happen. Episode's strong point is getting audience to think what they could do with this extraordinary power. Good premise, well executed.
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