Smith convinces a blinded bank robber to lead him to the location where the bandit hid his loot in exchange for arranging for an operation to restore his sight. Two of the thief's former ...
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Smith convinces a blinded bank robber to lead him to the location where the bandit hid his loot in exchange for arranging for an operation to restore his sight. Two of the thief's former confederates decide to help themselves to the plunder. Written by
WHISPERING SMITH was western star Audie Murphy's attempt at headlining a television series. Murphy plays a member of the Denver Police Force in the late 1860's. The series follows Murphy and his partner, Guy Mitchell, as they chase various unsavoury types and bring them to justice. The series ran for 26 episodes between May and November 1961.
This episode is the first of the production run.
Murphy and Mitchell are on the trail of two men who had robbed a Denver bank of $70,000. They had also killed a man during said holdup. Murphy and Mitchell catch the two men who refuse to come quietly. Iron is pulled and lead fills the air with one holdup man down for the count, and the other wounded. Mitchell also collects a bit of lead in his arm.
The wounded robber, Jan Merlin, caught a bullet across his forehead and is now blind. The two lawmen load Merlin up on his horse and return him to Denver. They have the local doc look him over. The doc figures that the optic nerve is bruised and there is no way to know if Merlin's sight will return.
Murphy and the law are concerned because they never found the missing money. It seems the bandits had buried the cash out in the hills. Murphy offers to call in an eye doctor from St Louis if Merlin will help get the cash back. Merlin agrees to the idea.
The next morning Murphy, Merlin and a pack horse set out for the hill country. What they do not know, is that they are being followed. Two gunmen, Robert Osterloh and Earl Hansen had just been released from the jail house. They had been in the next cell the night before and heard all about the $70,000. They intend to grab it for themselves after Murphy digs it up.
Merlin, working from memory, directs Murphy towards where he and his now dead partner buried the loot. While camped the first night out, Merlin swears he can hear someone following at a distance. Murphy has a look and sure enough spots Osterloh and Hansen.
The next day, Murphy and Merlin stop at a spot on the trail where Murphy dismounts and pretends to be digging. This of course draws the two gunmen in to grab the loot. This does not work quite as the two gunmen had hoped. Osterloh and Hansen are soon ready for planting in the ground.
While the gun battle had been happening, Merlin had wandered off and fell over a rock and bashed his head. The knock on the noggin has returned his sight. Needless to say Merlin says nothing about this. The two continue on to the site of the buried loot.
While Murphy is retrieving the gold coins, Merlin makes his play. He grabs Murphy's Winchester off the pack horse. He advances on Murphy laughing as he pulls the trigger. This however gets him nothing, Murphy had smelled a rat from the start, and the Winchester is loaded with blanks. The gold and Merlin are soon returned to Denver.
The director was the Oscar winning (Body and Soul) film editor, Francis D Lyon. Like a lot of editors, Lyons took a stab at directing. He made a trio of big screen Westerns in the mid 1950's, ESCORT WEST, THE OKLAHOMAN and GUNSIGHT RIDGE. He then moved into television as film work dried up.
Murphy's sidekick in the series, Guy Mitchell was a successful singer who also worked in film and television.
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