Dante The Devil to Pay 1961 In this episode of the 1960-61, one season series, DANTE, Howard Duff gets involved with a shady boxing promoter.
Nightclub owner Howard Duff is glad-handing the crowd at his San Francisco club. He runs into an acquaintance, Joseph Ruskin, from the old days. Ruskin is a crooked boxing trainer and promoter. He is having a few drinks with his girl, Tracey Roberts and pet thug, Jack Lambert.
Ruskin tells Duff to come to the fights that night. An old buddy of Duff's is fighting. The buddy, John Day, is a once promising boxer long past his expiry date. He is now just good for filling in on the minor cards.
Duff goes to the event and watches Day get badly beaten. He joins Day in the change room after the fight. He asks Day why he is still fighting at his age. Duff offers to give Day a job if he needs the cash. Day just says thanks anyway, but tells Duff he can't leave Ruskin.
Ruskin now shows with Jack Lambert. Ruskin sets Lambert on Duff when he finds out that Duff offered Day work. Duff barely escapes without serious harm to himself.
That evening, at Duff's club, Day shows up with his hands all bloody and wrapped up. Day admits to laying a thrashing on Ruskin. Ruskin has been blackmailing Day over a hit and run Day had been involved in years before. Ruskin was keeping all the purse money from Day's fights. Day, finally having had enough, decided on some "words" with Ruskin.
While Duff and Day are talking, Police Detective, James Nolan suddenly appears and arrests Day. Ruskin has been found dead and Day is the prime suspect. Day tells the cops he gave Ruskin a few solid shots but he was quite alive when he left. Day is hauled away to the clink.
Duff heads out to see Ruskin's girl, Roberts. Maybe she has some info on what happened. And that she does. What really happened was that after Day left Ruskin, Lambert entered Ruskin's office. He was annoyed with the short end of the money take from the last fight. He had killed Ruskin when he refused to pony up a bigger split.
Day is freed while Lambert takes his place in the jail.
The episode was directed by Alan Crosland Jr. The long time television director worked on series as varied as, MAVERICK, SERGEANT PRESTON, 77 SUNSET STRIP, PETER GUNN, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, TWILIGHT ZONE, GILLIGAN'S ISLAND and RAWHIDE.
Jack Lambert played gunmen or thugs in many television series and feature films. These include, THE KILLERS, THE UNSUSPECTED, FORCE OF EVIL, BORDER INCIDENT, THE ENFORCER, 99 RIVER STREET and KISS ME DEADLY. (b/w)
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