This is the 33rd episode of Police drama, "Manhunt". This series ran for 78 episodes between 1959 and 1961. The series is about San Diego Police Lt. Victor Jory, his partner, Chuck Henderson and newspaper reporter, Patrick McVey.
In this episode there has been a string of home and apartment break ins. Jewels and furs are the thief's main target. The man strikes only during the middle of the afternoon. He is not above using violence if interrupted, and has laid out several women with various broken bones.
This time he is caught in the act by housewife, Gail Russell. Russell gets a solid punch to the jaw for her trouble before the man flees. The Police are called and Jory and Henderson get the assignment. They are joined by newsman, McVey. Russell gives them a good description of the swine. McVey tells Russell that the paper has dubbed the robber the "Matinee Mobster".
Russell and several other women are called in to do a line-up of the usual suspects. Russell id's one of the suspects. Of course the suspect looks nothing like the description they got earlier. Her identification is soon tossed. While this is going on, there is another robbery.
The next day, McVey gets a tip from one of news-sellers. A few bucks change hands and the info is checked out. It leads to a seedy bar where a second-rate fence is working out of the back-room. The Police pretend to have some jewellery to sell. After the fence, Mel Welles, is gobbled up, he spills with info on the man they are looking for.
Welles tells the Police about the block of apartments the thief will be hitting the next day. The Police stake out the area and sure enough the man shows. The suspect is fast on his feet though, and a chase down a fire escape followed by a brisk exchange of fists is needed to corral him.
Not bad at all for a half hour show.
Of note here is the writer of the episode. The one time Oscar nominated (CAGED) Bernard C. Schoenfeld supplied the story and screenplay. Schoenfeld is well known to film noir fans. Besides, CAGED, he wrote the story or screenplay for, THE DARK CORNER, PHANTOM LADY, MACAO and DOWN THREE DARK STREETS.
This was the second last production Gail Russell appeared in before her early death the next year. Russell looks far older than the 35 she was at the time of filming. The long-time drinking had taken its toll on the once beautiful actress. Her films include ANGEL AND THE BADMAN, CALCUTTA, NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES, THE TATTERED DRESS, THE LAWLESS and SEVEN MEN FROM NOW.
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