Highway Patrol: Season 1, Episode 2

Machine-Napping (10 Oct. 1955)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 20 users  
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Two thieves steal a $100,000 computer and demand that amount as ransom in exchange for its safe return.

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Title: Machine-Napping (10 Oct 1955)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Guy Kingsford ...
Charlie - First Thief
Sidney Clute ...
Second Thief (as Sid Clute)
Paul Power ...
Richard Ferris
William Forrest ...
Lieutenant Andrews
Gregg Palmer ...
Sergeant
Michael Harris ...
Plainclothes Officer
Butler Hixon ...
Bank Manager
Arthur Lovejoy ...
Carjack Victim
Dallas Boyd ...
Security Guard
Guy Zanette ...
Workman
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Storyline

Posing as truck drivers, two men steal a $100,000 computer from Ferris Electronics and demand $100,000 in ransom for its safe return. The computer is large and unassembled, so Dan Mathews deduces that it must be hidden in a large building in a remote location. He arranges to have Richard Ferris get the ransom money from the bank, but an officer who resembles Mr. Ferris is assigned to take it to the prearranged rendezvous. The thieves panic when they realize that they are under inescapable surveillance by the Highway Patrol helicopter. One gives himself up and the other makes a frantic (and inevitably futile) attempt to get away in the rough terrain. Written by Sam Spear

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Action | Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

10 October 1955 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

$100,000 in 1955 had the same purchasing power as $801,000 in 2009. See more »

Quotes

Plainclothes Officer: He wants to be cooperative. The computer is on a farm southeast of Weberville.
Chief Dan Mathews: Mr. Ferris is gonna be glad to hear that. Why didn't you run?
Charlie - First Thief: I figured the odds.
Chief Dan Mathews: Didn't you figure the odds on this job?
Charlie - First Thief: Yeah. But I didn't figure on that.
[glances up at Highway Patrol helicopter]
Chief Dan Mathews: Yeah, they sure are crazy contraptions. I don't know what makes 'em fly! Take him away.
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating episode
29 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a fascinating episode with a fascinating premise: steal a valuable machine and hold it for ransom. In this case, the machine is a computer - a computer that cost $100,000 to build and will "revolutionize electronics" (and probably didn't have 1% of the capability of a $500 computer today). One crook asks the other "Why would they pay a ransom that is as much as the computer is worth?" The answer is that it would take them a year to build another computer and any business advantage of having a computer would be gone. So the crooks do steal the computer (a semitrailer is needed to transport it) and the Highway Patrol is after them. This show is also interesting in depicting what may have been a very early use of helicopters in following criminals. At the end of this episode, Crawford starts conveying his famous pithy words of advice or observation. In this one he ends with: "It isn't the car that kills, it's the driver." Hmmm.


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