Under the direction of Tiny Elton, Don Brueger and Rusty Schilling hijack an armored car and take it to a remote area with a $25,000 payroll AND guard Bill Franklin still in the back. Elton utilizes a ruse to get Bill's wife Lea into his car. He then drives to the armored car's location and threatens to kill her if Franklin does not come out with the money. Bill complies, but the three take the money and keep Lea as a hostage in an attempt to ensure their safe passage. When they find themselves trapped in their car at a Highway Patrol roadblock, Dan Mathews knows that Elton is capable of killing Lea whether or not the car is released, and he finds himself in one of the tensest confrontations of his career. Written by
$25,000 in 1957 had the same purchasing power as $191,000 in 2009. See more »
10 seconds - you're digging this girl's grave!
Chief Dan Mathews:
You're digging your own grave - the bluff won't work! A stretch in the pen is better than the chair!
Move that car, or she gets it!
Chief Dan Mathews:
Take a good look at the girl. If you kill her, that's exactly how you'll feel when they throw the switch!
Move that car!!
Chief Dan Mathews:
You'll beg for mercy, but you'll still die!
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I love to watch movies and television shows about armored car robberies. Armored car robbery stories constitute a sub-genre of the heist film. Armored cars are like bank vaults on wheels. Furthermore, they are virtually indestructible. Basically, armored car plots fall into two categories. First, the robbers are outsiders who waylay the vehicle. Second, the gang has somebody inside the armored car company who helps them out. As the Highway Patrol honcho Broderick Crawford rattles off his dialogue with anxious urgency as Detective Chief Dan Mathews when word comes through about the robbery. In this episode, three outsiders hold up an armored car. They spend two months establishing their presence at a supermarket where an armored car makes pick-ups. They lull the armored car personnel into accepting them as okay people in the area where they pick-up money. The thieves use their credibility to catch the guards off-guard. They force the driver and his sidekick to vamos from the vehicle. The guard in the back is barricaded inside his compartment. Armored Car Guard Bill Franklin (Jack Mann of "Man on Fire") notifies the Highway Patrol, but his efforts are blunted when the robbers snap off his radio antenna. Meanwhile, the organizer of the robbery visits the Franklin's wife and hoodwinks her into coming to the hospital with him to see her husband. He has told Mrs. Franklin that her husband was injured in a car crash. Franklin surrenders the loot when the robbers use his wife as a bargaining chip. Franklin gets through to the Highway Patrol and Matthews erects a roadblock. The authorities trap the thieves with Mrs. Franklin. They threaten to kill Mrs. Franklin, and Mathews warns them that they'll fry in the chair if they pull the trigger of the woman. The thieves relent and surrender. This wasn't bad for a 22 minute melodrama. It wasn't as cut-and-tried as a "Dragnet" episode and it featured some foreshadowing. None of the characters other than the regulars could hope to make more than a fleeting impression. Nevertheless, some suspense is created with the abduction of Franklin's wife. Of course, the obvious message of any "Highway Patrol" television episode is "crime doesn't pay." Crawford reminds us after the show concludes to give blood to the Red Cross and not leave it on the highway. Pretty slick!
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