Highway Patrol (1955–1959)
7.8/10
42
1 user

Machine-Napping 

Two thieves steal a $100,000 computer and demand that amount as ransom in exchange for its safe return.

Director:

Herbert L. Strock

Writer:

Gene Levitt (screenplay)
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Cast

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

Action | Crime | Drama

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1955 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only "Highway Patrol" episode in which a "lieutenant" character is used. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Anytime crime follows a fixed pattern, the pattern itself helps solve the crime. But when crime committed is original, when there is no pattern, then the job is more difficult. And it gets most difficult when the criminal himself follows no fixed pattern, when he walks and talks like any other passerby, when he apparently is just another businessman - brisk, neat, confident.
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User Reviews

 
Fascinating episode
29 July 2012 | by PaularocSee 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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