We Got Fun
Big Jim Harrington’s man Loxie pours out gasoline from a hip flask over an impresario, strikes a match. At the point of a gun, as it were, the property is signed over to Harrington, who takes 75% of the profit.
Benny Hoff’s Blue Poodle is seen to go this way, and Schlessinger’s Mohawk. Benny’s pal and protégé is a comic in the clubs who stands up to Harrington on the floor, winning a laugh and a contract, also an affair with Harrington’s mistress.
But she’s a plant to keep him happy, the contract is ironclad, Benny is killed for talking to Ness.
A rebus clue (mattress factory, sewer, soda pop) leads to Harrington’s still. The comic tries to leave town and is spirited back for a one-man show in an empty nightclub. “Funny boy don’t make me laugh anymore,” says Harrington.
Ness arrives after the raid. “All my troubles began the day I was born. It was a terrible shock, no-one was home.”
The Artichoke King
Terranova’s contract on his top man and would-be partner Frankie Yale (né Waller) is a piece of paper with his signature on it. He robs his own joint to get it back when the hit man, pressured by Ness, puts the bite on. A shootout leaves Ness with the contract.
Kay opens with a Tommy-gunner’s POV as the truck he’s riding in pulls away from a loading dock at the New York produce market where a jobber in artichokes has just been gunned down for refusing to knuckle under at exorbitant prices. People rush to the scene.
“Not enough people are interested,” is Ness’s explanation, also “cops on the take, crooked politicians” and a judge in Terranova’s pocket. It keeps Ness in work.
The killing is Yale’s idea. Terranova’s fat and gutless, the hit man shows up at his victim’s funeral, amused and demanding payment. Ness has him tailed everywhere, till he cracks. “I’m a stranger here myself,” says Ness when confronted on the street. “You all right?”
The Big Squeeze
A professional bank robber first identifies an embezzling bank manager and threatens him with a Federal rap, in exchange for the layout of all bank operations. His highly-trained crew rob the bank, let in by himself disguised as the head teller, and the loss is supplemented by the amount of the embezzlement, with something extra.
Ness and Asbury go before a Senate committee in Washington for jurisdiction. “FEDERAL BANK ACT PASSED”.
His funds drained by Ness, the robber strikes again, at the Petroleum National Bank in Pennsylvania. The squad catches him and his gang in the act.
Ninety Years Without Slumbering
The Twilight Zone
The story naturally suggests Twain and Halley’s Comet, but it’s really more along the lines of Robert Goddard and the cherry tree he used to climb as a boy and dream of space flight. The hurricane of 1938 did away with it, and he wrote in his diary, “Cherry tree down. Have to carry on alone.”
De Roy’s script is carried to the point of grandfather’s spirit leaving his body by double exposure and giving an exit speech. Grandfather says, “I don’t believe in you, therefore you don’t exist, right?” The transparent ghost’s last word is an echo, “Right.”
Ed Wynn’s dialogue with the psychiatrist is played straight for laughs, as it were, with no exaggeration for effect. The charming girl next door relieves the family of that grandfather clock built the year grandfather was born, and which he fears to let run down, but she and her husband go away for the weekend. Grandfather is caught by the police trying to break in and wind it up to save his life.