A rampaging private army in equatorial Africa liberate a fortune converted to gold bars and kept in a small, tall vault at the Banque de la République next to their headquarters.
The splendid apparatus devised by the IM Force is administered with a drill through the floor of the vault. Radiating arms heat the chamber to 2200°, melting the gold down into a nozzle and poured out as recast bars in a mold. A spinning paint wheel covers all traces.
Phelps and Cinnamon are gunrunners undercover as the Light of Africa Mission, purveying Bibles. Rollin is a mercenary who’s been there before. He leads the commander to his cache of gold, the army finds its fortune missing, en route to Tangiers via the missionaries.
The enemy has a drug, B-230, administered as a pink gas by means of which, as Phelps puts it, “human will is suspended,” except the bugs haven’t all been worked out, after a short space of smiling acquiescence the test subjects become catatonics. Research proceeds apace under Dr. Turek’s supervision.
Col. Borodin has another idea. Two American scientists, Arthur and Vera Jarvis, are brought over after plastic surgery to defect and solve the problem. Phelps and Meredyth replace them, offering Voliticon as a rival ministration.
The Deputy Premier oversees the allocation of research funds, a bitter tussle is underway between the programs. Vera inclines toward B-230, Dr. Turek enlists her support. Arthur is drugged, shoots Col. Borodin, puts his body in the trunk of his car and drives himself over a cliff. Borodin is only sedated, the accident doesn’t happen, the idea is to put Jarvis on trial and implicate Dr. Turek in his defense, with Paris as military counsel.
The plan fails when guards shooting at Phelps’ speeding car hit Col. Borodin in the trunk and kill him. Now there is no way to proceed, as Barney points out. Phelps at work is shown by Krasny in a close-up of his writing hand, a shot which continues along his arm to a thoughtful face. The eureka calls for “literary” work by Meredyth, without a witness (Borodin) there must be other evidence, Vera’s diary of her love for Dr. Turek.
Barney makes an intrepid daytime ascent of the guarded water tower with the B-230 powder extracted by Willy from its vault with a drill, Ben Franklin’s long arm and a vacuum apparatus. The entire facility is immobilized.
The military tribunal has put Vera and Dr. Turek in cells next to Phelps’. The doctor is told the B-230 is to effect his escape. On the run, he is shot down by the Deputy Premier’s guard, summoned for this purpose.
The IM Force make off with a young test subject, Katherine, before her final treatment.
The Globe Repertory Company plays a construction crew doing road repairs at the intersection of Palace and Lantern. With squibs and charges an attack is staged on an armored prison van. The prisoner is freed, drugged, lifted above the street in a crane bucket and left there like a purloined letter. He is Konstantin, head of the People’s Republican Army in revolt against the military junta ruling Logosia.
A meeting is arranged in the basement of No. 7 Parthenon Street, where evidence is found implicating General Kozani’s second-in-command, Colonel Strabo, in the revolt.
Col. Strabo, leading the search, is induced to another meeting in Zeno Square. He is captured, drugged and made-up to resemble Konstantin. Gen Kozani arrives with an offer of peace and Strabo’s execution.
Strabo unmasks, repeating Kozani’s own words, “when a man is out to kill you, there’s only one way to defend yourself.”
A hit man with an unknown employer and target arrives in Los Angeles, sent by “Scorpio”, the top man for the mob in the whole region. The assassin acts spontaneously based on chance, to avoid detection. He picks a hotel at random in the phone book, and takes the second of two cabs outside the terminal, the one driven by Paris not Willy.
During the advertised fifteen-minute ride, a blank hotel is given appurtenances making it the Hotel Bower, as named to Paris. This requires twenty minutes of stamping, sewing, printing, painting and silkscreening, with a contingent of operatives under Barney’s direction. Willy ekes out the time with two diversions.
At the hotel desk, a pair of dice he carries with him furnish the assassin with a room number, 7, which he’s given by Phelps while Barney swiftly numbers rooms so that the one prepared is now Room 7.
A courier is intercepted and replaced by Dana. The target, head of a construction workers’ union, is replaced by Barney in his suite at the Knickerbocker Hotel. The method of assassination is determined by a throw of dice just before.
Dana as the courier is gunned down just before paying off for the successful hit (which nearly gets Barney, instead of a lifelike dummy, but for Phelps’ quick deduction). Her dying words assign the responsibility to “Scorpio”.
The hit man takes Willy’s cab to the hills for vengeance. The two men kill each other, a bookplate identifies Alfred E. Chambers, the dice on the carpet show snake eyes.
Force of Waves
McGarrett is blown up on a boat in the yacht harbor. The target is his host, a wealthy man divorced and newly-married to a young wife.
It’s happened before, once in Maui, once in Singapore, the same type of victim.
A friend of McGarrett’s has strange memory lapses, can’t remember his trips to Maui and Singapore over the years. His father left his mother under similar circumstances.
The two friends work occasionally on McGarrett’s boat, a landlocked tub of a motor cruiser in sad disrepair, willed by an elderly Chinese gentleman.
The amateur is a tavern proprietor who stumbles into an IMF operation and sees his chance to make a fortune.
A Ransdorf-Dornberg bicycle race is the way out. Sherlock Holmes’ advice is followed, the prototype rocket-laser is dismantled in several pieces. Dana has the guidance unit, it’s purloined by the amateur.
A sustained central performance by Anthony Zerbe, who had earlier played a top-level operative and a security chief, actually serves as a foil to a carefully prepared turn at the end.
A police detective collars the entrepreneur and delivers the epithet, while the Impossible Missions Force soars out of sight.
The picture even includes Father Bernard of “the Western spy apparat” with a list of all its operatives in the area.
“Outmoded” is how the detective describes his murder suspect’s Luger.
An old gangster falls asleep in a barber’s chair and wakes up in the Thirties a young hoodlum, thanks to a ploy by the IMF out of The Taming of the Shrew. Every sweet detail is in place, Casey is his girl, he gradually accedes to it, especially as his face matches everything else.
The same circumstances lead to the same murder and the same place for the body, which is found by the IMF after three decades.
William Shatner has the virtuosic role, which he plays as an old man suckered by medication and makeup into believing the fantastic lie, an expansion on the dreamlike suggestion given to Wilfrid Hyde-White in a re-creation of his former décor at home with a visit from Hitler (Season 2, “Echo of Yesterday”).
The image depends on the mountaintop retreat reached by an aerial tramway, where two crime bosses in partnership hold a convocation of their fellows. The proposal is to create a holding company that will funnel cash to South America, with profits to be distributed by shares.
The IMF call one partner away with a ruse and hold him for ransom at the hands of Casey and Willy as hirelings of the other, who descends to pay them off. But the bird has flown with a tale to tell, and when all are assembled once again at the retreat, the investors’ money is gone from the safe. Naturally the kidnapping is thought to have been a ruse, and the affair ends with a shootout between the rivals on the tram and in the lower station.
Krasny filmed his exteriors in and around the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, with a script that makes expert use of the locale.
A murderous and “highly-placed political figure” with an office in Los Angeles takes bribes from the syndicate to let them operate “openly in a Western state”. He ups his price, the mobster who pays him under loose Chicago supervision sends him a bomb in the bag.
A well-laid, secure plan goes completely awry. Casey is the bag woman without a clue, Barney undercover is found out and wounded, Willy tailing the drop loses his way by accident, Phelps minding the store has to think fast in a pressing situation.
He nixes the bomb, presenting himself as the man from Chicago, tails the henchman, discerns the address and sends Willy in to collar the man known only as “C6”.
The fictional country of Marnsburg supplies the fairy-tale element of this piece. An American crime mistress steals the crown in a dazzling daylight assault on an armored car in a residential street (her gang is armed with armor-piercing shells).
The IMF give her to understand the crown is a fake sent out as a diversion. Barney is a friend of the lady’s brother, who recently died in prison. She joins forces with him to snatch the real crown, a fake planted in the Marnsburg consulate.
Everything depends on understanding the lady’s mind. Sure enough, she switches the crowns once both are in her hands, the IMF has the real one, her mob creditors close in, followed by the police.
The unusual casting limits Pernell Roberts to a surly presence as her aide (and Thalmus Rasulala similarly as a henchman), and Charles McGraw to a cameo as a mob boss. Barbara McNair plays the “gutter trash” with a façade.
Revenge and Remorse
A classic tale of a courtroom bomber for a judge, the defense attorney in the case goes up in his car.
The suspect is on parole, divorced with a mistress at the Club Flamingo.
The ex-wife is a charity donor to excess, the “cleaning” motif is very strong early on.
The parolee has season tickets to the Milwaukee Brewers across the state line, that’s his illicit alibi.
Justice for the Innocent
In this sequel to Holcomb’s Two Fathers’ Justice, the steelworker (Robert Conrad) has lost his job and home, his wife is dead. “Nothing works in America,” he says when the drug-dealer who murdered his daughter on her wedding night escapes from prison, “so why should the justice system?” The millionaire (George Hamilton) has it all and then some, still a meaninglessness pervades his life since the murder of his son, the bridegroom.
They catch the dealer once again, just before he leaves the country with his millions converted into gold right under the noses of the FBI.
Krasny’s late style is refined and perfected to an astonishing degree, he conveys the rich man’s home by a curtailed shot of interior volume, the speeding train at a rendezvous is abstracted as mass.
Hamilton and Conrad slip into their characters easily, the four actresses in important roles reveal exactly the same naturalness and realism set by Krasny, perfectly.