A bank robber now a paraplegic from police gunfire passes himself off as a Marine Corps veteran while he assassinates HPD officers on call.
Don Stroud plays the spider in his web, Gerald McRaney is a junkie pal.
Scheerer's direction is unnoticeably professional, the unit put to good use taking it all in stride. There is some complex work (car chase onto freeway exit) handled by editing, or with delicate camerawork (tilt-and-pan with zoom to accomplish a transition from second-floor HQ to car below).
The Other Woman
“The Other Woman” is sufficiently analyzed from Perry Mason’s “The Case of the Deadly Double” to serve the difficult purpose of explaining the very strange heterodoxy of the bathetic linked to notions of irresistible right. In fashion this is customary as kitsch, in morality as “passive-aggressiveness”, in commerce as “bait-and-switch”, and generally speaking as the old switcheroo.
Scheerer and Phil Mishkin play this properly to the hilt. A car on fire, a paralyzed lady passenger dragged to safety, her pooch left behind, explosion, hysterics, which is how her psychiatrist explains it, hysterical paralysis, unable to move though she is burned.
The husband is a towering sadistic fellow who browbeats her for no reason and will not divorce her on any account. She cries and sleeps. The husband is evidently murdered by his mistress, a fashion designer dropped from his glossy magazine—the wife’s altogether unknown alter ego, one ruthless cookie.
There is a single oppressive image (Phil Mishkin is the author) educed on the witness stand in the conclusion, which serves as a crowning epitaph on the musical play so viciously reviewed by the murdered critic during his television broadcast.
The play is shown, with its singing and dancing lawyers, jurymen, etc. There is a good deal of fun with restrained comments to the young author afterwards. The image, which cannot be improved in the telling, is set up with the revelation that the director’s actress wife left him years before after a bad notice from the same critic, who was murdered while having breakfast in his hotel room. It seems the murderer’s toupee fell into the “eggs and toast and pancakes and syrup and grape jelly” on the plate, and had to be professionally cleaned. It belongs to the director, who should have known better than to flip his wig.
This is one of the components of “The Murder Game”, retailed there by Matlock during the investigation of an electronic game manufacturer’s murder.
The tour bus breaks down out West in a ghost town, Matlock is knocked unconscious by a signboard, the nightmare is of a frontier lawyer with a hanging judge (who is the curt mechanic fixing the bus, the driver is a murdered sheriff).
The D.A. takes in boarders, Michelle is a saloon belle and floozy in cahoots with cattle rustlers, Lt. Brooks is the town drunk, Conrad is framed.
Matlock braves the judge’s hostility to argumentation and objections, calls the floozy, produces the red leather cushion on her buckboard, a silencer.