Today's selection for Todd Mason's Overlooked Films is an episode from Studio 57, an anthology series that started on the old Dumont Network. When Dumont tanked in 1955, the series continued in syndication. IMDB lists 124 episodes shot, of which this was number 117; IMDB also lists this episode as the last one shown -- numbers 118 through 124 were listed under an "Unknown Season" airing in 1955. This episode is from March 31, 1958. (IMDB and Wikipedia also say the the show's syndication ran through 1955-6. Go figure.) Whatever.
The Getaway Car was directed by Earl Bellemy, a veteran director credited with over 1600 episodes for more than 100 series. This episode was originally filmed as a pilot for a proposed television series, Motorcycle Cop. It starred Mike Connors (MANNIX, TIGHTROPE, TODAY'S FBI) as Patrolman Jeff Saunders. Also heading the cast were John McIntire (WAGON TRAIN, THE VIRGINIAN, NAKED CITY) and veteran character actor Wallace Ford (THE DEPUTY).
The teleplay was by Frederick Brady (here listed as "Frederic Brady"), who wrote scripts for 21 television series, including many of the anthology series of the Fifties, as well as 77SUNSET STRIP and TIGHTROPE.
The Getaway Car was based on a short story by...
wait for it...
John D. MacDonald! That's right, John D. MacDonald. Not only that, the story the eppisode was based on was "The Homesick Buick," one of JDM's most reprinted stories. It first appeared in the September, 1950 issue of EQMM (where it won a third prize in Queen's annual mystery story competition) and has been featured in a number of anthologies, including Tony Hillerman's The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century (2000).
For your viewing pleasure, here is a rare television adaptation of a John D. MacDonald short story:
For more Overlooked films and such, go to Sweet Freedom.