Appointment with Danger (1951) Movie Script

This is a branch
office of the biggest business
in the world, the United States
post office.
The citizens of this country
own it, work
in it, and use it.
All day.
All year.
Use it for business, for pleasure.
Sometimes, for an all important
message to that busy
man at the north pole.
We're proud of our post office
because we have confidence in
its efficiency.
Because we know our letters and
parcels and money orders
will be delivered promptly
and with safety.
It's a big confidence.
Every year the post office is
entrusted with $45 billion
pieces of mail and enough money
to pay off the personal
debts of everyone in the world.
Your mailman, you know.
He calls at your home or office
a dozen times a week.
But behind him is a great army
of men and women, equally
dedicated to fulfilling Uncle
Sam's guarantee of delivery.
Whether it involves sending
junior's old sweater to summer
camp or shipping a million
dollars in
currency to San Francisco.
But behind this army is a
special corps of trained men,
seldom seen, almost
never publicized.
The nation's oldest police
force, the postal inspectors,
always on guard.
This is an account of one of
these postal inspectors on a
routine assignment.
The story begins in the rain
of a murky summer night in
Gary, Indiana.
Isn't it stupid of me?
I thought if I came out in
the wind I could fix it.
Chopind all right?
Uh, a little too much to drink.
We're giving him some air.
I'm sorry about the umbrella.
They're good to have, uh,
well when it's raining.
Good night sister.
Well, what else could I do?
I don't know.
Good evening sister,
are you lost?
No, there's a man back
there in the alley.
His friend says he's had
too much to drink.
I was wondering...
I'll look into it sister.
Thank you.
Harry Gruber's stuff.
We'll need a receipt.
That is what is known as
methodical police work.
Must be fun having the experts
down from Chicago.
Oh Mr. Ahearn's all right, as
a boss, at least. It's that
inspector he brought along.
Where do you meet
Mr. Al Goddard?
Is he as tough as ever?
We just got his order
for lunch, a
small boy with mustard.
All right Al, you're
beginning to
make the point clear.
A trained operator like Gruber
couldn't be strangled.
I'm sure of it.
He was either drunk or asleep.
He didn't drink so
he was asleep.
Here in Laporte?
He's not even registered
is to the hotel.
I just don't believe it.
Well, what do you believe?
That he was killed somewhere
else and brought here.
That could be any place.
He was on a floating
assignment all over
Indiana last week.
Sure it's a rat race now.
All because some cup spent the
night chasing a hot rod.
How did he know there was
a dead man in the alley?
Why don't you give the
police a break?
Sorry to have kept you waiting.
Here's your stuff.
The last will and testament
of Harry Gruber.
Was this Gruber a friend
of yours Mr. Goddard?
I know him but I
didn't like him.
What about the nun?
We're doing
the best we Mr. Ahearn.
Well how good is that?
We've checked on every nun in
Laporte for the past 48 hours.
Not one of them was anywhere
near that alley last night.
Did you bother to check
the railroads?
No nun purchased a ticket,
boarded a train, or got off
one all day Tuesday.
Buses and planes likewise.
Bound to be around someplace.
How many nuns are there anyway?
I don't know Mr. Goddard.
I never counted it.
Let's go. I've got to
fly back to Washington.
I'll drop you by the airport.
Stay with it Al.
Don't worry. I'm going to
start looking for that nun.
Somebody's got to find her.
Boy I'll bet that guy doesn't
even like his own mother.
I'm not sure he had one.
You've been chasing hoodlums
for so long, you don't know
how to treat ordinary people.
Warm up will you?
Sure, I'll fall in
love for you.
I don't think you could because
you don't know what a
love affair is.
It's what goes on between
a man and a 45
pistol that won't change.
Let me tell you about you Al.
That badge an a few law books
have turned you into a nut.
You don't like anybody.
You don't believe anybody.
You don't trust anybody.
You think everybody has a pitch.
Everybody has.
You and I and a guy back there.
A better job, a
little more dough, a
round of applause.
One way or another, everybody
you meet is a pitch artist.
Keep me posted.
And remember one thing Al.
The biggest thing on
your aside isn't a
pair of brass knuckles.
It's time and men and patience.
Now do you mind if I find out
who killed Harry Gruber?
No, I'm sure you will Al because
you're a good cop.
That's about all you are.
Yup, this is where it happened.
The nun went west
on 34th street.
First block up.
Are you from out of town?
I'm a stranger here.
Let's go west on 34th.
Dead end as far west as you go.
Well this doesn't send
me any message.
Let's go.
What's that over there?
The river?
Railroad yard.
Some kind of a switching point.
Mind if I take a look.
I wouldn't want you
to get lost Mr.
Good evening.
How long do the trains
stop here?
Just long enough to switch
over, five minutes.
Any of them stop any longer
for any reason?
You talking about that
train last night?
What about it?
Passenger train at fort Wayne.
Got hung up here for about
20 minutes, not my fault.
During that 20 minutes
did you see a
nun get off the train?
You got me.
I was too busy.
But she should've gotten off,
walked into town, and gotten
back here before it left.
Well, I guess so.
Well, suppose that happened and
she got back on the train.
From here on could there any
other station she'd get off.
That train doesn't stop until
it gets to fort Wayne.
What's this?
Fast freight to fort Wayne.
You see a nun get off the
special yesterday?
How about you Charlie?
Well they usually
travel in pairs.
Did you see a pair then?
Yeah, they got on a bus.
What bus?
Belle isle.
Like the one that's loading
over there.
Sister Augustine.
I work for the post office.
Well, that's very nice.
My name is Goddard.
I'm here investigating a murder.
Oh, I'm sure we wouldn't know
anything about such a thing.
On Tuesday night you saw a
man dumped in an alley of
Laporte, Indiana.
I got off the train to get
sister Paula some medicine.
She wasn't feeling so well.
Neither was the guy
in the alley.
He was a dead government agent
by the name of Harry Gruber.
Did he have a family?
What's the difference sister?
He's just as dead either way.
Not quite Mr. Goddard.
Well the point is, the night
his luck ran out you had a
grand stand seat.
I don't understand.
Could you identify any of the
people in the alley with him?
One at least. He was
very helpful.
Would you mind coming downtown
and checking the
state police files?
I don't think so Mr. Goddard.
I have classes in a few minutes.
I have children to teach.
Sister, it's your job
to go down there.
Isn't there someone
else you could get?
Even if there were you
should know better.
Letting someone else do your job
is a design of the devil.
All right, I'll see
mother Joseph.
You're right about letting
someone else do your job.
It's not original sister,
merely a quote.
Well, whoever said it,
it was very true.
It's from the writings
of Martin Luther.
From his earlier writings
I imagine.
I'll be there Mr. Goddard.
My, there's an ugly one.
Most of them are sister.
I suppose so.
But you wonder how when you
see them as small boys.
You wonder how they can
ever do anything bad.
But they usually do.
Here you are sister.
All right Joe.
I had a laugh a while ago.
She was looking at a picture
of that hammer murderer and
said, maybe he didn't get
the proper training.
Well maybe he didn't.
In a pig's eye, he
was a carpenter.
Mr. Goddard.
I think that's the man
I saw in the alley.
You're not quite sure?
Almost. If I could
see him in person.
George Soderquist.
The helpful one.
How's he read?
Hmm, nice pedigree.
Armed robbery 1938, armed
robbery 1939,
armed robbery 1941.
1940 must have
been a slow year.
Invasion of national service
act, 1942 convicted, released
April 1947.
Arrested drunk driving 1948.
Last known to be in
Gary, Indiana.
That turns into a big town.
I'll, uh I'll notify your boss.
While you're on the phone
call homicide at Gary.
Tell them to put a tail
on Soderquist.
Anything else?
Yeah, brief them on the
case until I get there.
Oh, and tell them I'm arranging
to have sister
Augustine report to Gary as
an identifying witness.
Oh, I don't know Mr. Goddard.
I'm afraid the church
authorities would frown on
such a thing.
Not if the matter's
murder sister.
I'll have Washington contact
the chancellery.
Very well.
But I don't think that I'm
going to be much help.
You identify him and I'll see
that he gets the chair.
Thank you.
Good evening, I'm
mother Ambrose.
My name's Goddard.
I have a letter from the bishop.
Sit down sister.
Is this Soderquist a friend
of yours sister?
I picked him out of the mug book.
Mug book?
It's a phrase she picked up.
Will you be here long sister?
Until we can proffer charges
against Soderquist for murder.
Are you sure he's the murderer?
That's the way I'd vote.
He'll get a trail and everything
the law allows.
But not one drop of charity.
I'll have them set us up
a place for you sister.
You don't think very much
of me, do you sister?
I think much of everything
Mr. Goddard.
But I feel sorry for you.
I don't think you have a heart.
Call it muscle.
That's the way it is with a cop.
I don't believe it.
When a cop dies, they don't
list it as heart failure.
It's Charlie horse of the chest.
Thank you.
You Goddard?
I'm Dave Goodman,
local homicide.
Oh, how do you do?
Sister Augustine
I'm glad I caught you.
We got your boy Soderquist
staked out
at a downtown pool room.
It's fine.
We can't move until sister
Augustine identifies him.
Would you like to come
down and have a look?
How about it?
All right then.
Oh, mother Ambrose?
May we borrow sister Augustine
for a while?
Where will you be?
If the bishop or someone
should call.
Say I'll be back shortly.
I mean specifically, what
shall I tell them?
Just tell them I'm
down at the pool.
Oh, I'm sorry.
That's the man.
The man with the coat on.
He's the one that spoke
to me in the alley.
George Soderquist. What
about the other one?
No, I've never seen him before.
It's a hoodlum hang out.
He may have a record.
Let's find out.
Have you got a tail
on Soderquist?
Is that all.
For now.
I'll have to take you back
to St. Michael's.
Oh, no please.
You're going to be busy
with those men.
We can get a cab.
It's no trouble at all.
But I don't think we should...
oh, yes.
Taxi, taxi.
Goodnight sister.
Goodnight, and thank you.
Hello Earl.
I think we're in trouble.
That nun's here in Gary.
Two minutes ago and
it's no accident.
Naples yes, Gary no.
She's here for a reason Earl.
Get a hold of Soderquist and
keep him undercover.
In the meantime, I'm gonna cut
this town open and find her.
I'm gonna find her Earl
before she finds me.
You know this town pretty well.
Why would a couple of gunsters
knock off Harry Gruber?
Say robbery.
For dough?
If you're a government cop, you
have to marry money to buy
a stick of gum.
And why did they strangle him?
Usually if you're a hood and
you knock somebody over you
beat it out town yourself.
You don't send a corpse.
But they did.
Could be because they
wanted to stay here.
Be interesting to have
Soderquist tell us.
Yeah sharkey?
All right, all right. Shake
down the district and send some
men over to his apartment.
I want him in here.
You don't have to tell me.
Soderquist jumped the tail.
Any other time it's a cinch.
This time we draw a
near-sighted cop.
Now we gotta head him on.
How tight can you
seal this town?
Pretty tight.
O.K., lock it up.
Notify the state police and
check all the highways.
Without Soderquist we
haven't got a lead.
We'll have him hear in an hour.
If you want me I'll be
at the post office...
if it hasn't been stolen.
I've been postmaster
here 10 years.
And all that time I've never
known Gruber to do anything
but hit town and make
a routine check.
This time he suddenly became
interested in these three
truck drivers?
He sat here and brooded over
those files all afternoon.
You know, I think it has
something to do with a
transfer of money between
the two stations.
What two stations?
Here in town we have two
railroad stations.
On true shipments we have to
transfer stuff from one
station to another
by a mail truck.
Big shipments?
The one from Cleveland's
a Lulu.
One of these three men
always handle the run
between the two stations.
That's the last question
Gruber asked me.
He left here and six hours later
he was dead in Laporte.
I'll bet he called on this
guy first, Paul Ferrar.
Uh, one of the three drivers?
Says here he was offered a
better job but turned it down.
Now why would our friend Ferrar
turn down a $500 a year
raise to drive a truck.
I think he said he liked
to be outside.
For $500 worth?
You know, I'd like to take
a look at this Ferrar.
Well, uh, he's on duty now.
Uh, I can get him up.
No, don't do that.
I just want a quick glimpse.
The next one
well, well.
Our first break.
That is the boy who walked out
of the pool room with George
Soderquist. That puts
Paul Ferrar in the act.
I better get Ahearn
back in town.
In the meantime, give
me a list of
all your money transfers.
Well there's nothing missing.
So Gruber wasn't killed because
he found some guy
stealing money.
Look, a cheat kills his wife
for one of two reasons.
Either she's caught him cheating
or she hasn't given
him the chance.
Same with the money.
Well say it's true and Gruber
found out about a deal between
Ferrar and Soderquist.
George Soderquist and
somebody else.
That's the big one.
Who is that somebody else?
Are you hurt?
No, I was late for
practice sister.
Are you all right sister?
Yes I'm all right.
Look, if they want a radio
in the room it's
$0.25 a day for everybody.
Yeah, yeah.
Did you get Soderquist.?
Cronin picked up his stuff.
What about the nun?
She got lucky.
Well I'm glad she did.
You're piling up too
many mistakes Joe.
Killing Gruber was a mistake.
It happened.
Anybody ever tell
you about murder?
It's against the law.
You didn't cry too
hard at the time.
It was a mistake anyway.
Now this thing about the
nun, forget about it.
We may never hear
from her again.
Soderquist will.
There's a police call
out for him.
You sure she can identify him?
How about you?
I don't think so.
But he can identify me.
It's too much of a chance.
I've got to get him out of here.
And then we'll worry about that
nun, in case she did see me.
You'll forget about
the nun Joe.
I'm still running things.
Remember that.
If they ever get me in the
back room of that police
station I'll have it on
the tip of my tongue.
Ah, good afternoon Ms. nagel.
Good afternoon, Mr. bedford.
We'll have that corner room
for you in a day or two.
Thank you.
Nice woman.
Hello fellas.
Sit down.
How about a cup of coffee.
No thanks George.
I fixed the room up
pretty good huh?
You want a cookie?
George, you've got to
get out of here.
You've been identified
by the nun.
You don't know for sure.
We can't afford to
take a chance.
You better go to St.
Louis for a while.
St. Louis.
I don't even know anybody
in St. Louis.
You're not going to
run for office.
You're going to protect
yourself and us.
Don't Joe.
I don't know about going
to St. Louis.
Give him the picture George.
It's my son.
Did you ever see a picture
of him Earl?
You know it was terrible how
his mother took him away.
She just up and left one night
and I, I didn't see him since.
But I still had a picture.
And the baby shoes the way they
fix them up with bronze
for a keepsake.
Let's talk about it some
other time huh, George?
You know what's funny
about kids Earl?
They change all the time.
Yeah, I know.
Let's start packing.
I'm not going Earl.
I told you I don't want to go.
You know what's coming up.
It may not even work out.
If it does, you'll
be taken care of.
How do I know?
Because I promise you.
No Earl.
That's the most m-money
I ever heard of.
If I'm dealt out, I'm dealt out
and I don't have a prayer.
You won't pack this
stuff, I will.
Stay away from that suitcase.
I'm n-not going.
Wh-whatever you fellas say.
Wh-what'd I ever do to you?
Well, what else could we do?
As one hero to another,
what else?
It fell this afternoon while
sister was passing under it.
It fell without any
warning at all.
Without any warning at all.
I see.
While we're waiting for
Soderquist, you may be able to
help out on the other end.
You could take a look
at the files here.
That's a waste of time.
Sister, I want you to go
back to fort Wayne.
Why the switch?
A matter of common sense.
Sister, while you're here in
Gary, we're responsible for
anything that happens to you.
Like this accident here.
Oh, I don't think you need
worry about a bad accident
happening to me.
You see, I have a
guardian angel.
You have a what?
Guardian angel.
It's a new idea to Mr. Goddard.
Look Maury, I have nothing
against angels.
But it doesn't help
our position.
Sister, I want you to go
back to fort Wayne
before you get hurt.
You once told me not to let
anybody else do my job.
It's my duty to stay.
And I'm going to stay.
All right, you stay.
Oh, that's the dinner bell.
I'm afraid you must excuse
us gentlemen.
Don't worry Mr. Goddard.
I'll be all right.
What would happen if we put
the screws to Ferrar.
You'd blow the whole thing.
Now don't try anything
fancy because you're
worried about that nun.
I'm not worried about the nun.
I just want to find some quick
way to shake up Ferrar.
Forget the quick ways.
You stick to straight
police work.
By the way, what's
the nuns pitch?
Hey what's bothering
you playful?
We can't talk here Paul?
Well why should we?
And drop the Paul will you?
You don't even know me.
Paul Ferrar, p.O. Serial
number 20754.
Are you a cop?
Postal inspector, Al Goddard.
Come on, sit down.
Yeah, sure.
Play dominoes?
Now what's on your
mind Mr. Goddard?
You got some questions
or something?
How would like to go
to prison for the
murder of Harry Gruber?
You must be crazy Mr. Goddard
and they turned
you loose too soon.
I don't know any Harry Gruber.
And I don't know anything
about a murder.
I believe you.
But I can rig it so
a jury won't.
You couldn't do that.
Don't be foolish.
I can break every alibi
that you've got.
I can prove that you know George
Soderquist. That you
were in the alley with him the
night that Gruber was killed.
I don't know what you're
talking about.
It's all very simple.
Step by step I'm going to
railroad you into prison for
the murder of Harry Gruber.
But why?
Why go out and just pick
a guy out of thin air?
What's the point?
The point is I'll forget it...
if I get the right price.
The right price is $25,000.
What is this Goddard?
A shakedown?
It's my welfare work.
I wouldn't want to see
you go to prison.
Look Goddard, you don't just
order up $25,000 like you
would have a ham sandwich.
Where would I get it?
Go to your friends.
And you can tell them I
know why you turned
down that $500 raise.
Ah, that doesn't mean a thing.
And you can also tell
them I know why you
drive that mail truck.
Because if you don't, all the
plans for the two station
robbery goes sky high.
You know something?
I don't believe any of this.
About Soderquist, about
the robbery,
and this, this shakedown.
I don't even believe
you're a cop.
I'm at the park hotel.
You talk to your friends
and that money up.
If you don't, I'm going to box
in the Gruber thing and I'm
going to spoil your
little robbery.
Goddard, why are you doing this?
I want that money by midnight
or I catch a late train for
Even my friends knock.
It was open.
You're a quiet man
with a latch.
Goddard, there's no such
thing as $25,000.
You mean you'd frame me.
Sure I would.
All right, look.
I know some of them Soderquist
knows and I've talked to them.
But they haven't got
that kind of money.
And I'm not in whatever
they're doing.
Sure, sure.
I'll go along with you
in any way I can.
Is that the reason you're here.
No, they... they
want to met you.
They say they'll try to work
something out if you would sit
down with them.
I think they're scared.
Yeah, they're scared to death.
Well, how about it?
Look, I don't want to talk
to any third parties.
They'll be no tape recordings
and no tricks.
I'm going to talk to
you and just you.
And right now, as far
as I'm concerned,
this talk is finished.
Look, give me a break will you?
I haven't anything
to do with this.
I don't believe anything you've
said except that there
isn't that kind of money.
O.K. I'll buy my racing stables
some other time.
This job I'm going to
concentrate on being a hero.
Oh now wait, listen will you?
It's not my fault.
Forget the deadline.
You muffed it.
But I'm the one that's
going to go to prison.
What am I going to do?
That's your problem.
I've never been to prison.
Come on, beat it.
Thank you sir.
Sit down.
What's this all about?
One of those quick plans.
I'm counting on somebody beating
my brains out in the
next 10 minutes.
Good luck.
Whoever killed Harry Gruber,
they've got plenty of reason
to want me now.
These things never work.
This has to.
I've put out enough
to scare them.
Remember what happened
to Eddie mcintyre?
I'd rather not.
Now get out and give me a chance
to make some friends.
Hit the railroad station.
11:50 to Washington.
You're a little early mister.
Let me guess.
You're the consolation prize.
Hotel stenographer drafted
to the emergency.
What happened to you?
You look like you fell
under a truck.
I got pushed.
Run along now.
I usually take a walk
this time of night.
You're better than the last
guy I sat up for.
He was a machinery salesman.
For a hotel stenographer
you're pretty busy.
It's an awful grind.
The typing's killing me.
See you later.
Not silly enough to think you
might get away with this.
We can try.
Like Gruber.
We don't know Gruber.
It won't help to put
me in concrete.
There's too much interest
left around.
You look like a pretty
smart guy.
What are you hanging around
with a
like that for?
Anybody ever weigh your head?
I'm talking to him.
I got two years of working
tied into this robbery.
I'm all set to go and I'm not
going to give up now.
What else can you do?
Well, that's it.
If you're bluffing about this
Gruber or whoever he is, that
means nothing.
But you could stop us
on the other thing.
Ferrar tells me you
want $25,000.
That was hours ago.
How do we know you're
not a plant.
You don't
there's a law against
robbing the mails.
But there's nothing says you
can't talk about it.
We're kidding naturally.
Now if we were doing this thing
seriously, this one guy
you'd never meet.
The guy who gets you if
anything goes wrong.
If you were doing
what seriously?
You like money don't you.
No bad blood between us?
We haven't got the $25,000.
But there's close to a million
in this thing of ours.
We could cut you in for a sixth.
Why don't you wake up.
You can't beat the mails.
They got a system.
So have we.
We found the weak link.
With your help we could
make it fool proof.
No thanks.
You're in a bad spot, not us.
Sure we'd have to fold.
But you're wrong about
the concrete.
Wouldn't have to be now.
In a few months if
you get a broken
back, you got arthritis.
Think it over.
We're signing no deal
tonight anyway.
But we will sign a deal.
Good morning.
How was the food?
It was as good as
a the company.
Did you sleep last
night or think?
I slept.
Well, today you'll think.
Don't mind her, she
has no control.
I'm getting up.
Oh come on, stay.
Go swallow a germ.
We're going by to play
some handball, uh,
you better come along.
I'm due back at work.
You can skip a day.
It'd look funny.
I don't care how it looks.
Get this straight Goddard.
Until you prove out, one of
us is going to be with
you night and day.
Don't start glowing, I've
got the breakfast shift.
I don't get it Goddard.
You go along one way for years
and then suddenly you pull a
complete switch.
Sooner or later every rooster
wants to lay an egg.
Eh, beyond that.
Have you any special reason
why you want $25,000.
Maybe it's because a few horse
broke their promises.
Betting more than
you can afford?
Is there any other way to bet?
Where do you book?
Here and there.
I travel around a lot.
Yeah but, say n Chicago,
where do you book?
A guy named Max weiler.
Max weiler?
Yeah, on and off.
An old friend of mine.
Is that so?
Max isn't there anymore.
They closed him up.
Here he went to Mexico to cure
a bad case of lungs.
Yeah, I know.
He's back, tending bar for
his brother here in Gary.
I haven't seen Max
in quite a spell.
I have to give him a ring
one of these days.
Sure, why not?
Yeah, just to say hello.
Tell him I saw you.
You're neat enough, let's play.
Ray, you start.
I'll be with you in a minute.
You know I don't eat any
breakfast so naturally around
noon time, I get a
little hungry.
You ready?
Hello let me talk
to maxie Wilder.
Oh, hello maxie.
How you been?
This Earl Boettiger.
Say when you were making book,
did you a customer called Al
What kind of a looking guy?
Light hair, light complexion.
Pretty young guy, works
for the post office.
Use to bet with you
pretty often.
Not with me.
Thanks Max.
What happened?
He had an accident.
Better get some ice.
I'll get it.
Police business, call
this number.
There's a man been hurt
out there. We need some ice.
Put it in a towel.
Hurry up will you?
Yes sir.
What's the delay?
Waiting for the ice.
I have to crush it.
Well we'll take it that way.
You look worried
Al, about Regas?
Yeah I, I hate to see
him in such pain.
Sit down.
Sit down, you're tired.
This is Max again.
What's with the Goddard boy?
Is he hot? Half hour ago
you said you didn't know him.
Why the switch?
There was a cop in here.
When there's a cop around I
don't know my own mother.
I'm a loser Earl, gotta
be careful.
What made you think
he might be hot?
He's the type.
Last summer he owed me $1800,
got it up in a week.
The word was, uh, he picked
it up under the counter.
Yeah, of course I'm sure.
I've got the books to prove it.
Yeah, all right Earl.
That was all right Max.
Now let's have a beer.
That was maxie Wilder.
He says you're a thief.
Bless his little heart.
You're going to take
this maxie's word.
If somebody gave him a Bible
to swear on he'd steal it.
He says you're an old
hand at shakedowns.
Even if he's right,
the moral's clear.
I want my $25,000.
I've told you before.
We haven't got that kind of
money or anything like it.
If you want a share of the
robbery it's all right.
If you don't, go down
the hall pack your
lingerie and get out.
If I walk out of here,
your robbery
goes out of the window.
And you go right on managing
your grubby hotel.
And for the next 10 years
you'll still be changing
sheets and putting drunks to
bed so don't get so tough.
Are you in or out?
I'm in.
You run your end any
way you want.
But I take full charge
of the post office.
What's wrong with Ferrar.
Somebody'll pick him up
the same way I did.
If I'm going to risk my neck,
I'll do it my way.
One other thing, we gotta make
it look good downtown.
I gotta be free to move around
and do my job as usual.
All right.
We'll give you the assignment.
You're sure we're giving
him enough?
How do you mean?
We're giving him his own
way and a full share.
Why don't we all give
him a right arm just
for old time's sake?
I'm worried about you Joe.
Somewhere in your bloodstream
you've got a crazy bug and
it's swimming upstream
night and day.
Get a cure or you'll
kill us all.
All right Earl.
We'll let it stand this way.
One bad move outta you
and I'll put you on
your back for good.
Amuse yourself.
Help him with the print.
Give me the rundown Earl.
Hello Maury.
Well we were right.
They're on the gun and
it's a million dollar
reserve stick up.
How'd you find out about it?
Purely accidental.
One thing led to another and
I agreed to help them.
Why you blundering...
oh now, don't worry,
I'm not going
through with any robbery.
Look, get a rundown on Earl
Boettiger, Joe Regas.
How long before the robbery?
Maybe 10 days.
Enough time to shop for
Gruber and get out
with the whole skin.
Now if we could only
tie Soderquist in.
Call you back.
What are you doing out?
Can't you call from the hotel?
Can't you.
I'm just shopping.
They've got some new records in.
You like bop?
Is that where everybody
plays a different
tune at the same time?
You just haven't heard
enough of it.
Have you heard Joe
lily's only mine?
Come up to my place and hear it.
As a favor to Joe.
What he can do with a horn.
He belts it, melts it, and rides
it all over the ceiling.
Can he play it?
Listen, listen to this part.
Hmm, not very sentimental
is he?
Where'd you meet Earl?
Where'd he come from?
Did you come here to ask
questions or listen?
Get this.
He's flat at fifth.
Look, I wouldn't know a flat at
fifth if they gave one away
with every purchase.
This last part here,
voom, voom, voom.
Gets you right in
the breadbasket.
What do you think?
Gets you right in
the breadbasket.
You oughta hear some
of the slow stuff.
He's got a take off called
slow bus to Memphis.
It's around here someplace.
You look in that pile
over there.
I"ll look here.
Here it is.
Did you find it?
So that's your slow
bus to Memphis.
Can I give you a lift.
You already have.
Hello Mr. Goddard.
Won't you sit down.
How do these kids stack
up with your bunch?
They're lovely children but...
I would want you to tell
mother Ambrose this.
The boys are very badly
trained in baseball.
Well maybe the franciscans
haven't got
the hang of it yet.
They haven't.
We've sent three boys
to the major leagues.
They've only sent one.
He's with the St. Louis browns.
No thank you sister.
I have a photograph of
Soderquist and his friends.
I think one of the men was him
that night in the alley.
How about the one on
the left, Regas?
I know it's a disappointment
Mr. Goddard but you wouldn't
want me to guess would you.
No, not when it involves
Is there anything else?
Yes there is.
You were told to stay
in the house
because you were in danger.
I come here and find you out
there with a bunch of kids.
You won't frighten me away
from the children.
Here, I brought you this.
Oh no, Mr. Goddard,
please put it back.
Come on, take it, it'll
protect you.
How does a thing
like that work?
It's very simple.
To inject the cartridge you
pull it back like this.
Sometimes they jam, there.
Now you're in business.
I don't want it.
But you might need it.
Don't tell me you
can say a prayer.
Prayer is not going to keep
you from being killed.
People don't pay to
keep from dying.
They pray to keep from being
disappointed when they do.
Take it as a personal favor.
I didn't know policeman could
afford personal feelings.
There's nothing personal
about it.
It's merely routine.
Do you know Mr. Goddard, with
a little practice, you could
be a nice man?
I'll take two weeks off
sometime and try it.
Mr. Goddard, I'll show you
the back way through the alley.
You're learning fast sister.
We both are Mr. Goddard.
Please take care of yourself.
I think the government expects
a lot from young men.
It's my job I have
to take the risk.
Well the should get some of
the politicians to do it.
When I'm in trouble sister,
I'll quote you.
You be careful.
I will.
I have that guardian angel.
I'll get one too.
Only mine doesn't jam.
Boy is it a scorcher.
Well that's Gary weather.
Good one day, bad the next.
It's not a question
of good or bad.
You people just don't
have weather.
What about the robbery?
One more and they hit
on the perfect flaw.
Reserved shipment from Cleveland
to logansport.
Well I'm just a youngster,
what makes that a flaw?
There's no through train from
Cleveland to logansport.
Then they have to transfer the
dough from one train to
another, right here in Gary.
But it's protected all the
way by armored trucks and
machine guns.
All except that seven
minutes here in Gary.
When it travels from one
station to another in a single
mail truck.
Protected by one man
and a 45 pistol.
It's a great scheme Maury.
So you had to tackle the
whole thing by yourself.
This time, I did.
Every time!
Look, I told you in the cab.
We've got to get a move and
quit playing footsie.
Because you' got softhearted
about a nun?
I don't care about her.
She's our star witness, we've
got to protect her.
All right, you've got a badge.
Why don't you arrest me
for perjury?
How can I?
It's the first time I've
ever liked you.
It's going to be a short
romance if you don't find
Soderquist. What about
the rest of name's?
Regas, Gunner and Corning,
local boys, all clean.
Edgar, well...
yeah, I know, a respectable
hotel owner.
Soderquist served out until
last year, 1948 drunk driving.
He beat the charge.
Proved he was diabetic.
All model citizens.
I don't get it.
Outside of Soderquist
, none of them ever
committed a crime before.
Then all of a sudden
a brutal murder.
It doesn't make sense.
Why not?
You have to build up to a murder.
One good try and you're there.
You'll have to dig
from your end.
We've got to find Soderquist.
Let me see that report again.
This guys' a diabetic.
Why wasn't it on the report
at fort Wayne
they thought he was drunk.
Well he wasn't. It says
right here approaching shock.
If you're a diabetic you've
got to have your shot of
insulin regularly.
That's right.
If he's hiding and can't get
the stuff he's going to go
back into shock.
Better get a search underway
Get ever drug stores and supply
house in this town.
Sooner or later that guys' got
to show up for his insulin.
And remember, if you don't get
Soderquist, I'm in the soup.
There goes 40 bucks.
Worse than your horses.
Why should you worry about $40.
I don't anymore.
I got word on the shipment.
The job goes tomorrow.
Why move it up?
We're starved for time.
It goes tomorrow.
Where are the cold drinks.
It's down at the end, get
a couple will you?
Want a hot dog.
No thanks.
Give me a couple of hot dogs.
They're going to try and
pull it off tomorrow.
What about that insulin?
No luck.
Only two new sales in
the past three days.
We checked through both of
them down to the jab in the arm.
Neither arm was Soderquist.
That means he got out of town.
I'll put my job on the line,
he couldn't have.
He's dead then.
At least they won't
use an alley again.
I've got two squads
steel plants
city dumps, the canal.
Well Ahearn, I'll
see him sometime
tonight at the post office.
I got less than a day to
bail out of this thing.
It's the canal this side
of middle Avenue
drive right through
the steelworks.
Yeah, what happens if it
is Soderquists body?
Hard to say.
We won't know which to jump.
Use my car, here are the keys.
Well thanks.
It's Soderquist all right.
That's slams it shut
right in our face.
Fat chance of finding any
witnesses to this one.
I talked to Washington while
we were waiting for you.
Let me guess, they want us
to go in with the robbery.
We've got nothing this
way that would last
five minutes in court.
I know.
But the moment those boys
land their hands on that
money, it's a major crime,
5 to 25 years.
Get them on a charge like
that and on of them would
break on Gruber.
Can you think of any
other way Al.
No, but I'm working on it.
Hey there!
It's Ferrar.
You sure.
Nick, Joe, Charlie, the fence.
Cover this fence, make sure he
can't get out of the plant.
Yes lieutenant.
There's no way I know he
can get past the fence.
We'll wait him out.
You've better get back
to Boettiger.
We'll call you if anything
O.K., I'll see you tomorrow.
Mr. Goddard hasn't returned yet.
I have your messages.
I'll tell him as soon
as he comes in.
Just a minute, Mr. Goddard,
They've called several times.
Well, thank you.
Hello, Goddard talking.
We've put you in a hole
Al, Ferrar got away.
With what he knows, he's bound
to go to Boettiger and if he
gets there you're
in real trouble.
So pull out and run, don't walk.
Don't worry, momma didn't
raise any heroes.
I'll get my stuff, meet
you in 10 minutes.
We've been waiting for you.
There's some last
minute details.
The car's outside.
I'll meet you here. I have
to go upstairs for a minute.
It can wait.
You can change some other time.
What's this all about?
We're going out to shack.
What's the matter with you?
You've got a face a foot long.
You look as if you just
lost your best friend.
I'm my best friend.
That's what I said.
Remember the road in,
it's important.
The Cleveland train passes
this spot tomorrow.
That'll be the time we leave
here for the holdup point.
It's exactly 21 minutes running
time into the station.
Got it?
Homey isn't it?
If your mother happened
to be a spider.
You got more guns there
than the post office.
Well I'm out of conveniences.
I told you.
We've got everything worked out.
Nobody followed us.
Now this is the last time
we go through this.
So remember.
Cronin steals the bakery truck.
Regas and Gunner get
two cars out of the
all day parking lot.
Nobody misses them?
We know the lot.
They can't find your car
when it is there.
Gunner brings his car here,
we make the switch.
That's the car we use
for the holdup.
The stations are here and here.
Normally it's a seven minute
run, four minutes in, the mail
truck hits here, point a.
all right, then the robbery.
We know that part of the plan.
Now then, after the holdup,
we go west on this
street to point b.
He'll take it.
What is it dodie?
I don't want him out here.
O.K. Ferrar called dodie.
What happened?
Is he coming out.
Tell him to stay away from us.
All of us.
Well, we can't stop him
now, he's on his way.
He won't be seen.
How do you know?
Oh, don't get so edgy.
Can't matter that much.
Matters $1 million worth.
Forget it.
I can take care of Ferrar.
Let's get back to point b.
After we pass it were
in no man's land.
These three cross streets
must be blocked off.
One stray car and any one
of them trips us up.
Joe will put in the road
blocks that will
seal off the streets.
You know your job Al.
Confirm pouch and train number.
Don't worry about me.
I'll take care of my end.
Joe after you put in the road
blocks, you return to the
rendezvous, point c.
We meet you there, transfer to that
car, and then return here to the shack.
You can forget about
those three streets.
The road blocks will be in.
They better be.
Go wrong, we're just working
out way into prison.
Don't lead me by the hand.
I'll seal off the streets and
I'll be waiting at point c.
You'll have plenty of time
for your end Joe.
Don't waste it.
If anybody slips,
it won't be me.
And I want to emphasize
this again.
This whole thing depends on
not being recognized.
A million dollars is no good if
you're running the rest of
your life.
Earl, Earl.
Now why did you come out here.
Yyou told me it was tomorrow.
I wanted to make sure.
Then we ought to rent
you a memory.
You were told eight hours ago.
Earl can I speak my piece now?
You're on.
After this thing happens the
town's going to be flooded
with federal men.
We're all going to be in a spot.
So the first guy that talks or
tries to identify anyone is
going to get a headache
you can't cure.
Understand Ferrar.
Yeah, yeah sure.
Anything else Earl?
No, you've said it.
I'll go back with Ferrar.
Come on, let's go.
What about that gun?
I'll need it tomorrow.
Can't afford to use
my service gun.
You behave yourself on that
stand you might get away with
10 years.
Oh thanks. 10 year in jail is
sure going to help my love life.
It's more romantic
than being dead.
Come on, pick it up.
I don't trust him Earl.
He's full of trouble.
And we'll never get around him
because our luck went bad.
It went bad that night
in that alley.
Will you put it out
of your mind?
Will you stop thinking
about that nun?
You wanna know why
I think about it.
Because I'm hot and you're not.
In 5 years, maybe 10, when the
rest of you have scattered,
somebody's going to walk up and
tap me on the shoulder.
That's why I think about it.
Look at it this way.
You're clear.
She never saw you in the alley.
Yeah, Earl.
I believe it.
Sometimes for two or three
minutes at a stretch.
Come in.
come on in.
I'm pouring.
Want one?
No thanks.
Earl back yet.
Not yet.
What did Ferrar want
when he called you.
He had to talk to Earl.
Nothing else?
He sounded nervous.
What did he lose, an
airmail stamp?
You know.
I've give a hundred dollars to
find out what goes on behind
that makeup.
It ain't your money chump.
You afraid of me Al?
Doesn't Earl ever get jealous?
He understands.
You can put strings on good
women or bad women.
But you can't do anything
about lazy ones.
You can beat 'em.
I stay about the same.
You can't make them
do the right thing
or the wrong thing.
They're lazy.
They do the easy thing.
Just don't break out
into a rash Joe.
Saved by the bell.
That is the story of my life.
Once more, step by step.
They steal two cars from
an all day parking lot.
One of them is the holdup car.
It goes straight for the shack.
They transfer into it and head
for the holdup, point a.
Regas takes the other stolen
car, comes down here, puts in
the roadblocks along the escape
route and goes to point
c where he waits for
the holdup car.
Now after the stick up they had
west past these blocked
out streets and go to point
c, the rendezvous.
Then they transfer into Regas'
car in case the first
one has been recognized and
head back to the shack.
But they never get that far.
We move in the moment
they hit point c.
All clear?
You're in the mail wagon?
Well play it cozy when
that bakery truck
swings in behind you.
How's your skull?
Thick enough.
I may have to work on it.
The police will give us a hand
but remember, this is
post office.
You're the heavy duty section.
Look, if possible, don't
do any shooting.
We want those boys in court.
If there is any trouble
be careful.
Remember, Al's in
that holdup car.
Uh, write that down
will you fellas?
That's all.
Check-in here at four.
Don't leave the building.
An agent will pick you
up for the train.
And there's nothing
else I can do?
With Soderquist gone I'm
afraid you're out of it.
I haven't been much
help have I?
They're after Al Goddard.
But Mr. Soderquist?
We broke 50/50 on that.
But he didn't do it.
No. But he held the other
guy's coat and that's
against the rules too.
I know.
Sorry it's goodbye sister.
I'll remember you
in my prayers.
Well if I haven't anything else
I've got a good lawyer.
God bless you.
Thank you sister.
You better get going.
It's around five.
Two minutes till.
I said it was around five.
Anything from you Al?
No, just remember don't
get gun happy.
You can rob fort knox and live.
But steal a dime and kill a post
office man and they'll
spend a million and a lifetime
looking for you.
You better hike cronin.
There's one other think
but I'll tell you
later in the car.
We're changing point c.
What do you mean you're
changing point c?
Sounds simple,
we're changing it.
I just found out this morning.
You find out what?
There's a detour from the
smugger into the hills so
we're changing point c.
Is there any reason
why we shouldn't?
No, I guess not.
O.K., you better get
your coat on.
Now let's shove off.
Keep your eye on the time.
Regas, you put in the road
blocks and go to
the new point c.
It's the old factory this side
of turtle road, and be there.
Hello Maury, Al.
They've changed point c.
We can't grab them there.
I don't know.
Watch all the roads a half mile
from the holdup point.
Be sure you cover that shack.
Yeah, they've got to back there.
I'd say you pulled a boner.
I'd say so.
It might help if I hadn't been
with been with Earl so long.
Coming out?
Anything wrong?
Should there be?
See you downstairs.
That puts you on my side.
Suppose I'd told them.
They'd have to do away with you.
That would make me an
accessory to murder.
And you don't love
anybody that much.
Not 25 years worth.
I'm a loser either way.
Suppose they get away
with all that dough.
I'll be wearing those mink coats
in shacks and hamburger
joints living on the run
until they get me.
Well at least you've read
the book anyway.
What are you going to do?
When you walk out I'm gonna
pack my bag and leave. I'm
gonna forget your names and
faces and what's going to
happen to all of you
in the next hour.
They can still get you for
withholding information.
Not if I tell a government
So I'm telling you.
They're gonna hold
up a mail truck.
I have to pack so goodbye.
You won't get a gold
star but thanks.
Don't bother.
Earl was good to me.
I hope he kills you.
It's all right.
Enough gas?
Full tank.
How about Regas?
By now he's on his way
to block the streets.
It's 41 right on time.
That sweet old engineer.
Let's go.
Sister, I'm from the
police department.
We'd like to talk to you.
Very well, I'll just tell the
matron, she's over there.
There isn't time.
My partner's getting to her.
I'll take care of you.
You went through a red light.
It's too late to worry
about that now.
There it comes.
Where do you think you're going?
Did he see our faces?
Any of us?
No, we're clean all the way.
Make a little speed.
That corner, Regas was to
start blocking off those
streets, what happened?
He couldn't be.
Hey, you big bozo!
Why don't you watch
what you're doing?
Back it up back it up.
That blows it.
They all got a good look at us.
They weren't close enough.
You don't know kids.
They can pick us out of
a lineup like that.
Forget it, head back
to the shack.
We got to make a run for it.
We can't go back to the shack.
We gotta go back there.
We're not going.
Get it through your head.
We've been seen.
We're on the run from now on.
They've had half an
hour to get here.
Something's gone wrong.
They've got to come back
here to the shack.
We know that.
Not if something's gone wrong.
I tell you for some reason
they're not coming back here.
Then Goddard drew
the short straw.
We'll have to play it by ear.
Leave two squads here.
We'll take pot luck on finding
that new point c.
Sharkey, get on the phone.
Tell them to start west
of the holdup point.
Put a police cord around
the whole factory area.
Start closing in.
Regas is here.
Stow the money in the
back of the car.
I found her, I don't care
about the road blocks.
An old friend Al.
What do you mean?
An old friend of Joe's.
She's been to the police,
she told me.
What else she tell you?
Nothing yet.
We ought to break
you in pieces.
Stop arguing.
We haven't any time.
We've been seen.
We've got to run.
Are we ready.
Well, how about it?
I don't know.
What do you mean
you don't know?
Now she knows about
the robbery.
She's seen us, all of us.
Killing her isn't going
to go do any good.
Besides, who's got the
stomach for it.
Joe has.
Sure, a gun happy guy would
kill the whole world if he had
enough bullets.
She can't do us any harm Earl.
She doesn't know our names
or anything about us.
If we're caught she
can identify us.
If we're caught, we're
through anyway.
Look, you're here
on a free ride.
Don't come to the party
and give away drinks.
Earl, maybe you don't believe
in hell but this is a bad time
to bet against it.
We'll take your word sister.
You've never seen us, you
can't identify us.
We'll take your word.
Thank you but I couldn't
give you my word about
a thing like that.
What difference does it make.
A great deal.
I couldn't let my silence
be used as a
weapon against the law.
Sister you're not hired
to defend the law.
I'm sorry, I couldn't
give you my word.
All right Joe.
Come on lady.
Look, leave her alone.
Lie down rover.
You need a new mouth.
Stop them Earl.
With a million dollars to
split, just pray for a tie.
You're all through you dash.
You getting heavy Joe.
Mr. Goddard!
Better get a move on.
Gonna be in trouble.
You're already in trouble
Mr. Goddard.
You picked a talking partner.
How far has this thing gone?
It's a fix all the way.
They got this area staked out
for three Miles around.
I'll listen, have you
got a suggestion?
Yeah, leave her here and I'll
see that you get through the
police port.
No thanks.
One large shot and you'll bring
up enough guns here to
start a war.
I can get you through.
For what?
To grab 20 minutes of air
and die on a back road.
But right now that sounds
like a lot.
Does it, that?
Sister, either you're lucky
or living right.
You drive Gunner.
Come on, let's get out of here.
We've got a million
buck in the car.
We got nothing.
You heard what he said.
It's a fix all the way.
The dough's phony.
Come on!
Cover us.
Surround the building.
Put out that flare!
Tell those men to be careful,
Goddard's in there.
I'm betting it's empty.
Didn't the post office ever
teach you how to...
For the record Al, is
the dough phony too?
No, it was real.
So you die rich Earl.
Sorry, things went a little
wrong after the robbery.
Are you all right Mr. Goddard.
I'll make it, I guess.
Dave, you better hurry
and put the sister.
On the train.
I think she wants to get
back to her children.
You know one of these days
the Yankees may need
a new second baseman.
Goodbye Mr. Goddard.
God bless you.
Thank you sister.
For once, you're right Maury.
There goes somebody who
doesn't have a pitch.
Al, if you stay with it and
work real hard, one of these
days you're going to qualify
for the human race.
I may join the bet.