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Jacob Willis, a trusted employee of a local businessman, pays money to a skid-row drifter who was blackmailing him. After Jacob leaves him the drifter is accidentally killed in a scuffle ... See full summary »


Harry Falk


Paul Savage, Edward Hume (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
Karl Malden ... Detective Lt. Mike Stone
Michael Douglas ... Inspector Steve Keller
Brock Peters ... Jacob Willis / Earl Barnes
Mitch Vogel ... Peter Todd
Dabney Coleman ... George Todd
Robert Walden ... Hubert 'Gimp' Franklin
Roy Jenson ... Frenchy
Maidie Norman ... Mrs. Anderson
Kenneth Tobey ... Sheriff Holloway (as Ken Tobey)
Sidney Clute ... Mr. Horowitz
James Griffith ... Hoby Shuttleworth
Bill Baldwin ... Judge George Gilbert
Robert Jourdan Robert Jourdan ... Jeff Burton
Ysabel MacCloskey Ysabel MacCloskey ... Martha


Jacob Willis, a trusted employee of a local businessman, pays money to a skid-row drifter who was blackmailing him. After Jacob leaves him the drifter is accidentally killed in a scuffle with two other hobos. One of them tells the police that Jacob killed the man. After talking to Jacob, Stone has doubts that he could be a killer, but then he finds out what the drifter knew about Jacob: that he escaped from an Alabama prison 25 years ago. Jacob believes he killed a guard during the escape, and thinks he must run away or face imprisonment. His employer's young son trusts Jacob and wants to run away with him. Written by anonymous

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Action | Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

24 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

We made one mistake already so please call off your boys before we make another one
2 June 2015 | by kapelusznik18See all my reviews

*****SPOILERS***** Being blackmailed to pay skid row derelict Hoby Shuttleworth, James Griffith, $500.00 to keep his mouth shut and not report him to the SFPD as an escaped and on the lamb killer of a prison guard back in Tuscaloosa Alabama some 25 years ago businessman and straight shooter Jacob Willis, Brock Peters, feels that's the last he'll ever hear from him! That's until Hoby is later found dead in an alley with his neck broken and Willis, in last being seen with him, being the #1 suspect in his murder! As it turned out Hoby was rolled by two fellow drunks "Big" Frenchy & Hurbert "Gimp" Franklin, Franklin, Roy Jenson & Robert Weldon, who accidentally ended up killing him.

With the heat, or police, in the persons of Det. Let. Mike Stone & Inspector Steve Keller, Karl Malden & Michael Douglas, closing in on Willis he checks out to his hideout in the woods until he expects things to cool down. It's Willis' misfortune that his boss George Todd's, Dabney Coleman, star struck and red headed teenage son Roy, Mitch Vogel, who looked up to Willis as his surrogate father checks out along with him against him telling Miutch not to! Roy had become attached to Willis in him being there for him while his father Mr. Todd was globe trotting around the world, on both business and pleasure, and never having any time for him back home. Now in Mr. Todd trying to come to both his son Roy and model employee and good friend Willis' aid time seemed to have run out. With both fugitives from the law, Willis and escaped murderer and Roy helping and abating him, and facing stiff jail time if not getting shot while on the run by the police and state troopers!

****SPOILERS***With both Det. Let. Stone & Inspector Keller putting the squeeze on the guilt ridden star witness "Gimp" Franklin to what was behind Hoby's death they get the truth, without torturing him, out of "Gimp" to whom and who really was responsible for his death. But that won't exonerate Willis' escape from the work farm, for stealing a sack of potato's, 25 years ago as well as killing a prison guard while he broke out! Or will it! As it turned out the prison guard that Willis supposedly killed is found to be alive and well living in Arizona leaving Willis off the hook on a murder charge. But it's now up to the police as well as Det. Let. Stone & Inspector Keller to tell him, and young Mitch Todd, that before by not giving himself up to the police he may well end up being gunned down by them!

Touching ending with the judge after hearing what a first class citizen that Willis is and how much he did for society, in cleaning up his act and his boss George Todd's office, as well as his being looked upon as a father figurer by young Roy Todd who gave him a suspended sentence. That's for all the trouble, justified as well as unjustified, he want through all his life.

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