The Thirteenth Hour (1947) - full transcript

In the 7th of Columbia's "Whistler" series, truck-firm owner Steve Reynolds gets involved in a feud with a rival firm, and shortly thereafter is slugged by a masked assailant who steals the truck he is driving. The assailant runs down a policeman in the truck and leaves other clues pointing to Reynolds as the cop killer. With only a glove, with diamonds stuck in the thumb, as a clue, and while evading the police and other characters after him and the diamonds, Reynolds finally runs down the guilty party and clears himself.

[ Whistling ]

"I am The Whistler."

"And I know many things
for I walk by night."

"I know many strange tales hidden
in the hearts of men and women .."

"Who have stepped into the shadows."


"I know the nameless terrors
of which they dare not speak."

"And tonight."

"At this lonely spot on a
highway near a small town."

"We find an unusual birthday
celebration in full swing."

Congratulations, dear Eileen.

May you celebrate a hundred more.

Thanks a lot. It was awful
sweet of you to remember me.

How could we forget with that
guy reminding us every day.

Tommy, you shouldn't have.

Why not, mom? It paid off, didn't it?

I really made a haul.

How about more punch, fellahs?

I don't know.
You made this pretty strong.

I'll take some more, Tommy.

Can you handle it?
- I sure can.

What did you get Eileen, Steve?
- You want to know?

Sure, what did you get her?
- Let's take a look.

An engagement ring.
- What a rock.

Must have set you back plenty.

You're a lucky guy, Steve.
- You're telling me.

I'm a lucky girl.

Lucky to win a mug like that?
Are you kidding?

Anyway, we're glad you picked
him instead of the motor cop.

Show us what you did Eileen when
Steve slipped that ring on your finger.

Yeah. Give us a load of that.
- Come on.

Don't be bashful. Come on.
- Come on.

Well, you asked for it.

So long honey. I've gotta make
a delivery over at Bayview.

Be seeing you. Bye, fellahs.

Going toward Bayview, mister?

Yeah. Hop in.
- Thank you.

"Ordinarily, you don't pick
up hitch-hikers, Steve."

"But, with a warming
drink under your belt."

"And the memory of
Eileen's kiss on your lips."

"You're feeling friendly
toward everybody."

"It was only a moment's delay, but .."

"Those sixty seconds are going to
change the whole pattern of your life."

Don't drive so fast, Jimmy. Please.

Fast? Wait until I really open her up.
- No, don't. Not on these curves.

Relax. Relax.
I'm the best driver in the state.

Look out, Jimmy.

Bayview is about seven miles
from McCabe's filling station.

Where is McCabe's filling station?

It's just around the bend there.

Hello Don.
- Hiya, Mack.

How's tricks?

Everything is under control.
I'm ready to call it quits for tonight.


A truck just plowed into McCabe's
gas station. I'll call you back.

Nice going, Steve.

Hello Don.

Well, how did it happen?

I tried to keep from hitting that car.
It was coming right at me.

What car?

Coming round that curve.

On my side of the road too.

Are you sure there was a car?

If you don't believe it, ask
the guy that's riding with me.

What guy?

Some hitch-hiker.

He was sitting right here
beside me when I crashed.


I'm not lying to you.

A man was sitting there and
a car pushed me off the road.

The fellow driving it
must have been drunk.

You're not so steady yourself.

Maybe it was you that had one too many.

You stopped at Rockpoint to celebrate
Eileen's birthday, didn't you?

Yes. I had one drink. So what?

It's against the law for truck
drivers to drink on the job, Steve.

You know that.

If you want to be technical,
then I am as sober as you are.

You have to convince a judge of that.

Maybe he'll believe the
rest of your story too.

Are you trying to hang something on
me because I beat you over Eileen?

If I wasn't on duty I'd do
something about that crack.

And if you didn't have on
that uniform I'd help you do it.

Stick around until I phone in a report.

A fine mess.

Somebody is going to pay for this.

Thanks for the lift.
- Don't mention it.

Sent someone to tow in the truck?
- Yeah. Bernie.

Glad you weren't hurt
in the crash, Steve.

And am I in a jam? Look at that.

'Drunk driving'.
- That's what it says.

That cop has been waiting for a chance
like this. Why didn't you brain him?

Charlie, I'm in enough trouble
without socking a cop.

At least it's a good thing you
are covered by insurance.

I don't dare let McCabe file a claim.

Why not?
- If I do ..

And I'm convicted of drunk
driving they'll cancel my policy.

And I'm out of the trucking business.
- What can you do?

There's only one thing I can
do and that's to pay off.

I guess I can borrow some
money on the trucks.

But you just got them free and clear.
- So what?

I'll be in the red a little
while longer. That's all.

It will be a couple of hours before
Bernie gets back. Let's grab a coffee.


And since the defendant has been
unable to produce a single witness ..

To verify any of his statements.

The court is forced to conclude.

The defendant was in no condition to
drive in a safe and sane manner ..

On the night of September 23rd.

Steven Reynolds.

Your sentence will be six
months in the county jail.

However, since this
is your first offense ..

And you've since made a satisfactory
settlement with the innocent victim.

Sentence is suspended. On the condition.

That your driver's license be revoked
for the period of probation.

Next case.

Jack Sterling.

Justice, huh?

You're lucky he didn't send you to jail.
He could have, you know.

It will be just as bad sitting around
for six months twiddling my thumbs ..

And paying somebody
else to drive for me.


I hope there are no hard feelings.
I only did my duty.


A pleasant duty, wasn't it?

Don, I never thought you'd let anything
personal influence your testimony.

But I didn't, Eileen.
- Skip it.

Every dog has his day. Mine is coming.

Is that a threat?
- Take it any way you want.

Come on, dear.

Please don't get into any
more arguments with him.

Gee, Steve. It dips and
climbs just like a P38.

I thought you'd have fun with it.
- Boy, will I.

It was swell of you to get it for me.

And you know.

When you grow up I hope you
follow aviation as a profession.

I'll sure like that.

It will be a lot better than
being a truck driver like me.

Boy, these sandwiches are good, mom.

Anything tastes good at a picnic.

Just the same, I'm glad you
fixed these. Huh Steve?

They're wonderful.

If you like mom and you like her cooking
so well, why don't you marry her?

Just eat your lunch, son.
Just eat your lunch.

You will someday, won't you?
- Tommy.

You're right, pal.
When my business is a little better.

Well, it seems to me you're
wasting a lot of time.

A smart boy.


Those vegetable will rot if we
don't deliver them tonight.

Okay, Bernie. I don't want
you to drive if you're sick.

Is the truck loaded?

Drive it over here.
Are you well enough to do that?

Okay, Bernie. Fine. Goodbye.

More bad luck. Bernie is sick.


Maybe you can get Thompson.

There's an idea.

I thought of him.

Well, that won't do me any good.

I'm sorry too. Drivers are
hard to get at short notice.

Yeah. Goodbye.

Hiya, Steve.
- Hello Jerry.

Sorry to hear about that
raw deal Parker gave you.

Not too sorry I imagine.

Don't be like that, Steve.

What if we are competitors?
We can still be friends, can't we?

If you want it that way.
- If I want it that way?

Look, fellah.

I had all the trucking business until
you came along and began cutting rates.

You overcharged your customers.

So what? Nobody squawked
until you stuck your nose in.

Now let's not go all over that again.

I got to get a load rolling.

Alright, I'll make it brief.
I'd still like to buy you out.

The answer is still no.

Don't say no until you
hear my proposition.

I'll give you part of the business.

Employment for you and Charlie.

I assume the mortgages
you put on your trucks.

I don't believe in Santa Claus.

Nothing doing.


You must think I'm stupid.

My interstate hauls will bring me
in a lot of money in a few years.


If you last that long.

Meaning what?

I have a strange philosophy
of my own, Steve.

I always try to get what
I want in a nice way.


I'm glad we understand each other.

So long, Steve.

So long.

Well if you can't, you can't.


Believe me, Steve. I wouldn't let you
down if I wasn't as sick as a dog.

I know that, Bernie.

Go on home and get a doctor.
- That's what I am going to do.

I'll be back as soon as I can make it.
- Fine, Bernie.

Too bad I never learned to
drive one of those battleships.

Who can you get?

Myself. That's all.

Don't do it, Steve. If you're caught
driving now they throw the book at you.

Well, what am I going to do?

If that load spoils I lose the account.

I can't afford it.

If Parker spots you
you're out of business.

He won't. I'll wait until it's
dark and stay off Highway 32.

Check the truck for me, will you.
I'm going to grab a bite to eat.


"Don is dead."

"You didn't kill him, Steve."

"But will anyone believe you?"


Write that down, Bill.

"We interrupt this program to
bring you a special bulletin."

"All citizens in Nevada are expected to
be on the lookout for Steve Reynolds."

"A fugitive killer wanted by
the police of California."

"Reynolds is approximately
six feet in height."

"And weighs about 185 pounds."

He has dark hair and brown eyes.

Hey, Buddy.

What's the matter?

You scared the pants off me.

Did you see a man come in
here in the last ten minutes?

About your size wearing
a brown suit and a hat.

Yeah. He went up in the elevator.
- Thanks, pal.

Number 5. On the right.

What's the matter?

Just looking for someone.

Take it easy.

Hi, Stack.

Say hello to Jerry Mason.
- Hello Stack.


What will you have?
- Two beers.

Two beers.

Here you are, sir.

In the corner please.
- Alright. I'll take care of you.

There we are.

What's it going to be, mister?

What are you going to have?

What are you going to have?

You must talk louder.
I'm a little hard of hearing.

I said, what are you going to have?

A Dugan special.

A Dugan special.

It's easy dough, Stack.

When we get the cars, all you have
to do is drive them over to Bayview.

Isn't that the place where
the cop was knocked off?

Yeah. But don't let that worry you.
That's been taken care of.

It don't sound good to me.

But hot cars are poison right now.

There's no risk to this.
We've been operating for six months.

You deliver the cars to
Jerry's garage and collect.

Here we are.



Holler if you want a refill, mister.

"And so a fugitive slinks back
under the cover of darkness."

"Clinging to the slim hope .."

"That an old glove and a man
with a missing thumb .."

"Will help him prove his innocence."


It's Steve.

Steve. Gee, I'm glad to see you.

Pull down the shades.
- Oh, sure.

I knew you would come back.

I had to see you. And your mom.

How is she?

She's swell. Only ..

Only what?

Well, I ..

Tommy. I didn't kill Don.

I knew you didn't. But gee, Steve.

You know how women are.
They just don't understand things.

Ask her to come here, will you.

Do you really think I should?
- It's okay. It's okay.


You stay here and help Mabel.

This goes to the man on the end.

I'll be back in a few minutes.
- Okay.

Hello Eileen.

Why did you come back here?
- I wanted to see you.

I even hoped that maybe
you wanted to see me too.

I had the foolish notion that you would
not believe that I could kill anyone.

Why did you run away?
- Panic maybe.

Maybe I couldn't forget how completely
the judge believed my story last time.

Everybody's saying you drove that truck.
- I know.

Do you believe it?

I didn't hear from you.

I didn't know what to believe.

Why do you think I came back here?

For the pleasure of getting myself hung?

Do you want to tell me about it?

Of course I do.

Listen, honey.

I am not guilty.

I didn't kill him.

Watch the griddle, will you Tommy?
While I get some more burgers.


It all happened so fast that I
didn't get a good look at him.

Didn't you try to stop him?
- Of course. That's how I got the glove.

It's a pretty thin story alright.

I don't blame you for thinking
nobody will believe you.

That's what I am up against.

Will you help me?

Of course I will. But how?

I want you to keep your eyes open
for a man with a missing thumb.


Yes. A man with his right thumb missing.

Look at that.

Hey, Mabel.

Hurry up, Mabel.
We've got some new customers.

Take care of it, Eileen.

It's my life insurance.

I wish you could stay here.

Someone is sure to see you.

No. I wouldn't think of it.

It's awfully kind but ..

Where can you go?


Charlie would be glad to put me up.

Darling, be careful.

I will.

Is Mr Mason in?
- Yes.

Just tell him it's Charlie.


There's a Charlie here to see you.
- Send him in.


Hello, Charlie. Glad to see you.

What's on your mind?
- Well.

Steve's business has folded up so I ..

I am looking for a job.

Sorry, Charlie. I have all
the mechanics I need.

Mr Mason. I wish you could use me.
It's tough finding work.

I'd do anything.

I could use a night attendant.
- That would be swell.


If any repair jobs come in you can
take care of them and get paid extra.

That suits me fine.

Okay. Start tonight at
thirty bucks a week.


Heard anything from Steve?

No. I guess he's gone for good.

Where shall I put this heap?
I want to store it.

Just leave it here.
I'll park it for you.

You can make your
arrangements in the office.

Okay, buddy.

Come in, Stack.

Alright, alright.
Be sure and call me back.


Did you bring something for me?
- Yeah. A convertible.

Good. Have any trouble?

Not a bit.

I said you wouldn't.

There you are.

Any more coming tonight?

There's three on the way.

Park this crate for me, will you.
- Sure.

Say, can you spare a cigarette?

I'll be glad to.

My hands are pretty dirty.
You'd better take one out for me.


- Thanks.

Do you mind giving me a light?

Not at all.

You want me to smoke it for you too?

Anything else I can do?
- Yeah.

You can go in the office and
get your parking check.

That is a good idea.



You're right about Jerry.

They brought in four stolen cars
to get them doctored up.

What do you think?

One driver has no thumb
on his right hand.

What a break. Is he still there?
- Yeah.

He will for about another hour.

Then he and some other guys will drive
some remodelled jobs across the border.


I'll phone the cops.

Don't you think it would be
smarter to grab the guy first?

Maybe you're right.

And besides, if we're going to nail him
we should have the glove for evidence.

Okay, I'll get it.

Meet you in the alley at
the back of the garage.

I'll be waiting for you.
- Yeah.

[ Door knocks ]

Tommy said you phoned.
I've been on pins and needles since.

I couldn't explain to him.

But Charlie has found the man.
I must have the glove.

Who is he?
- He's one of Jerry's gang.

He's down at the garage now.

I hope you are right.
- I've got to hurry, dear.

Hide some place quick, Steve.

Captain Linfield and
detectives just came in.

Steve. Not that way.

In there.
- Thanks.

Well, Captain Linfield.

Sorry to intrude, Mrs Blair. But we had
a tip Steve Reynolds is back in town.

We figured he might come here.
- You don't think he'd be that foolish?

A man in love does a lot
of foolish things, Mrs Blair.

Mind if we look around?

Not at all. You wouldn't
be satisfied if you didn't.

Nobody out there, Captain.

See where that door leads to.

That is ma's and my bedroom.

We don't like anybody going in there.

We'll just take a quick look, sonny.

Nobody in there.

Goodnight, Mrs Blair.

Thanks for your cooperation.


- Night.

Oh boy.

Now give me the low-down.

Someone tipped him and he
beat it out a bedroom window.

One of the strings was unhooked.
- I thought so.

He won't be back here tonight. But we
have to watch this place from now on.




[ Telephone ]


My head.

How did I get in there?

I don't know.

I guess from the same
guy who let me have it.

- In Jerry's office.

I was in there looking for you.

I remember now.

I was waiting in the alley
for you when I got crowned.

That 4-fingered guy must
have got wise to you.

Maybe. There could be two.
That Jerry caught me snooping around.

It wasn't Jerry.

I guarantee you.

Jerry is dead. The safe has been robbed.

Jerry is dead?
- Yeah.

It looks like we missed the boat.

That glove won't do us any good now.
- I didn't get it anyway.

Some cops almost nabbed me.

I'd probably be better off if they had.

Forget it, will you. Go on home.

I'll call the cops. They're sure to grab
the guy before he crosses the border.

It's no use. He's too smart.

My best bet is to give myself up.

Don't be a chump.
If you do, you're really finished.

I can't go on like this.

[ Police siren ]

Clear out now, Steve.
Or they'll pin this one on you too.

What do you think I was talking about?
- Come on. Get out of here, will you.



Open this screen.
- Okay.

I'll get mom.

Mabel. Will you tell mom
I need her a minute?

Sure, Tommy.

Tommy wants you, Mrs Blair.

He's probably hungry again.

What do you want now,
another ice-cream cone?

Heck no.

Steve is here.

You are taking an awful
chance coming back here.

Have you been to the garage?
- I got there too late.

They guy had gone.

He killed Jerry and robbed his safe.

Where was Charlie?
- He got it too.

They slugged him and threw him in a car.
He was sticking his neck out for me.

I'm in an awful jam, Eileen.

I'll be better off if I give myself up
before they blame this one on me too.

Do you really mean that, Steve?

Give me the glove. I'll need it
when I tell my story to the police.

Are you sure that's why you want it?

Of course. Why else?

I told you Steve didn't
know about it, mom.

Know about what?

I'll show you.

They are the real thing.

Am I stupid?

I've been looking for a
man with a missing thumb.

I guess you're just not
as curious as I am.

These things are worth a fortune.

I wonder if ..
- What?

I wonder if they're anything to
do with the police coming here.

That's impossible.
Nobody knew about them but Tommy.

Tommy, what has got into you?

Mabel has been spying on us. I caught
her listening at the door yesterday.

Now she's calling somebody on the phone.

Do you think she works with the police?

Maybe. But my guess is that she's in
with the guy who killed Jerry and Don.

How long has she worked for you?

Well, I hired her about a
week after you left town.

At that time the cops weren't
looking for me around here.

She must be in with the guy
who is after that glove.

She got a job here so she could
tip him off if I showed up.

[ Door knocks ]

My brother just called, Mrs Blair.
He isn't feeling very well.

I wonder if I could get off now.

Of course, Mabel.
I'll be out in a minute.

Thanks a lot.

She is lying, mom.

Nobody called her.
I saw her dial a number.

That proves it.

May I borrow your car?
- What are you going to do?

I will follow her.

I've a hunch she's meeting her
boyfriend to give him the low-down.

What if they see you?
Why not let the police handle it?

But there is no time.
They might get away.

Get my keys, Tommy.
They're on the dresser.

Here. I want you to put
these diamonds away.

Put them in the glove just as you found
them. I want to show them to the police.

But if Mabel knows about them it
won't be safe to keep them here.

I guess I Had better take them with me.

Here. Here.

I'll put them in here.

Gee, that's pretty smart.

Now, you keep the glove until I need it.
- Alright.

Good luck, Steve.
- Thanks, pal.


Don't worry, mom.

Steve knows how to take care of himself.

Go to bed, Tommy.
It's way past your time.

That's quite alright, Mrs Blair.

- Goodnight.

How did you make out at the garage?

How much did you get?

That's great. Now we don't have
to worry about the diamonds.

Are you crazy, sweet? Let's get out
of town while the getting is good.

How soon will you be home?

Well, you'd better make it half an hour.
That will give me time to pack.

[ Door knocks ]

Where you been?

Charlie, I got a surprise for you.

We've been on the wrong track.

I know who killed Jerry and Don.

You do?
- Mabel's boyfriend.

- The gal who works for Eileen.

You sure of that?
- I'm positive.

He'll be over at her place
in about half an hour.

We got to work fast because
they're getting to leave town.

How will we do it?
Remember, this guy is a killer.

That's why I need your help.

We'll wait outside her place in the hall
and when they come out, we'll jump them.

Okay. I'll take my gun just in case.

Who is it?


Now just keep quiet
and you won't get hurt.

What's the big idea?

Alright, sucker. Put up your hands.

I said, put 'em up.

But, Charlie.

I don't understand.

You're kidding?

Don't be dumb.

You mean you were the one who ..
- Yeah.

I knocked off the motor cop.

But why? What had Don done to you?

He knew I had pulled a job back east.

And broke out of the Pen.

I was paying him to lay off
but he got too greedy so I ..

I had to get rid of him. For good.

Well, why frame me?

You gave me the idea yourself.

And he insisted on driving
the truck that night.

Alright. Hand it over.

Hand what over?

As if you didn't know.

Give me that glove.
- I haven't got it.

So it is still at Eileen's.

Seems to me you're making an
awful fuss over an old glove.

Now don't try to make me believe
you don't know what's in it.

No. I don't.

Sit down, Steve.

You stay here with him.
If he tries to get away let him have it.

Where are you going?
- Over to Eileen's.

Don't take the chance, Sweet.

Jerry's dough will keep us for a while.
Forget the diamonds.

- Sure.

If you didn't already know.

Wait a minute, Mabel.

There's a way to get them back
without me sticking out my neck.

Now write what I tell you.


That's what you call her, isn't it?


Charlie and I.

Walked into a trap.

They are ..

They're holding me.

While he brings you ..

This message.

If you want to see me alive.


Do exactly .. as I say.

Give Charlie the glove.

And don't call the police.

Now sign your name.

Who told you to write anything
about the diamonds?


But if you ask her to trade an old glove
for my life she'll think you're crazy.

He's right, Charlie.
- Yeah.

Yeah. I guess he is.

You'd better find something
to tie him up with.

Now, I'll borrow Eileen's car and
it will make everything look Jake.

You've got a customer, Eileen.

Be right out.

Good morning.

A cup of coffee.

Thanks, boys. Come back again.

Sure. I'll be seeing you.

What's wrong, Charlie?
- Steve sent me.

He's in trouble.

There are cops hanging around?

They were just a while ago.

What's happened to him?
- This explains it better than I can.

Steve and I didn't have sense
enough to take that glove apart.


And we all thought the guy
actually had a thumb missing.

Hello Charlie. What are you doing here?

Steve is in more trouble, dear.
Charlie just brought me a note from him.

Let me see it, mom.

But mom, he says here that ..


Go ahead. What were you going to say?

Steve says not to call the police.

But how do we know they'll let him
go after we give them the diamonds?

Yes. How do we know that?

They don't care a hoot about Steve.
They only want the diamonds.

I hope you are right.

Well, we'd better do just as Steve says.

But I am going with you.

Okay. Hurry up. If those guys think I
called the cops, Steve's a dead pigeon.

You are a smart kid, Tommy.

I guess I took after my mom.

How do we get there?

I've got your car.
Steve told me to use it.

Goodnight, Tommy.

You must take care of
everything while I'm away.

Don't worry, mom.
I'll take care of everything.

You got the glove?

Right here.

So long, Tommy. See you later.

So long.

[ Door knocks ]

- Yeah. It's me.

What did you bring her for?

I just wanted to make sure this
stuff got into the right hands.

You shouldn't have come here, honey.

It's alright, Steve.
He did not fool me for a minute.

Smart girl.

Now let's have that glove.

So you didn't know a
thing about the diamonds.

What did you do with them?

What did you do with them?

He doesn't know where they are.

I've hidden them and you
will never find them.

I think I will.

Stop it. I'll tell you where they are.

They're in my tobacco
pouch on the table.

Gee. Am I glad to see those
little beauties again.

Are they all there?
- Yeah.

This isn't a bad way to carry them.

Thanks for the tobacco pouch.

Let's beat it, Sweet. I'm nervous.
- Okay.

Take her and lock her
in the bedroom closet.

You heard what the man said.

Now, let's be nice.

Gag her so she will be quiet.

You've been a nice pigeon, Steve.

Sorry I have to do this.

Are you ready, Mabel?
- I'll be right with you.

That one looks like it.
I'll check the number.

Just a minute.


Where's Reynolds and Mrs Blair?

They are upstairs.

Take care of him.

Come on. You can get up.

You can go.

This is your lucky day, Reynolds.
Mabel has turned State's Evidence.

Her story clears you of the
murder of Don Parker.

Did she tell you about Jerry Mason?
- Yes. She told us he killed him too.

We're rounding up the rest
of the Mason gang now.

Charlie couldn't resist
the money in that safe.

I still don't understand the connexion
between him and Don Parker.

Parker had been a policeman back east.

Through him Charlie was caught and sent
up for the Worthing diamond robbery.

But the gems were never recovered.

I remember reading about that case.
It was about four years ago.

That's right.

After Parker joined the force out here
he accidentally ran into Charlie.

He figured that he still had
the diamonds stashed away.

Then he started blackmailing him?


It cost him his life.

It's unfortunate.

But of the thousands of
men who enforce the law.

Occasionally one turns crooked.

Captain, I sure want to thank you.

Don't thank me. Thank that boy.

He gave us the license
number of his mother's car.

Lucky for you we spotted it so quickly.

I told you I'd take care
of everything, Mom.

I knew I could depend on you, Tommy.

You know, Reynolds. There's a big reward
for the recovery of those diamonds.

There is?
- Yes. And you'll get it.

And you're entitled to it after
what you have been through.

Steve, that's wonderful.

It puts you back in
the trucking business.

It will put you out of the
lunchroom business.

"Yes, Steve. You were lucky."

"Stopping for just sixty seconds
to give a stranger a lift."

"Did change the whole
pattern of your life."

"It might have ended in
disgrace or even death."

"But fate was kind to you."

[ Whistling ]