Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 5, Episode 19 - Not the Running Type - full transcript

When Capt. Ernest Fisher learns that Milton Potter has been released from prison after serving his 15 year sentence, he tells his subordinates about this very strange case. Potter was a bookkeeper for a bank. He did his work well and was reliable but people knew very little about his private life. When it's determined that he embezzled $200,000 he is eventually sent to jail. No one can quite believe that he was really the type to steal and he never tells anyone what happened to the money. After his release, Fisher visits him and incredibly, Potter tells him he's not the type to run and returns the stolen money! Only later, aboard a cruise ship does he explain to a fellow passenger that there is method to his apparent madness.

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

You see, we are
making an effort

to reach the widest
possible audience.


The last was included in case
this program reaches the moon.

Tonight, we present...

Haven't you
forgotten something?

No offense meant to all
the countries involved,

but he was a show off,
till the very end.

Always wanting the last word.

And now, without further
interruption, tonight's story.

Criminals can be
plenty resourceful.

So can cops.

Detectives still require good old
horse sense and strong feet.

But in addition, we now have some
help to take the weight off.

What I mean is,

scientific equipment.

We have many ways to take
care of the tough guys.

We figure they'll soften by the time
we get all the evidence against them.

With fingerprinting,

or a lie detector,

or a ballistics test.

Yes, they match.

But it's the mild ones, the tame
ones, that give us the most trouble.

There was one fellow
in particular,

who made our
investigation easy.

You might even say, too easy.

Captain. Good morning, Hogan.

How do you like that?

What happened, Captain?

Just now I got a look at this
memo that came in last week,

the one with the names of all the
new parolees in the vicinity.

It's got Milt Potter listed.

Who's Milt Potter?

Didn't I ever
tell you about him?

No, I don't think you did.

Take a look at the 47th file. You'll
find him under "Embezzlement."

Bring it over here.

Lieutenant, he was the tamest
criminal you ever met.

Or maybe the coolest.

"Milton Potter. Age 34. Single."

"Metro Investment
Services, Incorporated."

That's my man.

Now he's out on parole, huh?

Two days ago.

For 12 years I kept his
release date in my calendar,

and then I didn't
watch the memos.

Now it doesn't make any difference.
Two days or two weeks.

I got Milt Potter's number.

You know, it happened
back in March of 1947.

I was a looie then.

Maybe even more of an eager
beaver than you are now.

Milton Potter had worked for Metro
Investments since he got out of college,

a total of 13 years,

and he was still making
only 60 bucks a week.

He had no family,
and few friends.

He was quiet, courteous,
commonplace and careful.

Nobody could tell you
anecdotes about Potter.

Nobody could even
describe him very well.

We found that out.

He went about his duties
without ever complaining

or revealing the intention that must
have been burning inside him for years.

Then, it happened.

One day, Potter didn't
report for work.

Nobody cared very much.

In fact, nobody seemed
to notice it.

When he didn't show up
the next day,

somebody thought it might be
a good idea to call his home

and see if he'd broken
a leg or something.

There wasn't any answer.

They didn't get really disturbed
about it until the third day.

Come in.

What is it, Newton?

Out with it, man!
I don't have all day.

What's the matter with you?

It's about Potter, sir.

Oh, he's back, is he?

Good man, Potter. I wish
I had more men like him.

Never complains, never asks for a raise.
Where's he been?

It's not that,
Mr. Halverson, it...

What is it, then?
Won't he tell?

Now, there's a quiet man
for you, eh, Newton?

You know what they say
about still water?

Yes, sir.

You'd better show him in.
I'll get it out of him.

But he's not here, sir.
He's still not here.

Oh? Well, then the poor man must have
met with an accident or something.

Has anyone thought of
calling the hospitals?

Sir, I was checking his books, and...

And what, Newton?

They don't balance, sir.
There's a discrepancy.

A discrepancy?

Yes, sir.

How much of a discrepancy?

$200,000, sir.

Of course, sir. I'll have
a man there right away.


Yes, Captain?

I want you to hot foot it
down to Metro Investments.

They're on Third Street.
I know where it is.

Seems that one of their bookkeepers,
a man named Milton Potter,

absconded with 200 grand.

Two hundred thousand?
That's what I said.

The man to see is Halverson. J. B.
Halverson. The vice president.

All right.

Mr. Newton,

did Potter ever
mention his plans

or give any indication at all
what he was thinking of doing?

No note, a remark,
a telephone call?

No, sir, he never did.

I never knew him to get a
personal telephone call.

He had no relatives, you know.

What about his friends?

Did he have any friends?

No, I wouldn't say he had.

What would you say?

You worked with him, you were
closer to him than anyone else.

Well, if he had any friends,
sir, I didn't know about them.

This is incredible!

He worked here for 13 years and you
don't know if he has any friends.

What do you do, Newton,
live in a vacuum?

No, sir. It's just that Mr. Potter
never talked about himself.

Do you remember anything
unusual about him?


Anything at all?


You know, nobody could even
remember what color eyes he had?

I know.

Oh, he did his work well.
But he always did that.

And, oh, he read a lot.
I could say that about him.

What did he read?

Travel books, mostly.

That figures.

All right. You can go.

If I need to talk to you
again, I'll let you know.

Yes, sir.

That pipsqueak, Potter.

I knew the day I hired him there
was something phony about him.

Why do you say that?

Too quiet. Too good.

All the time he was scheming
to rob the company!

And now it comes out. A
crafty, clever man, Potter.

He's probably in
Afghanistan by this time.

Well, if he has traveling in mind,
Mr. Halverson, he hasn't left yet.

His clothes and luggage
are still in his room.

But there were travel
folders all over the place.

You should be out looking
for him, young man.

You've got to nail him
before he gets away.

Oh, he won't get away.

He's got to be punished
for what he's done.

He's got to be
made an example of.

What if everyone in the office
decided to take off with the funds?

This would ruin us!

I don't think we've got
anything to worry about.

He hasn't covered his trail. It
shouldn't be too difficult finding him.

You've got to get
that man, Lieutenant.

We will, Mr. Halverson, we will.

It's like I said, lady.

We'd like to accommodate you and
come down and arrest your husband

but we can't do that
without a complaint.

Yes, I know
you're complaining, lady,

but I mean a signed complaint.

Yes, you come down here.

No, I'm sorry we can't
send a car for you.

Yes, get one of your
neighbors to drive you down.

Well, what do you want?

My name is Milton Potter.

What could I do
for you, Mr. Potter?

I came to give myself up.

That's fine, Mr. Potter.

We always like it when people
want to give themselves up.

But would you mind telling me first
what it is you think you've done?

I'm the man
that took the money.

The money?

You mean you're that Potter?

Yes, sir. That's what I mean.

You knew you couldn't get away with it.
Whatever made you try?

Oh, that's not true,

I thought I could get away with it.
I really did.

But now you know
differently, is that it?

No. You don't understand.

You see, I didn't realize the
effect it was going to have on me.

After all those years of
planning to do it someday,

I had to go through with it.
Don't you see?

But afterwards...

Well, after it was over and I
had time to think about it,

I realized I just couldn't
go through with it.

That's all.

Don't feel badly
about it, Potter.

A lot of first timers lose their
nerve after pulling off a job.

You did the right thing, coming here
the way you did, giving yourself up.

You know, that took courage.

It just proves, Mr. Potter, that
you're really not the criminal type.

Mr. Halverson's gonna be
real proud of you.

Oh, I don't think so. You
don't know our Mr. Halverson.

I'm sorry about him. I've
caused him a lot of worry.

Mr. Newton, too.

I hope they'll understand.

Well, they're not worried now.

'Cause we're gonna tell 'em how you walked
right in here and told us all about it.

You know, I wish every
job would end this way.

It would make it
easier for all of us.

You said it, Captain.

You didn't happen to bring
the money with you?

No, I didn't.

Well, that's all right.

We'll send a couple of men out after it.
Where is it?

You do have the
money, don't you?

Mr. Potter, you're not going
to tell us that you've lost it

or anything silly
like that, are you?

Where is the money, Mr. Potter?

It's as I told you.

I took the money and now
I'm willing to give myself up.

Well, are you also
willing to go to jail?

'Cause you know, that's exactly
where you're going to land

unless you tell us where
you've hidden that money.

I'm willing to go to jail
if I have to.

You don't seem to understand.

You could draw a long stretch for
a theft as large as this one.

Doesn't matter now.

You'll be spending the best
part of your life in jail!

Mr. Potter, where is the money?

I'm not going to tell you.

You're being a patsy, Potter.

A patsy?

Yeah, you're taking a fall, you're being set up.
You're a fall guy.

Can't you understand that?

I'm not sure, Lieutenant.

You've given the money
to somebody

and you're willing
to take the rap for it.

No, that's not true.

All right, Potter.
Who's the woman?

The woman?
Captain, I'm not even married.

All right, the doll then.

That little hunk of something

that you think's gonna be waiting outside
those prison walls when you get out.

You don't mean to tell me you think she'll
still gonna have the dough, do you?

There's no doll.

Listen, Potter, what kind of
fools do you think we are?

There's got to be a reason you
won't turn that dough over to us.

Now, let's have it. And we
want the truth, for a change.

But, I'm telling you the truth.

Don't you realize what this means?
15 or 20 years.

And with that attitude of yours, I don't
know if they'll ever let you out.

Mr. Potter, do you have any
idea what prison's like?

Look, why don't you make
it easy on yourself?

You'll probably get off real light
if you just return the dough.

Hardly any prison term at all.

Lieutenant Fisher is right.

This is your first offense.

Judges always look kindly on a
man who admits his mistake,

especially the first time.

Now, you just give back
the 200 grand,

and both Metro and the insurance
company will go easy on you.

I practically promise it.

Now, how about it? You look
like a sane and sensible man.

You don't wanna do a
long stretch in the pen.

I'm sorry.

I'm putting you fellows through an awful
lot of bother, and I don't mean to.

Well, then tell us
where the money is!

It's as I said,

I took the money because I thought
I could get away with it.

But after I took it, I realized I
wasn't cut out to be a hunted criminal.

I couldn't stand the idea of being
hounded for the rest of my life.

Oh, I know how
Mr. Halverson would be,

and the insurance company, too.

To say nothing of you fellows.

So, when I thought about that, I realized
I wasn't cut out to be the running type.

That's all.
So I gave myself up.

Please, please, Mr. Potter, will you
just tell us where the money is?


We've been nice to you, Potter,

but it gets rough
from here on out.

I suppose you're the type who thinks
he won't mind prison life, huh?

You think it's gonna
be like the army!

You wanna to be told where
to go, or what to do.

You think it's going to
be like that, don't you?

Good eats, movies, why, maybe
even a three-day pass.

Well, you've got a big surprise coming, Potter.
A great big surprise.

A concrete and steel room
for 20 long years, Potter.

The same meals, the same
four walls, nothing to do.

And the days stretching out in
front of you, never-ending.

And your fellow convicts,
murderers, thieves, arsonists.

Is that the way
you want it, Potter?

Well, is it?

If that's the way it has to be.

I thought about Potter
quite a lot over the years.

Why was he so stubborn?
He wasn't the criminal type.

Why did he insist that was
the way it had to be?

Well, Potter never broke down.

The trial was short and sweet.

He pleaded guilty and
got a 15-year sentence.

That was back in '47,
like I said.

He got three years clipped off
his sentence for good behavior.

How did he
adjust to prison life?

He was a model prisoner from the first
day he walked through the gates.

They put him to work in the
prison library most of the time.

He did a lot of reading.

Travels books mainly,
so I heard.

If he got out two days ago, Captain,
he's got a head start on you.

It won't matter.

You know that 200 grand
doesn't belong to him,

even if he thinks he earned it
by doing a stretch in the pen.

I'll get his address
from his parole officer.

Pay him a little visit and to tell
him a few of the facts of life.

You're going to see him today?

Why not? I've had this
appointment for a long time.


Mr. Potter, I'm Captain Ernest Fisher.
Remember me?

Of course. Come on in.

I was Lieutenant Fisher the
last time we met, Mr. Potter.

That was a long time ago.

Yes, it was a long time ago.

Twelve long years ago.

Going somewhere?

I've just moved in.

What'd you want, Captain?

Well, I understand that you
did real well in prison.

At least there were no complaints
about your conduct that I heard.

I didn't get into any trouble.

I minded my own business.

I didn't bother anybody,
nobody bothered me.

Well, if I know you, they
hardly knew you were there.

I knew I was there, Captain.

Of course you did.

You wouldn't listen
to me 12 years ago.

Now you know.

Yes. Now I know.

I was hoping to forget
that part of my life.

Well, a person usually forgets
the unpleasant things.

And you're probably
no exception,

now that you're out and ready
to make a clean start.

You thought of what
you're going to do?

I've thought about it.

Well, we'll help you
all we can,

but, of course, you won't be able
to go back to handling money.

I hadn't planned on that.

There's no sense in beating
around the bush, Mr. Potter.

I am here for a reason.

I didn't think you
came here for nothing.

You know what it is.

There's still the
matter of $200,000.

I knew you wouldn't
forget about that.

Neither we nor the insurance
company, Mr. Potter.

The fact that you
served the sentence

doesn't entitle you to that
money, no matter what you think.

Listen to that
ship's blast, Captain.

I heard it.

I always wanted to travel.

You had travel folders all
over your room 12 years ago.

Yeah, I had wonderful plans.

I wanted to travel
all around the world,

but I wound up in prison.

But I traveled
all the time I was there.

I read every travel book
in the prison library.

When I finished those,

I started borrowing others
from the state library.

I never really got out.
Not really.

There was always
that prison smell.

Always a feeling of people closing
in, the smell of other men.

It's different out here. It smells
different, it feels so different.

I bet it does.

That ship...

I wonder if the world smells
different, if it feels different

where she's going.

Well, I wouldn't know
about that, Mr. Potter.

And I wouldn't worry
about it, if I were you.

You're not going anyplace.

I know.

You know, it was obvious to
everyone what your plan was.

You thought you'd be set to enjoy that
money when you got out of prison.

But these things
aren't done that way.

I want you to know that I'm
making it my personal duty

to see that you don't
carry out your plan.

That money does not
belong to you.

But, Captain, you're
all wrong about me.

Oh, really?

Yes, you are. I know that's
what the world thinks.

Know what everybody thinks.
But they're wrong!

Are they?

Look, I'll tell you the truth.

I thought that life in
prison wouldn't be too hard.

At times it wasn't,

but other times you had
nothing to do but to think.

A lot of time.

So I made up my mind
what I had to do.

Captain, I'm ready
to give the money back.

You're what?

I'm ready to
give the money back.

All I want is to be left alone,
to be able to live in peace.

Don't you understand?

Well, I'm trying hard to.
Where is the money?

Right here, in this room.

Right here, in this suitcase.
Every penny of it.

I think you're going
to enjoy this.

Oh, I shall.

Imported? Yes.

This is the best year
you can buy.

Back in the States, I never
take a drink before 5:00.

Oh, this is the very best time
of day to drink champagne.

You know, I'm going
on to France,

to the vineyards
where the grapes come from.

I may buy a case or two.

France? Mmm-hmm.

But this ship's
going to Hawaii.

I know. But I intend to go on to Asia,
the Orient, all around the world.

I certainly envy you your trip.

Oh, when I retired,
I determined to travel.

Retired! With the way taxes are
today, how'd you ever manage it?


Did you ever stop to think how
much $200,000 earns in 12 years

in interest
compounded quarterly

in various carefully
selected savings banks?


and 25 cents.

I see.

But how can a man get hold
of $200,000 to invest?

You might try borrowing it.
I did.


So much for high finance.

It is customary
to announce to an audience

when the program
they are watching is in color.

I can only assume that this is for
the benefit of the colorblind,

so that they will know
they are missing something.

I have good news
for them tonight.

The preceding program
was not in color.

Next time, I shall return
with another story.

Until then, goodnight.