Mannix (1967–1975): Season 2, Episode 14 - A Pittance of Faith - full transcript

A woman enters an apartment, is attacked and then thrown over a balcony to her death. The police conclude it is suicide, thanks in part to a phony suicide note. Friends of the woman's family hire Mannix to prove it's really a murder case so the woman can be buried in accordance with her faith. Despite his own doubts, Mannix becomes convinced it is a murder case. Yet the woman's father doesn't want the detective to pursue the case and then his clients abruptly terminate his services. Mannix, however, is determined to pursue the case.

(key jangles in lock)

(muffled protests)

(theme music playing)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

How old was she, Scott?

20, 21.

"20, 21"?

"Pray for me."

Okay, Gina.

We're praying.

(Peggy humming a tune)

(humming stops)


(with Italian accent):
I am Mario Carvello.

How do you do? How do you do?

I am executive secretary

of the San Bonaventura
Neighborhood Association.

Yes, sir?

Please, we are in very great
trouble, so we need help.

Gina Lardelli, you understand?

"Gina Lardelli"?

It is not true, what they say.

How could it be?

So we have decided, Mr. Mannix.

The expense is not considered.

Naturally not.


No, I see you do not know.

You have not read
about Gina Lardelli.


"Missing gambler...
Frankie Martel."

No, no.

Oh, Gina Lardelli.

The police refuse to find
the one who has killed her.

But it says here that
she committed suicide.

No. No, she did not.

She was murdered.

Can you prove that
she was murdered?

Oh, yes. Yes.


I'll call Mr. Mannix.

He's just across the Paseo.

(lounge music plays)

You know, Joe, I agree
with Albie absolutely.

He's not only
intelligent, industrious,

talented and circumspect,

but from the day
the man was born,

he was destined to
become your partner.

Thanks for your help, Bobby,

if that's what it is.


Fight it no longer, Joe.

It's bigger than either of you.

Bobby, thanks a lot.

♪ ♪

Hi, all.

MANNIX: Hi, Peggy.

Um, that man sitting over there,

looking a little lost...

And you believe?

I believe.

Peggy, Lieutenant Kramer

doesn't make mistakes like that.

But he has proof.

Okay. Okay.

Well, there you are, Albie.

That ought to wind
up that insurance case.

Shouldn't take you
over 20 minutes.

(song ends, applause)
What am I, an errand boy?

Now, if we were
partners, I'd offer.

Take care of that,
and we'll talk about it.

(lounge music resumes)

Mister, um...
Professor Carvello.

How do you do? Please, sit down.

It's a very great honor, sir.

Thank you, Professor.

As I told Peggy on the phone,

I'm delighted to
talk to you, but, uh...

I don't think I can
be of any help.

I know Lieutenant
Kramer too well

to think he'd
overlook... Mr. Mannix,

Gina Lardelli was murdered.

You know?

We know for positive.

And we are willing to pay
to prove it to the police.


21 friends of Gina.

The Association.

Professor, you're Catholic?


And the other members
of the association,

and her family, Gina herself,

are all Catholics? Yes.

And the sin of suicide
would deny Gina

the right to be buried
in consecrated ground.

Is that right?

Yes, Mr. Mannix.

An eternal punishment for
something she did not do.

Please, Mr. Mannix, we want Gina

to be laid to rest
in hallowed ground

where she belongs.

You said you had proof
that she was murdered.

She was a very religious girl.

No matter how far she
strayed from her beginnings,

she would never,
never take her own life.

Go on, Professor.

That's all.

That's your proof?



No, there is more.

The 21 friends of Gina Lardelli.

A list of names

and the offerings
they have made.

Pittances mostly,

because they are mostly poor.

But they are my proof,

those 21 pittances of faith.


Professor, you're
asking me to take a case

the police have closed,
based strictly on your faith?

Yes, Mr. Mannix.

And it shall move mountains.

Peggy, uh... call
Lieutenant Kramer.

Ask him if I can take a
look at that Lardelli file, huh?

Yes, sir.

Mr. Mannix, I...

Thank you.

Thank you very much, my friend.

KLOJ-TV, Mr. Mannix.

Are you here investigating

the Frankie Martel

No, I'm just an
old fishing buddy

of Lieutenant Kramer's.

Mrs. Martel didn't hire
you to help find Frankie?

I'm not sure I'd
accept the case.

I've never been one
of Martel's big fans.

Excuse me, huh?

Thank you, Mr. Mannix.

Hello, George. Hi.

Think you'll find
Martel down there?

Well, he's got to be somewhere.

Night watchman saw a
car stop about 2:00 a.m.

No headlights, saw two guys drop

what might have been a body.

Could be Martel.

It's worth a try.

And what's this
about the Lardelli girl?

Something I missed?

Oh, I doubt it.

But you know clients,

they sometimes
have a whim of iron.

What's the client after?


Won't wash.

Yeah, probably not.

What about that
boyfriend, Larry Scott?

Didn't you see the file?
Yeah, but a lot of hints.

He still remains a shadow.

That's his bag. He's
a friendship man.

Contacts, go-between.

Anywhere the action is
from Royal Milliken on down.

He made enough to keep
Gina in furs and jewelry, though.

Well, they had
a fight last night,

so the file says.

I've got Albie running
a check on Scott.

That won't wash either.

Yeah? Why?

The alibi's too solid.

Two prominent citizens swear

he was at a party at Milliken's.

Maybe they shouldn't have
been at such a party themselves,

but they wouldn't
lie, in a murder deal.

Well, you wouldn't
mind if I kind of, uh,

backtracked on
some of your ground?

Go ahead.

The girl's apartment,
the janitor there...

The girl's old
man, her sister...

Another dish,
but, uh, a quiet kid.

Older or younger?

Older. By four-and-a-half hours.

FROGMAN: Hey, we've
got something here.

Take it up.

(crane whirring)

KRAMER: It's Frankie all right.

MANNIX: Looks like this
was one bet he couldn't fix.

MANNIX: Gina Lardelli.

21, beautiful.



And if not by her
own hand, by whose?

That's right, Joe.

Go through the motions.

But you know what
you're going to find.


Lieutenant's a
very thorough man.

The case is closed.

There are no clues.

And the 21 friends
of Gina Lardelli

have put you in a deep hole.

And yet, there is something.

Somewhere along the
line, your mind went click.

It's still there, clicking away.

You can still smell
her perfume in the air.

Right there, where
you're standing,

she must have stood
there, looking out,

seeing the dark sky.

Then she walked to the railing.

Beautiful girl like
that... it's terrible.

Nice girl, too.

Always treated you human.

You know, "Good morning, Harry."

"Good evening, Harry."

Not like some of
those other characters.

Not like that Larry
Scott character,

like you weren't human.

I-I used to bring her things
whenever she wanted them.

Didn't matter what time it is.

You know, sandwiches and things.

She never made me
feel like an errand boy.

Always treated me...
human, you know?

Sure, Harry. Now, uh, if you
don't mind, I'd kind of like...

Okay, Mr. Mannix.

You won't forget...
about the light?

Yeah, sure.

(traffic noises in distance)

(distant car horns honking)

MANNIX: Okay, Gina, I believe.

Like Professor Carvello
and the friendly 21,

I believe.

Against the whole
documented police case.


Ah, boy, Mannix,
you're going nuts!

(door opening)

Hold it right there!



You're a pretty
touchy character, Scott.

Who are you?

The name is Mannix.


The snooper, huh? Yeah.

What are you doing here?


For what?


Evidence of what?



You're off your rocker.

That's just what I was telling
myself when you came in.

You might talk to the police.

They say it was suicide.

Did you tell them about
your little piggy bank?

Why should I?


It's my money.

I left it here with Gina
for reasons of my own.

Getaway money?

Come off it.

Let's have the gun.

Let's have the permit.

Maybe Gina didn't want
to give your money back.

Maybe that's why the two
of you had that little fight.

The money had
nothing to do with it.

She's... She was an
extremely jealous kid.

Was she?

She blew up at the
party and ran out.

That's Royal
Milliken's party, huh?


You're a real
bright investigator.

The next thing I knew, I
was dragged down here

in a squad car, and...
she stopped running.

She didn't jump, Scott.

She was pushed or thrown.

The gun?


Look, Mannix, be tough. Fine.

But I've heard you're
not a bad guy, so listen.

The police closed
their book on this.

Take my advice.

Close yours, or someone
might close it for you.

Ending the search for
the missing Frankie Martel,

who finally hit the
biggest jackpot of his life.

But little did he realize,

the payoff would be made
at the bottom of the surf,

thus ending another underworld
argument the usual way...

Not by debate or discussion,
but by violent death.

(turns TV off)

Just caught your act on TV.

Oh, yeah?

Hey, why the getup?

An example of the
kind of ingenuity

I come up with all
the time. For instance,

why wouldn't Larry Scott's
TV be due for an overhaul?

Good thinking.

Sure. Good enough
to do the brain work,

but not for a partnership.

Look, I'll settle for
a separate sign.

Albie... All right. Okay, okay.

From Scott's apartment...
comes what do you think?

Alphabet soup.

You know, Albie,
sometimes I've got to admit...

Sheer brilliance, huh? Sheer.

Now why does a guy cut
out letters from a newspaper?

Blackmail. Nothing else.

That's why Larry Scott is
such a nervous character.

Now, if he didn't kill her
himself, maybe he knows who did.

Look, Albie, why don't you
get a copy of that edition,

cut out those
missing letters, huh?

See what you can
make of them, Albie.

(door buzzer sounding)

Mr. Lardelli?


My name is Mannix.

I'm a friend of
Professor Carvello's.

May I come in?

I'm a, uh, private
investigator, Mr. Lardelli.

It's about your daughter, Gina.

Professor thought I
might be of some help.

What help?

Gina is dead.

I know nothing
can bring her back

to life again, Mr. Lardelli,

but the professor
would like to see

that she has the resting
place you'd like for her,

in consecrated ground.

Carvello is a fool.

How... How does he do this?

If we could prove she
didn't commit suicide,

that she was murdered...

How does he do this?

Well, the San Bonaventura
Neighborhood Association

has hired me.

Ah, they are all fools!

Mr. Lardelli, they have faith.

Why do you come here?

Everybody comes here!

Police, newspapers, neighbors.

Carvello! You!

Why do you interfere?

I'm, uh, sorry.

Gina is dead!

Leave her alone!

Do you think she
took her own life?

The police are there.

They know.

That is their work.

They come and tell me.

They... they take
me to that place

where they keep
them... the... Morgue.

The... the morgue.

She's broken, all broken.

Yes, I saw.

The police know.

They tell me.

They know what
kind of girl she was.

When she was not even 17,

she have silk underwear.

I find it.

I beat.

What good?

Her mama is dead.

How can I watch her
when I'm away at work?

All girls like silk
things, Mr. Lardelli.


When they were little,
they were so good.

Gina and Maria.

Two little dolls.

Their mama take such
good care of them...

keep them so clean,
dress them so nice.

People would stop on the street

and smile to see two such alike.

So beautiful.

I feel so good and warm.

I know my place on Earth.

How does this happen?


Please, we want
to be left alone.

I, uh, I understand,
Mr. Lardelli,

but I would like to see Maria,
if just for a few moments.

Maria does not see anyone.

She is half-dead.

She is broken, too.



It's all right, Papa.

Thank you, Maria.

I'm afraid I'm going to have

to ask you some
awkward questions.

I don't mind.

You loved your sister very much?


Did you approve of
the way she was living?


I was sorry for her.

Did you ever go
to see your sister?


Did she confide in you?


She ever talk about
a, uh, Larry Scott?


No more questions.

She was unhappy...
terribly unhappy.

There was a streak in her.

I don't know how to say it.


She'd act first, do
something dramatic,

something that would
even frighten herself.

Then later she'd be sorry.

I remember when
we were little...

Go ahead.


It's not important.

Maria, do you think she, Gina,

took her own life?

At first, no, I
didn't think so...

It was against everything
we'd been taught...

But the police are so sure.

Are you sure?

If we could be so
different about life,

maybe we could also
be different about death.

Well, thanks, Maria.

Mr. Lardelli.

(all grunting)

I've got a feeling Royal
Milliken paid for this fracas.

Let's go give him his
money's worth, huh?

(tires screeching)

Where is he now?

(door opens)

You can't come in here.

What is this?!

Now, don't you
ever try that again.

Don't you ever send any
muscle after me, Milliken.

If you got the guts to move
without a gunsel behind you,

you come yourself.

Mannix, wait a minute,
look, you've got the...

Mannix, you'll regret this!

No, I'm going to make
a big, happy picture

in my memory book.

Look, maybe we
can talk this over.

I'll do my talking in
17 hours, Milliken.

I know most of it now.

All I need is a few
bridges to prove it out.

I'll know everything that
went on at that party of yours,

including the people
who were there

that keep popping
up in the news,

people like Larry Scott
and his girlfriend Gina

and the rest of them.

Now is a good time for
you to start running, Milliken,

if you figure it that way.

You can talk to that
battery of lawyers

you provided with a fat life.

Now, I'm making a present

of the next 17 hours
to you, Milliken.

I want you to think about it.

I want you to sweat.

Most of all, I want you to know
who's doing it to you, Milliken.

MAN (over intercom):
Lieutenant Kramer?


Got Mannix for you, sir.



Looks like your client
may have been right

about the Lardelli
case after all, Joe.

What's up?

Someone put three
slugs into Larry Scott.

Left him for dead
up on Mulholland.

Can he talk?

He's in surgery.

They don't give him
much of a chance.

I got a feeling he was shaking
down whoever killed Gina.

We can't let him take
the answer with him.

Always a chance if we're lucky.

Meet you there.

St. Johns.


He doesn't have much time.

Who did it, Larry?

Who shot you?

Kramer... do you mind?

Larry... this is Mannix.

Who killed her?

Who killed Gina, Larry?


That's right. Who?

Frankie... Martel.

Frankie Martel.

That's impossible.


Yeah, he was in the water
hours before Gina died.

Maybe Scott was
trying to tell us

there was some connection
between those two deaths.

Could be.

Did Gina know Martel?

We'll check.

My guess is, they moved
in different circles, though.

A girl like Gina could
move in all kinds of circles.

Uh, Frankie Martel wasn't
at that Milliken party, was he?

Not that we know of.

But they would have known
each other, wouldn't they?

Uh, Martel and Milliken?

No question. Why?

Well, Gina and Scott
were at the Milliken party.

They're dead.

If we could place
Frankie Martel there,

the question might be:
What happened at that party?

It's got to be here somewhere.

Not necessarily who killed
Gina, but why she was killed.

Well, you said because
of Frankie Martel.

But we can't prove it.

(phone ringing)

Mr. Mannix's office.

Oh, yes, Professor.

Just a moment.


Has news, wants to know if
you can go down to see him.

Well, can't he come here?

Professor, can you come here?

There's some people
he wants you to see

in the basement of the school.


He'll be right down.

Mr. Mannix, I'm sorry
not to come to you.

That's all right, Professor.

I, uh, don't like to
trouble you on a Sunday.

Paid-up clients can talk
to me any day of the week.


My friends.

I want to have them with me

when we discuss this matter.

How do you do?

This is a most unpleasant
task, Mr. Mannix.


The point is...

we are no longer your clients.

I must say this is the
first time I've been fired

by 21 people at the same time.

Must be a pretty good reason.

Of course.

Mind if I hear it?

We think of Gina as she was,

as if she did not
grow up at all.

We think of Gina as
too strong in her faith

to take her own life.

But... we realize better now.

How do you know better now?

Her papa convince us.

That's not good
enough, Professor.

We do not argue.

What happened to your faith?

CARVELLO: I have explained.

A man's faith can be
shaken by the truth.

All 21 friends?


MANNIX: Ever see
such amateur liars?

(playing lounge jazz)

One missing piece...

It's got to be there
somewhere... the link.

How was Carvello gotten to?

How was he
frightened that badly?

Maybe he found
out who killed her.

That occurred to me.

Someone down there,
maybe one of the 21.

Maybe even closer to home.

(piano playing baroque
music in jazz style)

Hey, Bach.


Johann Sebastian Bach.

Oh... oh.

You know what a private eye

Johann Sebastian
would have made, Joe?


You say it has its
own set of rules.



Like a piece of music.

Let's say a fugue.

(playing minor-key phrase)

You see, Bach starts
with a given theme.


♪ Gina Lardelli is dead. ♪

Then he takes that theme

and he writes variations on it.

(playing a variation of phrase )

♪ ♪

What are your variations?


Watery grave of Frankie Martel.

Larry Scott who was killed

because the other
two variations,

Gina and Frankie,
were connected,

because they were a
part of the original theme.

Pure Bach.

Variations one and two.

What you need now, man,

is the conclusion to
bring the thing full circle.

(playing loud variation
of minor-key phrase)

MANNIX: Wait a minute, Bobby.

Take a look.

ALBIE: Why, he's
got his hands crossed.

So what?

Well, that's it.

MANNIX: The sisters.

The Lardelli sisters.

They changed places.

The wrong girl was killed!

And Gina is still alive!

I felt it in the
Lardelli apartment...

But it got away from
me before I could grab it.

Ah, Gina.

What a performance.

Not too overdone.

No hysteria and not too noble.

Just critical enough of her
dead sister to make it real.

The modest blouse, hairdo, shy.

Oh, boy, she really played it
to the hilt and had me fooled.

Except for one
thing: brightwork.


No jewelry, Peggy!

The girl who fell out that
window wore no jewelry at all.

She just got back
from a fancy party.

Gina wouldn't be caught
dead without her jewelry.

Well, if you're right, if
somebody wanted to kill Gina...

They still do and
she's still in danger.

And if we could figure
it out, so could whoever.

Thanks, Bobby. Let's go, Albie.

(playing minor-key phrase)

(playing loud
variation of phrase)

(buzzer sounding)

Mr. Lardelli, I'd like to
talk to your daughter.

But she is gone.

Gone where?

To the airport.

To my sister's in San Francisco.

But you know that.

How would I know?

After she left, your
man came here,

and he said that you know

and they know she is Gina...
And he came to take her away

because you want to protect her.

Did you tell him
where she'd gone?

To the airport.

(sighing): It must have
been Milliken's muscle...

That Charley Sloan,
the one who tried me.

Did I do wrong?

MANNIX: It's all
right, Mr. Lardelli.

Albie, get Kramer on the
phone, tell him all about Gina.

Tell him meet me at the airport.

WOMAN (over PA): Flight 254 to
San Francisco Airport and Seattle

now boarding at Gate 9.

Attention, all passengers.

Flight 254 to San
Francisco Airport and Seattle

now boarding at Gate 9.

Flight 23 from Tulsa
now arriving at Gate 1.

Flight 23 from Tulsa

now arriving at Gate 1.

(brakes screeching)

(tires squealing)

WOMAN (over PA): Flight 19...

departing on schedule at Gate 4.

Flight 19...
departing on schedule

at Gate 4.

Scream and you've had it!

At the top, go to
the down escalator.

(siren wailing)

Attention: final call.

Flight 254 to San
Francisco Airport and Seattle

departing at Gate 9.

Flight 254, final call.

Boarding at Gate 1.



(distant jet engine roaring)




MANNIX: It was Royal
Milliken, wasn't it?


I saw him kill Frankie Martel.

Would you testify to that?


Pick up, Milliken.

Tell him the whole thing, Gina.

It was at Milliken's party.

Larry and I, we, we had a fight.

I went to look for my coat.

I went in the wrong room.

Milliken was there with a gun.

He fired it.

And Frankie Martel fell back.

He must have come
in some other way...

He wasn't at the party.

I-I ran.

I... I was too
scared to go home.

I went to a motel.

Then I remembered

Maria was coming to
spend the night with me.

I went to my apartment.

And I got there...

there-there was a crowd around.

Police cars... an ambulance.

So then you, uh,

went to your father's apartment?


And became Maria?

(crying): Yes.

(door opens, then shuts)

Oh, Papa.

Oh... Papa!




Maria understands and forgives.


And it shall move mountains.


Faith, Kramer.

A pittance of faith.

(theme music plays)