THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR
Official Peter Brown Fan Site
Originial air date May 24, 1963
Directed by Joseph M. Newman
Written by Leigh Brackett
Alfred Hitchcock as Host
Victor Jory as Det. Paul Reardon
Peter Brown as Det. Philip Reardon
Paul Hartman as Trenker
John Marley as Det. Ed Singer
Richard Jaeckel as Boxer
Paul Genge as Lt. Tom Mills
Jean Willes as Eva
Wilton Graff as George Chaney
Read Morgan as Freddie Arnold
Rex Holman as Jocko Hanlin
Shirley O'Hara as Alice Reardon
Death of a Cop was the last episode of the first season of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Heading an excellent cast was Victor Jory, Peter Brown and Richard Jaeckel.
Paul Reardon, a seasoned police detective, and his son Philip (a hotshot young detective) are on a stakeout in a tough neighborhood known for heroin dealing. As they wait, Paul talks about how pleased he is that Philip wants to get to know him after years of separation following his divorce from Philip's mother. The two make plans to go fishing at 6:00 am on Saturday.
Philip's commendation for bravery fills his father with pride.
After many long and boring hours, their diligence is rewarded when they foil a robbery attempt by a pair of junkies.
On his way to meet his mother for breakfast, Philip spots a group of known mob associates (led by Boxer) around a car acting suspiciously. As Philip approaches them, Boxer stashes a gun under the front seat of the car.
Suspecting the group to be up to no good, Philip orders Boxer out of the car so he can search it. As Boxer's partners force him into the car, Philip knows he's in trouble when he sees the witnesses to the crime closing their doors and windows instead of helping him.
Paul is accosted by his ex wife, who blames him for her son's death. He investigates the company headed by Herbie Lane, employer of the thugs responsible for Philip's murder. When the witnesses are too terrified to testify against Lane's boys, Paul is told by his superiors to ease up on Lane. He resigns from the force in order to continue gathering evidence on his own.
Philip tries to deal his way out of trouble by offering to overlook this crime if they will let him go. He also reminds them about the penalty for kidnapping and transporting a police officer across the state line. The driver panics and quickly turns the car around, which causes the gun under the front seat (with drugs attached to it) to roll out in plain sight on the floor.
Philip attempts to escape, but he gets a punch in the jaw from Boxer. They take him to a deserted spot where Boxer shoots and kills him.
Paul eventually realizes that Lane and his boys will only be brought to justice if he catch them committing another crime. After antagonizing Lane to the point that a hit is put out on him, Paul arranges for a witness to his own murder. As Paul lays dead, the witness reports what he saw to a beat cop ensuring that Lane and associates will be prosecuted.
Cast Note: Richard Jaeckel appeared with Peter in another The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode entitled Forecast: Low Clouds and Coastal Fog.
NiteOwl Review: This story is sobering. Watching is difficult. Peter really nailed the shifting emotions crossing Philip's face as he realizes he's going to die because everyone is too frightened to help him. The viewer feels Paul's frustration and sense of injustice as he struggles to build a case against the thugs who killed his son, especially given Philip's status as a police officer. Although Paul makes sure the bad guys "get theirs" in the end, the high cost of his plan leaves the viewer feeling unsatisfied.