Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Not the Running Type (02/07/60)

Alfred Hitchcock straight-up murders a dude in the prologue.  So that’s new.

Captain Fisher is recalling one of the cases of his early career.  Milton Potter, the “tamest criminal” Fisher ever saw, was just paroled after doing 12 years for embezzlement.  He says, “Milton Potter had worked for Metro Investments since he got out of college — a total of 13 years.”  Since Potter is played by 56 year old Paul Hartman, it is safe to say he was not Dean’s List material. [1]  Fisher says he was making only $60/week and describes him as a quiet, friendless drone.

Milton does not show for work one day 12 years ago, and no one notices.  The second day, however, they notice because $200,000 is missing. [3]  Young Lt. Fisher is assigned to the case.  No one can describe anything about Potter, not even his eye color after 13 years.  He did seem to read a lot of travel magazines, though.

The next day Potter goes to the police station and gives himself up.  However he will not return the cash.  He goes to jail, does his time offscreen, and is paroled 12 years later.  Fisher — now the Captain — goes to see Potter.  He wants to remind him that even though he did the time, that doesn’t mean the money is his.  So Potter returns the money.  That paragraph took 13 minutes on the screen.

There is a nifty wrap-up that involves Potter finally getting to travel, and babes in high-heels playing shuffleboard.

Mostly, it was a lot of talking, though.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Paul Hartman was believable as the mild-mannered, sad-sack Potter.  Wendell Holmes was a hoot as his blowhard boss.  The other performances were competent.  Despite a fine twist, this was more of a character piece than we usually get from AHP.

Warning to anyone attempting to duplicate Potter’s scheme:  Putting $200,000 in the bank for 12 years nowadays would leave you with about $200,005.

Potter is the guy on the left, but really, who cares?

Other Stuff:

  • [1] Actually, the character is said to be 34 [2] at the time of the crime, thus 46 for half of the episode.  F***ing actors, man!
  • [2] So he graduated at 21 — a genius!
  • [3] When another office drone comes in to report the embezzlement to company VP Halverson, he stutters.  Halverson [4] demands, “What is it, Newton?  Out with it — I don’t have all day!”  I love the way old shows have the boss barking at employees and calling them by their last name.  Did that really happen?
  • [4] It bugs me when a show has a son with the same name as his father; or characters with similar names.  It is just pointlessly confusing.  Here, we have  Halverson and Harv Ellison which, if you’ve had a few drinks, sound pretty similar.
  • AHP Deathwatch:  One survivor; although at 97, I wonder if IMDb missed a phone call.
  • Title Analysis: Potter says he turned himself in because he is not the running type.  Also not the running type: Alfred Hitchcock.
  • This would have been a rare non-murder AHP if not for Hitchcock’s opening shot.

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