The 15th episode of Highway Patrol in their third season was called Mother’s March. I love the title and it does represent part of what the show focuses on, that being a robbery of several thousand dollars that was intended for a charity drive.
Broderick Crawford is the dominant star of this police drama. He’s a big man, and he talks a really fast and commanding game. He plays Chief Dan Mathews, head of the highway patrol He’s always in a business suit, though, which I’ve always found a bit strange.
In this particular episode, I noticed a couple of really odd camera angles on him. Both were close ups. I don’t know if it was lighting or what, but it really wasn’t pleasant and took me out of the story.
One of the guest stars was a woman named Lillian Culver. She was just great as Lucy Briscoe, one of the ladies in the Mother’s March. She has that somewhat flighty type of voice but is a good-hearted woman. I just thought she was a hoot and she made the show more enjoyable.
On the reverse side, Joe Patride was stiff as a board as one of the highway patrol officers. He was just flat and the total opposite of Culver.
The story itself wasn’t all that special. It’s a robbery in which a beautician ends up becoming a suspect. The police set out to find the bad guys and naturally by the end of the half hour they’ve done it. It just wasn’t anything unique or special.
That said, this series tended to be pretty serious, but they did manage to toss in a cute bit at the end when the recovered money was missing $15. Aside from Culver, that was the best part.
Of course, by today’s standards a lot of what happens in the big climax and with the return of the charity money is lame. Things were just different back in the late 50’s when this show was produced, so you do have to allow for this when watching. It’s not always easy to do, but if you can put yourself back in time, it can still be entertaining.