Run For Your Life
Starring Ben Gazzara

Beware My Love
     List of Videos           Alphabetical Episode List           Season One               Season Two               Season Three

Synopsis:  Paul helps Barbara Sherwood (Susan Trustman) investigate what she believes to be the suspicious drowning of her sister in Italy. With John Van Dreelen as Henrik Verbeck, Michael Evans as Roger Aldington,Anna-Lisa as Helga Galen, Grant Woods as Chips Harley, Pat Priest as Susan, Luis de Cordova as Inspector Abbronzare, Peter Bourne as Strom, Paul Micale as the Chauffeur - CAST PHOTOS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
Episode 83
Season 3 - #23
First broadcast on February 28, 1968
Teleplay by Robert E. Thompson
Based on a Novel by John D. MacDonald
Directed by George McCowan

From the diary about this episode:

Las Vegas - en route to Milan
Sunday, August 1

Got connections at JFK for Milan, expecting my hands wouldn't be up to carrying a suitcase or being jolted about in transit, but no, they are only a little stiff. Healed amazingly quickly. As always with me.
All the bangs and bumps on my way to the judo and karate black belts inevitably were gone within a day or two. I never needed to consult a doctor. And my healing powers still seem to be in full force. How can someone with an immune system like that have a consuming disease?

Monday, August 2

Met by a traumatized Barbara at the airport, and found that she wanted more than someone to hold her. She asked me to investigate her sister's death, something for which I have no qualifications.
Breaking down when I explained this, she said I was the only person she could turn to - my own words to Dwight reverberated in my head. But I had to point out to her that whatever we might or might not accomplish, I had to fly to Rio on Thursday.
She accepted that in her self-deprecating way, and we came up with a little plan of my posing as an insurance investigator with the hope of getting something a bit more solid than Barbara's suspicions to give to a proper private detective.
She had recently visited her sister in Milan, and was able to give me a number of starting points. Barbara was particularly suspicious about Joanne's lover, who'd been away when she was there.
He's a businessman named Verbeck, so I started out, asking around at banks and various organizations about him, then went to a couple restaurants they frequented, and also the travel agent both used.
Took the opportunity to open an account at the Banco di Roma to add to the ones I have now in Paris and London, then had dinner in my suite with the despairing Barbara during which we rehearsed her part for tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 3

In my guise as insurance investigator, consulted the police Inspector on Joanne's case, who was accommodating, but believed that there was absolutely nothing to indicate that her drowning was anything but an accident.
Back at my hotel, there was a summons from the very person I wanted to see next. Henrik Verbeck was a self-made man and a tough ticket. He wanted to know why I was going around, probing into Joanne's death, and warned me not to look further into her private life.
If someone murdered her, this guy has to be our number one suspect. He accompanied me to Joanne's apartment, and Barbara was there with her rehearsed harsh words for the insurance investigator whom she believed to be desecrating her sister's memory, as well as holding up payment on two hundred thousand that would be paid to her on the double indemnity policy.
Demonstrated solicitousness with her, and in the presence of Verbeck and the Inspector, offered to buy her a drink. In the café Barbara showed me a letter from her sister in which Joanne expressed great fear.
This note was the main source of Barbara's suspicion of foul play. Joanne had written about holding something of value, and perhaps disclosing information about it that she shouldn't have.
Though she appeared to take the man lightly, Barbara thought we might also consider Joanne's wealthy estranged husband, Chips, as a suspect, so I flew to Ischia, where he was living.
Though a slippery character, I didn't come away thinking he murdered his wife. He'd been in Milan on the morning of Joanne's drowning, he said, to try for a reconciliation, but had gone on to Mont Blanc with his girlfriend when the attempt came to nothing.
Flew back to Milan, still without anything to hand over to a private investigator, and told Barbara that we remained without anything to go on.

Wednesday, August 4

When I tried to see Verbeck in the morning, he was unavailable, having a physiotherapy session on his leg which was injured in an explosion at one of his companies in Algeria. Maybe all that sharpness in his manner is the result of pain.
He came over to Joanne's apartment later, and said that he knew that I didn't work for an insurance company. Admitted as much, but said I was trying to help Barbara, and asked Verbeck if the thing that Joanne was hiding belonged to him.
He freely acknowledged that it was a million dollars in gold certificates - for him in case of emergency, but really for Joanne - because he couldn't marry her.
Barbara and I were both wondering why when he answered the question all too quickly without being asked, and told of the bone marrow disease that is disintegrating his body, bit by bit, always one step ahead of the amputation saw.
As I feel too, he said he didn't want anyone to know, but his program was to change nothing in his daily life as a way of pretending he had all the time in the world.
I tried to imagine what that would be like. The more I hear, from Dr. Mason especially, the more I realize that life and time aren't the only things that are stolen by a terminal illness.
I wanted to reach out and say I understood, but knew that I wasn't at all going through what he was, and even if I were, know how much I would cringe if the same kind of sympathy were extended toward me.
But I said a silent prayer to my constant companion, St. Jude, patron of hopeless causes, that Verbeck might get a reprieve. It was clear that, though he'd never shown it to me, a stranger - and an antagonistic one at that - the loss of Joanne had taken all meaning from his life, and the time left to him was now worthless.
I thought about Kate, then tried to change the subject both in my mind and in the room. Verbeck said that he was inclined to believe that his top financial man, someone he had just found to be corrupt, could be the murderer.
Tried to soothe Barbara over dinner, but now, in addition to grieving for her sister, she was dejected about Verbeck's situation, and spoke at length about the awareness that he was dying, and how awful that must be.  On and on.
Though a sweet and well-meaning girl, Barbara isn't the easiest company at the best of times, and her conversation tonight made me want to flee.

Thursday, August 5

This morning the man Verbeck believed to be Joanne's murderer - the company's chief financial officer - was found dead on the floor of the Milan office.
But rather than throw the speculation about Joanne's killer wide open again, it seemed suddenly clear that the matter was no longer in question. It could only be Helga, Verbeck's physiotherapist.
Tried a line with her, saying that I had a note proving that Verbeck's dead associate had a meeting with her last night, and promised I'd show it to no one if she gave me half the gold certificates. She brought ambivalence and disinterest to an art form, and sent me on my way, reiterating that she didn't care what I did, because she had done nothing.
It was, of all people, Barbara, who came up with the perfect jealousy trap - and a good thing it was her idea, as she was the bait. Helga knew from Joanne that Barbara is a physiotherapist, and the uncanny resemblance of the two sisters made credible the idea that Verbeck, in his bereavement, could be drawn to this new woman.
He found it far too dangerous for her, but we decided this plan B was our best choice to bring Helga out in the open - and the likelihood was that she would go after me before attacking Barbara.
Verbeck brought Helga to Joanne's apartment, and asked if she would show Barbara the various measures she used in his treatment, as Barbara would be taking over management of Verbeck's care now.
By affectionate gestures and words, he also made it clear that Barbara was more than a physiotherapist to him. Barbara chimed in that she would be able to handle his treatment without taking Helga's time, and he let her leave, apologizing for bringing her over.
It was within a half hour that she rang my hotel for a meeting at the lake to discuss my earlier proposal, and I made sure that the police would be lying in wait before she got there.
Was standing on the dock when she suddenly pulled me in the water from behind.  Incredibly strong, I had great difficulty freeing myself from her grip as she attempted to drown me, and was glad to know that capable rescuers were standing by on shore.
Well, more than standing, I was hoping, but despite not having full power in my hands, I did manage to get the best of the murderous Helga, and the gendarmes took her away.
Barbara was also there with a blanket, and Verbeck thanked me for exposing the killer of the woman he loved. I told him that his million in gold certificates was weighed down somewhere in the lake, but he seemed not to care.
He shook my hand and left, and Barbara started up again about the terrible sword that hung over him.
I went back to the hotel to pack, and she suggested that we should invite Verbeck out for a meal. Wondered how that could be borne, but with a few hours to wait for my connecting flight to Rio, I went along anyway.
In the course of the meal, Barbara suggested that, since Helga was gone, Verbeck might want a temporary physiotherapist until he found another, and as she was a free lancer in London, she could stay on and help until he located someone.
The look in his eyes was worth the pain of attending the meal. Like life springing into something inanimate. Even a smile. The first I'd seen from him, and the one on Barbara's face glowing.
Then Verbeck even started talking about dragging the lake for his gold certificates -  something he had called pointless only hours before. It was the ideal moment for me to slip away, and go to the airport for my flight to Rome.

Read Next:

Creative Team

     Robert Hamner
Supervising Producer
     Jo Swerling Jr.
Associate Producer
     Steve Heilpern
     Pete Rugolo
Director of Photography
    William Margulies A.S.C.
Art Director
     Henry Larreco
Film Editor
     Richard Bracken
Unit Manager
     Donald Baer
Assistant Director
     Jack Doran
Set Decorators
     John McCartey  &
    Robert C. Bradfield
     Earl Crain Jr.
Color  Coordinator
     Robert Brower
Color by Technicolor
Editorial Dept. Head
     Richard Belding
Musical Supervisor
     Stanley Wilson
Costume by Grady Hunt
     Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist
     Larry Germain


39  Carol

Luis de Cordova and Ben Gazzara in Run For Your Life
Inspector Abbronzare says the death was an accident
Ben Gazzara andJohn Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Verbeck dresses after physiotherapy
Ben Gazzara andJohn Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Verbeck gets hard with Paul
Susan Trustman, Luis de Cordova and Ben Gazzara in Run For Your Life
The inspector and Joanne's sister are at the apartment
Ben Gazzara and  Susan Trustman   in Run For Your Life
Paul and Barbara discuss strategy
Ben Gazzara and  Susan Trustman   in Run For Your Life
Barbara shows Paul Joanne's letter expressing fear
Ben Gazzara and  Grant Woods in Run For Your Life
Paul questions Joanne's husband
Peter Bourne and Michael Evans in Run For Your Life
Aldington conspires with Strom in a church
Michael Evans and John Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Aldington puts his plot into action
Michael Evans and John Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Verbeck demands to know what Aldington knows
Michael Evans and John Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Aldington says that he guessed Joanne had the certificates
Michael Evans and John Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Verbeck slaps Aldington and fires him
Anna-Lisa and Michael Evans in Run For Your Life
Helga says she'll speak to Verbeck on Aldington's behalf
Ben Gazzara andJohn Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Verbeck confronts Paul
Ben Gazzara andJohn Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Verbeck says that he gave the funds to Joanne to keep
Ben Gazzara and  Susan Trustman   in Run For Your Life
Paul listens to Verbeck's predicament
Ben Gazzara andJohn Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Verbeck says only Aldington knew about Joanne
Anna-Lisa and Michael Evans in Run For Your Life
Helga says Joanne told her about the certificates
Anna-Lisa and Michael Evans in Run For Your Life
Helga watches Aldington die
Anna-Lisa and Ben Gazzara in Run For Your Life
Paul says he's come to split the million with Helga
Anna-Lisa and Ben Gazzara in Run For Your Life
Paul tells Helga that Verbeck's involved with Barbara
Ben Gazzara, Susan Trustman  andJohn Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
After their talk Verbeck rings Helga
Susan Trustman  andJohn Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
Barbara says she can do everything for Verbeck
Anna-Lisa and Ben Gazzara in Run For Your Life
Paul finally subdues Helga
Ben Gazzara, Susan Trustman  andJohn Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
They watch Helga being taken away by police
Ben Gazzara and  Susan Trustman   in Run For Your Life
"We're all going to die," Paul tells Barbara

The Plot

When Joanne Harley drowns in Italy, it appears to be an accident, but in fact, she was pulled into the water after her swim by an unknown assailant.

Paul comes to Milan to look into the incident, posing as an insurance investigator.

After showing Paul the autopsy report and her effects, Inspector Abbronzara informs him that there is nothing to indicate that Joanne's death was anything but an accident.
Paul then goes to see Heinrik Verbeck, with whom Joanne was involved.  A self-made man several times over (after successful businesses failed), Verbeck has a severely injured leg from an explosion in his Algerian factory during the 1950s. He has had Paul's activities in Milan observed, and wants to know what he learned about Joanne's death. Verbeck does not believe that she could have committed suicide. Telling Paul that he loved her very much, and that they were going to marry after she got a divorce, Verbeck says that he does not want Paul to desecrate her memory.
Paul says that he'll next be looking at Joanne's apartment, to see if a suicide note might have been overlooked. Verbeck hardens up, and repeats to Paul that he doesn't want him looking into Joanne's life, but Paul says that he's not going to stop, and will keep on probing, asking how Verbeck will stop him from uncovering any filth that may exist. Verbeck pulls out his walking stick aggressively, and Paul adds, “by killing me?” But as he turns to leave, Verbeck says that Paul won't need to apply to the police to search Joanne's apartment, and they can go together, using his key.
Meanwhile, a top executive with Verbeck's company, Michael Aldington, has checked out Paul's credentials, and found that he doesn't work for the insurance company.

Inspector Abbronzare is at the apartment when Paul and Verbeck arrive. Also there is Barbara Sherwood, sister of the victim.

Verbeck is quite obviously struck at her resemblance to Joanne, but she turns her anger on Paul over his investigation, “prying into the affairs of someone who can't defend herself.”
She then offers to put aside any of her sister's things that Verbeck might want to keep, but he declines and leaves. To placate her, Paul invites Barbara to take a moment for a coffee, and she reluctantly accepts.

When they are at the table, it is clear that Barbara and Paul not only know one another, but had a romance in London which he broke off, only to come to her aid when she had suspicions about Joanne's death.

Barbara says that she appreciates his help, and is glad to see him again, but Paul says that he hasn't accomplished anything yet.
He says there just seems no evidence that the drowning wasn't an accident, but Barbara is intense in her suspicions that Joanne was murdered, and shows Paul a letter from her sister, indicating that she was afraid of something - completely unlike brave and independent Joanne. In the note Joanne says that she was supposed to keep something hidden, but let slip to someone about the cache. Barbara believes that she was hiding something for Verbeck, and perhaps her estranged husband found out about it, adding that in the beginning of her letter, Joanne said that he was trying to arrange a reconciliation between them.
Paul goes to the island of Ischia to talk to Joanne's husband Chips. He's fairly unfriendly, and says that he knew nothing about his wife's insurance policy which made her sister beneficiary. Admitting that he was in Milan the day she drowned, he says it was to try for a reconciliation with Joanne, and that he was on his way to France when she met her death. A lady companion emerges to confirm that, but he tells her to pack and leave. When she's departed, Chips says that he couldn't imagine his wife committing suicide, but Verbeck might have murdered her when he found out that she wasn't getting a divorce after all.
Barbara and Paul meet to discuss the visit to Ischia, but both feel that they're at a dead end, so he goes back to Verbeck. He is unable to talk with the businessman, as a therapy session is scheduled, but learns from physiotherapist Helga that she's been with Verbeck since he left the hospital seven years earlier, then unable to walk.

Michael Aldington meanwhile has masterminded a plot to get money from Verbeck's business empire, and in a church, meets a man named Strom who is to make fake bids on Verbeck's Luxembourg property,
Aldington then goes to Verbeck, and tells him to sign authorization papers on the property in question, but Verbeck counters that this would be only if he plans to sell.

But Aldington insists that this is the only property Verbeck can dispose of to meet an impending deadline.

He adds that Paul is not an insurance investigator, but a lawyer Aldington believes to be representing an American investment group.
Aldington says that if Verbeck might be thinking of using assets which don't show up on the books - funds  that might be hidden away - it wouldn't work. Verbeck jumps up and grabs Aldington by the throat, and Aldington admits knowing about a million dollars Verbeck has built up in gold certificates. Verbeck angrily pushes Aldington across the room, and demands to know what he knows about the hidden money. Aldington admits that he studied the books, and managed to discover the emergency fund, and says that since Verbeck didn't bank the money, he must have hidden it.
“Where did I hide it, Roger?” Verbeck asks menacingly.

Frightened by Verbeck's aggressive physical manner, Aldington says that he knew it had to be kept by someone Verbeck trusted, and guessed that he must have given the money to Joanne Harley, so asked her if she was hiding it in a safe place. The look she gave him confirmed his suspicions.

“Where is it?” Verbeck asks, as if about to kill Aldington. “The money?” Aldington asks, “You mean it's gone?” He appears bewildered for a moment.
Aldington ponders the matter, and comes to the conclusion that Joanne must have been murdered for the money.

Verbeck slaps him in the face, and asks who else he told about Joanne holding the money, suggesting Paul as a possibility. Aldington denies killing Joanne or telling anyone about what he knew, and Verbeck ruefully agrees that he wouldn't have the nerve to do much.

“Cheating the Luxumbourg property out of a couple dollars is all you're capable of,” Verbeck adds, and fires Aldington.
Helga witnesses the end of the conversation as Verbeck goes out the door, and when she asks Aldington what happened, he replies, “if he thinks he can sack me like some poor clod, he'll find out. I know enough to ruin him.” As he goes to the phone Aldington adds, “he won't have a cent left when I've finished talking to the right people.”

Helga suggests that Verbeck might change his mind, and Aldington puts down the receiver, agreeing that Verbeck listens to her. She says that she'll talk to their boss later about the matter.
Later Aldington gets a call, and notes down the appointment.

Paul and Barbara are again looking through Joanne's apartment when Verbeck comes in. He challenges Paul about not working for an insurance company, and while Paul admits that, he says that he has been investigating Joanne's death on behalf of her sister. While he thinks it's possible that Verbeck killed her because she was leaving him and taking something valuable with her, Paul says that he's come to the conclusion that she wasn't going back to her husband.
But he has decided that she was holding something for Verbeck.

He asks Verbeck what it was, and the businessman directly replies that it was a million dollars in legal and tax-paid gold certificates. He explains that he learned from the war that such getaway money could be important, but that the money was really for Joanne.

Then he goes on to say that complications from his leg injury have developed into a bone-marrow disease.
 that means, although they could keep him alive for a few months amputating a bit at a time, he will soon die.  Verbeck says that he didn't want anyone to know, and that he was trying to live as though he could take all the time he should have had, and compress it into the time he did have left.

Verbeck says that Paul and Barbara could never understand - with their lives spread before them, but that now, nothing matters with Joanne gone - and the money too. Paul listens intently, but shows no emotion at coming face to face with another man sharing his own fate.
He only says that the door lock to Joanne's apartment was not tampered with, and the only way someone could have gotten in was to use her key - which was missing from her  key ring after she drowned.

Verbeck declares that the only other person who knew she had the certificates was Aldington

That evening Aldington goes to his office to meet Helga. She asks him whether he's made the revelations against Verbeck that he threatened, and Aldington says he hasn't.
When she asks whether he's told anyone about the gold certificates, he is taken aback that she knows about them.

Helga explains that Joanne told her how Aldington had tricked her into revealing that she was holding them, and was afraid that he would do something to Verbeck, asking Helga to keep an eye on Aldington.

But Helga adds that Joanne wasn't really fearful for Verbeck, but for herself, and that Aldington might get the money from her before she was able to force Verbeck to marry her.
She takes out a long cloth without Aldington seeing, and explains that she told Joanne that she'd found out what Aldington was up to, and arranged a meeting at the lake to show her the evidence. “Then you killed her,” Aldington says, “for the money.”

“Not for the money,” Helga laughs pleasantly, “for the same reason I'm going to kill you.” And with that, she wraps the cloth around Aldington's neck, and begins to strangle him - just enough to induce a heart attack, and slowly kill him. When he's dead, she removes the cloth, and leaves the office.
Verbeck and Paul find Aldington dead on the floor, and Paul goes to see Helga

 He tells her that it's about splitting a million dollars between the two of them, adding that at first, he thought Aldington stole the money and killed Joanne, but having found a note in the dead man's desk which said “H. at 8 pm,” Paul is now wiser.

He says that he might lose the note and forget what it said for half a million, but otherwise, would have to go to the police with it.
Helga says that Paul is welcome to go to the police with his note as she doesn't know what he's talking about and has nothing to hide. She adds that she's perfectly happy looking after Verbeck, and doesn't need any million he's accused her of stealing.

Paul replies that he believes that she doesn't want any million, but he does, and were he to go to the police, Barbara Sherwood would get the lot. This is his ploy, implying that Verbeck has now become involved with Joanne's sister, and he leaves Helga to contemplate on this - and his proposal.
Paul discusses his theories with Verbeck and Barbara, and she says that she's willing to be the bait in a trap. Then Paul tells Verbeck that Helga's obsession for him probably also made her kill his late wife.

According to their plan Verbeck rings Helga, asking her to come to Joanne Harley's apartment. When she arrives, he tells Helga that, as he and Barbara will be spending a lot of time together, hewants Helga to show Barbara her various massage techniques, as Barbara will be doing most of that physiotherapy from now on.
Helga assures that she'll always be available to do the massages for him, but when he responds, “not all the time,” Barbara,  behaving like a lover, affectionately assures that she doesn't need to learn any techniques, as she's sure that she can already do all that is necessary for him.

Verbeck says that he really shouldn't have called Helga, and that he wouldn't be needing her any more.

She walks out the door, and Barbara tells Paul, who emerges from the bedroom that Helga looked like she wanted to kill her.
Paul then leaves, saying that he expects that Helga will be calling him soon, to make sure that he's not a threat, before taking any action against Barbara. Helga indeed rings him at his hotel a short time later, and arranges a meeting at the lake.

Paul paces along the dock, and suddenly finds himself pulled into the water from below. Helga is in diving gear, and attempts to drown him. Although his struggles bring him to the surface, she pulls him down again and again, but he is finally successful in subduing her, and tows her to the surface.
Barbara  and Verbeck join him, and Paul tells them that the gold certificates are in a waterproof pouch, weighted down at the far side of the lake.

Verbeck says that the money isn't important, but Paul points out that it's still a million dollars, and a few hours of dragging the lake will locate the cache.

As they watch Helga being taken away by the police, Paul asks Verbeck, “what now?”

“What I've always done,” the dying businessman replies."
He says that he will start again. "Build another empire, another fortune. I think, for me, it's best to live the life I've always lived. I'm much to old - or perhaps not old enough - to change.

They shake hands, and Verbeck's car takes him away. Barbara remarks how strange it is, "the way he can go on as if nothing has changed for him - pretending, even though he knows he's going to die."

Paul just answers, “we're all going to die.”

Notes & Comments:

A storyline that was veering in a lot of directions, this was like the bulk of episodes - even most of those constructed by executive producer Roy Huggins -which could easily have been adapted to fit into a large number of other medical, legal or detective dramas. A shame that with such a fascinating premise, the series never touched on the mind of Paul Bryan.

Next Episode:

John Van Dreelen in Run For Your Life
John Van Dreelen
as Henrik Verbeck
Michael Evans in Run For Your Life
Michael Evans as
Roger Aldington
Susan Trustman in Run For Your Life
Susan Trustman as
Barbara Sherwood
and Joanne Harley
Anna-Lisa in Run For Your Life
Anna-Lisa as
Helga Galen
Grant Woods in Run For Your Life
Grant Woods
as Chips Harley
Pat Priest in Run For Your Life
Pat Priest
as Susan
Luis de Cordova in Run For Your Life
Luis de Cordova as
Inspector Abbronzare
Peter Bourne in Run For Your Life
Peter Bourne
as Strom