Highway Patrol (1955–1959)

Dan Hostage 

Dan Mathews offers himself as a hostage after a nervous gunman botches a diner robbery and critically wounds the proprietor.


Leon Chooluck


Robert J. Shaw


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Episode cast overview:
Broderick Crawford ... Dan Mathews
William Boyett ... Sgt. Ken Williams
Sherwood Price ... Gunman
Virginia Chapman Virginia Chapman ... Doris Harmon (as Virginia Arness)
Robert Gallagher Robert Gallagher ... 'Cotton' Harmon
Wayne Heffley ... Officer Dennis
Ron Foster ... Dispatcher (as Ronald Foster)
Art Gilmore ... Narrator (voice)


Inept gunman Ed Leggett botches an attempted late afternoon robbery of Cotton Harmon's roadside diner, resulting in serious injuries to both men. Leggett forces Cotton's wife Doris to treat his own injuries and ignore Cotton's. When Dan Mathews arrives, Leggett threatens to use Doris as a hostage, but he is ultimately convinced to release Cotton and Doris and take Dan instead. Sergeant Williams and a phalanx of Highway Patrol officers surround the diner, but night has fallen and they are hesitant to rush the building or use tear gas because of Leggett's nervousness and his unpredictability. Dan is forced to use a combination of psychology and fearlessness to try to defuse the situation. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama


Did You Know?


The license plate of the stolen 1959 green 4 door sedan is stated as MFG 015. This is a California manufacturer (MFG) license plate, and the 015 means it was issued to Chevrolet, but there would be other characters to further identify the plate. The stolen car was in fact a 1959 Chevrolet sedan. This same plate was used on occasion in the series. See more »


After the suspect is in custody, Mathews leaves the scene without regaining his gun. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The prevention, detection, and punishment of crime on the nation's highways require constant vigilance and selfless devotion to duty on the part of our law enforcement personnel. Many types of crime and criminals are encountered by the Highway Patrol in their round-the-clock activity, including unexplained outbreaks of violence. One of the most deadly criminals is the amateur, a frightened, panicky gunman who shoots first and thinks afterwards. The amateur acts on impulse. He ...
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Release Date:

4 May 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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