Welcome! The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat. Tonight’s feature is TIMETABLE (1956). Mark Stevens both starred in and directed the movie. The film also starred King Calder, Felicia Farr and Marianne Stewart.
A physician, whose license has been revoked, poses as a practicing doctor aboard a train passing through Arizona. His presence there is part of a caper involving a fictitious patient, on whose behalf he gains access to his checked baggage, including his physician’s “black bag,” in the baggage car, whereupon he blows and then robs the safe. Then he arranges for both the fictitious patient, which he claims is infected with a communicable disease which poses an immediate and extremely serious public health risk, and himself to leave the train, presumably departing for the closest hospital, which is also far from any scheduled train stop, the two thereby escaping with $500,000 in an ambulance. The railroad officials do not discover the robbery until the train reaches Phoenix, many hours after their escape has been effected.
Film critic Dennis Schwartz liked the film and wrote, “A gripping film noir about an ace insurance investigator, Charlie Norman (Mark Stevens–he also directs), who successfully plans a complicated train robbery in Arizona and ends up teamed with railroad detective Joe Armstrong (King Calder) as co-leaders of the investigation. It’s a taut thriller with a fine script and acting … “