Which Way Did He Go, McGill? Recap

A bearded man, Keith Earle, goes to the train station and removes a bag from a locker. A detective-inspector, Stoke, watches Earle and Earle notices him before walking away with the bag. His follower comes after him, and Earle goes into a barber shop and gets his beard trimmed off. Stoke spots Earle and boards the train with his target.

On the train, Earle puts his bag in the overhead and sits down as the train leaves the station. Stoke walks by to check on Earle, and Earle spots him. The steward announces tea in the dining car, and Earle goes there. When Stoke follows him, Earle knocks him out and drags him into the bathroom, locking the door behind him.

Later, the train stops at a village and Earle gets off. The steward returns to the carriage and finds Stoke tied up in the overhead.

Later, McGill is called to a service station. He greets the owner and friend, Eddy Fulton, and Eddy says that he has something important to tell him. Inside, Eddy shows McGill an old photograph of the station and three men who raced at the local track. The owner explains that he was going to get rid of the photograph when he bought the station three years ago. He shows McGill a photo of Earle in the newspaper and says that he was let out of jail and then attacked a detective on the train. Eddy points out that Earle is one of the men in the photo, and it was taken a few days before a bullion robbery. The $500,000 in gold bullion was never found. There are three men in the photo with Earle, and Earle was the only one arrested. Eddy figures Earle knows where the missing gold is, and he can’t afford to stick his nose out now that he has a family. McGill notes the name of the photographer on the back and Eddy agrees to split the reward 50/50. When he says that he plans to check in with the bullion company, but Eddy doesn’t want to split the money. He reluctantly agrees and they shake on it.

At the bullion company, the managing director advises McGill to go to the police. McGill says that he has no material evidence, and his informant will never come forward if the police are involved. The ex-agent asks for expenses , written authority to act for the company, and the 10% reward.

Later, McGill visits the photographer, Douglas Bailey, at his studio. He pays Douglas to make a photo of the negative. Interrupting his model shoot.

Earle drives a motorcycle out into the country.

McGill collects his photos and goes back to Eddy. He’s satisfied that the man in the photo is Earle, and there’s a photo of a girl worker in the background. Eddy identifies one of the men as Gerry Norman, a race car driver, who was crippled in a bad accident a year ago.

Earle goes to Gerry’s house and spots the racing car out front. He waits outside the house until Gerry comes out to check his car. Gerry’s wife returns home and goes over to help Gerry inside.

McGill tracks down the garage worker, Joy Howes, at the stable she runs. She invites McGill in and he asks her if she recognizes any of the men in the photo. Joy doesn’t and says there were dozens of cars going to the track. McGill claims that he’s an insurance agent and Joy offers him a cup of coffee before he goes. She figures he doesn’t believe her, and explains about her father bought her a pony when she was young. Joy tells McGill that her father left the family for another woman, and she ended up in London. She came back and worked at the service station, saved enough money to buy the stable, and borrowed the rest from her mother. McGill thanks her for the coffee and chat, and promises to come back again.

Earle breaks into Gerry’s house and ties up his wife Hazel, then tosses her in the pantry. He then confronts Gerry, who asks if he’s seen the others. Earle confirms that Gerry is the first, and Gerry gives him 300 pounds. Furious, Earle demands his full share and kicks away Gerry’s cane. He explains that he’s going to collect his share from his former gang mates, one by one. Gerry says that the robbery was a washout and he had to write it off with Roger Fulton. The third man, George Hastings, took the money and threatened them. Earle takes out a gun and demands his share, and Gerry insists that George has the money.

McGill tracks down Gerry and finds his corpse. He hears Hazel in the pantry and frees her, and she runs to her husband before McGill can stop her.

Earle drives away.

Hazel explains that Gerry told her he’d been in trouble but thought it was over. She identifies Earle from the photos, and also identifies Fulton. McGill tells her to call the police and tell them that he was there, and goes back to the service station. He tells his old friend that Joy is okay, and Eddy has done some checking. He has a photo of George Hastings, who has spent more time in the last five years in prison than out. George was seen with Fulton, and Eddy knows where Fulton is.

Stoke talks to Hazel and she confirms when McGill left, and that he was looking for Fulton. The detective inspector tells his men to keep an eye on McGill and see where he goes, and track down Fulton.

Fulton packs a bag and puts it in his car. When he goes back in for the other bag, he finds McGill waiting for him.

Stoke arrives outside of Fulton’s home, and his man tells him that McGill is inside.

McGill threatens to go to the police if Fulton doesn’t talk to him, and Fulton admits that he tipped off the rest of the gang. No one at the company suspected him, but the guilt got to him and he left. Fulton insists that he doesn’t know where the money is, and McGill tells the man that Gerry is dead. Shocked, Fulton knocks over a table, grabs his bag, runs outside, and locks the door behind him. He drives off only for Earle to sit up in the back seat. When Fulton pulls over and runs, Earle calmly takes out his gun and goes after him. Fulton ducks into an abandoned factory but Earle easily catches him and demands his money. His former associate insists that George took the lot, but Earle doesn’t believe him and shoots him dead.

McGill catches up to Fulton’s corpse just as Stoke arrives and tells McGill that he’d better come with him.

Earle drives to a spot in the forest and parks.

Back at Fulton’s house, Stoke questions McGill. McGill insists that Gerry was dead when he got there, and shows Stoke his letter of authorization from the bullion company. Stoke admits that McGill is innocent of the murders, but warns that withholding evidence is still a crime before letting him go.

Earle sits in the woods smoking and checks the sights on his gun.

McGill goes back to Douglas’ studio and has the photographer blow up the emblem on George’s jacket in the service station photo. It belongs to a golf club, and McGill goes there to talk to the club secretary, Soames. Soames reluctantly confirms that George was a member but hasn’t paid his dues in years. When McGill identifies himself as a financial investigator, Soames admits that George wasn’t one of their more popular members and gives McGill the man’s address in a nearby luxury block.

McGill goes to the block and talks to the porter, who confirms that George moved out two years ago. He recognizes Joy from the photo and says that she often came there with George. McGill goes back to the stable but no one answers the bell. He goes in the back and checks out Joy’s bedroom, and finds expensive furniture and furs

Earle goes to George’s former block and talks to the porter, who gives him the same information he gave to McGill earlier.

McGill goes out and hears Joy returning with several student riders. He hides, and Joy goes into the house. Once the coast is clear, McGill goes to the adjoining stable and breaks a window to get in. In her bedroom, Joy hears the sound of breaking glass.

At the old stable, McGill looks around and finds a drain hatch covered with straw. He opens it and stares at the corpse inside. Joy arrives with a gun and tells him to cover up George’s remains. Once McGill does so, he ducks behind the wall, circles around Joy, and jumps her. Once he’s subdued her, he gets her gun but Joy clubs him with a plank and runs out. She goes back to her house where she has her luggage packed, only to find Earle waiting for her. He checks her luggage and finds a bank book with some bills. Joy insists that George walked out on her, and the money is what she owes her mother to pay off the loan. There’s also a passport, and Earle figures that George is in Switzerland and has the money in a bank there.

McGill wakes up and staggers back to the house. He comes in and Earle opens fire on him, and McGill ducks over the fence and leaps into the nearby stable. Earle fires through the walls, and McGill breaks through the rear wall and circles around. When McGill doesn’t respond, Earle grabs Joy and promises to shoot her first. McGill tackles him and the two men fight while Joy runs back into the house. The ex-agent finally knocks Earle out and locks him in the stable.

Joy is waiting in her kitchen, holding her furs. She figures that she wouldn’t have gotten very far, and she never could have smuggled all of the money out of the country past Customs. Joy tells McGill that George was happy to be the local big shot at the gold club, so she got him out of the way... permanently. She takes a flight to a different city each week and has an expensive meal, and lives the life she always wanted. As McGill calls Stoke, Joy says that she likes him. She offers McGill herself and the remaining money if he gets her out of the country. When McGill doesn’t fall for it, Joy says that the money is out in the field... somewhere.

Later, Stoke has a half-dozen men digging up the field. McGill and Eddy watch, and Stoke points out that McGill will only get 10% of what they recover. McGill is happy to get a few thousand and tells Stoke to start digging.

Written by Gadfly on Jan 9, 2016