This one is episode 5 from the first season of, Pepsi-Cola Playhouse. This anthology series ran for 92 episodes during 1953-54.
It is a cold dark night on a lonely stretch of highway, and Michael Hall is trying rather unsuccessfully to hitch a ride. He has not slept or ate in several days. He comes up on a small roadside gas station-corner store that is closed for the night. He grabs a rock and breaks in. He helps himself to a bit of food and a quart of milk. He then heads back outside to enjoy his meal.
As he steps back into the night, he is suddenly caught in a pair of headlights. A voice asks him what he is doing? Hall figures it is the cops and prepares to bolt. He looks into the lights and asks, "Are you the police?" The car lights go out and Hayden Rorke walks up to Hall. "I'm not the Police, but I must ask, did you pay for that?" "I'm broke and have not eaten in days," answers Hall.
Rorke says he will leave some cash for the owner and that Hall should get in Rorke's car. They start off down the road.
Rorke tells Hall he is a salesman driving home after a long road trip. He had pulled off to buy a cigar when he saw Hall come out. He asks Hall about his troubles.
Hall tells him about how he was heading out west to start a new life. He has no family and is wanted for a car theft beef. Hall swears he never stole the car. He was just hitching a ride in a car that the Police pulled over as stolen. "I never would have gotten in the thing if I knew it was stolen." "When I got out on bail, I split, and headed west." Rorke is heading 40 miles down the highway and says he could use the company. Rorke tells him that it helps keep him awake if he has someone to talk to.
At the next rest stop they come to, Rorke pulls over. "I need to call the wife and let her know I'm just about home. Hall bums 50 cents to buy a pack of smokes.
Back on the road, Rorke asks Hall if he would help pull a gag on his wife. "I'll throw you a few bucks which will help you on your way to California." Hall agrees and asks what is the gag? "I have thought up a great one!" Rorke explains that when they get to his house, Hall is to go to the back of the house. Rorke will go in and unlock the back room window. After 5-6 minutes Hall is to climb in, take the unloaded pistol sitting on the desk, and burst in of Rorke and his wife. He is to pretend to be a hold-up man. Rorke will then play the hero bit and disarm Hall to finish the gag.
The pair arrive at Rorke's place. Rorke enters as Hall goes around back. Inside, Rorke greets his wife, Natalie Schafer, and says they need to have a talk. He excuses the butler for the night and heads for the back room. There, he unlocks the window, takes a pistol from a drawer and places it on the desk.
Rorke and Schafer are talking when Hall leaps into the room, pistol in hand. "Your wallet and jewels!" Hall bellows. Rorke takes said items over to Hall. Just as he gets to Hall, he grabs the hand Hall has the pistol in. He points it at Schafer and pulls the trigger twice. Schafer hits the floor in a heap as dead as the proverbial doornail.
Hall of course realizes he has been played for a chump. He struggles with Rorke for the gun before he gets the same treatment. The butler now puts in an appearance and joins the fight. Hall is subdued and the butler summons the Police.
Rorke is not at all pleased with this turn of events. The butler was supposed to have left so Rorke could also kill Hall. He could then claim he had killed Hall in self-defense. His perfect plan to kill his shrew of a wife is coming unglued.
The Police detectives show and begin to question Hall. He tells them the truth, which of course no one believes. The Police question Rorke and the butler. Rorke tells them he was talking to his wife when Hall burst in and shot her. He was then fighting with Hall when the butler joined in. Hall tells the Police about the roadside place they stopped at. "I went in to buy smokes and Rorke made a phone call. Please check it out!"
The Police discover that he has a warrant out on the car theft beef. The one detective takes Hall out to the prowl car. Hall gets in a lucky punch and flattens the bull. Hall jumps in the car and speeds off. He heads for the roadside spot to talk to the girl he bought the cancer sticks from.
The Police call another car and set off in pursuit. Their problem is they do not know which place Hall meant. Hayden of course does not have this problem. He knows exactly where to go. He pockets another pistol and likewise joins the chase for Hall.
Hall makes it to the diner just as the girl, Joanne Davis, is closing for the night. Hall grabs Davis and asks, "do you recall me from earlier?" "I bought some cigarettes here." Davis looks at him and shakes her head. Hall explains to Davis the events of the evening and why he needs her help.
Just then, Rorke roars up in his car. He parks and charges in with gun in hand. Davis hits the lights and Hall tackles Rorke. A nicely done knockdown drag out fistfight then ensues. Finally, Hall gets the upper hand just as the boys in blue arrive. Rorke's plot is undone.