Glenn Ford and Donna Reed in a pretty good kidnap drama. It was based on a “United States Steel Hour” episode called “Fearful Decision,” which was a rarity at the time, making a movie from a TV show. It was re-made in 1996 with Mel Gibson, directed by Ron Howard. Naturally, since this first version is entirely psychological with no more violence in it than Donna Reed picking up a fireplace iron and threatening to belt a woman who won’t shut up and get out of her house, Gibson and Howard had to spice it up with truckloads of killing and a lot of stuff about the huge gang that does the kidnapping. In the original, we never see the kidnappers. The only thing the two films have in common is the decision by the father to use the ransom money to put a price on the head of the kidnappers, rather than pay it to them. Glenn Ford is informed by the police that in kidnap cases, your chances are two to one that you will get your child back … whether or not you pay the ransom. The kid may already be dead, or the cops may find the bad guys before the ransom is paid. I’d want a hard look at those numbers, but if they are true, it is an interesting decision to make. If the kid is still alive, then you know something about the bad guys, which is that they are not stone killers. If he’s dead, what difference does it make if you pay, except that you’ll be rewarding evil. Ford’s logic is that a $500,000 bounty on your head, dead or alive, is plenty of incentive for the kidnappers to turn on one another. You won’t even be able to trust your family, and the whole freakin’ world will be looking for you. You will be caught, and/or betrayed. And he also says, on live TV, that if his kid is dead, the whole half a mill will be devoted to the single-minded pursuit of your sorry ass, for as long as it takes, world without end, amen. If I was a kidnapper, I’d sure as hell think it over. But if I was a father I doubt I could follow that risky logic. Few people could, but it’s an interesting proposition.