Henry Prentiss (Vincent Price) is a top appraiser, running an appraisal
company with his partner Muncie (Peter Lorre), a former art forger gone
legit. his latest assignment is to catalogue a vast art collection -
that's supposed to house the legendary Left Fist of David. Thing
is, nobody knows exactly what this Left Fist of David is even supposed to
be, only that it's priceless for one reason or another.
Enter Ivan Hagar
(Thomas Gomez), an art collector of the illegal sort who would
(literally) kill to get the Fist and who threatens Prentiss and Muncie
every step along the way so they hand the Fist over to him once they have
found it. Problem is, Prentiss and Muncie not only have no desire to hand
the Fist over to the villain, they don't even know if it's there. Thing
is, Hagar would not accept it not being there, no matter what. So Muncie,
forger that he is, fabricates something resembling a mummified hand to
trick Hagar into thinking they have found the actual Fist - after all,
nobody knows what the Fist might be, so why not a mummified hand?
is only almost tricked by the appraisers' deceit, but they manage to catch
him off guard nevertheless, and in the fight that follows, they not only
manage to overpower him, but also to break a chandelier - which turns out
to have hidden the actual Left Fist of David - a fortune in pure gold,
made to look like a fist.
A failed pilot for a series that
never was - and in a way, one can see why this one has failed: The work of
appraisers just doesn't hold enough interest or promise enough suspense to
keep the audience coming back week after week. That said though, taken by
its own merits, this pilot is pretty decent, it tells a story with quite a
few fun twists and turns, and with Vincent Price and Peter Lorre - a few
years before they would become the dream duo of horror comedies -, it
features a great couple of leads, ably supported by baddie Thomas Gomez.
not a 50's TV classic but well worth a look.