Grandma TNT (1962) Season 2 Episode 14
CBS (1962) (United States) (tv) (original airing)
- Directed by
David Karp, Reginald Rose
E.G. Marshall, Robert Reed, Lillian Gish Sound Department
Al Gramaglia…re-recording mixer
Elderly Louisa Clarendon lives with her two sisters and another woman they have taken in. None of the women are working or have a pension and the property taxes are overdue on their deteriorating brownstone. In order to get the money for the taxes, Louisa goes to a bank next to the tax collector’s office and hands a note to a teller saying “Give me $1,300+ or else.” When the teller asks “Or else, what?” Louisa says she’ll blow up the bank and indicates she has a bomb in her purse. The teller gives Louisa the money but signals the guard to stop her.
The bank manager evacuates the bank and has Louisa put her handbag on the floor. When a policeman tells Louisa’s sisters that she is in jail for robbing a bank, they conclude it must be some mistake and choose the Prestons for her attorneys by chance. When the elder Preston interviews Louisa in jail, she admits her guilt but refuses to plead guilty because her sisters will lose faith in her. The family used to have money but has fallen on hard times and refuses to ask for charity. Louisa also says the suspicious jar in her purse contained jelly, not anything explosive. The situation is so wierd, the elder Preston begins to think he has become a character in Lewis Caroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”. Before bond can be posted for her, Louisa falls in with a group of society women touring the jail and just walks out! The Prestons are astonished to find her at home and return her to jail. When the story of her “escape” hits the newspapers, the elder Preston hits on the idea of obtaining leniency for Louisa by warning the District Attorney and city attorney of the bad publicity they would receive by sending Louisa to jail and throwing the sisters out of their home.
Louisa is talked into pleading guilty in return for a suspended sentence when the elder Preston reveals he knows that a neighborhood merchant has been allowing her to “steal” the same toaster from him again and again so she can “sell” it to a junk dealer to get money to buy food (which other merchants sell to her at wholsale prices). In fact the sisters have been receiving charity from their neighbors for years. Although Louisa is upset that she has let her sisters down by pleading guilty, they are overjoyed that the problem has been resolved and she realizes that her actions were a means of remaining in control rather than to help her sisters. The neighborhood takes up a collection and the sisters’ home is saved from the tax collector.