In the thriller The Shadow on the Window (1957), “three young thugs rob a farmhouse, kill the owner and take his stenographer hostage but the woman’s estranged husband, a police detective, starts investigating her disappearance” ( Something needs to end the couple’s estrangement. Tony the police detective’s (Philip Carey) investigating does just that. A very young Beaver Cleaver—I mean Jerry Mathers—plays the couple’s small son, shocked into silence after witnessing what the thugs are doing. It is his mother, Linda (Betty Garrett), who is taken hostage.

Directed by movie and TV director William Asher (the movies were often bikinis-at-the-beach items), Shadow largely makes sense and is fun. It competed with TV by being low-budget, but it also means business. It’s dramatically quite fine.