Suspense's "To Find Help" is so plausible that it is genuinely scary.
The casting of this episode is what makes it intriguing. The role of a menacing young man who has "something wrong with his mind" was originally performed by Frank Sinatra, and later by Gene Kelly. Appearing in "To Find Help" is an unexpected choice for a musical star, but that is the hook. Both actors gave the performance their own flair but played it differently. The same year that this episode first aired, Sinatra starred with Kelly in the movie Anchors Away.
This is a World War II era cautionary tale about an older woman who hires a young man to do some handywork around her house. She doesn't know the man well, but help is hard to find because of the war. She doesn't see any reason to worry because he seems so meek. The female role, Mrs. Gillis, was first played by Suspense's favorite actress, Agnes Moorehead. Ethel Barrymore played the role opposite Kelly in 1949. This episode was written for Suspense by Mel Dinelli.
The episode starring Frank Sinatra and Agnes Moorehead aired on January 18, 1945.
The episode starring Gene Kelly, Ethel Barrymore and William Conrad aired on January 6, 1949.
"To Find Help" play was adapted from Mel Dinelli's stage play "The Man." This story was also adapted into the film Beware, My Lovely (1952) starring Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan.