"Fearful Decision" is a 1954 episode[1] of the TV series The United States Steel Hour starring Ralph Bellamy as David Durfee, the father, Sam Levene as McArdle, a crime reporter, Meg Mundy as Edith, Joey Fallon as son Davie and George Mitchell as the police chief. It was later adapted into the feature films Ransom! (1956) and Ransom (1996).[2] Fearful Decision was co-authored by Richard Maibaum, an American film producer, playwright and screenwriter in the United States best known for his screenplay adaptations of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels.

"Fearful Decision"
The United States Steel Hour episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 18
Directed byAlex Segal
Teleplay byRichard Maibaum
Cyril Hume
Original air date22 June 1954 (1954-06-22)
Guest appearances



The New York Times praised Ralph Bellamy's "magnificent performance" but thought the story lacked "fundamental credibility."[3]

Produced by The Theatre Guild, the script and Ralph Bellamy's performance were both nominated for Emmys.[4][5]

In May 1955 it was announced MGM had bought the film rights.[6]


  1. ^ "ON TELEVISION". New York Times. Jun 22, 1954. ProQuest 112905738.
  2. ^ "PAPERS OF RICHARD MAIBAUM". University of Iowa.
  3. ^ J. G. (Jun 25, 1954). "Television in review". New York Times. ProQuest 113092332.
  4. ^ "Fearful Decision (U.S. Steel Hour)".
  5. ^ Ames, W. (Feb 24, 1956). "TV 'emmy' nominees named by DeFore; daly emcees eastern awards". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 166918241.
  6. ^ Hopper, H. (May 19, 1955). "TV story about kidnaping is bought for movie". Chicago Daily Tribune. ProQuest 179428534.