THE FLIP-SIDE MAN
The screams of the girl fans, the jangle of electric guitars-pop idol Danny Pace is in the middle of his act.
Watching in the wings are an attractive woman, Laurie Winters, his manager, and Harry Dublane, his Press Agent. They are concerned as they see the singer’s eyes searching through the audience. Suddenly Danny stops, gives a choking sob, dries up and the curtain is rung down. Once again he has seen his double – the boy in the black leather jacket with the mocking smile who seems to follow him everywhere. When he points the seat out to his manager, the boy has gone.
Laurie calls in Dr Corder, and Danny, thinking he is a detective, tells him that the other boy must have been planted by a rival to throw him off balance. Finding that Corder is a psychiatrist, he tells him to clear out. He doesn’t want treatment from a ‘headshrinker’. At a recording session he sees his ‘double’ again and collapses.
Laurie tricks Danny into seeing Corder, who is angry. He points out that he must have the confidence of a patient. However, he does get Danny to talk. The singer outlines the strain that he is undergoing as a public idol; the constant rush from place to place. But somewhere in his past there is a raw spot, although Corder cannot locate it. It is Corder’s daughter, Jennifer, who provides an important clue. She is a fan of Danny’s. Telling her his troubles in a park he says he has got to settle with the ‘double’, and he knows where he will be – at the ballroom. He’s going to find him. Worried by his disappearance, Corder starts making enquiries. He learns from Dublane that Danny was married, and that on the night he entered the competition that made him a star, his wife was expecting a child. By the time he got home, she had died. The competition was in a ballroom … Corder drives fast, searching for the street, and at last locates the disused ballroom. Inside he finds Danny, talking to his reflection in a mirror, a knife in his hand. Hurling a heavy object to break the glass and destroy the reflected image, the manifestation of the ‘double’ in Danny’s mind, the psychiatrist hopes that he has averted tragedy.
Corder rings for an ambulance but when he returns Danny has left the building. His car races off down the street.
Who Danny sees behind the driving wheel of the ambulance as he rushes towards it, and his death, is a question which even Dr Corder possibly may never be able to answer.