Star Is Dead
Othello is the backward-imitation here, in this sense, that of a Michelson-Morley beam-splitting mirror demonstrating the equitableness of fiction. It makes no difference whether the Moor is a hidebound sojourner or a yellow journalist, he functions all the same when spurred on to jealousy. The script by Lou Shaw & Michael Kozoll & Glen A. Larson puts Black in a position to see this when the publisher of The Outcry harries a film star into suicide over her affair with a congressman who has jettisoned her to run for senator.
The girl dies without ever giving her exclusive, and the casuistry of the exposť is undone in the blackmailer’s political vehemence. The rest is a dying fall.
The first part centers on a wall safe belonging to John Keaton (Bernard Behrens), a Long Island socialite who sells arms. Secreted in a ring inside a coffer in the safe is a piece of microfilm containing plans for a terrorist bombing at a garden party on the grounds of Buckingham Palace, and photographs of the Irishmen he’s dealing with. This is insurance for Keaton, who has just raised the asking price for his carefully expert work
The Irishmen force the issue at Keaton’s costume party. Another guest is Lord Charles Bridges (Jack Cassidy), a photographer who steals for a living. Bridges is at work replacing Mrs. Keaton’s jewelry with paste when the Irishmen burst in with Keaton. The film isn’t there, naturally, the Irishmen are furious. Bridges, behind a curtain, sees Keaton accidentally shot while wrestling for a gun.
Now, the NYPD is at the party incognito, due to the number of jewel thefts in the area. McCloud finds Bridges outside after the murder, and holds him on suspicion.
Bridges has a friend in Chris Coughlin, who puts a picture of him and McCloud and the latter’s six-shooter on the Chronicle’s front page. McCloud is dismissed from the case, while the Irishmen pressure Bridges and then put the marshal’s girl in the hospital.
Lord Bridges flies back to London, and McCloud takes the same plane. There is an amusing political discussion at Lady Sinclair’s party. Bridges says he’ll abstain from the Common Market vote, and a colleague, whom Bridges recognizes from the microfilm, jokingly accuses him of tepidity.
The “Sweeny” (so given on Keaton’s blueprints), Inspector Craig (Adam Faith) explains, is the Flying Squad or “Sweeney Todd” in Cockney. A dog and bone is a telephone, etc. McCloud’s own manner of speaking (of Bridges he says, “he’s just slicker’n a greased shoat, he’d cop the knobs off a nickel-plated bedstead”) baffles the English. “Bleedin’ foreigners,” says Inspector Craig.
Lord Bridges has converted the microfilm into a slide show, to which he invites the marshal. What do those cryptic diagrams mean? A live television broadcast from the palace grounds at a high angle gives McCloud the answer.
The music at the Buckingham Palace garden party is “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” Two bombs are placed amongst the empties (“dead men” they used to be called), but where is the third?
It’s at Big Ben, right in the works. McCloud dukes it out with a bomber on the gear shaft behind one of the faces, and defuses the thing with seconds to spare before tea at half past four.