The Barefoot Stewardess Caper
A bevy of international stewardesses have a second career as cat burglars.
It begins in Paris on Saturday, October 14, and concludes in Boonville on Halloween.
The plan, devised by international jewel thief Alex Demarest, is to filch the disparate pieces of the Marchesa Collection (Paris, London, Rome, Monte Carlo), and escape to Brazil.
Sir Thomas Langdon shoots one of the girls in the act. He hires a strongarm man to dump her body in the Thames and retrieve the gem, but is finally murdered by the fellow, who wants to muscle in on the Collection.
That’s how Sgt. Broadhurst and McCloud enter the case, searching the girls’ New York hotel room after the first murder.
The American stewardess skims off some of the take to be fenced by her boyfriend, a café pianist in Rome, who’s eventually killed in a shootout with Sgt. Broadhurst. The body is shipped back to the States for a New Orleans-style funeral, in an ending that brings to mind Ocean’s Eleven (dir. Lewis Milestone).
There is some charming second-unit or library footage, and an extremely adroit use of sets, the back lot and Los Angeles locations to give a picture of Europe. J.D. Cannon and Ken Lynch vie in homage to Ned Sparks.
Britt Ekland Vicki Erickson
Story by B.W. Sandefur
Directed by Harry Falk
ALEX: You ladies have come a long way. Under my expert tutelage, you’ve embarrassed half the police departments in Europe.
STONE: Little girls who lie don’t go to ‘eaven.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: (On telephone.) McCloud, have you lost your mind? What are you doing in England??
INSPECTOR MILLS: This is Marshal McCloud from Taos (He stutters
and pronounces it on the analogy of “chaos”.), New Mexico.
McCLOUD: Close enough.
SIR THOMAS: Where?
(After observing Alex’s rendezvous at a sidewalk café.)
McCLOUD: Excuse me.
WAITER: Oui, monsieur?
McCLOUD: That girl who was just here is just about the prettiest thing I ever seen. Do you mind if I just buy her glass, to keep the memory?
WAITER: But, that is not her glass, it is his.
McCLOUD: (Having upended it on a pencil, to preserve the fingerprints.) Well... a glass is a glass.
McCLOUD: You’re about as quiet as a moth in a cotton box.
McCLOUD: (To wine steward.) A bottle of Château Lafite-Rothschild, your cheapest year.
McCLOUD: French restaurants are pretty much the same all over. You just order champagne before and cognac after, and make a fuss over what comes between.
McCLOUD: Paris. Nothing else works, why should the light?
CHIEF CLIFFORD: All right, where are they?
SGT. GROVER: Search me.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Search you!
(Sgt. Broadhurst telephones in.)
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Paris, France? I don’t know anybody in—
SGT. BROADHURST: Yes sir, it’s me, sir.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: What are you doing in France??
McCLOUD: It just seems to me it’d take a heap of money to build a whole new world, uh, from the ground up, you know what I mean?
CAL: Who’s the dude?
SABRINA: What dude?
CAL: The cat who slipped in here on your pretty little tail, as if you didn’t know.
McCLOUD: These girls are up to their pretty little wings in the biggest jewel ring in fifty years.
STONE: (Admiring Vicki’s Monte Carlo hotel room.) You should see the dungeon I’m stuck in. It’s got hot-and-cold running rats.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Well, I guess missing that plane isn’t a tragedy. Already seen the movie.
ALEX: (Poking McCloud with his finger for emphasis.) Now look
McCLOUD: I was hopin’ you’d get violent. (Gives him a right cross.)
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Inspector, you’ll be on this job a
long time, and I mean that as a compliment.
INSPECTOR: (Eyeing McCloud uneasily.) Yes, ah, and if ever you are in Monte Carlo, ah...
CHIEF CLIFFORD: I quite understand.
SGT. GROVER: First off, McCloud’s airline ticket
from here to London. I figure we can bury most of that in Ballistics’
contingency budget—just have to cut down on bales of cotton they fire
comparison slugs into.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: I don’t care if they have to start pumping lead into the ceiling! I am not going to stand there and explain McCloud’s European lark to the Commissioner. What’s next?
SGT. GROVER: Well, I think we can pretty well write off the entire Paris-Rome-Monte Carlo expenses by skimming ten per cent off the top of the Eighteenth Precinct’s Friday night poker pot.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Grover, I don’t want to hear it.
SGT. GROVER: Well, Chief, it’s either that or start looking around places like the Widows & Orphans Fund.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Poker pots! Widows & Orphans Fund! What’s McCloud doing to us? (Knock on door.) Who is it?
McCLOUD: (Behind door.) McCloud.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Go away!
McCLOUD: (Enters.) Chief, I think I got somethin’ you’ll want to hear.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Good! What time does your plane leave for Taos?