The Park Avenue Rustlers

As part of a pilot program, McCloud is assigned a female partner, and the two go undercover against a big-time auto theft ring.

Chop Shops on the Hoof

“The Park Avenue Rustlers” gives Jack Arnold a slambang opening which then allows an hour of quiet work before the stunning finish. Michael Gleason developed the theme in the following season as “The Colorado Cattle Caper”.

The industrial-strength auto theft drives stolen cars into semi-trailers on the hoof, where they’re chopped down for sale as parts and scrap. McCloud horns in undercover, proposes a Southwest leasing scheme (cp. “Sharks!”), gets recognized by Chris Coughlin at a company cocktail party (“Sam, this is the first time I’ve seen you out of uniform!”), and winds up on the skid of a helicopter “moving diagonally across Manhattan 140 mph.”

The greatest triumph of style is the intricate and subtle weirdness of Eddie Albert and Roddy McDowall as middle management under Lloyd Bochner (J. Bristol & Associates launches a menswear line at that cocktail party, with sports endorsements), and note the resemblance of Bochner in this part with his pinball machine to Cesare Danova in “Shivaree on Delancy Street”.

Ofc. Serino is a prim feminist who nevertheless in the line of duty pretends to be McCloud’s mistress undercover. McCloud’s hotel room is bugged by the boss (the man with the headphones practices card tricks), and the only safe place to whisper is on the bed.

Before the credits, they nearly catch a car thief (with the “si-reen” on), but McCloud swerves to avoid traffic and crashes into a store window full of mannequins.


Eddie Albert Roy Erickson
Roddy McDowall
Phil Sandler
Brenda Vaccaro
Officer Marge Serino

Lloyd Bochner Jerry Bristol

Norman Fell Lt. Ed Feldman

George Murdock Officer Duncan

Michael Richardson Richie Garris

Suzanne Cohane Officer Patricia Banks

Stephanie Faulkner Operator

Johnny Silver Cab Driver

Gavin James Helicopter Pilot

William Bryant Frank

Written by Sy Salkowitz

Directed by Jack Arnold

35307, 12.24.72

William Bryant is unbilled as Frank.


OFC. MARGE SERINO: Statistics prove that women are as calm under fire as men.
McCLOUD: Well, statistics don’t mean much, when the other fella’s usin’ bullets.
OFC. MARGE SERINO: (Smiling.) Do I threaten your masculinity, McCloud?
McCLOUD: (Surprised.) No! Do I threaten yours?

CAB DRIVER: Wha’d you say?
McCLOUD: (Undercover, preparing to steal a stolen car.) Follow that car.
CAB DRIVER: That’s what I thought you said.

(McCloud evades capture.)
He took us by surprise.
ROY ERICKSON: You’re supposed to take him by sur— (Telephone rings, he unlocks desk drawer, answers it.) Hello? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. (Hangs up.) If I get rained on, you better carry an umbrella.

(Exposing the gang is like making love to a beautiful woman.)
McCLOUD: (On telephone to Chief Clifford.)
The only way to get to the bottom of things is to make it appear like it’s the last thing on my mind.

McCLOUD: It’s a long way to the corral.

JERRY BRISTOL: How’s the wife, Roy?
JERRY BRISTOL: And the girlfriend?
ROY ERICKSON: (Pause.) Fine.

(The heat is on, shipments are declining.)
JERRY BRISTOL: (To Roy Erickson.)
Lower the temperature and raise the volume, and then we’ll talk about your future.

ROY ERICKSON: You know, I haven’t quite figured you out yet.
McCLOUD: (Undercover as Sam McGraw.) Open as a barn door in a high wind.

PHIL SANDLER: You’re offering him a job?
ROY ERICKSON: Absorbing the competition.
PHIL SANDLER: We don’t know anything about him!
ROY ERICKSON: (Careless.) We will.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: (To McCloud on telephone, of Phil Sandler.) He’s got an arrest record that goes back to the crib... he’s a psychopathic killer.
McCLOUD: Well, I appreciate the information, Chief, I’ll try and stay on his good side.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: He doesn’t have a good side!

McCLOUD: It seems kind o’ foolish t’ go halfway across the desert and stop short o’ the well.

(Outside the Star Hotel.)
The light’s on in your room.
McCLOUD: (Laughs.) Well, that’s kind of an old country custom. Ya see, when the sun goes down, we turn the lights on so we don’t bump into things.

OFC. MARGE SERINO: Well, the least you could do is offer to sleep on the couch.
McCLOUD: I’ll flip ya for it.

FRANK: (Monitoring the hotel room microphone.) Turn that thing up as high as it’ll go. I wanna hear them blink.

ROY ERICKSON: You shot your mouth off the other day. Can you really drive a rig, or was it just talk?
McCLOUD: Oh, I never like to talk without sayinsomethin’.

JERRY BRISTOL: (Starting a men’s clothing line.) It’s a good way to bury some of our excess profits.

(Roy Erickson has a new man, Sam McGraw.)
You checked him out?
ROY ERICKSON: Oh, clean as a Boy Scout’s whistle.

PHIL SANDLER: (To McCloud, liltingly.) In a couple of hours you’re gonna be part of a scrap metal shipment on its way to Japan.

PHIL SANDLER: (Holding McCloud at gunpoint, to Roy Erickson.) I thought you could listen to what he has to say, and if you don’t like it, then kill him.

(Sam McGraw’s auto leasing scheme.)
We’ll just slip those little babies right up the Gulf.

McCLOUD: (To Ofc. Marge Serino.) It’s kinda like climbin’ a mountain. If you’re worried about fallin’ off, you’re not gon’ reach the top.

(McCloud’s plan.)
A hundred thousand dollars?
OFC. MARGE SERINO: And a ship.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: The department has to scrounge for paper clips, McCloud’s suddenly become the Onassis of Brooklyn.
OFC. MARGE SERINO: If he doesn’t come up with it, they’ll kill him.
SGT. BROADHURST: I got ten bucks.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: I certainly hope the Commissioner’s developed a sense of humor in the last few hours.
SGT. BROADHURST: You want me to go with you, Chief?
CHIEF CLIFFORD: No. I can’t stand being laughed at in front of my own men.

McCLOUD: (As Sam McGraw, arguing over the shipment to force Erickson’s hand.) Listen to the tappets, ya hear ‘em? Sounds like a bucket o’ marbles and a tin plate!... Listen to the timin’ on that, it’s so far off it ain’t even in this century!... Now, look, I’m payin’ for prime, you’re tryin’ to slip me a mule with horns!

(At the press party for Bristol’s new clothing line.)
We feel this line will revolutionize the men’s fashion industry.
CHRIS COUGHLIN: Aren’t you afraid the men’s fashion industry will launch a counterrevolution?

(Chris Coughlin has just told him the story of Clarence Jankowski’s Drumstick City.)
JERRY BRISTOL: (Graciously.)
Well, at least he could eat his mistake. I’d hate to dine on a bolt of cloth.
CHRIS COUGHLIN: I’m sure it’d be just as tasty as Mr. Jankowski’s drumsticks.

CHRIS COUGHLIN: Well, Sam! Look what just blew in off the mesa... (McCloud, undercover, tries to hustle her away.) Sam, this is the first time I’ve seen you out of uniform... (His cover is blown.) Did I say something I shouldn’t have? (Bristol, Erickson and Sandler flee.) I said something I shouldn’t have.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: (In car, tracking McCloud.) C’mon, Duncan, which building?
OFC. DUNCAN: Dead ahead.
SGT. BROADHURST: I wish he hadn’t said that.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: C’mon, Duncan, c’mon, where is he?
OFC. DUNCAN: Chief, according to this, McCloud is going crosstown a hundred and forty miles an hour, on the diagonal.

OFC. DUNCAN: It’s no good, it’s all gone haywire.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: What does it read?
OFC. DUNCAN: See, by this, McCloud is hovering over East Manhattan.

McCLOUD: (To Ofc. Patricia Banks, his new partner.) Miss Banks, you know, I’ve got nothin’ against women deputies, but women drivers make me about as edgy as a black widow spider on his honeymoon.