The Million Dollar Round Up
A dying Roman mobster wills his “Saracen Horse,” a jewel-encrusted green jade treasure, to any of his criminal colleagues who can take possession of it.
The Saracen Horse
The history of this fabulous objet d’art, worth “twice a million,” is related by Mr. Jason: given to Richard the Lionhearted after the Third Crusade as a peace offering by Saladin, lost to Leopold of Germany, later in the collection of Adolf Hitler, from whom it passed to a Russian general named Khemidov who was murdered in his bed, finally coming into the hands of Signore Cimarosa, who bequeaths it to whoever can steal it.
He does so in the presence of his rivals, whom he describes as “unscrupulous.” They are presented briefly as an Arab, an Englishman, a Chinaman, a German, and an American (Mr. Jason). The skylight crashes, a gas canister fills the room, a cat burglar slides down a rope, the horse disappears.
The script applies astringent foreshortening in a rather satirical abstraction. An antique dealer in New York, whose name is Cicero, has hired a professional to filch the dingus. Cicero is double-crossed and murdered. One of New York’s finest, a Sergeant thrice wounded in the service, takes possession of it on a sudden impulse. It’s snatched by a petty thief, “seven or eight years old,” masquerading as a shoeshine boy, who lives in a warehouse.
The little towser, whose name is Tobe, has also lifted McCloud’s .45, to defend himself against his rivals. “It’s like having an H-bomb,” he says, “if you’ve got one you don’t have to use it.”
Cicero’s pro is still on the trail, and so is Mr. Jason, as well as the others.
Harry Guardino Sergeant Toomey
Eric Braeden Ravic
Nehemiah Persoff Perry Cicero
Teri Turner Tobe
Robert Middleton Elliot Jason
Jay Novello Cesare Cimarosa
Joseph Ruskin Balwant Dari
Patrick Whyte Ronald Feathering
Jan Arvan Dr. Massimo Vignola
Peter Mamakos Mario Tagiagambe
Teri Garr Nora Mullins
David Sheehan TV Reporter
Written by Douglas Heyes
Directed by Douglas Heyes
Cicero’s name is misspelled in a newspaper headline, though it may be “intentional.”
RAVIC: Like the man says, I’ve got the horse right here.
CICERO: Why worry? I’ve got the money.
RAVIC: Me worry, Perry?
(Squad cars collide. Weapons are drawn.)
McCLOUD: I’m a police officer! Attached to the 23rd Precinct!
PATROLMAN: (Recognizes him. Ironically.) McCloud.
TOBE: Don’t shoot! I’m just a kid!
SGT. BROADHURST: (Being carried on stretcher.) Hey, doesn’t anyone here know how to treat a man with a broken leg? You force brandy down his throat, that’s how you treat him! Isn’t anyone going to force brandy down my throat? I want brandy! Hey, maybe the Sarge here can drink it for me. Come on, Sarge, you can hold my hand.
McCLOUD: That makes about as much sense as a prefabricated post hole.
McCLOUD: Boy, can you feature that? He just expects me to drop
everything and go back to New Mexico. Doesn’t he know I’ve got better things to
do in New York?
CHRIS: There ya go.
McCLOUD: (Pause.) Hm?
TOBE: Biggest grabber’s the biggest man.
McCLOUD: Let’s get that horse before somebody else does.
McCLOUD: Hold on to that, boys. Has a way of gallopin’ off for a few hundred years at a time.