Butch Cassidy Rides Again

The NYPD demonstrates a bank robbery on live closed-circuit TV, and is bushwhacked by a gang of antiquated outlaws.

Harvey’s Electric Construction Co.

The purpose of the demonstration is to educate bank officials nationwide and the press on the proper way to behave during a robbery, and also show a masterful police response. McCloud does the deed, abetted by Sgt. Broadhurst in the getaway van.

This exemplary script is very closely related to Ken Russell’s Billion Dollar Brain, and is in some ways an archetypal McCloud episode. Shear does all he can, going flat out, and gets some New York shots early on like a deep breath before the dense script and complicated action demand his energies.

The two main themes are computers and nostalgia, with a vital theme of journalism (print and television) in counterpoint.

It isn’t “the road that he’s traveled, but the trail up ahead” that ought to concern a man, says McCloud in one of those aphorisms which Chief Clifford here calls “hickory-smoked scriptures.”

Two wrong uses of the computer are shown: statistical dreams and pre-programmed alibis, but McCloud is wise to them. “Programmed—that’s computer talk, I picked it up in New York—seems like you can program people and things to think anything you want them to think.” He uses the Brinkman Security computer for information, and solves the case.

There’s an interesting side note, among many, of the “give and take” of privacy and security.

McCloud’s girlfriend Geri is a columnist, and has an enchanting fight in her apartment with Samantha Johnson, a television reporter, over a false lead.

“You can’t stop an armored car with a shotgun,” observes McCloud. No, says the leader of the gang, surprise is what you need, “something so outlandish they put their guard down” in a moment of hesitation.

The detail work is quite extensive and well thought out. For example, the gang’s van belongs to “Harvey’s Electric Construction Co.”


Pat O’Brien Mac Ferguson

Stefanie Powers Samantha Johnson

William Daniels Clayton Gillis

Roger Davis Virgil

Linda Evans Geri Marsh

Lloyd Nolan Elroy Jenkins

James Millhollin 1st Executive

Herb Voland 2nd Executive

William Bryant Courier

Robert F. Simon Tobey Harris

Clete Roberts Charles Price

Buddy Lester Hotel Clerk

Rick Weaver 2nd Gang Member

Artie Shaw Fire Chief

Larry Carroll Helicopter Pilot

Written by Glen A. Larson

Directed by Barry Shear

38004, 10.14.73

CLAYTON GILLIS: Heuristics is the science of hunches, of making educated guesses.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: It may interest your boys to know that the police have been doing that for years.

CHARLES PRICE: You were always a strange girl, Sam, even when you did the weather.

(The gang robs their commuter train.)
I told you Westerns are coming back.
1ST EXECUTIVE: Sit down you idiot!

(The fight begins.)
He did all that to you? How sweet!
SAMANTHA JOHNSON: Sweet? I’ll show you sweet! I’ll show you sweet!

CHIEF CLIFFORD: Tell me it isn’t happening, Joe.

McCLOUD: (To Virgil.) By the time you get back out on the streets, these whiskers’ll be real.