A Cowboy in Paradise
Just before presenting a rackets case, Chief Clifford goes to Hawaii for a police conference. Taos sends McCloud, too, and the Marshal is obliged to dragoon a vacationing N.Y. policewoman when the Chief is set up on a murder charge.
The script pays homage to Hammett: “You’re a very resourceful man,” says Edgar Hamilton (Richard Denning) to McCloud, after the Marshal has fought his way through a passel of thugs to speak to Mrs. Hamilton, who was engaged to Chief Clifford twenty-eight years previously.
Hamilton runs a sugar plantation, “owns the docks,” keeps his wife under wraps, and is running for Senator. In one of several homages to Hawaii Five-O, McCloud commandeers an outrigger canoe to reach the Hamilton yacht (later, on a familiar stretch of beach, he confronts a Chief of Detectives at the end of his rope).
“Before you know it, they own you,” says a crooked cop.
Al Moana, “Mr. Hawai’i,” is a very popular entertainer with interesting connections up and down the social scale.
It’s revealed that Chief Clifford was a naval rating during World War II, and spent 90 days in the brig unjustly.
Louise Lasser’s beautiful performance underplays her jokes and overplays her plainness. Don Ho gives a generous sampling of his lounge act (or something similar). James Gregory heads a batch of conventioneers, Martha Hyer is the two-faced Mrs. Hamilton, and Nephi Hannemann is a finely irascible Honolulu detective.
Paris’s direction is fast, frisky, faultless, and complements the sparkle of the script. There is a notable double coda of high angles on Waikiki.
Louise Lasser Sergeant Maggie Philbin
James Gregory Dave Harmon
Martha Hyer Peggy Hamilton
Don Ho Al Moana
Richard Denning Edgar Hamilton
Nephi Hannemann Lieutenant Kelani
Robert M. Luck Bill Wrigley
Bob Basso Alan Davis
Elithe Aguiar Mara
Karen Klein Stewardess
Alan Naluai Carter, the Chauffeur
Written by James Sangster
Directed by Jerry Paris
Now here’s to the Golden Rule—
Here’s to the silver sea—
Mostly here’s a toast
To you all and me.
—“Tiny Bubbles” (Sung by AL MOANA.)
(Riding horses at sunup on the beach.)
SGT. PHILBIN: McCloud?
McCLOUD: (Dully.) Uh-huh.
SGT. PHILBIN: Have you heard of the, um, New Morality?
AL MOANA: (Onstage with audience members.) Grandma, you come with me, you’re going to do the hula now. OK? You’re supposed to say no, Grandma. Stand behind me and put your hands on my hips. Underneath my coat on my hips. My hips are lower down, Grandma! Don’t fool around under there! ...Grandpa, take her home, she’s ready.
LT. KELANI: Who goes to a motel with a sexy lady
to watch television?
McCLOUD: Well, beats watching it alone.
McCLOUD: Looks like a nice spread.
SGT. PHILBIN: (Laughs.) You know, McCloud, if it weren’t for you, someone might be saying that about me right now.
McCLOUD: Hey, that sounds romantic, doesn’t it.
SGT. PHILBIN: It does sound romantic, doesn’t it? A New York girl on a floating luau.
PEGGY HAMILTON: I’m sorry, Mr. McCloud, but it looks
like you’re on the wrong track. My husband would go a long way to protect his
name and privacy, but not all the way to murder.
McCLOUD: Well, maybe somebody just went a little bit farther than your husband intended.
AL MOANA: She’s an islander too, McCloud. I don’t think you’re
going to get anything out of her.
McCLOUD: Maybe. But sometime, somewhere down the line, somebody’s gonna open up.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Oh, I imagine there are a lot of people who would like to see me locked up, but most of them are probably in New York.
McCLOUD: You got it?
SGT. PHILBIN: I’ll do it. But I don’t got it.
McCLOUD: Just do it.
McCLOUD: Ain’t exactly karate, but it keeps me out of trouble.
PEGGY HAMILTON: The life I’m leading now is one giant deception. But it’s all I’ve got.
AL MOANA: You’re right. You’re right, McCloud. I’m a singer, I’m not a shooter. I found that out from the boys in Las Vegas at the tables. Never play games with the big boys, man. They’re bad winners.
LT. KELANI: Aloha
LT. KELANI: Aloha.
SGT. PHILBIN: See you later.