The Barefoot Girls of Bleecker Street

McCloud helps a runaway and her baby, amidst a curious stolen property investigation.

A Vision of Television

The script conceives a single, complicated apparatus stemming from the opening scene. McCloud is on harbor duty when he spots a group of men loading boxes into a truck on an abandoned pier. After a shootout in which one of the men is killed, further investigation reveals a boatload of color television sets bought and paid for individually with numerous credit cards not reported stolen.

It evolves that a cocaine dealer (Bill Fletcher) is financing the biggest deal in New York history by selling off merchandise bought with credit cards stolen from out-of-town businessmen by underage girls in the employ of Greenwich Village nightclub owner Thelma, who is a health nut.

In this vast development of the badger game, Shaw has more than one trick up his sleeve (the band at Thelma’s are undercover Feds; Eve left her Minnesota home in fear of her life after seeing the sheriff filch some loot), but the visionary quality is the main effort.

Shear’s beautifully geometric compositions translate the complications of plot efficiently into a versatility of color and line.

Shelley Winters was nominated for an Emmy.


Shelley Winters Thelma
Gordon MacRae
Sheriff John Rodney
Kay Lenz
Robyn Millan
Whit Bissell
Dr. Hansen
Joshua Shelley
Desk Clerk
Bill Fletcher
Harry Walters
C. Lindsay Workman
Jim Nolan
James Noble
Sergeant Harris (unbilled)

Written by Lou Shaw

Directed by Barry Shear

40505, 9.22.74

On the small green chalkboard where Chief Clifford has the big bust laid out, the word SURVEILLANCE appears with one L missing.


SGT. HARRIS: Checking your watch ain’t gonna make the time go any faster, McCloud. You might as well get used to harbor duty.
McCLOUD: Gettin’ used to somethindon’t mean I have to like it. The only water I’m used to is in a glass.
SGT. HARRIS: Well, when you see a garbage scow floating along the desert, you’ll know just what to do.
McCLOUD: There ya go.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: Why do they insist on policemen giving speeches when we should be doing police work?
SGT. BROADHURST: I guess it’s to reassure the public that we are doing police work.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: How can we when we’re giving speeches?

CHIEF CLIFFORD: There’s more to police work in New York than hoppin’ on a mule and ridin’ in with both barrels blazing.

(First line of song by S.B.J. Ltd. at Thelma’s.)
If you believe in forever, then life is just a one night stand.”

(At Thelma’s, McCloud tells Chief Clifford to hang on.)
CHIEF CLIFFORD: (On telephone.)
McCloud! McCloud!
MAN: (Picks up phone.) Hello?
MAN: Who’s this?
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Peter B. Clifford! Who’s this?
MAN: A friend. You sound like you could use a friend.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Where’s McCloud?
MAN: I know what you’re going through, Pete, but take my advice, let him go.
CHIEF CLIFFORD: Let him go? ...Now you listen to me, you kook!
MAN: You sound nice, Pete. What do you look like?

THELMA: Keep your hands in your pockets, Tex, your money ain’t no good around here.
McCLOUD: Well, I ain’t got much else to offer.
THELMA: Yeah, that’s what you think, handsome.
McCLOUD: You fishin’ or cuttin’ bait?

THELMA: You sure got me going down Memory Lane on a toboggan.

THELMA: The first thing you learn in New York is to forget everything you learned back home.

SGT. BROADHURST: (Working in the Juvenile files.) Well, nobody ever died from lack of sleep, I think.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: Simple, McCloud, and to the point! Yes, or no?
McCLOUD: Yes! And no!
CLIFFORD: That’s simple.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: I am going to understand you, McCloud, no matter what you say or how you say it.

THELMA: Health doesn’t come cheap nowadays.

OUT-OF-TOWN BUSINESSMAN: What do you mean, beat it? This is my room! I paid for it!
THELMA: You got very tacky taste.

WALTERS: You get it for me, Thelma, or I’ll put someone in here who will.

McCLOUD: Well, I’ll be dipped.

SHERIFF RODNEY: Now look, honey, we can either do this the nice, easy, down home way, or we can do it the big city way.