The Man with the Golden Hat

After hanging his Stetson in a diner one night, McCloud is stymied by various attempts to relieve him of it. His clues lead to a ballet company on the verge of folding, and a philanthropic foundation with millions of dollars missing from its account books.

How a Genius Pays His Debts

One of television’s finest creations, leading from a superb incipit through a string of red herrings to a magnificent, rarefied conclusion of pure genius.

Hank, a pool-playing bank computer expert (Mills Watson) pursued, who secretes a slip of paper in McCloud’s hat (or does he?). Attempts to purloin the hat. A prima ballerina (Jaclyn Smith) of doubtful loyalties. A ballet master (Don Ameche) denied a grant because of his Diaghilevian propensities for personal expenditure. The ballet company’s attorney (Robert Webber) pulling various strings. A representative of the foundation (Roger C. Carmel) in on the plot, likewise a bank security guard (Rick Weaver), and a foundation security officer (Philip Carey) tracking them all down, or is he?

The plot and its Balanchine dichotomy are concealed and slowly broached with the greatest skill. At the end you have a sort of Mozartean exposition of the artist set up against the criteria of philanthropy.

Antonio takes care to point up certain matters. The ballet scenes (featuring the San Francisco Ballet under the direction of Christensen/Smuin, choreography by Balanchine and Christensen) are filmed with an eight-point star diffraction filter, and a four-point filter is used when McCloud takes the ballerina out dancing for the first time at The Daffodil Club (where McCloud interviews Hank’s muse Linda, a blonde hostess with a red Corvette). Later, on the darkened stage of the ballet, McCloud strikes several matches to see by, and Ben Colman demonstrates the range of his lighting.


Jaclyn Smith Margaret Hart
Don Ameche
René Jauvert
Robert Webber
Fritz August
Roger C. Carmel
David Kern
Philip Carey
Howard Barnett
Rick Weaver
George Faraday
Mills Watson
Elrod “Hank” Cook
Erica Hagen
Arthur Malet
Liam Dunn

Story by Glen A. Larson, Lou Shaw
Written by
Lou Shaw

Directed by Lou Antonio

40513, 1.12.75

(McCloud at Ben’s Diner.)
I think I’m gonna give the bowl o’ chili a shot. I ain’t had a good bowl o’ chili since I came to New York.
LITTLE BEN: No kidding, you’re from out of town?
MCCLOUD: Yeah... Taos, New Mexico.
LITTLE BEN: (Serves chili.) You want crackers with that?
McCLOUD: Oh yeah, can’t eat chili without crackers. (Receives them.) And how about a little Tabasco sauce. (Receives it, holds up empty ketchup bottle.) I think you’re a little dry here, ya got any ketchup? (Receives it.) Salt ‘n pepper? (Little Ben points.) Sittin’ there right in front o’ me, if they’d been a snake it woulda bit me. Oh, think you’ve got some chopped onions, some big Bermuda Reds? (Little Ben rolls his eyes, goes to get onions. McCloud, finally ready to eat, tastes his dinner.) Hey, that’s purt near chili.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: Write this up as one more nut who died by his own cracker.

McCLOUD: Well if there’s no reason, he’s got to be insane!
SGT. BROADHURST: Ever try to find an empty bed in Bellevue?

CHIEF CLIFFORD: Don’t start agreeing with me, you’ll have me thinking I must be wrong.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: Well, congratulations, McCloud. You’re now known in journalistic circles as “the man with the golden hat.”

CHIEF CLIFFORD: From now on, until this case is solved, I want your head naked.

McCLOUD: You’re shinnyin’ up the wrong tree.

McCLOUD: You know, this ballet company is sinkin’ faster than a hog in a bog...

McCLOUD: Hey, look Joe, I promise you I didn’t get in no trouble.
SGT. BROADHURST: No, but your hat did.

McCLOUD: How’s your head?
MARGARET: (Hungover.) It’s a timpani section.

McCLOUD: I’ll be dipped—a Grand Central Station claim check.

SGT. BROADHURST: Wait till the press hears about this, three men dead over a bunch of comic books.

(McCloud has the precinct attempting to “decode” the comic books and coloring books found in the suitcase thought to contain the money.)
Now listen to me, all of you! Put down those McCloud encyclopedias and get back to work, or I’ll show you funny! I’ll show you the code to early retirement!

(McCloud takes the comic books to a top cryptologist at the Office of Scientific Intelligence.)
Three men have been killed trying to get this suitcase. As far as I’m concerned that’s top priority!
GARVEY: (Aside, to a military aide taking notes.) T.P.

GARVEY: Now don’t you blame technology for your failure to bring me something to decode!

McCLOUD: You got a choice: life or death.

MARGARET: What’d you have in mind?
McCLOUD: Well, I know a little place that serves up chili. It’s not the greatest, but, ya know, ya doctor it up with a little Tabasco sauce, Bermuda Reds—it passes.