Somebodyís Out to Get Jennie

An industrial engineer is thought to have been died in an air crash, and his secretary is driven into a mental hospital.

You Always Paint Yourself

The main structural point is in Jennieís description of painting. A horizontal line divides sky and earth. Sky is thought of as ďa blue nothingness,Ē which usually is filled by steeples and such, or formerly by cherubs and angels. For Jennie, however, itís ďfull of unseen forces.Ē

The opening shot reflects this. Sky and earth, a helicopter descending. It lands beside a lake, Robert Devlin steps out, there is an explosion and the company bookkeeper still inside is killed.

Gen. Touhy (retired), beset by an investigation into cost overruns, has decided to liquidate his partnership with Devlin. The bookkeeper, a CO and ďbleeding heartĒ only Devlin would have hired, is accused of embezzlement, the blast might have killed both. Devlin goes on the lam in Mexico, but his secretary Jennie knows of the plot, sheís a sensitive creature and gets the Gaslight treatment from Gen. Touhyís tool Ira Mastin, an insurance investigator with a showbiz past.

In the end, McCloud is walking down a sidewalk viewed from above. A flower drops into view. He picks it up in a reverse angle showing the sky as background. The flower has a note wrapped around it, from Jennie in her hospital room (with Devlin).

A major work from Smight, closely and visibly related to Harper. His technique is among the finest exhibited in the omnibus, which means, for example, that rapid tracking pans are executed smoothly and precisely, dolly-ins and dolly-outs construct the scene at a rare angle, and the pool is reflected in the patio sunshade moving in the breeze on a conversation over money and drinks of a sunny day, with some extensive and virtuosic location work in the city as well.

 

Julie Sommars Diane Parlette/Jennie Tanaquil
Barry Sullivan
Brig. Gen. [Ret.] Ralph Touhy
Cameron Mitchell
Robert Devlin
Gabriel Dell
Ira Mastin
Gerald Hiken
Dr. Gortgaard
Priscilla Pointer
Shirley
William Bryant
Detective Parker
Annie Randall
Beverly
Alicia Bond
Eva
Emile Beaucard
Frank

Written by Robert Presnell, Jr.

Directed by Jack Smight

33411, 11.24.71

Ira Mastin watches what appears to be Edgar G. Ulmerís The Black Cat (with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff) on television in his office.

Robert Presnell, Jr. was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for this episode.

 

(A wire figure sculpture not far from the hotplate in the office of Ira Mastin, an insurance investigator who is secretly in Ralph Touhyís employ.)
IRA MASTIN: You like this, itís nice, isnít it?
McCLOUD: Looks like some haybaler had a slack season.

IRA MASTIN: You know a little place in Taos called the, uh, Hi Hat Club?
McCLOUD: (Laughs.) You bet I do. I was the one that closed it down.
IRA MASTIN: Oh. Well, I closed up a coupla clubs myself. But, uh, if youíd ever seen my act, youíd understand.

IRA MASTIN: (To McCloud.) I used to do this act with a Doberman and a parrot. The parrot used to wear this Hawaiian outfit...

DIANE PARLETTE: (The sky, a painterís view.) I donít really think itís nothingness at all, I think itís just filled with unseen forces. You donít dig unseen forces, do you.
McCLOUD: I leave them alone, they leave me alone, know what I mean?

DIANE PARLETTE: (In her fainting condition, asks McCloud to hold her hand.) Just to keep the monsters and trolls away that might come. They might come through the trollgate. Thatís what you have to watch out for, the trollgate. (Falls asleep.)

McCLOUD: Ya know, my paternal grandfather used to say that in a high wind youíre gonna get a lot of dust.
IRA MASTIN: He said that?
McCLOUD: Yeah, yeah, ha-ha, well, grandfather was a little windy himself, ya know?

DR. GORTGAARD: We have enough to treat Jennie for without having to treat her for stress induced by police third-degree methods.
McCLOUD: Yeah, well, I donít have any police third-degree methods, butósee, Iím just gonna have dinner and sit down and talk to her like a friend, ya know what I mean?

(Ira Mastin asks for more money and gets it.)
IRA MASTIN:
A guy canít help liking you. (Gen. Touhy laughs. Mastin continues in mock protest.) No, I donít like a lot of people.
RALPH TOUHY:
Corruption is the great leveler.

IRA MASTIN: She changed her name, and McCloud found her.
RALPH TOUHY: (To Ira Mastin.)
Whatís a McCloud?
IRA MASTIN: Heís a cowboy they got down at the detective bureau.

RALPH TOUHY: (Of Jennie.) You take care of her.
IRA MASTIN: No, no, thatís not my line. Iím just an accomplice.
RALPH TOUHY: Push her over the edge.

(McCloud has brought her flowers, etc.)
DIANE PARLETTE:
I was just wondering if you were planning to make love to me.
McCLOUD: To tell ya the truth, I ainít come to that fork in the road, yet.
DIANE PARLETTE: You are so normal, itís fantastic! How do you do that? I canít do that.

DIANE PARLETTE: You have such a sympathetic face. Itís real. Itís not a mask. Is it?
McCLOUD: Well, whatever it is, itís all that I got.
DIANE PARLETTE: You are so wonderfully straight, whatever you say, itís what you mean, right?
McCLOUD: Yeah, except when Iím lyiní.

JENNIE: (To McCloud.) His name is Gortgaard. Dr. Gortgaard. Once I told him it sounded like something people used to use when they fought duels to keep from getting their gort cut off, (McCloud laughs.) and right away he started looking into my pupils and checking my knee reflexes.

McCLOUD: Why did you say that Mr. Devlin isnít dead?
JENNIE: (Humorous.) Mmmm, because Iím loose in the flue, sir.

JENNIE: (To McCloud.) Whenever you paint anything, you always paint yourself.

RALPH TOUHY: (Of his partner Robert Devlin, to McCloud.) He was one of the finest industrial engineers in the country, you know? Whatever the Army wished they had in the way of electronics, he could dream it up and he could make it.

(Ralph Touhyís office, with Robert Devlinís paintings.)
McCLOUD: Mighty fine paintings, Iíd say.
RALPH TOUHY: Yeah, Bob painted those. He dabbled in painting.
McCLOUD: Well, he dabbled pretty good.

(McCloud finagles a painting by Devlin of the city, for comparison with one in Jennieís apartment signed ďXenoĒ, in the name of his ďmaternal Aunt Jessie back home,Ē who visited New York in 1939.)
McCLOUD: (To Ralph Touhy.) She just loves New York. Yeah, you know, sheís got a little model of the Woolworth Building that sits right there on her mantle, and it glows in the dark.

McCLOUD: (To Ralph Touhy.) Happy trails.

JENNIE: (Of Robert Devlin, to McCloud.) You know what he told me once? Oh, he was drunk, but... he said he hated himself because he made a fortune out of war.

(Robert Devlinís poem, ďI think if our craniums...Ēórecited by Jennie from memory.)
...Our love intellectual,
Complexes sexual,
Secret ambitions,
And sly inhibitions,
Were exhibited there for the public to view,
Theyíd differ far less than geraniums do.

JENNIE: (Of Robert Devlin.) Heís not dead. They tried to kill him.
McCLOUD: Who tried to kill him?
JENNIE: General Touhy. OK, I could be wrong. Anybody could be wrong. Even God, look at evolution.

McCLOUD: Now, Jennie, look now, look. Your hand is in mine, and thereís not gonna be any monsters, not gonna be any trolls cominí through the trollgate. If they do, Iíll just take my .45 and Iíll shoot Ďem. Iíll fill Ďem full oí daylight.

(At the art gallery, to have the paintings compared.)
SHIRLEY: (Smitten with him.)
I mean, I just adore anything Western, you know that? The Grand Canyon Suite is one of my favorites.
McCLOUD: Wellónever could afford much more Ďn a room and a bath, míself.

SHIRLEY: Hey, how about this for an evening? I could pull my wagons in a circle, see, and you could attack me.
McCLOUD: (Pause.) Ya know, you might have somethiní there. Ya mind if I go home and reload?
SHIRLEY: Iíll call.
McCLOUD: There ya go.

(Ira Mastin has lured Jennie to a supposed rootftop meeting with Robert Devlin, and now is disguised as an elderly bearded Irish elevator operator.)
IRA MASTIN: (To Jennie.) Iíve taken a few up that didnít come down. Not with me, anyway... Four people, aye, four jumped off the roof this year... Two jackknifes, one swan dive, and a feet first... Iíve seen Ďem come, and Iíve seen Ďem go. You be careful yírself, Miss. Life is a gift, donít you forget that.

(At police headquarters, after being menaced by Ira Mastin on the rooftop and seeing her faceless portrait of Robert Devlin walk toward her and open its eyes.)
JENNIE: (Shrieking, hysterical, to McCloud.)
There was one of them on the roof... and then... he came out of the painting!

(Jennie has a nervous breakdown.)
DR. GORTGAARD: You didnít pull any of your medieval police stunts?
McCLOUD: Doctor, I donít have any medieval police stunts.

(The report on Ira Mastin, and a phone message.)
DET. PARKER: He had a small-time vaudeville act, did impressions and magic tricks... a girl named Shirley wanting you to call, she said something, uh, about getting her wagons ready, Iím not, uh, quite sure I got that right... (McCloud has exited.)

(McCloud has found out Robert Devlin is alive.)
CHIEF CLIFFORD: (Slowly and distinctly.) Absolutely no plane ticket to Mexico!

CHIEF CLIFFORD: (To McCloud.) Oh, great. Everybody else, from the Pentagon through the insurance company through the FBI thinks the case is closed, except you and that girl. Who I understand is back in the hospital.

CHIEF CLIFFORD: (Quietly.) Get a voucher from Accounting. Two days. Just two days. If you donít find Devlin, keep ridiní south.
McCLOUD: ĎPreciate it.

(In Mexico, Devlinís painterly nom de guerre, which McCloud pronounces as three syllables.)
McCLOUD: You wouldnít be X-eno, would you?
ROBERT DEVLIN: Xeno.

ROBERT DEVLIN: (To McCloud. Quiet desperation.) It gives ya the shakes when someoneís tryiní ta kill ya.

ROBERT DEVLIN: (Of Jennie, to McCloud.) She meant a lot to me. A lot. But Robert Devlinís dead, heís dead.

ROBERT DEVLIN: (To McCloud.) I donít belive in terminal morality. Iím a free man, and I feel great! DONíT YOU GET THAT?? GET IT????

(Robert Devlin telephones Ira Mastin to arrange a meeting with Ralph Touhy.)
ROBERT DEVLIN: He says heís gonna call the police.
McCLOUD: (Pause.) Well, if he does, Iím swinginí an empty loop.

(Anticipating an ambush at the rendezvous.)
McCLOUD: (Pistol drawn.) Get in the passenger side.
IRA MASTIN: Itís my car.
McCLOUD: Get in the passenger side!

(Up the driveway to Ralph Touhyís mansion.)
McCLOUD:
I donít mind telliní ya, Mr. Mastin, I donít care what happens to ya, after what you did to that girl.
IRA MASTIN: What girl?
McCLOUD: Mr. Devlin might kill ya himself for that. Now, I donít care how ya get it, personally. Ya better duck down, just in case a bullet comes through the windshield.

(Chief Clifford has taken Ralph Touhy into custody as Robert Devlin arrives.)
RALPH TOUHY: (To Robert Devlin.) Welcome home, Bob. (Pause. Lightly.) Itís all yours.

(Jennieís note, wrapped around a carnation flung down to the sidewalk from her hospital room, where Robert Devlin is visiting her.)
ďHelp! Being held captive on the 17th floor by monsters and trolls. We love you, McCloud.Ē

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