Monthly Archives: April 2016

Steeling the Show – 3

We left Mr. Steele with Laura, pleading his case to be on the case.

artdirectors

The scene shifts to a glamorous studio set, where an executive-type is reading the riot act to one of his underlings.

“What IS it with you art directors? Everything has got to be the Taj Mahal? Didn’t you ever hear the expression: Less is more?”

ifyouranactor

He sends his minion off with the instruction, “So give me more. Just make it cost less!” Just then, Mr. Steele and Laura approach. What long, skinny legs you have, Mr. Steele!

The important man has no time for starstruck wannabes: “Look. If you’re an actor, leave your resume …” (Interesting that he assumes Mr. Steele is an actor, but not Miss Holt.)

thisisremingtonsteele

Laura sets him straight. “Mr. Haver, this is Remington Steele.”

His reputation – finally – precedes him.

thedetective

“Remington Steele? The detective?”

suddeninterest

This catches the attention of a guy standing nearby, talking to a script girl or somebody.  Behind him, a highly skilled craftsman is doing more with less.

See?

leadsheraway

The guy hastily steers the script girl away. Meanwhile …

ifmywifesentyou

“Look,” Haver says, “If my wife sent you, just tell her that I AM having an affair, and I’ll send you some pictures if she wants.”

hahahaha

Yuk Yuk Yuk.

laughingLondo

Hilarious.

smarmynotfunny

The detectives are … amused?

lookingforveronica

Laura informs him they’re here looking for Veronica Kirk.

“She seems to have disappeared,” Steele adds.

Laura suggests that Veronica’s daughter seems to think Mr. Haver is in the know as to the old lady’s whereabouts.

greedylittletramp

Haver is not pleased. “That greedy little tramp will do anything to keep me from making this movie,” he says, inexplicably pointing to himself.

youtellher

“Well, you tell her that I may or may not know where her mother is …”

undernocircumstances

“But under NO circumstances will I tell HER.”

lockawaymystar

“Why should I? So she can lock away my star in some loony bin?”

youlike

He produces a script. “You like movies?”

Does he like movies? Oh, yeah. He likes movies.

missholtnotfilmbuff

“Miss Holt is not quite the film buff that I am, but she’s getting there.” Steele simultaneously compliments Miss Holt and reminds her that he is the one with the background knowledge for this case.

wellplayed

Well played, sir.

wellI

Haver pronounces himself a film lover.

seedumbo

“I have ever since my parents took me to see Dumbo.”

behindthescenesdumbo 1941. Disney Studios.  Assuming Haver is the same age as Peter Jurasik, he would have been born nine years after Dumbo’s release. Presumably his folks took him to see it in one of its revivals.

reallygottome

“The magic really got to me. I was gonna break into this business, no matter what.” He poignantly recounts how he ate, drank and slept film.

finallyoneday

“And finally one day … I made it!”

Imadeit

Ta-da!

steeleissketical

Mr. Steele seems slightly skeptical.

aboutveronicakirk

Laura wants to get back down to business. “About Veronica Kirk …”

picturethis

“Picture this: In this film, she gets to play three different roles.”

queenof

“The queen of the Amazon tribe …”

themother

“the mother of a corrupt politician …”

tvanchorwoman

” …and a TV anchorwoman.”

whaddyathink

Ta-da!

clapping

Another Citizen Kane!

threetimesinonemovie

Showing the keen mathematical genius that fuels his business success, Haver adds, “All three die dramatically.”

ohhhhh

Sounds … gripping? Something like that: “Sounds splendid,” Steele remarks.

areyoukidding

“Are you kidding?”

nostalgiasells

“Nostalgia sells! Veronica Kirk IS a gold mine. I wish I had ten more like her.”

crawfordhopkinspitts

“But they’re all gone. Crawford, Miriam Hopkins, Zasu Pitts.”

leadingladies

guestshotsonloveboat

“All the rest of em are doing guest shots on ‘The Love Boat’.”

funfacticonThough Veronica Kirk never made an appearance on The Love Boat, her portrayer, Bibi Osterwald, did. It was a 1978 episode called “Ship of Ghouls.” Osterwald played a groupie of a magician played by Vincent Price. (The woman pictured here is not Ostenwald, but Joan Blondell.) shipofghouls

soyoutell

Haver is determined to save Veronica from Bibi’s cruel fate: “So, you tell that banshee who hired you that she does NOT control Veronica- or her money. Yet.” He stomps off, mad.

laurashavingfun

Well, this is turning out to be a jolly case, isn’t it?

 

 

 

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Steeling the Show – 2

After the feisty old lady disappears into the night, the next thing we see is …

fromthesoundofit

… a feisty young lady: Laura, looking crisply professional as always. She is speaking to someone in Steele’s office. “From the sound of it, Miss Kirk, she hasn’t been gone very long.”

contactingthepolice

Laura rounds the desk, where Mr. Steele is NOT sitting, and faces her presumed client (and Murphy, looking casual-Fridays as always). Laura wants to know if Miss Kirk has contacted the police. I want to know why Miss Kirk is dressed like Mary Poppins.

tequila

Miss Kirk explains she was hoping to avoid drawing attention to her mother’s “medical problem.”  That problem being tequila. And besides, that fact that “she’s been virtual shut-in for the past 30 years has given rise to – frequent lapses in memory, bouts of senility, and even paranoid delusions. For the past two months, my mother’s been convinced that someone’s trying to kill her.”

andtheres

Murphy gives her a look.

willis

I believe it’s THIS look.

Murph wants to know if dear, old mom’s fears are warranted.

nobadhat

“No!” she insists. “Not if we’re talking reality.”

itssafe

Needing clarification, Laura tries to put it delicately: “So it’s safe to say we’re talking about-”

afull

“A four-star loon.” And yet you’re the one wearing that hat, Miss Kirk. Who’s the loon NOW?

randomalertThe loon is the state bird of my home state, Minnesota. Here’s what it looks and sounds like!

 

Meanwhile, in the lobby …

rolodex

Bernice is idly thumbing through her Rolodex. Perhaps she is checking her contacts for a more rewarding job (I suspect Janet DeMay was doing much the same by this point in the season.)

steeleenters

In waltzes a happy-go-lucky Mr. Steele. He looks well turned out (and really thin; Pierce’s second wife will feed him better). Bernice hurries to intercept him.

thisisnew

“Look at you!” she gushes.  “This is new, isn’t it? What a fabulous color for you!”

Um, Bernice? You haven’t said a civil word to the man since he started working here. You think he’s going to buy this?

letmeguess

Nevertheless, Steele’s instantly erect … newspaper suggests he’s flattered. But not fooled.

“Let me guess, Miss Wolf. Laura is in my interviewing a prospective client and you’ve been posted here to prevent me from joining them.”

withatrowel

Bernice concedes she laid it on a bit thick. “With a trowel,” he agrees.”

justthisonce

“Look,” she cajoles. “Just this once, couldn’t you let me win?”  Clearly still turned on by this repartee, Mr. Steele responds, “What? And ruin our perfect record?” Is that a trowel in your pocket, Mr. Steele, or are you just yada yada yada.

perfectrecord

Steele leaves Bernice with a puckish smirk and playful tap with his newspaper in the vicinity of her backside. Bernice mentally prepares her sexual harassment filing.

couldhandlethis

Back in the office, Mr. Steele arrives just in time to hear Miss Poppins say,  “I was hoping your agency could handle this with the right sort of discretion.”

Good news! Discretion is Mr. Steele’s middle name!

goodsense

Steele pronounces himself pleased that his minions went ahead and started without him.  But now he’s here, and ready to take charge.

mayorsoffice

Laura says she thought he was still busy … “At the mayor’s office?” he says. “What’s the point? My views on crime are public knowledge.” (I’m guessing his view is that crime is bad – if he’s not the one committing it.) Steele prefers to be here, where the action is. Where he can really make a difference. “Eh, Mr. Michaels?”

ehmrmichaels

“You certainly do make a difference, sir,” Murphy retorts, using that razor-keen wit for which he is famed.

howcanwebeofservice

“Now, how can we be of service?” Steele asks. Ordinarily, any woman would be happy to be service by Mr. Steele. But Miss Kirk seems unaffected by his charm. On the other hand, Laura seems VERY affected.

JenniferKirk

The new client is identified as Jennifer Kirk.

motherismissing

“Seems her mother, Veronica, is missing,” Laura grudgingly explains.

kirkhesays

This piques Mr. Steele’s interest. “Kirk?”

chooseyourkirk

Which Kirk is Steele a fan of?

Steelethrilled

As Laura tries to explain the particulars of the case, Mr. Steele is agog. “Veronica? Veronica Kirk?”

camilleofgowergulch

“Not THE Veronica Kirk? Death’s darling? The Camille of Gower Gulch?”
fangirling

Squeeeeeee!

afraidso

Miss Poppins isn’t impressed. “I’m afraid so,” she says.

youknew

Laura, who apparently wasn’t paying attention to all those hundreds of times Mr. Steele has demonstrated his encyclopedic knowledge of film, inquires, “You knew Veronica Kirk was an actress?”

youdidnt

“You didn’t?”

touche

Well played, Mr. Steele.

hasntmadeapicture

“Oh, it’s true she hasn’t made a picture in- must be nearly three decades-” he admits.

couldbe4

“Could be four, unless Phil Haver has his way.”

whosephilhaver

“Who’s Phil Haver?” Steele asks excitedly. (Perhaps Mr. Brosnan, already tired of this gig, is looking for new representation.)

aproducer

Sorry, Pierce. “He’s a producer urging Veronica to make a comeback.” Thanks for the exposition, Murph!

ohagoodidea

Steele thinks that’s a WONDERFUL idea!

aparasite

Miss Poppins doesn’t. “Phil Haver is a parasite who bleeds pathetic old women of their trust funds.”

awkwardspock

Oops.

awordinprivate

Laura decides she’d better remove Mr. Steele from the premises. “Might I have a word in private with you, Mr. Steele?”

lauraglowers

Outside the office, Laura gives Steele the stink eye.

sensitivenerve

Mr. Steele intuits that he might have hit a nerve.

“Several,” Laura confirms.

thoughtofbeing

Steele is only a little sorry. “The thought of being a mere relative away from Veronica Kirk, a veritable legend of the silver screen-”

derangedanddrunken

“A deranged and drunken woman.”

somean

Yikes. Nasty much, Laura?

thefactremains

Mr. Steele, apparently intimidated by Laura’s contempt, says maybe calling Veronica Kirk a legend is a bit of an overstatement. Nevertheless, “The fact remains- Veronica Kirk WAS the queen of the Bs.”

I believe you’re mistaken, Mr. Steele. According to Wikipedia,  this woman is known as the “Queen of the B Movie”

Lucille_Ball_1944crop

Who knew?

buzzbuzz

Laura, who apparently has never seen a movie, and despite living her whole live in the motion picture capital of the world doesn’t know what a B movie is, responds, “Buzz Buzz?”

secondfeature

Steele has to explain: “B movies. Second feature in a double bill. They were made on a shoestring, no budget, no stars, just good acting, great scenarios, and plethora of inventiveness.”

containyour

Laura has no patience for what will undoubtedly prove to be knowledge essential to solving the case. “If you can contain your thrill-”

thrillLaura

Mr. Steele is affronted to hear his adulation trivialized. “Thrill? Laura, Veronica Kirk was one of the GREATEST femme fatales of the cinema.”

diedinmorefilms

“She died in more films than any other actress around- and better, too.”

betterthanGarbo

“Better than Davis, better than Crawford, and for my money, better than Garbo.”

CAMILLE-20

Garbo, dying. (In Camille. 1936. MGM)

mayoutdo

Laura worries that if Veronica isn’t found soon, she might outdo herself in the death scene department.

timetoreminisce

“You’re right. Time to reminisce once we are sure that she’s safe.”

whatmakesyouthink

“What makes you think that the mayor can spare you?”  Laura snarks.

youcantbeserious

“Laura. You can’t be so cruel as to come between a man of my cinematic expertise and a star like Veronica Kirk?”

cinematicexpertise

“Can you?”

canyou

Pretty sure she can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Steeling the Show – 1

So … after many months, here we are again. I confess I kind of abandoned this blog because of an apparent lack of interest (and it’s quite a lot of work, to be honest). But I was feeling a little nostalgic, so I thought I’d pick it up again – for now. Can’t promise how long it’s going to last.

ascream

Our episode opens on an outside view of a palatial home on a dark night. Suddenly we hear a scream. What horror could have prompted this bloodcurdling cry?

bibiosterwald

Perhaps the revelation that people actually name children Bibi.

behindthescenes

Bibi Osterwald in her heyday. She seems like a cheerful gal.

Bibi Osterwald in her heyday. She seems like a cheerful gal.

Bibi Osterwald had already enjoyed a long and active career before this guest shot on Remington Steele. Beginning in 1948, she played a wide variety of guest roles on TV (her only regular live action series role appears to have been as David Birney’s mother on the early 70s series “Bridget Loves Bernie.” Her final role was as Grammy Gingersnap on the Rugrats cartoon. She died in 2002 at the age of 83.

Suddenly we hear shots ring out! More screaming! A light snaps on in the house, and …

peter jurasik

… we learn that the very versatile Peter Jurasik is also guesting tonight, in the first of two guest appearances on Remington Steele. A steadily working character actor, Jurasik has achieved cult status in two roles in particular..

S1E6_JurasikBio

As the pompous and belligerent Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari on the TV series Babylon 5, and as the ill-fated  compound-interest Program Crom in the 1982 film Tron. I gotta be honest: I love me some Peter Jurasik.

dimhallway

The screaming continues, not entirely convincingly, as our view moves to a dimly hit hallway inside the mansion.

figureinthehall

Suddenly a figure in a flowing nightgown appears at the end of the hall.

It seems it is she who is screaming, presumably from having stubbed her toe on one of those big pieces of furniture sitting in the hallway to trip over in the dark.

runninglady

As she gets closer, we see it is an older lady in a hurry.

The background music is hectic, letting us know this is a dramatic situation.  (Nothing communicates DANGER like the sound of a clarinet running up a scale, backed by a string section. Scary!)

fallingdownstairs

The woman reaches a staircase, and the sudden appearance of Gareth Davies’ producer credit in front of her causes her to lose her balance.

ladygoboom

She (or more accurately, a stunt double) tumbles to the bottom. Now we know what to expect from this episode: “Remington Steele and the Case of the Broken Hip.”

oldguytotherescue

Some old guy appears who looks like Batman’s butler (Is this the Wayne Mansion? Is the fleeing lady Aunt Harriet?)

batmanrunning

Holy unexpected crossover, Batman!

thehousewakens

He encounters another lady in a silky, albeit somewhat matronly, nightie, to whom he shouts, “She’s at it again!” At the same time, the credits helpfully remind us that Butler and Gleason created this awesome show.

applause

Well done, gentlemen.

peterlefcourt

The apparent rescuers dash down the stairs. We learn this episode was written by Peter Lefcourt. This is Lefcourt’s only writing credit for Remington Steele, but he wrote several for Scarecrow & Mrs. King (perhaps poached in the same raid that stole Beverly Garland) and Cagney & Lacey, among other series.

wheresthebody

The older gentleman and lady do not discover a body at the bottom of the staircase. This is a surprise.

mothershecalls

“Mother!” the lady calls. So is the old guy Dad?

youwont

We see the elderly woman again, looking almost regal in her nightgown and robe. Dramatically she declares, “He won’t get me tonight. Not tonight!”

seymour

And then, using the distraction of director Seymour Robbie’s credit, she escapes into the darkness …

 

 

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