ALIAS SMITH & JONES: DREADFUL SORRY, CLEMENTINE (1971, USA) ****
net. American Broadcasting Company (ABC); pr co. Roy Huggins-Public Arts / Universal Television; d. Barry Shear; w. Glen A. Larson (based on a story by Roy Huggins); exec pr. Roy Huggins; pr. Glen A. Larson; ass pr. Nicholas E. Baehr, Jo Swerling Jr.; ph. William Cronjager (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. John Andrew Tartaglia; th. Billy Goldenberg; ed. Byron ‘Buzz’ Brandt; ad. Phillip Bennett; set d. Bert Allen; sd. Earl Crain Jr. (Mono); tr. 27 December 1971; r/t. 50m.
cast: Pete Duel (Hannibal Heyes (alias Joshua Smith)), Ben Murphy (Jed ‘Kid’ Curry (alias Thaddeus Jones)), Rudy Vallee (Winford Fletcher), Keenan Wynn (Horace Wingate), Don Ameche (Diamond Jim Guffy), Sally Field (Clementine Hale), Jackie Coogan (Crawford), Buddy Lester (Drunk), Ken Scott (Toomey), Stuart Randall (Hawkins), William ‘Billy’ Benedict (Janitor (uncredited)), Ken DuMain (Townsman (uncredited)), Maurice Marks (Townsman (uncredited)), Edwin Rochelle (Ticket Clerk (uncredited)).
(s.2 ep. 10) Clementine Hale (Field), a friend of Heyes and Curry (Duel and Murphy) since they grew up together in Kansas, meets the boys in Denver and shows them a group photograph they all posed for not too long ago. The photo is invaluable to lawmen who want to arrest Heyes and Curry, and Clementine waves it at the boys in an attempt to get them to go along with her larcenous scheme. Years earlier, banker Winford Fletcher (Vallee) had stolen $50,000 from the bank where Clementine’s father worked, then framed him for the theft and sent him up the river. The boys ride into Fletcher’s home town and pose as land grabbers, convincing Fletcher to buy up all the land he can get hold of and paying through the nose. This delightful episode has a strong cast and a clever script (playing another “sting” scenario) by Larson and Huggins. Field is quirky and her interaction with Duel and Murphy feels natural and unforced. Vallee is perfect as the greedy property agent, who is the target of Field’s scheme and Ameche has a brief cameo as “Diamond Jim”, another of the series’ larger than life master con-men.