Starsky and Hutch (1975–1979): Season 2, Episode 24 - Murder on Stage 17 - full transcript

The set of a Western movie is the site of a murder, another in a series targeting members of actor Steve Hanson's Wolf pack club. Starsky and Hutch go undercover as stuntmen to protect Steve.



let's shoot this after
lunch with the effects.

All right, go to lunch
for an hour, boys.

Come here. Come here.

How are you,
Friendly, old pup? Huh?

How about some lunch?

I'd love it.

All right, let's go. Come on.

[RASPING] Hey. Water man.

Where do you want
me to put the water?

I don't know. It's
not my department.

Uh, I think the stand

is over by the stage door.


Those bottles must
be terribly heavy.



That's not what does it.

Tricky and slippery.

It's like trying to juggle
a fat, glass snake,

if you know what I mean.

Glass shatters.

Here, look.

Come on, Julie.

Got this...

Movie star!

You too big to talk
to the rest of us?




Cut! Cut!

Oh, my God. He's dead.

The coroner

initially called it an accident,

but Mr. Hanson
thinks it was a murder,

one in a series of five

over the last several years

which were made to
look like an accident.

That's a pretty
strong accusation.

Well, I didn't intend
to be timid about it.

You see, if I'm right,

I could be the next
one in line to die.

Well, then maybe you'd
better back it up a little bit.

The man who was killed
yesterday is an actor.

His name is Phil Lubeck
and he was my best friend.

Now, I just found out

that in the last three
and a half years,

there've been four
fatal "accidents"

at Monarch Studios.

Now, no one ever bothered

to connect them before.

I've been in Europe for
the last five, six years,

so when I got back, I
decided to call my pals.

Years ago we formed a club.

I know it's corny, but we, uh...

we called it the Wolf Pack.

Well, the Wolf Pack is
down to just one member,

and you're looking at him.

What about your
other four friends?

How were they killed?

All accidents, or so it seems.

Uh, one was a stunt,
a fall from a building.

Another got hit by a car.

I presume that the studio
has shut down your production.

The studio had
nothing to say about it.

There's a lot of money
invested in this picture

and most of it's mine,

and I don't intend

to let it all go down the drain.

Even if it means your life?


If I lose this picture,
I'm dead anyway.

DOBEY: Which
brings us to you two.

Now, you're going undercover

as stunt men on
Mr. Hanson's picture.

You mean we're gonna be actors?

Stay here until I
give you a holler.

Got it.

Starsky. Starsky.


That guy standing
next to Steve Hanson,

that is Markham.
That's a director.

Forget Markham.

Who's that chick with him?

Boy, it'll be good
to watch him work.


Is that Kate Jackson?


Kate Jackson.

Uh, I don't know.

Starsky, do you
know that Markham...

Markham represents

the subtlest kind of, uh...

of symbolism.

Like Bergman, you know?


Ingrid Bergman?

No, no, no.

Is she here too?

Ingmar Bergman.

He's a Swedish director...

Oh, forget it, will you?

Let's go check in
with Steve, huh? Okay.

Shotgun, we're
ready for the stunt.

Come on.

Hey, you two,

Spaghetti and Meatballs,

you're gonna do
a stunt up there.


Up there.


Who do you think I mean?



Hey, are you the
two new stunt guys

that Shotgun sent up?


Whoa! Hey, watch that, will you!

That's a break-away.

That's a break-away, you dummy.

Oh, sorry.

Leave it alone.


Well, all right,

now, you two whiz
kids pay attention.

I'll try to get you
through this thing.


We'll start with you.

Me? You.


Now, I'll throw a punch at you.


No, you don't look at him.

You take the punch.

You snap your head

so that it looks like I hit you.

Snap your head.

Oh, yeah.

So it looks like he hit you.

Oh, I see. I got
you. You got it?

Let's take that one
again. Right, let's go again.

That's it. That's good.

That's good.

Was it good?

Yeah, looked like he hit you.

Just like in the movies.


All right, what's next?

Good, now we got that.


Now, you follow... Right.

With a punch to my middle.

Right. Go on.


No, no, no,

you got to make it
look like something.

Sell it. Bring it in there.

All right?


Okay, come on.

Here we go.

That's good. Good work.

I meant to tell you
about the belt buckle.

Yeah. Spit on it. That's...

I seen that in the movies once.

Yeah? Spit on it.


Okay. I'm...

You all right? Ready, yeah.

Good, good.

Let's take you. Okay.

Now, meanwhile,

Chet will slam
you into the wall...

Slam me into the wall.

And deliver a punch to
your middle... Uh-huh.

And one to your head...


And you'll come back

with a punch to his middle...

His middle.

And one to his face.


Try one. Try it.

Go on over there.


Okay, now, uh, you... you, uh...

you slam me into
the wall, right?


No, you got to sell it, right?

That's right.

Right, you got to bend over.

Bend over? Oh. Oh, I got it.

Okay, all right.
So, try it again.

You slam me into the wall.



It's not bad.


You ready?

Are you ready? Yeah.

Are you ready?

Yes, sir.

All right, we're ready!

Quiet on the set!

We're gonna get ready.

Uh, yeah, we're gonna get ready.

Hey, Chet,

let's give these wise guys

some real action.

Don't pull your
punches on these jerks.

Okay, you got it.

Starsk, this is really
very interesting,

you know?

Remember the
classic symbolism...

All right, come on, you guys.

Let's go, let's go. Come on!

It's man against
man. Ego against ego.

Remember that.

Come on! Let's go. Here we go.

Here we go. Ready?

Quiet! Roll 'em!


All right. Pull up the rig.

And action.



Cut! Print it.

Talk about realism.


Hi, I'm Dave Starsky.

This is Ken Hutchinson.

Hutch... Hutchinson.

I'm Julie West,
script supervisor.


Speaking of, uh, realism,

we understand that you had

a little bit of that
around here yesterday.

Oh, God, that was terrible.

Poor Phil.

His poor wife.

Well, accidents do happen.

That valise was supposed
to just pop into smoke.

Hi, honey.


No, it's not like
that at all, boys.

I raised this one

like she was my own daughter.

See, her Dad

was a real good pal of mine.

He was one of the Wolf Pack.

You, uh...

You want to take a walk with me?

I made out that list.

Oh, sure, sure.

You got it.

Would you give this
to the prop man for me?

See you later.

Take care.


Come on in.

I'm not much for
holding grudges,

but I did make out a list,

and if anyone didn't
like the Wolf Pack,

you might check it out.




Hey, remember
that old joke, Steve?

"Your dog is dead."

Remember that? Huh, Steve?


Isn't that funny?

You laughing?

You're the next
dog to die, Steve.


Oh, no.

Hey. Hey.

Any other phone
booths around here?


Phone booths.

If it was any closer, son,

it'd have bit you.


[LOUDLY] I said
if it was any closer,

it'd have bit you.

I already saw that one.

Doing a western, huh?

Hey, you got some down there,

and there's one over there.

Yeah, thank you very much.

Use the pay phone.

Well, so much for that.

He's got to be around
here somewhere.

He saw us go into the bungalow.

Yeah, I know that.


Why would somebody hurt a dog?

He's got to be crazy.


Oh. Here's the list.

Sorry about your dog.

Do you mind if we
talk for a minute?

No, go right ahead.

This list.

This is the list of those people

who might have held a
grudge against the Wolf Pack?

Yeah, well, that's...

that's all I could think of.

The ones with Xs
beside their names

are dead.

Oh, thank you.

There's Phil
Moxley, the director.

Wally Stone.

Wally Stone?

I didn't know he was dead.

I just saw him the other
night on the late show on TV.

Well, he died in
Mexico, I heard,

just a couple of years
after he got out of prison.

We can have Dobey

check out the other names.


Pete Alexy.

Isn't he the
famous art director?

That's right.

Why would Pete have a
grudge against the Wolf Pack?

Because of his wife, Jane,

but you can forget him.

I checked on him personally,

and he also died,

two years ago in Europe.

Jane Alexy.

She was the woman who died
at that famous Wolf Pack party,

wasn't she?

That's right.

And the reason

that Wally Stone
was sent to prison.

That's right.

What happened at that party?

Well, there's
nothing to tell, really.

I mean, she was drunk.

We all were drunk.

Anyway, Wally took
her into the bedroom

and the next thing we knew,

she was screaming,

and then we heard her

crash out through the window.

Man, that was 10 storeys down.

Well, they couldn't prove
that Wally pushed her,

but that didn't seem to matter.

His career was ruined

and he never worked again.

Ah, it was just a...

It was a terrible,
terrible tragedy

all the way around.


I guess it was.

Look, we're
gonna call the, uh...

animal shelter.

Take care of your dog.

Thank you.

Take it easy, huh?

Oh, hey, hey, wait a minute.

You know they, uh...

they say a lot of ugly things
about people in show business,

and I want you to know

that Wally was really
a very sweet guy.

Uh, I only saw him once
after he got out of prison.

He called me.

He needed 20 bucks.

20 bucks.

Well, I had him meet
me in a restaurant.

Just a few years before,

the whole world loved him.

I mean, he was
America's funny man...

but I...

I guess the public just...

just never forgave him.

Anyway, when he
left the restaurant,

I saw a lady walk up to him,

and you know what she did?

She spit right in his face.

It's some business.

Talk to you later.




Boy, I don't know about you,

but I am hungry.

I didn't know actors
worked this late.

What time is it? About 9:00.

9:00? Yeah.

I spoke to Dobey.

He still doesn't have any word

on those busts.

Oh, yeah? Yeah.


Mr. Markham wants you.

Me? Mm-hmm.

See? I told you he
was a good fella.

Yeah, well, find out
what time we're eating.


Yes, sir, Mr. Markham?

Hutchinson. Yeah.

I think I can use you in a bit.

A bit?

A bit. A line or two.



F-For me?

If you don't want
to do it, that's fine.




Yeah, as you may
or may not know,

we had a very unfortunate
accident here yesterday,

and, uh, we've had
to rewrite the script

a little bit,

so here's your line.

Check it out

and let me know
when you're ready.

Yeah, you can
just wait over there

and check it out,

and let me know as
soon as you're ready,

because we're ready to go.

Yes, sir.


What happened?

Don't you feel well?

What happened?

Did he fire us?

He gave me a line.

Ah! Wonderful!

He gave you a line?

You're gonna be an actor?

Starsk, I don't
think I can do it.

Oh, hey, hey, hey.

You said yourself,
acting is nothing.

It's like being a robot, cattle.

Is this your line?


"Here comes McCoy now."


Is that your line?


I have to say all that?

Come on. We'll coach you.

We'll give you your cue.


Okay, uh...

Steve says, "Where's McCoy?"

and you move across the
saloon to the windows...

W-wait, wait.
Where's the windows?

Right over there. Over there?

There you look
out, and you say it...


Here, uh...

What's the line?







I'll hold it.

SHOTGUN: Roll 'em.


And action!

Where's McCoy?


Yeah, let's...

let's try it again...


Hutch, just keep
looking out the window.

Oh, yeah.

I forgot.

You have every
reason to be nervous.

Don't... Don't worry about it...

Tell you what. This time...

this time we'll just, uh...

take it from here.
Just your line.

So, just stay here,

and we'll just take
it from your line.


Okay, let's go again, please.

Hold it down.

SHOTGUN: Roll 'em.


What's my line?

"Here comes...

McCoy now."




Where's McCoy?



That was a little
fast, Hutchinson.

Oh, yeah.

I'm sorry.

Let's go again.
Right away, please.

Let's go again.

You'll get it. You'll get it.

Roll 'em!


And... It's okay.


Where's McCoy?

Here comes McCoy now.



I'm sorry. Uh...

I was... I was...

I was a bit nervous.

Yeah, we're gonna try this
again tomorrow morning.

Uh, that's it for
tonight, everybody.

Let's all go home
and get some rest.

Couldn't he have another...

Wrap it up!


It's ridiculous, Steve,

but the curtain's about
to come down, you know.

Oh, I know, perhaps maybe...

from the friendly studio guard.

Are you sure I can't

offer you boys something?

Nothing, thanks.

No, thank you.

I'm sorry I messed
up that scene today.

Hey, we're one day closer

to finishing the picture

and I'm still alive.

You boys are doing okay

as far as I'm concerned.

Yeah, well, we'd
feel a lot better

if you wouldn't stay
on the lot at night.

Until I finish this picture
and turn it over to the studio,

I can't afford to
stay anywhere else.

Besides, I got a guard outside.

I'm not worried.

Uh, we had a talk
with the studio guard.


We're checking him out,

but he claims

that before that valise blew up

that the set was deserted.

Everybody went to lunch.

You didn't see anybody else?

No. No.

Oh, I... I saw the water man.


Uh, the...

Sierra Springs water man.

He came in with a bottle.

Obnoxious guy.

That's funny.


Well, I saw a guy delivering
water bottles today.

Why would a guy
deliver water bottles

two days in a row?

I want you both to know,

I don't appreciate
getting out of bed

this time of night,

and neither does the manager

of the Sierra Springs
Water Company.

Starsky, you got
your feet on my desk,

you're sitting in my chair,

and you're getting mustard
all over those files there.

I'm not eating anything
with mustard, Captain.

Me neither.


I guess it was that
corned beef sandwich

I had for lunch.

Sierra Springs Water Company.

The manager says
today is their regular day.

If there was a man
there yesterday,

he was in imposter.



How many times did you call?

Yeah, okay.

Patrolman O'Brian.

He was left to guard
the cottage at Hanson's.

He's not responding
to his radio calls.


Coming. Yes?

Oh, begging your pardon,

Mr. Hanson,

but Miss Rogers,
your leading lady,

she saw your lights
burning in here

and she wanted to know

if you'd like to stop in

and have a nightcap with her.

She told me to tell you

that she had to step out

for a few minutes

but she'd be right back,

so just go in

and help yourself to
all the refreshments.

Well, thank you.

Thank you, sir.

Oh, uh, just a
minute. Just a minute.

Oh, no, sir.

Oh, come on.

No, it's all part
of the job, sir.

Good night to you.

Good night.




Come on out of there!

That room was boarded up

from the outside, wasn't it?


And our man was chloroformed,

presumably by the same guy

who gave you the
message to come here.

He came that close. That close.

So, there really is a killer.

I mean, those
weren't just accidents.

Well, we spoke to
the water company.

The man who delivered

that bottle yesterday
was a phony.

Oh, my God.

Well, what about
the guard tonight?

What a kick in the head if they
turn out to be the same person.

No, they...

they were totally different.

Wait a second.

Maybe the voice and
the face were different.

What about the man's
height and weight?

Yeah. They were the same size.

Is it an actor?

Do you think it's some actor

that's trying to kill
off the Wolf Pack?

Well, it wouldn't have
been just some actor.

Yesterday he was a water
man, tonight he was a guard,

and both times he spoke to you.

Now, if we're thinking
along these lines,

this guy has got to be
some kind of an expert

with disguises and voice.

But that's incredible.

Yeah, but how else

could he have done everything?

I mean, not only
on your picture,

but the four killings as well.

How else would he have
gained access to the studio

and not gone unnoticed?

I... I don't know.

That list that
you told us about,

the grudge list
against the Wolf Pack...

there is one guy who
fits that category, right?

I keep telling you,

Wally Stone was killed in
a car accident in Mexico.

You're sure about that?

Well, at least, that's
the story I heard.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

Come to think of it, they
never did recover the body.

Did he have any relatives?

Yeah, he had a sister.

She used to write
some of his material.

Do you remember her name?

Uh, Ruth.

Um, Ruth Willoughby.

That's it.

That was her married name.

Yeah, okay, remember,
everybody. Remember.

This is right after the
fight in the barroom.

Okay, places, please.

Quiet on the set.

Roll 'em.

And action.

Oh, Bret,

I was afraid they'd killed you.

It would take more than that

to keep me

from coming home to you, honey.

Bret, look out!


Good. Let's have the double.



Yeah, you.

Get in there. Come on.

Oh. Okay.

Hey, you were terrific.

You eat 'em up, tiger.

You're in this one

and you're gonna love it.


Hi, my name's Dave Starsky.

Come on, come on, get in there.

Oh, yeah, okay.

Come on, come
on, you can skip that.

Now, come on. You've
just kissed Charlotte.


Roll 'em.


And action.

Bret, look out!

Cut. Print it. Excellent.

Very good. Very, very, good.

Really nice.

Very lovely.

Well, thank you
very much, Harry.

Thank you.

Starsk? Starsk?



Starsk, what are you
doing down there?

Nothing. I was just, uh...

Hey, I got an address
on Ruth Willoughby.

She lives over on
West 187th Street.

That's wonderful.

What's wonderful?


Where are you going?

I don't know.

Well, let's go.


That was Wally

at the peak of his career.

Thank you.

Lemon or sugar?

Sugar, please. Sugar.

Young man?

Uh, sugar's fine, thank you.

Please sit down.

Thank you.

Watch it...

Ooh. Thank you.

Uh, when Wally was
released from prison,

did he come to live with you?


Thank you.

He tried to get
back in the business,

but they wouldn't have him.

He was good.

I used to write
some of his stuff.

Oh, I'm sorry.

I didn't mean that
was why it was good.

Well, what are you writing now?

Oddly, I just
wrote a skit for him.

Oh, here it is.

Oh, sorry.

I don't know why.

It just came out of my fingers.

He's fun to write for.


I write other stuff too,

and send it in, and
it gets sent back.

Oh, dear. What?

Not all of it, though.



well, it's too bad
that Wally's not alive.

Wally? Wally's not dead.

He's not?

Old comedians don't die.

Didn't you know that?

Well, if he's not
dead, where is he?

You can see him.


Tonight or 2 a.m.
tomorrow morning

on the late, late,
late, late show,

so you see, Wally'll never die.

Hello, my dear.


Oh, miss. Yes?

Oh, dear.

What can I do for you, Sister?

I'm so sorry, my dear,
but I seem to be lost.

I was wondering,

could you possibly
do me the favor of...

getting in this cart

before I blow your head off?

Bless you.

Who are you?

What do you want from me?



She didn't even recognize you.


The magic of makeup.

Maybe I should
give you some hints.

Why are you doing this? Please?

Animal, vegetable, or mineral?


Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

You're supposed to
guess which one I am.

Or maybe I'm a turtle.

How did you know that?

You recognize that dialogue?

It's from one of
your father's films.

I knew your dad.

We were good friends.

In fact, I knew you too,

when you were
just about that high.

You knew my dad?

Knew your dad?

My dear, I killed him.


I played the professor in
one of your father's films.

The one that made
him rich and famous.

Professor Nutty Putty?


But Wally Stone played...


But you can't...


Supposed to be dead?

[RASPING] Hi. Water man.

Oh, my God.

And they said I'd never
make a comeback.

You killed them all.


I killed Friendly too.

He remembered me.

He licked my face.

I like dogs

and I really liked him,

but I had to kill him.

I'll kill you too

if you don't do
exactly as I say.

Okay. Thank you.

Uh, she left mimeo an hour ago.

Somebody said

she drove off with a nun.

A what?

A nun.



Who is this? Dave Starsky.

Oh, Steve, I'm
glad I caught you.

This is Julie.

Julie, are you in trouble?

Yes, I know I was supposed

to be back with the changes,

but I suddenly felt so sick.

Does the water man have you?

That's right.

I'm lying down in your trailer.

Steve, I was hoping
you could come down

as soon as you finish shooting.

I've never been this ill before.

I'm frightened.

Julie, don't do anything.

Don't cause any trouble.

30 minutes?

That'll be fine.

That was just great.

Thank you.

Where exactly is your trailer?

Across from Stage 17.

That means he's
gonna have to walk

right down Western Street

to get to his trailer.

Perfect target.

We need a look-alike.

Give me your clothes.

What for?


Somebody expects
you at your trailer

in 30 minutes.

Are you kidding?

We don't look enough alike

to fool a blind man.


I'm the best we've got.

No, you're not. I am.


you could get yourself killed.

Yes, but if this crazy

thinks we're
trying to trick him,

I could get Julie killed.

All right,

so I've played a
hero all my adult life.

Maybe it's time I found out

what it's really like.

You look perfect, Mr. Hanson.

There ought to be a camera

rolling on you.

The classic walk-down.

High Noon, man.

I'll tell you this.

It's a whole different feeling
when you're doing it for real.

I got a pretty good
view of the entire area,

and I don't see him.



I'm all right. I'm all right.

He's on the roof

at the end of the street.

I got him.

I'll shoot her!

I'll shoot her!

What good would that do?

Don't you move.

Don't move.

So Steve was the last one,

huh, Wally?

I took the rap for him.

They turned their backs on me.

They didn't all turn their
backs on you, Wally.

Ruth Willoughby didn't.


My sister?

What about my sister?

Well, she wants you to
move back in with her, Wally.


She's working on some
new routines for you.

Really? Yeah.

There's one,

I think she ripped it off
from one of your old pictures.


I saw it the other night

on television. Uh...


Honeymoon for Two.

One. Two.

One. He's right.

Honeymoon for One.


You saw that?


I haven't missed
any of your pictures.

I don't care what anyone says.

You're the funniest
man I've ever seen.


Do you know that the, uh...

critics said that that was

about the best
thing I've ever done?


compared me to Chaplin.


Remember that scene where
my mother-in-law pushes me

into the plaster of
Paris and everything

and then everybody
falls in on top of us

and we all got
locked in that position,

in statues?


Every bit of it.

I laughed so hard
I almost cried.

All those gags in those days,

they were all improvised.

Every bit of them.

We'd sit around, we'd
come up with those things,

and we'd sit and laugh.

Those were very happy days.





Great working with you again,


Oh, same here, Shotgun,
and thank you so much.

Thank you.

That was great, Steve.

Bless your heart.

Always a pleasure, Steve.

You did a great job.

Sure. It's my pleasure.

Vince, thanks for the sound.

Well, no one congratulated us.

They cut my line out.

They just...

cut my line.

That's it.

Well, I liked it.

I liked it when you said...


No, no,

no, no, no, no.

"Here comes McCoy now."

Oh, okay.

I mean, I told a lot
of people about this.

Well, I felt the
picture needed it.

Well, it was a nice bridge.


I liked the picture,
though, didn't you?


Oh, no, our stunts
were really good.

I mean, I liked the part

where you fell
down those stairs.

My mother probably
told everybody back home

about this thing.

They could have left my line in.

I'm gonna look like a fool.

I'd tell my mother

that I did that line
with so much feeling

that the star of the picture

insisted to the studio

that they take it
out of the picture.



That's not a bad idea.

Then you're gonna
have to burn this,

'cause if you send this

to your mother,

she's gonna know you're a liar.