elizabeth macrae


Route 66. Go Read The River. Part 4 of 11.

1. When Tod asks him to explain what all the mystery is about Sandy barks, ‘An engine, Mister. A marine engine they’ve been dreaming about for years. An engine that’ll obsolete every outboard motor on every boat in every country. An engine that’ll wipe out the competition. An engine that they’ve been dreaming about for years. My engine. So you remember that. You remember it’s cost me ten years and this company a lot of money. You remember it’s cost me more than time. Things I don’t like to talk about. So when I say jump, Mister, you jump, or else you pack your bag and you go back to L.A.. Your choice.’

‘I like it here. No smog,’ Tod replies just as crisply.

So Sandy tells him to be on the dock in the morning, and goes into his room and slams the door. Whew… He does ranting very well.

2. They’re shooting Tod through windows again, so he’s obscured a little by reflections. I like this. Standing outside, looking in through the glass, you have the moment to realise that he’s all alone here, until the camera cuts in to a close-up shot so that we can share more closely with his experience.

3. But when we see him closely he quickly puts on his, ‘I spy a honey,’ expression. We see from Tod’s p.o.v now, as a svelte lady walks past the window. This time she is through the glass.

4. When she comes in she seems strangely duplicitous. She kisses him before speaking, then tells him she’s on her honeymoon and she’s saying thank you. It is the woman who was ‘drowning’ out in the lake. She’s soft-voiced and doe-eyed and sounds a bit dim, and wants to ignore the fact that it was Sandy who dove into the water to rescue her.

5. ‘They say my beef stroganoff is the best east of the Rockies,’ she tells him. ‘Does it bother you we’re west?’

‘Is there enough for three?’ Tod asks doubtfully. He’s too befuddled to be able to work out what’s going on. But she tells him ‘Bill’ had to ‘drive into Needles.’ So she’s seducing him with a little beef and post-wedding jollies…

His eyes are firmly fixed on her posterior as she walks away, and he calls that he doesn’t know her name. But Keel is coming in, and tells him she’s ‘Jean Cory’ (Elizabeth MacRae), and she’s not married, ‘except to her job.’

6-7. Poor Tod. It was all an attempt to seduce a look at the engine out of him. She was one of Keel’s top students at MIT. Now she’s the assistant chief engineer for one of their competitors. Well, you’ve got to give the girl her due for getting to that position in 1962.

So, Sandy had a right to be angry at Tod. The ‘drowning’ was all a ploy.

8. ‘Tod, the lake is thirty miles long,’ Keel tells him. ‘We own only a few sections on this side. We can’t build a wall around it. Now, we don’t have any – er – beef stroganoff? – up at the shack, but there is a fairly respectable beef stew on the card, and some home baked apple pie. How about it?’

Poor Tod. He’s gone from an affair with a blonde temptress to beef stew with Keel. Thus is the way of the world. I wonder if Buz is doing any better?

9. Tod brings dinner to the boss. A peace offering, perhaps? It’s a nice gesture, but the guy on the door (John Astin) is unwilling to let him disturb Sandy. Tod tries anyway.

10. ‘Come on in, kid,’ Sandy says kindly when Tod knocks. It looks like the white flag has been accepted.