IT TAKES A THIEF: THE GREAT CASINO CAPER (TV)

Summary

One in this series of dramas in which sophisticated burglar Alexander Mundy donates his talents to the S.I.A. in exchange for a pardon from prison.

At a prominent casino in Italy, Alexander and Wally set their sights on Eric “the Red” Redman, a notorious international banker who’s been spreading counterfeit money in casinos throughout Europe. The counterfeit bills are so skillfully made so as to be nearly impossible to discern, and Wally devises a plan of robbing the casino in Italy in order to use it as leverage in a deal with Redman, thus forcing him to go to the source of his counterfeiting operation and expose it for the police. However, Alexander believes that robbing the casino would be impossible without the aid of his father Alistair Mundy, whom he calls “the greatest thief in the world.” He and Wally meet with Redman and convince them to go along with their proposal to exchange Italian lira for American dollars, not telling him that the lira in question will come from the casino vaults. Redman is intrigued, but has his men keep tabs on Alexander’s movements, prepared to kill him if anything goes awry.

Next they go to visit Alistair at his mansion. Alistair is unhappy to see Alexander in the company of a policeman and purposefully avoids the two. They are greeted by Alistair’s butler Funello, and Wally marvels at the stolen priceless works of art lining Alistair’s home. Funello informs Alexander that Alistair doesn’t wish to speak with him, and Alexander gives up on securing his father’s assistance. However, Alistair sneaks into Alexander’s apartment that night and speaks with him alone, explaining that he simply didn’t want to talk in Wally’s presence. Alexander explains his current situation to his father; he feels he has never been able to live up to his father’s reputation as a master thief. They meet with Wally, pretending to represent a third-party organization hiring Alistair and Alexander to rob the casino vault, but Alistair easily discerns Wally’s true identity by pilfering his wallet. Despite this, Alistair agrees to help Alexander. Unbeknownst to them, they are continually watched by Redman’s valet.

Alexander and Alistair attend a guided tour of the casino, and spend time inspecting the vault, containing the equivalent of ten million US dollars. Alistair discerns that while breaking into the vault itself is relatively simple, the true challenge is to leave the casino with the vast horde of money undetected. When Alistair learns that Alexander will receive no share of the stolen money, he claims he wishes to abandon the scheme. Redman hears about their plan to rob the casino and finds it laughable, believing that such a feat is impossible. He reviews files on Alexander and asks for information on Alistair as well. He then has his men capture Alistair just outside of his yacht. Funello informs Alexander of Alistair’s disappearance. Alistair is brought before Redman, who says he doubted the success of the plan until he learned that Alistair was to be involved. He allows Alistair to go free, and he returns to negotiate terms with Wally on Alexander’s behalf. Wally balks at Alistair’s demands, including a full pardon and allowing him to be employed as a “retainer.” They plan to enact their plan to rob the casino that night; Redman finds out and plans to go there himself with his men, possibly to eliminate Alistair and Alexander if things go sour.

At the casino, Alexander and Alistair put their elaborate plan into motion. While Funello drives a delivery truck into the back filled with burlap sacks, Alistair intentionally knocks over an ashtray, allowing Alexander, disguised as one of the casino staff, to vacuum up the mess with a vacuum tube. They work their way down each floor together, knocking various guards unconscious and connecting further lengths of vacuum tubing through the air vents. Finally they infiltrate the vault and attach a large nozzle to the vacuum tubes, allowing them to suck up the piles of money and send them to Funello, who loads it all into the burlap sacks. Alistair sends Alexander away as he loads the last few piles of money before the next regular check-in occurs. Finally someone upstairs notices the vacuum tubing and Redman discerns that Alistair and Alexander have been discovered. Alistair narrowly escapes being shot by security guards and drives off with Funello. Alexander is brought before Redman and tells him that they have his money, and that all he need do is secure the American dollars he promised in exchange.

The next morning, Alistair and Alexander regroup at the yacht, where Wally informs him that the plan succeeded: the S.I.A. located the source of Redman’s counterfeiting operation and shut it down. Alistair’s various demands have been met by Washington, but Wally reveals that Alistair took a sizeable portion of the stolen lira for himself as a “commission” for his services, and believes he is hiding it on his yacht. Wally commandeers the yacht and Alistair is happy to let him; when the police arrive he merely tells them that Wally is now the owner of the yacht. He reveals to Alexander that the yacht was stolen, and Wally is arrested in his place. He claims he will answer for his actions “at the proper time.” Alexander, for his part, is happy to have his father on hand as his “agent.” Includes commercials.


Details

  • NETWORK: ABC
  • DATE: October 16, 1969 Thursday 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:57:59
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T78:0777
  • GENRE: Drama
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV series, 1968-1970
  • COMMERCIALS: TV – Commercials – Clorets breath mints^TV – Commercials – Pillsbury cooking dough^TV – Commercials – American Motors automobiles^TV – Commercials – Ajax laundry detergent^TV – Commercials – Ultra Brite toothpaste^TV – Commercials – Chesterfield cigarettes^TV – Commercials – Listerine cold medicine^TV – Commercials – Dodge automobiles^TV – Commercials – Space Food Sticks snacks^TV – Commercials – L&M cigarettes

Credits

  • Jack Arnold … Executive Producer, Director
  • Glen A. Larson … Producer, Writer
  • Roland Kibbee … Created by
  • William Goldenberg … Music by
  • Dave Grusin … Theme Music by
  • Robert Wagner … Cast, Alexander Mundy
  • Fred Astaire … Cast, Alistair Mundy
  • Edward Binns … Cast, Wallie Powers
  • Adolfo Celi … Cast, Eric Redman
  • Francesco Mulé … Cast, Funello
  • Gerard Herter … Cast, Plummit
  • John Siegfried … Cast, Tour Guide
  • Carol Jean Larson … Cast, Girl in Casino
  • François Prevost … Cast, The Marquessa