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So Long at the Fair


MelissaW.
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Watching this, kept thinking it was very very familiar, even though I hadn't seen it before. It's been driving me crazy but I finally placed it. The plot was "borrowed" for an episode of 60s television western The Big Valley.

 

The season 2 episode titled "The Disappearance" followed a similar plot. Victoria Barkley and her daughter Audra are traveling by stage and have a stopover in a town that is hosting a huge cattle sale. Both tired from the journey, they take separate rooms in the hotel and take an afternoon nap. When Victoria awakens, her daughter has disappeared and no one will admit they've ever even seen her. Townspeople--including the sherrif--try to keep her from investigating. Audra is finally discovered hidden away, suffering from anthrax! The cattlemen had feared that if her illness was discovered, it would mean they could not sell their cattle.

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Great detective work! I'm sure it really bothered you until you finally figured it out.

 

The thing that surprised me about "So Long to the Fair" is that it featured appearances by two early Bond Girls a little more than a decade before Sean Connery ever played 007.

 

Honor Blackman, who became world famous as Ms. Galore in "Goldfinger" (1964), played Dirk Bogarde's girlfriend, Rhoda, in the 1950 film. But did anybody else notice Zena Marshall as the hotel maid who told Jean Simmons' character about the balloon? In "Dr No." (1962), she was Miss Taro, the title villain's part-Chinese minion who tried to seduce and kill Bond early on in the film.

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That is a great episode of The Big Valley. There's another one with a plot lifted from Stanwyck's movie JEOPARDY, where Heath (Lee Majors) gets stuck under a wagon wheel and Victoria has to go for help. In the MGM movie version of this story, she had to get help when her husband (Barry Sullivan) was trapped under a car. So I guess the writers were not above borrowing ideas from hit movies.

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Nitpick: I believe in the movie version, the husband is trapped under an abandoned pier, with the tide coming in.

 

The family has gone for a vacation in Baja California, and stay in a cottage on the beach with the pier there. Actually, there are several movies from around that time with crime coming to Americans in Baja California. *The Hitch-Hiker* is another one that comes to mind.

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Oh wow. I haven't seen that one, either. And that's a favorite episode. I've always been fascinated by the relationship between Victoria and Heath, how quickly she accepted him and really treated him the same as her own sons. (Deeply disappointed that plans for a recent movie adaptation turned out to be a scam.)

 

Jeanne Cooper, who passed away this morning, appeared in a memorable episode as Heath's aunt. (That episode also featured Beah Richards. Lots of familiar faces popped up on that show.)

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True, but the rising tide makes it more urgent that they get the husband out from under the pier.

 

Kind of like how on the old TV show *CHiPs* they would get the trapped accident victim out of the car just before the car blew up into a fireball. :-)

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