In this episode of "McCloud," the cowboy cop (played by Dennis Weaver) pursues an alleged murderer from New York to Mexico City. This fugitive happens to be a beautiful woman, and innocent to boot, so McCloud soon gets more personally involved than he had planned to be. Mariette Hartley plays the lady in question, and Clu Gulager plays the real killer, who must be unmasked and brought to justice to clear the lady's name.
It's fun to see McCloud in action outside the Big Apple. Being from New Mexico, the character knows Spanish and uses a lot of it in communicating with his Mexican hosts. That adds a touch of authenticity. Mexican tourist sites also play an important role in the action.
"McCloud" was usually less about classic mystery than about adventure and suspense. This episode is no exception. The audience knows the truth from the beginning, and the fun is in watching McCloud figure it out for himself.
I'll bet I'm not the first person to notice that this TV movie has clear echoes of the classic 1938 film "Trade Winds." I know that two movies about a man pursuing a female fugitive overseas are bound to be somewhat similar, and the story lines are mostly different. But too many of the distinctive little touches are the same. It's not a ripoff at all, but a kind of hidden homage that I really like. Watch both pictures from beginning to end and see if you agree with me.
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