|Index||4 reviews in total|
Animal Rights groups have made furs, I assume, almost a thing of the
past, but for anyone still interested in how they make mink stoles and
how you can tell a cheap one from a good one, this is your episode.
It's actually pretty interesting.
"Bill Gannon" has to learn the business in a hurry after some thieves rob "Emile Carden" (Henry Corden) of a big load of them. Corden plays the stereotypical Jewish merchant from New York City with the thick accent and speech mannerisms. He teaches Bill what he knows in one day so the latter can go undercover as a buyer for the stolen merchandise.
It's a decent episode, with a little bit of humor thrown in and some suspense when Bill and "Joe Friday" (Jack Webb) set up and execute the "sting."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You've got to love this one. Armed robbers have looted a furrier of his
most valuable items. In the course of their investigation, the two cops
must operate undercover as buyers of the stolen furs. But the thieves
are experts in the business, so the furrier must tutor Gannon in the
art and science of marketing fur coats.
The furrier's name is Emile and he's never identified as Jewish but he's practically a comic caricature. The two robot clothiers in Woody Allen's "Sleeper" have nothing on this guy. His salesman's locutions are delightfully oily. "Now let's please see the inside of the coat, dear." "You want to become a fur expert in one afternoon, you're telling me?" This is the one in which Gannon learns the meaning of the word "stagy" as applied to fur coats. "Hmmm, it's rough when you rub it this way, but smooth coming down." It's a hilarious scene, watching two staid detectives learning how to blow on fur.
It all ends happily. Emile gets his goods back, the bad guys get their comeuppance, and Friday and Gannon have learned all they'll ever need to know about expensive fur coats.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Stolen furs from a furrier are what Sgt Joe Friday and his partner Bill Gannon (Jack Webb and Harry Morgan) are after, working the Robbery Division, having to learn the fur business in order to arrange an undercover buy with the thieves (who seem to know their merchandise, having stole only the "good stuff"). The key to this episode is Gannon's learning the fur business (something that normally takes years to understand and master), the quirks and peculiarities, skins and colors, known among the experts, in order to fool the thieves so that the undercover operation can go without a hitch. What is really cool is how Gannon does in fact nail the part in convincing fashion! Gannon inhibits the faux role of fur expert/buyer effortlessly, passing off his knowledge of the furs in a nonchalant manner that easily tricks those trying to get "hot" merch off their hands. Henry Corden has a fun part as the concerned furrier who talks, talks, talks, obviously exhausting Friday and Gannon, including one scene where they are trying to get his help understanding the business, with him going on and on about how he doesn't have the courage to go undercover (not letting them get a word in edgewise as they attempt, whenever he will shut up, to tell them *they* plan to go undercover not him). One memorable scene has a fast, intense exchange between Friday and a member of the "stole furs gang", over the sell/buy (Where's the money? Where's the fur?) at a bar in a hotel, allowing Webb to showcase his quick, rapid-fire, get-right-down-to-it dialogue, cutting out the small talk or mincing words. Unlike certain episodes, "The Fur Job" is more about characterization and dialogue than the case itself which isn't terribly remarkable.
Gannon and Friday investigate the theft of $100,000 worth of furs.
Oddly, the people who burglarized the place knew their furs very
well--stealing only the most expensive merchandise in the store--as
well as a delivery van. Later, when someone approaches an insurance
agent about buying some furs, the agent calls the police and gives them
this lead. The detectives ask the agent to tell the guy selling furs
that he was interested--and Gannon poses as a fur buyer to catch the
crooks. The scene where the furrier teaches him about furs is pretty
funny--and one of the highlights of the show. It's also pretty exciting
watching Gannon and Friday with the crooks trying to arrange a buy--the
dialog is very snappy and reminiscent of Film Noir.
In most ways this is a very ordinary and somewhat average episode. However, because the dialog was handled so well (with a few laughs), it is a standout and worth seeing.
As CC pointed out in another review, it's interesting how times have changed. Nowadays because of PETA's campaign, owning furs has lost a lot of its luster, so the episode seems a bit dated.
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