Man in a Suitcase: Season 1, Episode 4

Variation on a Million Bucks: Part 1 (23 Aug. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama
8.7
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Max Stein,a Russian spymaster who has defected to the West,has stolen a million dollars and deposited them in a bank in Lisbon. He is shot but,before he dies,tells McGill of the cash's ... See full summary »

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Title: Variation on a Million Bucks: Part 1 (23 Aug 1968)

Variation on a Million Bucks: Part 1 (23 Aug 1968) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ron Randell ...
Michaels
Yôko Tani ...
Taiko
Anton Rodgers ...
Max Stein
...
Kenneth
Simon Brent ...
Bert
Warren Stanhope ...
Johnson
Mike Pratt ...
Detective Sergeant Peters
John Lee ...
The Killer
Alan White ...
Charles
David Baxter ...
Bob
David Scheuer ...
Lionel
Gundel Sargent ...
Girl In Cafe
Marie-Lise ...
First Model (as Marie-Lise Gres)
Penny Spencer ...
Second Model
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Storyline

Max Stein,a Russian spymaster who has defected to the West,has stolen a million dollars and deposited them in a bank in Lisbon. He is shot but,before he dies,tells McGill of the cash's location. Against advice from a C.I.A. buddy McGill makes arrangements to travel to Portugal but he is followed by Russians and Americans alike. Written by don @ minifie-1

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23 August 1968 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
McGill chases a million!
19 April 2009 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The only two-part 'Suitcase' adventure opens in Lisbon. 'Max Stein' ( Anton Rodgers ), paymaster of a network of Russian agents, is confronted by an official ( Simon Brent ) who accuses him of having stolen a contingency fund. There is a fight, which Stein wins. We then see him placing the money ( one million dollars ) in a deposit box in a bank. He clutches the key excitedly. Some time later, Stein is in London, hanging out with old friend McGill. While Mac rekindles a romance with 'Teiko' ( Yoko Tani ), Stein is being closely observed by both American and Russian spies. He is later shot by one ( John Lee ), and before he dies tells Mac where to find the key - secreted inside a chess piece back at his flat.

Mac is warned by 'Michaels' ( Ron Randell ) of the C.I.A. not to go after the money. Every bounty hunter worth his salt will be after it. The deposit box also contains important papers both sides badly want. Of course Mac is not going to listen. He eludes his watchers and boards a ship bound for Lisbon...

It could be the plot of a Robert Ludlum novel, couldn't it? 'Bucks' is excitingly done, with a fine performance from the late Anton Rodgers as the doomed 'Max'. Richard Bradford got on well with the actor during filming - I think it shows. Some nice humour touches - a dying Max telling Mac: "I am losing a lot of alcohol!". Aubrey Morris has a decent role as café owner 'Kenneth' who helps Mac to get out of the country.

There is good continuity here too; with mention of McGill's former boss 'Coughlin' - whom we saw in 'Man From The Dead' - and the C.I.A. office is the same set from that episode. Warren Stanhope, who plays agent 'Johnson', reprised the role for 'Web With Four Spiders'. The late Yoko Tani appeared in the last two 'Danger Man' stories - 'Koroshi' and 'Shinda Shima'. I love the idea of a Russian spy called Bert! ( probably a codename. His real one may have been 'Bertovski' or something like that ). Penny Spencer - the original and best 'Sharon Eversleigh' of 'Please Sir!' - is seen dancing at Mac's party. The late Mike Pratt appears briefly as a detective. Two years later, he co-starred with Kenneth Cope in the wonderful 'Randall & Hopkirk ( Deceased )'. Pat Jackson directed this first instalment, with Robert Tronson taking over for the second. There is no real difference in style between them.

The episodes were later edited together to produce a feature film entitled 'To Chase A Million', which David Deal and Matt Blake's book 'The Eurospy Guide' gave a right pasting, although by the standard of television movies it is pretty good.

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