Tod and Buz are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania working as crewmen on a tugboat. Tod "rescues" a pretty girl who oddly was water skiing in the shipping lanes. She is a singer from France, ...
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Tod and Buz are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania working as crewmen on a tugboat. Tod "rescues" a pretty girl who oddly was water skiing in the shipping lanes. She is a singer from France, managed by a Svengali who closely watches her and is haunted by the memory of a previous "discovery" who deserted him. Written by
The French title can be translated either as "My Little Cabbage" or "My Little Creampuff". The latter applies here as Macha Meril plays a piece of French pastry musician Lee Marvin picked up over there and who he has brought over here on a tour of night spots. This one's in Pittsburgh, (which means it's likely the reason Todd is so anxious to leave that town at the beginning of "Goodnight, Sweet Blues", which should have come next). Lee is still burned by a previous discovery, who became his wife and who cheated on him. That's made him insanely jealous and controlling of "Perette", (Meril). When she meets Todd, she rebelliously asks him to show her the town, which results in Marvin decking the unsuspecting Todd, who then seeks revenge. He wins the second fight. But you never know what the result of a fight over a woman is going to be: she might be impressed with the winner or have sympathy for the loser, (or not think much of either). Dames
Meril was a model just breaking into acting a t this point. Most of her acting career, which continues to this day, has been in her native France. She sounds an awful lot like Edith Piaf, (however the IMDb credits to voice to Hilda Brawner) . Her character might even be a reference to La Môme Piaf ("The Little Sparrow").
Director Sam Peckinpaugh takes great advantage of the surroundings, (yeah, Pittsburgh!). We first encounter Perette water skiing under a bridge on the Ohio River where she waves to Todd, who is working with Buz on a barge, (remember that's how they met in New York). She abandons her skis and swims over to him. A photographer takes her picture and she becomes her "savior" for the press.
The finale takes place at what I believe is the "LeMont" restaurant on Grandview Ave, (it's called La Mountaine" in the show), which is accessed by driving the corvette onto what amounts to a hillside ferry that goes up the 'mountain' on railroad tracks. Todd and Marvin then duke it out along the railing of the balcony outside the restaurant, a very dangerous place to be trading punches. Fortunately, no one goes over the edge. In James Rosin's book on the series, Sam Manners, who was the Executive Producer, recalled "The script builds to a climactic fight scene. When we shot it, Martin accidentally splattered Lee Marvin's nose wide open. . Unfortunately, Lee moved to his left instead of to his right and Marty hit him flush with a right hand. The doctor had to put 20 stitches in Marvin's nose to patch him up and then we couldn't shoot anything but long shots until his nose healed. Ironically, Marty and Lee Marvin were friendly and had worked together before Route 66." I would say it was fortunate Marty was friendly with ex-Marine Marvin.
One thing I wonder about: with the production schedule of this series, did they have time to wait for Marvin's nose to heal to film Marvin's soliloquy after the fight- or was that filmed before the big punch?
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