77 Sunset Strip (1958–1964)
7.8/10
24
2 user

The Desert Spa Caper 

Suzanne goes undercover at females-only El Rancho Aphrodite when a actor dies suspiciously and a boozy actress is suspected of being involved. A studio hires Bailey & Spencer to help the ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Douglas
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Jacqueline Beer ... Suzanne Fabry
Roger Smith ... Jeff Spencer
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. ... Stuart Bailey
Edd Byrnes ... Kookie (as Edward Byrnes)
Louis Quinn ... Pete Roscoe
Dorothy Green ... Margaret Orsini
Lisa Gaye ... Janet Hubbell
Elizabeth Allen ... Paula Stacy
Vana Leslie Vana Leslie ... Sandra Phillips
Jason Evers ... Waco Tate
Jack Mather Jack Mather ... J.J. Hale
Byron Keith ... Lt. Roy Gilmore
Kathleen Crowley ... Claire Dickens
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Storyline

Suzanne goes undercover at females-only El Rancho Aphrodite when a actor dies suspiciously and a boozy actress is suspected of being involved. A studio hires Bailey & Spencer to help the bombshell make it through rehab , but someone sabotages her riding saddle and plants hooch in her drawer. Spa goers include a gossip columnist, a rival starlet, and others connected with the dead actor, such as a Waco riding instructor. Written by David Stevens

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Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 September 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roscoe mentions a horse named "Howie's Hurricane," another of the occasional in-jokes referencing the show's producer, Howie Horwitz. See more »

Quotes

Sandra Phillips: Can I buy you a nightcap troubadour?
Jeff Spencer: Carrot juice brandy?
Sandra Phillips: Uhuh. I always tuck something away for a rainy night. Think it's going to rain?
Jeff Spencer: Not tonight. Thanks anyway.
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Crazy Credits

Because Jacqueline Beer as Suzanne carried the episode, the producers graciously gave her first billing in the end credits. See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from 'Now, Voyager'
Composed by Max Steiner
Played in background in the spa's lounge
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User Reviews

 
Delicious fun as Suzanne solves a whodunnit at a desert spa
3 June 2017 | by sdiner82See all my reviews

At long last, the second episode of the fourth season puts the spotlight on the glorious Suzanne (the delectable young French actress Jacqueline Beer who plays the private detectives' office receptionist), resulting in one of the most riveting episodes of the entire series. It seems that, following the mysterious death of a womanizing male superstar (never seen but obviously a fictionalized Errol Flynn), his on-and-off screen leading lady (the ravishing Kathleen Crowley who brings an unexpected poignancy to her role)has hit the bottle and is now a full-fledged alcoholic and virtually unemployable. But her studio decides to give her one last chance--starring in a major movie but only on the condition that she cleans up her act before filming starts. For rehab, she's sent to a swanky one-week desert spa FOR WOMEN ONLY! Coincidentally, Suzanne had already made plans to spend a one week vacation at the same spa, so when Jeff Spencer (Roger Smith, terrific as always) is hired by the studio head to make sure his fallen star successfully completes her detox, he assigns Suzanne to the case and books her room right next door to the troubled actress.

It doesn't take long for Suzanne to realize someone at the spa is trying to murder her new friend, so she makes a long-distance phone call to Jeff (naturally, someone at the spa listens in to their conversation) and that's as much of the plot as I'll give away. . .

What makes the episode such sparking fun is the first-rate screenplay (which blends shivery suspense with sharp, witty dialogue), a deluxe production, the fact that the females at the spa are collectively the bitchiest bunch of feline backstabbers since "The Women", and the sizzling chemistry between Suzanne and Jeff (die-hard fans of the series will remember that in one of the earliest episodes 3 years ago, Suzanne and Jeff fell deeply in love and Jeff even proposed to her (!) but she turned him down, not because she didn't love him but because of the dangers of his profession. (Sounds corny, I know, But Ms. Beer and Mr. Smith played it so sincerely and honestly that it packed a bittersweet emotional punch).

Also, Roger Smith, accompanied by his guitar, once again is given the opportunity to reveal his fine baritone voice; and you'll never guess the identity of the killer (I was certain it was Lisa Gaye, another beauty. I was wrong!) Best of all is the lovely performance by Jacqueline Beer, never more glamorous or assured. She even receives top billing and deserves it, as does Roger Smith, who gallantly settles for second billing.

"77 Sunset Strip", all these decades later, remains by far the best and most innovative of all the private eye, lawyers, and cop shows that filled the networks' schedules during the late-1950s thru the 1960s. It boasted the most attractive and ingratiating cast, the sharpest most humorous dialogue, and the handsomest sets and production values. Above all, it was FUN and is not to be missed.


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