We left Mr. Steele with Laura, pleading his case to be on the case.
The scene shifts to a glamorous studio set, where an executive-type is reading the riot act to one of his underlings.
“What IS it with you art directors? Everything has got to be the Taj Mahal? Didn’t you ever hear the expression: Less is more?”
He sends his minion off with the instruction, “So give me more. Just make it cost less!” Just then, Mr. Steele and Laura approach. What long, skinny legs you have, Mr. Steele!
The important man has no time for starstruck wannabes: “Look. If you’re an actor, leave your resume …” (Interesting that he assumes Mr. Steele is an actor, but not Miss Holt.)
Laura sets him straight. “Mr. Haver, this is Remington Steele.”
His reputation – finally – precedes him.
“Remington Steele? The detective?”
This catches the attention of a guy standing nearby, talking to a script girl or somebody. Behind him, a highly skilled craftsman is doing more with less.
The guy hastily steers the script girl away. Meanwhile …
“Look,” Haver says, “If my wife sent you, just tell her that I AM having an affair, and I’ll send you some pictures if she wants.”
Yuk Yuk Yuk.
The detectives are … amused?
Laura informs him they’re here looking for Veronica Kirk.
“She seems to have disappeared,” Steele adds.
Laura suggests that Veronica’s daughter seems to think Mr. Haver is in the know as to the old lady’s whereabouts.
Haver is not pleased. “That greedy little tramp will do anything to keep me from making this movie,” he says, inexplicably pointing to himself.
“Well, you tell her that I may or may not know where her mother is …”
“But under NO circumstances will I tell HER.”
“Why should I? So she can lock away my star in some loony bin?”
He produces a script. “You like movies?”
Does he like movies? Oh, yeah. He likes movies.
“Miss Holt is not quite the film buff that I am, but she’s getting there.” Steele simultaneously compliments Miss Holt and reminds her that he is the one with the background knowledge for this case.
Well played, sir.
Haver pronounces himself a film lover.
“I have ever since my parents took me to see Dumbo.”
“The magic really got to me. I was gonna break into this business, no matter what.” He poignantly recounts how he ate, drank and slept film.
“And finally one day … I made it!”
Mr. Steele seems slightly skeptical.
Laura wants to get back down to business. “About Veronica Kirk …”
“Picture this: In this film, she gets to play three different roles.”
“The queen of the Amazon tribe …”
“the mother of a corrupt politician …”
” …and a TV anchorwoman.”
Another Citizen Kane!
Showing the keen mathematical genius that fuels his business success, Haver adds, “All three die dramatically.”
Sounds … gripping? Something like that: “Sounds splendid,” Steele remarks.
“Are you kidding?”
“Nostalgia sells! Veronica Kirk IS a gold mine. I wish I had ten more like her.”
“But they’re all gone. Crawford, Miriam Hopkins, Zasu Pitts.”
“All the rest of em are doing guest shots on ‘The Love Boat’.”
Though Veronica Kirk never made an appearance on The Love Boat, her portrayer, Bibi Osterwald, did. It was a 1978 episode called “Ship of Ghouls.” Osterwald played a groupie of a magician played by Vincent Price. (The woman pictured here is not Ostenwald, but Joan Blondell.)
Haver is determined to save Veronica from Bibi’s cruel fate: “So, you tell that banshee who hired you that she does NOT control Veronica- or her money. Yet.” He stomps off, mad.
Well, this is turning out to be a jolly case, isn’t it?