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The Illustrated Guide to I Spy The Conquest of Maude Murdock

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I Spy Season 1

Season 1 -  originally broadcast
March 2, 1966

French:  "La conquête de Maud Murdock" (same as English)
German:  "Der Boss war eine Lady" (The Boss Was A Lady)

Writer:  Robert C. Dennis & Earl Barrett
Director:  Paul Wendkos

Assigned to investigate security surrounding wealthy Maude Murdock, an Oklahoma widow serving on the American Embassy staff in Mexico, Kelly and Scotty find their ingenuity challenged.


Jeanette Nolan (Maude), Philip Bourneuf (Saunders), Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales (Jaime), Lawrence Haddon (Social Secretary), William Stevens (security man), Larry Thor (Walter Kermit), Melora Conway (Secretary), William Leslie (security agent), Rico Alaniz (Mexicna Genral), Joel Fluellen (Oba Businga), Carlos Romero (Bandit #1), Pepe Callhan (Bandit #2), Catherine Wilkes (Estrellita), James Oliver Green (Disguised #1), Billy Curtis Disguised #2), Alberto Monte [ (Waiter)


Synopsis:  They mistakenly kidnap a government appointee of the other side

Highlights/Comments:  The car driving away with the jack hanging on .... Kelly attempting to make friends with the guard dog ... His insistence "I have to be beautiful for the girl."

The “I Spy” Forum comments on THE CONQUEST OF MAUDE MURDOCK

Author:  Tatia Loring
Date:  11/6/01 6:36:04 AM

Did you know that Jeanette Nolan was nominated for an Emmy for this episode? - in the "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Dramatic Series" category.

Jeanette Nolan
Jeannette Nolan

Ummm ... well she sure wore interesting hats .... and she was more likeable than as "Aunt Helen" in "Danny Was A Million Laughs" .... but an Emmy nomination.... ???

OK, onto Maude ... well if you are into "tough old broads" types of stories, perhaps you cared for this one a bit more than Tatia. Since there wasn't much of a story to begin with, the powers that be certainly padded this one with plenty of background "stuff" ... which was far better than the story itself...

For instance the whole "finding a nice lady dog to distract the guard dog" bit - and Kelly's adventures climbing over the hacienda wall - and the whole "should the bad guys stuff them in a barrel first and then shoot them OR shoot them first and then stuff them in a barrel" dilemma ..... I did enjoy Kelly's attempt to try and "snow" Maude at the party with his "remembrances" of her son Mike (who unfortunately for Kelly was named Laurence) ... and wonderful Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales (I always loved his name) who played the perfect Mexican compañero who was always there to help .... and not always quite sure about our heroes, but he jumped in there anyway.

The only thing that really stands out for me in this episode is the visiting Senator's very brown shoes .... and was our representative in Mexico (Mr. Saunders) always rotten (which nobody noticed as he rose through the diplomatic corps) or did he just suddenly go bad?? AND will somebody PLEASE explain to me the scene with the actors of "small stature" (was that politically correct terminology?) - why were they wearing the same clothes as Kelly and Scotty as in the picture below?? Please - help - someone???

OK, so "Conquest of Maude Murdock" is not one of my favorites .... C- barely ....
As ever,  Tatia

Bill Cosby & Robert Culp

Author:  SAM
Date:  11/7/01 12:50:24 AM

Tatia I could not agree with you MORE about this one- I never cared for it - as I have mentioned before I did not like it when the lads descended into buffoonery. The light edge in the face of danger was fine but this was too much!

HER nomination is the second worst one for the series - the most appalling waste of an EMMY nomination was for the direction of 'One of Our Bombs is Missing." PLEASE!


Author:  Colonel Boris Benkovski
Date:  11/8/01 9:50:55 AM

I agree with both SAM and Tatia, The Conquest of Maude Murdock is an unfortunate lapse into slapstick, not quite as bad as Chrysanthemum, but certainly out of character. After the brilliance of Return to Glory, Maude M. is a serious letdown. This is one of the episodes that I have seen most often, it seemed like it was always on in syndication, and I practically have the whole thing memorized. It's basically a sit-com. And if you look at it as a sit-com, you have to admit that some of the lines are quite funny, I especially like Scotty's line when the Mexican girl pulls the little dog out of her purse, Scotty says, "Do you something in a larger size?" And Jaime's line when he finally sees the 60-ish Maude whom Kelly is claiming to be in love with, Jaime says, "She must be very rich, huh Senor?"

Culp and Cosby never really leave the complete Kelly and Scotty characters behind, but these are not the same characters that we see in 75 or so of the 82 episodes. There is never a serious moment, even in the basement scene when the villains are planning to shoot K&S, you never feel a sense of menace. The show is just played for the laughs. What little credibility there is, it is lost in the nightclub scene with the midgets dressed like Kelly and Scotty.

This is a short review, because there is so little to say about this episode. Aside from the amusing scene where they try to get over the wall, a few good one-liners, there is nothing in the episode to recommend itself. It's funny, but it`s not I Spy.

I give a D.

Author:  Jahbad
Date:  11/8/01 12:52:07 PM

All good shows have to have a couple of bad episodes.

Aside from watching this episode when I first taped it in the early nineties, I've watched it maybe once and upon reviewing it for this week posting, I now remember why. The script by veterans Robert C. Dennis & Earl Barrett seems to be the major problem with it's title character who is annoying as fingernails down a chalkboard. The boys both turn in a good performance and carried several scenes by themselves in a good example of the excellent chemistry between them. The middle scenes watching them trying to get into the party is about the highpoint for me. Though some what labored, their attempts at getting past Claude (opps, Claudette) was a hoot

Unfortunately, the low point was Maude herself as she was a rough as a corncob. Perhaps the nomination for that Emmy does make a certain deranged sense considering how annoying she was. Ms Nolan actually did bring her character to life (Personally, I'd have paid off the traitor, Saunders (Philip Bourneuf) and had him work as a triple agent and let the bad guys keep Maude.)
Honorable mention should go to Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales (Jaime the driver), who like the boys, overcame the crummy script and turned in a cleaver performance.

I'd give it about a C.


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