Season 1 Episode 1

Portrait of a Dead Girl (or Who Killed Miss U.S.A.?)

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Feb 17, 1970 on NBC
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Episode Summary

Portrait of a Dead Girl (or Who Killed Miss U.S.A.?)
McCloud escorts a witness from New Mexico to New York City, but loses him to kidnappers and finds himself in a murder case involving Puerto Rican nationalists, a lady novelist, a Wall Street lawyer, and a dead beauty pageant winner.

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  • What will become classic tv

    Dennis Weaver no longer was in the shadows of Gunsmoke

    But also kind of didn't keep his cowboy image away

    Playing US marshal Sam McCloud, escorting a witness back to NYC to stand trial

    Along the way, he looses the man and now has to have NYPD to help him

    Mayor of NYC likes the way McCloud works and asks him to stay as a liason to NYPD, much less to their chargin

    He is an old-fashioned cop and prefers cowboys methods to solving crimes.moreless
Dennis Weaver

Dennis Weaver

Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud, Taos, New Mexico

Terry Carter

Terry Carter

Sergeant Joe Broadhurst

Diana Muldaur

Diana Muldaur

Chris Coughlin

Peter Mark Richman

Peter Mark Richman

Peter B. Clifford

Guest Star

Craig Stevens

Craig Stevens


Guest Star

Julie Newmar

Julie Newmar

Adrienne Redman

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In this episode we learn that Chris Coughlin's full first name is Christine.

    • In this series pilot, McCloud takes a few sips of sour mash whiskey while riding in the limo with Craig Stevens' character but in later episodes McCloud would be a teetotaler.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (out in the desert looking for a fugitive in hiding, after finding his broken down car)
      McCloud: Hey, look at that old bird (vulture) up there. He's out kinda early, isn't he? You get the feelin' that he knows something? Huh? (pause) Ah, it's an awful shame about your machine; they don't run too good without water. (pause) Nearest pump's quite a good walk - 54 statue miles. Boy it's warm isn't it? I expect close to 100, ought to get up to 110 by noon. (pause) Well, you enjoy your stay, y' hear. (pause) Oh, by the way, if you're planning to hitch a ride out of here, uh, well you might get lucky, there's a cattle truck comes by every couple of months.
      Fugitive: Hold it. Now what makes you think I won't shoot you?
      McCloud: Well, it crossed my mind, but I decided against it.
      Fugitive: Throw down your car keys.
      McCloud: Well, I hid them under a rock, back there away. Take you about six weeks to find them. And don't start counting down on me because I don't think you're carrying a piece. (prepares to leave) All right.
      Fugitive: (coming out of hiding) Marshal.
      McCloud: (with his gun drawn) Name's McCloud, Deputy Marshal, Las Cruces District, New Mexico.
      Fugitive: Well, that's real nice.
      McCloud: Get over here and turn around and get your hands behind your back. (handcuffing him) Hate to be so formal with you. Accordin' to the law, I'm supposed to inform you of your rights.
      Fugitive: There's no need for that.
      McCloud: All boils down to 'keep your mouth shut'.

    • Sgt. Broadhurst: What about McCloud?
      Chief Clifford: McCloud? Couldn't find the Empire State building on a clear day.
      Sgt. Broadhurst: OK with you if I keep an eye on him?
      Chief Clifford: What for?
      Sgt. Broadhurst: Because a fish out of water sometimes learns to crawl.
      Chief Clifford: (laughs) You know, I think you need a vacation.
      Sgt. Broadhurst: McCloud's a stranger here, he might see things we city boys take for granted. You know where he is now?
      Chief Clifford: Yeah, I know he's casing the hotel. That's what I call computerized efficiency. He goes to the scene of the crime more than a year after it's happened.
      Sgt. Broadhurst: Grabs you, doesn't it?
      Chief Clifford: Yeah.

    • (walking over to Sgt. Broadhurst, who is sitting in his car tailing him)
      McCloud: Good mornin'.
      Sgt. Broadhurst: What do you say?
      McCloud: Oh, nothin' much. I just thought I'd fill you in on the rest of my schedule. Save you a little time and trouble.
      Sgt. Broadhurst: When'd you spot me?
      McCloud: Back aways, when you first started trackin' me. I wouldn't worry about it none. I used to spot bobcat and quail out a tail a mile.
      Sgt. Broadhurst: We're just keeping tabs, in case you spot a bobcat.
      McCloud: Sure welcome to tag along.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Additional Credits:
      "Another Way" lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr.
      Title & Opitcal Effects: Universal Title

    • Peter Mark Richman plays Chief Peter B. Clifford in this series pilot. Richman would be replaced by J.D. Cannon once McCloud began its run as a regular series on NBC.


    • Marshal McCloud picks up a suspect in New Mexico, escorts him to New York City and loses him in the process. This scenario was a plot from the 1968 film "Coogan's Bluff", on which the series was loosely based.