McHale's Navy

Season 4 Episode 20

La Dolce 73

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Jan 25, 1966 on ABC

Episode Recap

Captain Binghamton is involved in a vicious firefight, with a band of German soldiers. As he blazes away with a Thompson sub-machine gun, one of the Germans approaches, but stops, as he becomes entangled in a small bush, near The Captain. "Hey, hold it, Captain!" shouts Parker. "I'm caught in this bush!" "Parker, you nitwit!!" says an angry Binghamton, as he steps toward Parker, then: "Cut! Cut!!" It seems that Binghamton has enlisted the aid of McHale and the 73 Crew in the making of a war movie for Binghamton to send home to his wife. McHale and the guys are all dressed in genuine German uniforms, and are acting as the enemy, in Binghamton's production, with Carpenter acting as cinematographer. After Binghamton orders a re-take, McHale and the guys all protest. They've been at it for quite some time, and are very tired, and would like to call it a day, to rest up for the cast party, that Binghamton had promised them, after wrapping the shoot. But Binghamton angrily tells them that there's not going to be a cast party if they don't get back to work. The Captain orders 'Places', and, as the guys all go to their marks, Binghamton demands realism, this time. But, he gets a little more realism that he expects, when Parker pulls the pin on a live grenade. All hit the dirt, as Parker tosses the grenade away. Trouble is, he tosses it where Binghamton has taken cover. Binghamton emerges, shaken, but unhurt, and with a scorched, tattered uniform. Later, in his office, Binghamton is recovering from the grenade attack, when Carpenter rushes in. He tells The Captain that everything is in readiness for the big cast party, including food, wine, and music. But Binghamton flatly refuses to go through with the party, after the grenade incident, and orders Carpenter to cancel everything. Shortly later, Binghamton's phone rings, and he answers it. Colonel Harrigan is on the other end, with news that a Congresswoman Adele Austin, of the Military Affairs Committee, has arrived in the town of San Romano. Harrigan tells Binghamton that Ms. Austin has planned a trip up to Voltafiore that evening at 2100 hours (9 p.m.), and warns him that – If he wants to make 'points' with her – He'd better keep "McHale and his carousers" well out of sight. Once off the phone, Binghamton at first orders Carpenter to lock up McHale and the Crew for the evening. But he is quickly struck with an idea to get rid of McHale and his bunch, and immediately puts it into action. Later, McHale and the guys – All gathered in Binghamton's office – Are all surprised, as well as pleased with the news that The Captain intends to continue with his plans for the big cast party, especially with the part about the dancing girls. The guys all happily head out to prepare for the big wing-ding, and, after they're out of sight, Binghamton lays out his plan, to Carpenter. They will raid the party, this evening, with The Congresswoman along, and McHale and the Crew will be in big trouble. Binghamton even orders Carpenter to bring the movie camera along, to record the whole thing on film, for evidence, and as a gift to his wife. Later, at a local villa, the party is going strong, with wine, women, song, and even some entertainment, in the form of a magic show, by Gruber. Back in Binghamton's office, The Captain is anxiously awaiting the Congresswoman's arrival, when Carpenter returns, with the movie camera. Soon, the phone rings, and, when Binghamton answers, Harrigan is on the other end, with some bad news. It seems that the Congresswoman has been called back to Washington, and Harrigan has talked her into spending the her last night in Italy, in San Romano. Binghamton is devastated by the news, at first, but soon remembers the movie camera. He can still film the wild party, show the evidence to the Congresswoman, and achieve the same effect. Later, at the villa, Binghamton watches, as Carpenter films the goings-on, through a half-open window. Carpenter has already shot 2 reels of film, and Binghamton decides that the 3rd reel should feature the entrance of a handsome, dashing, leading man, to arrest the party-goers, then heads out to make his entrance. Inside, as McHale and the guys are drinking a toast to their Commanding Officer, Binghamton enters, .45 in hand, and shouts that all are under arrest. But the happy bunch crowd around The Captain, and a couple of the lovely Italian girls begin to kiss him, about which, the happily married Binghamton protests. Tinker offers The Captain some wine, which he tastes, to confirm that it is, indeed wine, then Gruber offers The Captain a chance to roll the dice, and even offers to cover his first roll with 500 lire. But Binghamton quickly confiscates both the dice and the money as evidence. At first, all the guys think that The Captain is the swingin' life of the party, but his attitude soon begins to tell them otherwise, and, when Carpenter makes his entrance with the movie camera, he lets on that they've all been the 'stars' of the big movie that The Captain intends to present to Congresswoman Austin. Later, Binghamton takes the raw film to the laboratory, to have it developed, and even tells the Technician – An Army Sergeant, known as 'Biff'– To make him an extra print, for The Captain's own enjoyment. Biff tells The Captain that he'll have it ready by the next morning, and Binghamton leaves. No sooner is Binghamton out of sight, than in steps Gruber. It seems that Biff is in hock to Gruber for 50 bucks that he lost in a crap game, and Gruber offers to wipe the slate clean, if Biff will forget about Binghamton's film. Biff flatly refuses, at first, but, after McHale asks if they might step into the laboratory, to talk about some creative editing of the film, Biff seems more agreeable. Later, in Binghamton's office, Carpenter is threading the new film onto the projector, and Binghamton can't wait to see it. McHale and Parker happen in, just in time for the 'sneak preview', and The Captain invites them to take seats. But, when the movie starts, it's not what Binghamton expected. McHale and the guys are nowhere to be seen, and Binghamton seems to be the 'star' of the movie, as he's kissed by the pretty Italian girls, tastes the wine, shakes the dice, and grabs the money. The angry Binghamton can't understand why McHale and his men aren't in the movie, and has soon had enough, and orders Carpenter to stop the projector. Binghamton immediately suspects McHale of tampering with the film, but McHale, of course, innocently denies the accusation. McHale then reminds The Captain that he'd better cancel the shipment of the other print of the movie to Congresswoman Austin, and Binghamton immediately orders Carpenter to do so. But, it's too late. The ever-efficient Carpenter shipped the film out the first thing this morning. Binghamton orders Carpenter to get that film back, but, before he can get started, Binghamton's phone rings. Harrigan is on the other end, and laughingly tells Binghamton that Congresswoman Austin has already seen the film, and has cancelled her trip back home, so that she can come to Voltafiore to crack down on Binghamton, and his "Wicked, wicked ways". "McHale, you did this to me!" Shouts, Binghamton, once off the phone. "You edited that film to make me look like the star of an adult movie for Italians only!" Immediately, The Captain's statement gives McHale an idea, and Binghamton is only to happy to hear about it. Later, Binghamton is carousing with 4 pretty young Italian girls, on the circular sofa, in the villa, when Congresswoman Austin enters. She's appalled at The Captain's apparent behavior, but, before she can say anything, Parker interrupts with: "CUT! CUT! CUT!! CUT!!!" It seems that the whole scene was staged as part of the production of a movie, and Parker – Dressed in the stereotypical director's outfit – Rushes in, shouting in an Italian accent, that this woman has ruined his picture. When the Congresswoman asks who this "mad man" is, McHale introduces him as Señor Frederico Parkini, a famous Italian Film Director. Ms. Austin demands to know why an Italian Director is making a 'bawdy' film, using American Military personnel, on an American Military base. But McHale tells her that the production is not 'bawdy' at all. Rather, they are making a training film. "Monsieur Frederico has graciously offered his talents…" explains McHale, "…to warn the American Serviceman of the great dangers that they can expect in a strange country." Ms Austin finds it hard to believe that Binghamton is the star of such a film, but, after Parker suggests that even The Congresswoman might make good actress material, she's flattered enough to swallow the story. McHale then tries to rush the Congresswoman out to catch her plane but, on their way out, McHale spots Harrigan, just pulling up outside, in his jeep. So, he leads the Congresswoman back inside, and tells Señor Parkini that the Congresswoman might make a welcome addition to their production, at that. Leaving Ms. Austin on the doorstep, McHale steps down, and discreetly tells The Captain that Harrigan has arrived, and that he'll try to get rid of him. Meanwhile, outside, Carpenter and Christy stand guard. When Harrigan approaches, Carpenter tells him that he's under orders not to let anyone onto the set. Before Harrigan can complain, McHale steps out, and tells The Colonel that Ms. Austin is very busy, participating in their training film with The Captain. But Harrigan doesn't buy it, and barges his way in. He tries to apologize to the Congresswoman for this incident, but Austin will have none of it. She demands that Harrigan apologize to Señor Parkini, and 'Parkini' angrily orders him off the set. Harrigan has no choice but to withdraw, and, as the scene continues, with Congresswoman Austin playing the part of the mature seductress, to Binghamton's innocent American Sailor, McHale takes Harrigan aside, and whispers that he shouldn't be the one to tell Ms. Austin that she's really not a 'Femme Fatale'. "Ohhhh, you did it to me again!" whines the frustrated Harrigan. Later, in the wine cellar, McHale is talking about how they'd squeaked out of another tight situation, when Fuji suddenly bursts into the room, dressed in full jungle combat gear, and brandishing a sword. "BANZAI!!" yells Fuji, as McHale and all the guys all run for cover, thinking, possibly, that Fuji has flipped his lid, and has turned against them. McHale, holding a footstool in front of him as a shield, asks Fuji what's going on. "I just want you to take some home movies of me," says Fuji, with a smile, "…So I can show to my girlfriend, after the war." In return for which, all the guys pelt their little Japanese friend with pillows.