• Craig Hunter

PT - Banacek - 019 - The Greatest Collection of Them All

Updated: Jan 26

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Welcome everyone to The Predictably Treacherous podcast. Today's episode is Banacek "The Greatest Collection of them All". This episode was directed by George McCowan and written by Theodore J. Flicker. The original air date was January 24th, 1973

Let's get right to the episode summary.

Banacek investigates the theft of valuable paintings.

The Crime

A museum at night.

A group of people are watching some workmen pack up some French Impressionist paintings into crates. The crates are locked and loaded (lock and load Boogie Nights clip) onto a truck, Trotter Van Lines. The truck drives off with police escort. When it arrives at the Boston Museum of Art and the crates are unpacked...they're empty.

Disgruntled Insurance Agent

Wendle Church and his boss mr Cavanaugh of Boston Casulty (from the pilot) are driving to meet Banacek. Church is complaining about Banacek being on the case. Banacek is fencing in some fencing studio with a foreign dignitary.

Ladies Man

Now at the museum a cop is telling Banacek what happened. He's the captain from Robocop (clip). Banacek is introduced to Gloria Hamilton who was in charge of the move. He takes her out for breakfast to a restaurant called "Steak Joint" and gets her side of the story. At breakfast he makes his usual impression and she calls him, "chauvinistic, patronizing, and probably lecherous". Sounds about right. Probably lecherous!

Jay's Bogus Theory

Bringing back Jay's Bogus Theory, let's listen, (clip)


Banacek and ms Hamilton visit Felix. Felix likes her. They have a theory that the art will show up on the stolen art market in South America and Felix has a contact but he hasn't heard anything yet.

Physical Skills

Banacek and Jay enter a bar called "Sailor's Bar"--but it's not a gay bar. The bartender is a little dish dressed up as a sailor. Ben Wheeler is sitting at a table with a couple of guys. He's a bad ass. He's confrontational with Banacek and threatens to push his face in and take him apart, let's listen (clip). He invites Banacek outside. Banacek walks out first and Wheeler follows. Wheeler punches him and begins choking him. Banacek picks up a 2 x 4 and hits him in the head.

Alright Banacek, enough of this, give us the big reveal.

The Big Reveal

Now outside with everyone of consequence around, Banacek begins the big reveal:

- Larry was being forced into early retirement.

- Trotter (older) got Larry and Larry got Norman Catz and Tom Davis, the two drivers.

- Larry tampered with the computer dispatcher to temporarily loose a truck.

- This allowed time to make the modifications to the truck

- 3 car convoy with the truck in the middle and patrol cars at front and back.

- headlights of the truck prevented the front car from seeing into the cab.

- they rigged the back window of the cab to open, Tom Davis got into the trailor through a front panel on the truck.

- hid paintings between wood inside panels and the metal outside of the truck.

- they didn't take the thinker painting because it wouldn't fit into the panels.

- the truck switch was made after the crates were opened and discovered to be empty. The truck had just pulled away and been switched at a local warehouse with another truck. Allan Trotter told the escort to go after the truck and when they caught it, it appeared to be just pulling away, but it was the switched truck.

Polish Proverb

a wise man never tries to warm himself in front of a painting of a fire.