The Rocketeer,

Minute 048: This Particular Vacuum Cleaner

June 28, 2017


Cliff buys a newspaper to read the front page story about The Rocketeer. Two young women are behind him, reading a copy of the paper.

“So romantic!” says one.

“Oh, I’ll bet he’s handsome!” says the other.

“I wish he’d rescue me!” says the first woman.  They both laugh. Cliff smiles to himself.

The scene changes to the front page of the Los Angeles Examiner, with the headline above the masthead reading, “WHO IS THE ROCKETEER?” and an article titled, “HOAX OR REALITY?” Pictures of Macolm in clown makeup and The Rocketeer flying over the stands are above the fold of the front page. The newspaper is slammed down by the reader, Neville Sinclair, who angrily peels off his Sir Reginald wig in front of his makeup mirror on the sound stage.

The scene changes again to another newspaper, this time the Los Angeles Times, with an EXTRA edition headlined FLYING MAN SAVES PILOT and an article titled “Daring Airshow Rescue.” The newspaper lands in front of the wreckage of Wilmer’s burned up vacuum cleaner in the Hughes Aircraft hangar.

“Congratulations, gentlemen,” says Howard Hughes to an embarrassed Fitch and Wooly. “Thanks to the diligence of the FBI, this particular vacuum cleaner will not fall into the wrong hands.” Hughes and his four engineers glare steadily at the agents. Wooly looks at Fitch. Fitch looks at the vacuum cleaner.

Later that night, Fitch and Wooly pay a visit to Bigelow’s airfield office.  Wooly knocks on the door.

“Mister Bigelow,” says Wooly, “FBI — we’d like a word with you.” There’s no answer, and Wooly tries the office door. It’s unlocked, so the agents step into the darkened office. The place is a shambles of overturned files and loose papers. “Must be the maid’s day off,” says Wooly.

“Somebody’s been looking for something,” says Fitch, looking at the overturned chairs and scattered files. Wooly walks closer to Bigelow’s office desk.


In This Minute
Bill Campbell as Cliff Secord
Ele Keats as first Newsstand Girl
Danielle Bedau as second Newsstand Girl
Timothy Dalton as Neville Sinclair / Sir Reginald
Terry O’Quinn as Howard Hughes
Unknowns as Hughes Aircraft Engineers
Ed Lauter as Fitch
James Handy as Wooly



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