McMillan & Wife (1971–1977)
4 user

The Fine Art of Staying Alive 

Sally is kidnapped by an international syndicate that is after a Rembrandt painting currently on loan to the San Francisco Art Museum from the Prado.


Edward M. Abroms


Leonard Stern (created by) (as Leonard B. Stern), Oliver Hailey (teleplay) | 2 more credits »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Rock Hudson ... Stewart McMillan
Susan Saint James ... Sally McMillan
John Schuck ... Sgt. Charles Enright
Nancy Walker ... Mildred
Henry Jones ... Matthew Pennington
Cesare Danova ... Feliciano
Alan Hale Jr. ... Port Captain (as Alan Hale)
John Stephenson ... Harry
Felice Orlandi ... Hill
Paul Sorensen Paul Sorensen ... Stacy
Ken Jones Ken Jones ... Newscaster
Alan Caillou ... Sir William
Stuart Nisbet ... Mr. James
King Moody King Moody ... Cowboy Salesman


Sally is kidnapped by an international syndicate that is after a Rembrandt painting currently on loan to the San Francisco Art Museum from the Prado.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

11 March 1973 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


It is daylight as the detectives are waiting for McMillan to enter the elevator, when he exits and goes onto the roof, it is night. See more »

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User Reviews

Sometimes it's hard to remember how much things have changed in 40 years...
10 October 2015 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...until you sit down and watch something made in 1973. The set-up of the plot is rather simple. San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan (Rock Hudson) is in charge of the security for a Rembrandt that is on loan from Spain to a museum in San Francisco. The security for the Rembrandt seems rather fool-proof - but there is one soft spot. Criminals who want the Rembrandt decide to kidnap McMillan's wife Sally (Susan Saint James) and offer her life in return for the Rembrandt.

McMillan goes to the Spanish consul and asks him to give the thieves the painting in return for his wife, and the consul says what you would expect - what actually is a good general philosophy when it comes to exchanging valuables for people. He says that if they gave in and allowed such an exchange, it would cause a rash of copycats throughout the world, endangering both objects of value and human beings in kidnappings for ransom. McMillan objects, as you would expect, since he is so personally involved. And then comes the line that I have remembered for 42 years, and what made me seek out this episode just to make sure I hadn't remembered incorrectly. Art connoisseur Matthew Pennington (Henry Jones) who accompanied McMillan to the consulate helps McMillan's plea along a little by making the statement - "If anybody knows the value of a work of art I do. I also know that there is no greater work of art than a beautiful woman".

Even in 1973 at age 15 my jaw hit the floor. Is this guy saying if Sally was over 40 or overweight or just plain unattractive, that her life would not be worth the trade??? It appeared to me to be so. Maybe I remember this so well because I was the ugly duckling that grew up to be a great big duck, but wow, just wow. What a sexist and frankly shallow evaluation of a human (or should I say female?) life.

This episode is on DVD and on youtube, so I'll let you watch and find out what happens and how all of this plays out. I'd recommend it just to see how the times can sometimes change without you even realizing it UNTIL you go back in time and reevaluate matters.

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