Admin: This is something of a follow-up from a previous Analysis, Chisholm Getting Drunk. Both are from Minder: Return of the Invincible Man, recapped here. In this scene, Chisholm is dealing with the ill-effects of having drank too much at the Winchester. Now he has to go in the freezing cold and investigate the botched safe-breaking attempt at crooked tailor Solly Salmon’s business.
RF: I love the Chisholm Getting Drunk scene, and this makes the perfect follow-up. 😀 How does our hero deal with a massive hangover?
Jones: Headache, guv?
Chisholm: Certainly not! Out late…in that well-known den of thieves the Winchester Club.
Chisholm: Would I? Twenty-four hour copper me, even when I’m asleep I’m thinking.
Jones: And vice-versa, hey, guv. Ha-ha.
Chisholm: Celtic humour doesn’t travel, Jones. Very witty with the sheep not too clever in the metropolis. Why don’t you try out your silver tongue with these Bolshie strikers.
Jones: They’re not suspects, are they?
Chisholm: Who knows? In this life of ours everything is suspect.
Admin: Of course, after all of Chisholm’s drinking the night before he’d have one heck of a hangover, but he’s not going to admit that. You know that Chisholm is the sort of guy who would drag himself to work even if he had the worst case of ‘flu imaginable, so a mere hangover certainly isn’t going to stop him. I like the way his voice rises when he says “certainly not.” That is a sure sign he’s trying to convince himself as much as Jones. There is a bit of snow about in the air, and you can see the cold is adding to Chisholm’s brittleness. He’s really feeling it and didn’t even think to bring his trilby along. But, the headache doesn’t temper his sharp wit. He’s quick with the “Celtic humour” putdown when Jones has a laugh at his expense. I’d have liked to have seen Chisholm try talking to the “Bolshie strikers,” but alas we were denied that as he goes indoors to see Solly Salmon instead.
RF: Oh, Chisholm would rather die than admit he’s hungover. 😀 You can tell from his body language, from the first moment he gets out of the car (verrrrry slowly and carefully), that he’s feeling especially fragile this morning. And he’s out in the chill wearing his thin mac as usual, which only seems to make him more dour. By contrast, Jones (coat open in all weathers) appears quite cheery, although very aware of his guv’s incapacitation, no matter how much Chisholm tries to deny it. You’re right, if he had the flu, he’d stay at work until he passed out at his desk. And of course he’d try to pass off a night of getting snockered (at the Winchester of all places!) as some sort of police research.
RF: Mr. Malahide displays some great body language as he talks to Jones; his shoulders are hunched and he’s drawn into himself a bit, so you can almost feel the cold cutting through his mac. Jones, however, looks completely comfortable. I love Chisholm’s line about being a “twenty-four hour copper – even when [he’s] asleep, [he’s] thinking”, which leaves Jones with a very obvious (and hilarious) opening for a rare shot at his vulnerable guv. 😉 And I also love Chisholm’s world-weary cynicism as he intones, “In this life of ours, everything is suspect.” Apparently getting drunk only temporarily improved his disposition. 😉
Admin: Yes, you can really see how cold and brittle he is. It clearly was freezing that day, so I expect Patrick Malahide found it very easy to convey. 🙂
Solly: [watching as Chisholm checks out the blown safe] Bad, hey?
Chisholm: What you have here Mr. Salmon is a shambles. This is the work of incompetent gas meter thieves. Rank amateurs.
Solly: Not even experts, hey?
Chisholm: Why should they be experts?
Solly: Why not?
Chisholm: Why? Well, this isn’t exactly the most inviting premises on the manner, is it? Why have a go at this place? How much did they get?
Solly: I don’t know; they didn’t open it.
Admin: Chisholm is brutally honest here. And he’s right, Solly’s place is somewhat on the depressing and bleak side. Chisholm seems genuinely surprised that Solly would even think experts could be involved which is probably getting his suspicious copper’s gears in motion.
RF: I like how Chisholm recognizes the Beesley brothers’ and Scotch Harry’s handiwork straight away as “the work of incompetent gas meter thieves”. He’s exactly right without even knowing it. His suspicion is aroused by Solly’s comment about “experts”, and he begins to wonder why incompetent gas meter thieves should want to blow a tailor shop safe. Despite what Jones might think, Chisholm actually does think like a copper most of the time he’s awake. Probably when he dreams, too. 😉
Admin: Oh, absolutely, he’s a 24 hour copper through and through. If ever there were a man “married to the job,” it is DS Chisholm.
Chisholm: Used enough jelly. [tears off safe door] Oh – very professional. Hmmm…they even incinerated the booty. How much did you say?
Solly: Uhm…..probably more.
Chisholm: Ashes to ashes. Don’t look like 20 thou of ashes to me. Who else knew you were carrying that kind of dough?
Chisholm: Clients? Reps? Friends?
Solly: No….I swear to you.
Solly: Who knows? I dunno.
Admin: Whenever Chisholm is in a seedy office, he seems to start destroying things. He destroyed a piece of Arthur’s inventory in To Fulham With Love and tore up some paneling in What Makes Shamy Run. He’s a very chaotic fellow when given half a chance. He knows right away that Solly is lying about having 20k in there.
RF: Chisholm does seem to enjoy the odd bit of random destructiveness, although as you say, he usually reserves it for the contents of Arthur’s lock-up. 😉 Maybe he has lots of energy stored up? However, even he seems a little surprised at his own strength (or the door’s precariousness) when the safe door crashes to the floor.
Luckily, he gets his toes out of the way. 😉 And despite what must be a nasty headache, Chisholm is still thinking like a copper, realizing how unlikely it would be for Solly to have £20K locked away. He’s even experienced enough to know he’s not seeing £20K in burned currency. He quickly picks up on Solly’s evasiveness (mind you, Solly’s terrible at lying) and tries to narrow down the field of suspects.
Jones: [Jones enters room] Mess, in’t it, guv. Got the names.
Chisholm: What do they have to say?
Jones: Not much. No visitors for several days. One bloke from the union. Oh, and a couple of old friends of ours.
Chisholm: Who? … WHO!?
Jones: Daley and McCann.
Chisholm: Well, well, well. Oooh, you didn’t tell me that Mr. Salmon, did you.
Solly: Terry and Arthur? Ahhh, I didn’t think of that.
Admin: Oh, Jones don’t be so annoying. But, I think Jones knows this is going to be something Chisholm will seize on terrier-style. I must say, the way he lights up as he sarcastically admonishes Solly for not telling him Daley & McCann have been visiting is incredibly cute. It is just the tonic Chisholm needs for his hangover which has now completely disappeared.
RF: I like how Chisholm’s body language suddenly changes once he hears Arthur and Terry might be involved. He’s instantly more awake and alert, where he was somewhat perfunctory before. He is somewhat sarcastic with Solly, although his tone is still quiet and controlled.
Chisholm: Friends of yours, are they?
Solly: Well, uh, not friends, not real friends.
Chisholm: Suddenly I see blue skies…sunlight on the horizon…
Jones: Not their style though, guv. I mean safebreaking.
Chisholm: Why not? Safes contain money, ipso facto, so Arthur Daley. What’s the matter with you?
Solly: Look, Arthur wouldn’t go to all that trouble.
Chisholm: Now, now, Mr. Salmon, your business is tailoring, mine is the criminal mind.
Jones: Very eloquent….guv.
[Chisholm gives Jones a very nasty look]
Admin: Awww, Chisholm gets even cuter with his blue skies and sunlight speech. It is like he has been given a new lease on life. Only Jones has to be a total buzzkill by pointing out it isn’t their style. Now, that’s not entirely true, Jones, since Daley did arrange for the safebreak. I like the frustrated way Chisholm speaks to Jones. Some of that vexed brittleness is creeping back into his voice with “what’s the matter with you.” And, sadly for Chisholm fans, the scene ends on a bit of a low note with Jones continuing to be obstreperous, but Chisholm at least makes up for that with a really nice sneer aimed Jones’ way. He really does have the best sneers.
RF: I like how Chisholm’s body language visibly changes once he realizes Terry and Arthur might be involved. Hangover now forgotten, he straightens up, throws his shoulders back, and his expression brightens; he’s immediately more cheerful, almost gleeful at the prospect of nicking them for something big. He does get annoyed with Jones for raining on his parade, though I suspect he knows deep down Jones is right and it’s not really Arthur and Terry’s style. True that there’s a bit of a low note with Jones being a buzzkill, but Chisholm still manages to perk himself up by reminding Solly (and Jones, and possibly himself) that “[his] business is the criminal mind”, with a little added swagger of self-congratulation and confidence. So we’re back to “community policing”. 😉 That is a nice little glare he aims at Jones, though. I bet Chisholm made him pay for the tea and pie after that.
Admin: This is such a good scene. We get a glimpse at how determined and focused Chisholm is. He really does live somewhat in his own head. The mere thought of possibly getting Daley and McCann “bang to rights” is enough to free him from what must have been a pretty nasty hangover on a very nasty day with a very annoying Welsh constable by his side. Poor Chisholm. Don’t you just want to cheer him up? 🙂
RF: Yes, we go from Chisholm being huddled in misery and freezing, to showing he still thinks like a copper even when he’s hungover (in fact, has a really good instinct for these things), to his return to self-confidence and cheerfulness, with just a bit of a swagger thrown in. True that Jones was being somewhat annoying, but I’m sure Chisholm could’ve found some satisfaction in getting him to type up reports or something like that. And he even got to indulge in a little random destruction, so maybe his day didn’t turn out that badly after all.