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# 172 <7.17> Stormy Weather
(revised 01/16/2023)
This episode was forced to meet lower budget criteria. Therefore, the crew had to film an episode with as little production requirements as possible. So JEFF FREILICH and HOWARD LAKIN decided to film a whole episode entirely on the sound stage. The result, however, is just brilliant.
Inside joke: The idea for this episode is based on an old concept JEFF FREILICH previously used as a story editor in # 013 of "Flamingo Road" (finale of season 1 of that series) where many characters were trapped at Lute-Mae's bar, also an old Victorian villa, during a hurricane.
Original storyline plans:
The writers initially discussed a deadly flood wave caused by the heavy rainfalls to kill off some characters.
In the recap before the main title, the exact wording of Angela's line in her dialog with Spence about Richard and Maggie's wedding and Chase's codicil is slightly different from the actual scene in the previous episode. In the recap, the camera is on Spence (screen grab 1) while Angela says: "We'll let them get married." In contrast, # 171 featured a close-up of Angela in that very moment (screen capture 4) with a slightly different line: "No, just let them get married." The segments are apparently from different takes filmed for # 171.
Episode time frame: This episode opens on Sunday (night 1, i.e. 02/21/1988) and closes on Monday (night 2, i.e. 02/22/1988).
Contrary to the scenes specifically filmed for this episodes (with rain machines on the sound stage), the establishing clips — in particular the ones of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion — are the usual old shots with a second layer of film with rain superimposed over in post-production.
Inside joke: The picture postcard Carly sends Melissa features a photo of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion. These cards were available for sale in the Napa Valley during the time when the series was filmed; but the caption said "Wine Country" rather than "Falcon Crest". A nice prop!
Real post cards from those days are available through the fan club. Check out the location photos list for details.
Melissa's address can be read on Carly's post card: 414 Meadows, Tuscany Valley, CA 93550. It is different from the address in # 154 (see there). Another address will be seen in # 187 (see there).
Explanation: There are probably three different addresses because the Agretti Residence consists of three wings (main wing, guest wing and another wing) with separate entranceways (compare # 013, 098, 103 and 193).
Emma calls Curtis Watson — an allusion to the "Sherlock Holmes" whodunit novels.
Allusion to the movie industry: Carly mentions the movie title "The Bride of Frankenstein".
Strange props: The sandbags (also defined as such in the script) to temporarily protect the leaky wall in the Falcon Crest Winery Building are labeled "Oregon Inshell Hazelnuts". This is visible even better in the later scene with Lance and Carly (screen capture 2).
The bend where Garth, Richard and Maggie slide away with the limo and where Dan and Lance later slide away on Dan's motorcycle is actually located behind stage 4 on the CBS-MTM backlot. It was also seen in # 073, 084, 089, 113, 121, 135, 137 and 148 (see there) and will also be used in future episodes (# 174, 176, 180, 191, 192, 196, 207 and 213). Click here for a sketch of the multi-purpose use of this part of the studio grounds.
Once again, CARL HELD speaks German. When Garth loses control over the limo, he yells: "Lieber Gott!" ["Dear God!"].
Different footage: The group's reaction shot to Maggie, Richard and Garth's arrival at the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion is from a different take in the sneak preview (screen grab 1) in contrast to the actual scene in the episode (screen capture 2). In particular, Dan is not looking towards the front door in the preview while he looks straight to the arriving family members in the scene itself.
The hallway in one of the upper floors of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion interior set is the same as in # 168 (compare there) — here seen from either direction.
LORIMAR's original blueprints of this set and many others are available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Interior Sets section.
Perfect music: Exactly as planned in HOWARD LAKIN's script, Dan Fixx plays the 1933 song "Stormy Weather" (just like the episode title) on the grand piano in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion living room. The song was written by HAROLD ARLEN and TED KOEHLER and first sang by ETHEL WATERS at The Cotton Club in Harlem in New York.
From this episode on, there is a new picture on the wall in the southwestern corner of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion living room. It is an Impressionist painting (oil on canvas) from the series "Le Pont Japonais à Giverny" ("The Japanese Bridge in Giverny") by CLAUDE MONET (1840 – 1926).
As with all artwork in the series, it remains unanswered if they are originals or if they are meant to be reproductions. The original of one of the paintings from the aforementioned series (painted in 1899) is located at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris / France; it is entitled "Le Bassin aux nymphéas, harmonie verte".
Different footage: While the sneak preview before the main title showed a frontal shot of Emma going through the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion living room and announcing the murder mystery game (screen capture 1), the scene itself features that very moment with the camera on the group gathering in the living room first and Emma's voice over the segment; it is only towards the end of Emma's announcement that the camera cuts to her, but she and Angela in the background are in different positions (screen grab 2).
Emma's line "The game is afoot" is a quotation from "King Henry IV" — Part I (1597) by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564 – 1616).
The attic set of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion is the same as in # 155 and 156 (see there).
See more details about the attic set below (with regard to the bald man's death).
The guest bedroom interior set in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion that has been in use since # 167 pretty much resembles the style of the previous bedrooms seen in the Mansion, but is slightly different. It consists of one bedroom only though to minimize production cost. The very same room is constantly redressed to create the illusion of various bedrooms in the upper floors. The bedroom with the old-fashioned wallpaper ("Richard and Maggie's honeymoon suite") is the room previously used by Shannon. It was built right behind the door through which the characters enter. The second guest bedroom (actually the same yet redressed set) — where Melissa and Eric search for clues in the mystery game and where Maggie later finds Curtis — has light blue-gray painted walls. Filming only creates the illusion it is situated on the same hallway across from the first guest bedroom. Its bedroom door, which is visible from the hallway, actually leads nowhere — or, to be more precisely, just to the sound stage wall.
LORIMAR's original blueprints of this set and many others are available for DFCF members in the Show – Production Office – Filming Locations – Movie Studios – Interior Sets section.
Above the fireplace in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion study hangs "Une allée du jardin à Giverny" ("Main Path through the Garden at Giverny") now — and also after the Mansion's reconstruction in season 8 — until # 197. It is a 1901 Impressionist style painting (oil on canvas) by CLAUDE MONET (1840 – 1926). To match the format for the wall above the mantle, the upper and lower parts of the picture seem to have been cropped, which seems quite odd. The actual MONET artwork, by the way, is one of several similar pictures of the garden, all of them with a slightly different POV.
As with all artwork in the Victorian Mansion, it remains unanswered throughout the series if they are originals or if they are meant to be reproductions. The fact that it was apparently cropped seems to indicate that it is not meant to be an original in this case. The original of the aforementioned artwork is located at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna / Austria.
In # 198, the painting will be replaced with a portrait of Angela.
The stairway to the attic of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion is accessible from a different hallway than the one featured in # 155 although the stairway is the same.
Garth and Sheriff Buckman are in the 1950's fallout shelter on the Falcon Crest grounds built by Douglas Channing (the one known from # 154: scene with Emma and Wendel). According to Lance, it is in the basement (most likely of the Victorian Mansion). Was a previous basement rebuilt into the fallout shelter, or was the shelter even built under the basement? In the event of nuclear fallout, it would not be safe at all to be in an old basement remodeled into a shelter — especially not with a window in the hallway in front of the shelter. It is also strange that the door can be kicked open easily.
In # 154, all the walls in front of the shelter were in brick, but they are roughcast and painted now (except one brick pillar).
Editing mistake: When Maggie "kidnaps" Richard in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion, the first close-up shows the two of them standing in the doorway between the foyer and the hallway leading to the kitchen. The next close-up is a shot of the lovers from the sun room (i.e. standing in the second doorway). The moment when they cross the hallway leading to the kitchen is missing.
After the grandfather clock in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion foyer had shown the same time (9:35) for years (check # 168 for details and compare left screen grab from # 170), it has been running correctly since the previous episode, i.e. the time shown on the clock now matches the time depicted in the plot.
Emma's line "Time to round up the usual suspects" is a quotation from the 1942 "Casablanca" movie.
Product placement: Eric mentions the Washington Post newspaper.
Eric fed Curtis with information so he could get together a full exposé about Richard. Curtis found out even hotter stuff. Eric's tip on overseas funds transfer (most likely about the $ 30 million to support John Remick's enemies) led to an incredible story — it even includes Chase Gioberti!
Where was this supposed to be going? Did the producers only want to allude to the connection between John and Chase? Or did they plan a secret about Chase as a new storyline that never made it to the screen?
JEFF FREILICH spoke about this line — from the standpoint of an executive producer placing little pieces here and there to lay the groundwork for the following season — in an exclusive 2007 DFCF interview.
Mistake: The flowers on the floor in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion foyer are arranged slightly differently in subsequent frames — again, a result of the particular close-up filming technique; check # 001 (Chase and Maggie at the Gioberti Family Cemetery) for details.
In the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion living room hangs "La femme à l'ombrelle au jardin d'Argenteuil" ("Woman with a Parasol in the garden in Argenteuil") on the wall adjacent to the foyer. It is an 1875 Impressionist style painting (oil on canvas) by CLAUDE MONET (1840 – 1926), once again featuring the artist's wife. The picture will remain there until the end of the season; for its later place in the living room, see # 193.
As with all artwork in the Victorian Mansion, it remains unanswered throughout the series if they are originals or if they are meant to be reproductions. The original of the aforementioned artwork is owned by a private collector in real life.
The Thirteen's bald man falls to his death from the heavily filmed stained glass window in the attic of the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion. Considering his body then lies on the brick banisters of the front terrace, this window would have to be in the eastern gable. But it does not exist in the real Villa Miravalle at all. Neither has the real house a gable with a similar rough-cast wall. The roof of the main tower, which can be seen for a short moment behind the bald man, is in the wrong position in the set — the main tower actually being much higher than the eastern gable, it is actually impossible to see the roof of the main tower from that perspective.
It is also rather mysterious why there are some loose bricks on the sill of the stained glass window — the reason for the bald man taking the fall. This is quite strange because bricks, as building materials, make absolutely no sense in the upper part of the Mansion because the Victorian's outer shell is built from wooden materials (except the first floor and the main tower of course).

A stunt double (JOE STONE) replaces EDWARD ANHALT in the bald man's fall from the attic window in the Falcon Crest Victorian Mansion.


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