Of Money and Love

RemingtonMoney can’t buy love.

The Beverly Hillbillies clearly illustrates this point in the episode The Richest Woman.

When billionairess Tracy Richards wants to buy the mansion belonging to Jed Clampett and his kin, she does not succeed; Jed Clampett refuses to sell, no matter the price.

The richest woman in the world as a result of a gargantuan inheritance, she does not take kindly to defiance.  Indeed, she wants to ruin Clampett after he rejects her.  But Jed has nothing in his background that Tracy Richards can exploit.  Nevertheless, she tries.

Ms. Richards flatters Granny, complimenting the Clampett matriarch on her youthful appearance.  Further, she listens to Granny talk about her problems, the biggest one at the moment being Jethro forgetting to buy coffee at the store.  Then Ms. Richards uses ease, convenience, and luxury.  She introduces Jethro, Elly May, and Granny to a life of leisure in a hotel as opposed to a life of work, chores, and responsibilities linked to maintaining the mansion.  Additionally, Ms. Richards gives a car to Jethro and expensive clothes to Elly May and Granny.  She also leads Jethro to think that romance may happen.  It’s a successful gambit because Jethro thinks that he will marry the heiress.

Jed meets these attempts with consternation.  He notes that the Clampett kin are bought and paid for.  Consequently, Jed goes to her hotel to confront the heiress with a fortune based on shipping, hotels, steel, lumber, paper, and electronics.  Meanwhile, Granny and Elly May realize how empty their lives will be without taking care of the house.  No beds to make.  No floors to scrub.  No critters to look after.  They take pride in their chores.  Thus, the reality jars them.

Commerce Bank of Beverly Hills President Milburn Drysdale gets involved in the scheme to purchase the Clampett mansion.  An advocate of the Clampetts because of his responsibility in handling their fortune, Drysdale is always on the look for a bigger fish.  So, he tries to convince Ms. Richards to open an account at his bank.  He thinks that he can negotiate a deal resulting in her purchase of the Clampett estate.  But Mr. Drysdale frustrates Tracy because he’s interfering with her seduction plan for Jed’s impending visit.  Sexy dress.  Soft music.  Romantic lighting.

She shoves Drysdale into another room to hide because Jed is at the door.  While she executes her plan, Jethro enters and exclaims that Uncle Jed is stealing his sweetheart.  Drysdale then reveals himself.  Promptly, Jethro returns the car key.  Granny and Elly May enter and return the expensive clothes.  The Clampetts want to go home.  Alas, Mr. Drysdale will also go home, though without the Richards account.

All’s well that ends well.

The Clampetts retain their mansion.  And Mr. Drysdale is really no worse off than he was when he first learned of the plan to buy the Clampett mansion.

Platinum blonde Martha Hyer played Tracy Richards.  Her extensive body of work includes Abbott and Costello Go To MarsThe Carpetbaggers, and Some Came Running.  She also graced the small screen with guest appearances including Bewitched and McCloud.

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