Property of Starsky & Hutch

An inventory of stuff belonging to Dave Starsky and Ken Hutchinson

Layouts: Venice Place — October 11, 2018

Layouts: Venice Place

 

Things to notice:

The greenhouse furniture changes almost every time we see it, and the back door is never properly seen (Starsky comes in through the greenhouse with a pizza in “The Game” tag, so there must be a back entrance there by S4).

In my layout, the bath tub is where it is from “Starsky’s Lady” onward. Earlier, there’s a small closed space on the left and the tub and the window are more to the right (see e.g. when Molly/Pete is pretending to take a bath).

The distance between the tiffany glass wall and the pillar in the middle may vary from episode to episode. The furniture on the street side wall – and the wall itself – is often moved, as that is the direction from which the room is most often filmed. Also, lamps and artwork travel frequently from table to table or from wall to wall, but mostly things in Hutch’s apartment stay nicely in place.

Location information and episodes in which we see this house.

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Hutch’s Football Poster — February 22, 1978

Hutch’s Football Poster

DISCLAIMER: I don’t like American football and know nothing about it except what I learned in researching this, so excuse the attitude and any terminology flubs.

The football poster on Hutch’s door has always baffled me. Why does he have a poster of George Andrie, #66, a defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, on display, when most other things on his walls are neatly framed art posters and photographs?

Apparently Hutch likes football enough to own a ball (seen on the top shelf of his cupboard in ”The Fix” and in his car in ”JoJo”) and to make that drunken offer in ”Starsky’s Lady” to play it professionally, but still…

The poster is a late development: it only appears there in the latter half of S3 (03-19 ”Hutchinson for Murder One”), but then stays there until the end. Before that, the door was undecorated.

What can we learn about the poster itself? Any clues as to why it’s there?

Andrie’s football career ended in 1972 (due to bad back – does Hutch sympathize?). He was with Dallas Cowboys when they won the 1971 NFL season. The other players in the poster are wearing the American Conference’s Pro Bowl uniforms from 1971-1972. These could’ve been some guys Andrie played against in the Pro Bowl, if he played in that game. Though, if he played, he’d have been wearing a different uniform, not the Dallas Cowboys one – let me say, the content of this poster makes less and less sense the more I learn about it!

The above details date the poster to around 1972. Where has Hutch been hiding it for six years?

The most interesting detail, though, is that this poster seems to be as much about Adidas football shoes as it is about a specific football player or team. The shoes on the right bottom corner are not on anyone’s feet – they are two different left-foot shoes, placed there like in an advertisement. After some completely unnecessary research, I’d say the one on the right is a “University” football shoe, and the other one is a ”Turf Streak” football shoe. And even the American Conference players seem to be wearing Adidas shoes.

The #66 on the poster is prominent, but nothing on the poster says what it was primarily for, and I guess we’ll never know what is the main reason it appeals to Hutch: the game, the players, the team, or the shoe brand?

I’m warming to the poster’s presence now, though. It reminds me of another sports poster that doesn’t seem to have particular significance to its owner: Starsky’s Speedo poster that is seen at least in ”Gillian” and ”The Committee”. Starsky says he hates water, but still he has a swimming poster (two, in fact) prominently on display. The Speedo poster is also among the few things I’ve noticed he took with him when he moved from Ridgeway to Tree House.

All this got me thinking these posters might be gag gifts, like the ant farm and the tree (though I personally love that tree! the best gift ever!). The idea that the ugly football poster is a jokey but affectionate gift from Starsky (who was a defensive back in his high school football team) makes it a lot nicer.

Hutch’s Big Brass Bed (Venice Place) — October 16, 1976

Hutch’s Big Brass Bed (Venice Place)

The brass bed at Venice Place is one of the notable new items in Hutch’s new home. Still not really private, the sleeping area separated by the wooden folding screen at Venice Place is an improvement compared to the Canal Cottage, where the bed was first right in the middle of the room.

For all we know, Hutch never sleeps in his bed – the only two times we see him on it are when he sits next to Vanessa in the morning (and the bed creaks horribly) in “Hutchinson for Murder One”, and when he calls Marianne in “Ballad for a Blue Lady” (there Hutch is actually horizontal on the bed, but fully clothed on top of the bedspread). Compare that to all the scenes with a sleepy, mostly nude Starsky in his bed – that’s at least three times. Yes, life is unfair.

The bed is seen in most episodes showing us the interior of Hutch’s Venice Place home. In the first one, “Gillian”, it is in the background and the brass frame isn’t visible, but we can assume it’s the same bed. At least the off-white chenille bedspread is in place.

What about the rest of the bedding? The couple of times we see the pillow cases, they are white (with a vertical stripe pattern woven in in “Murder One”), and in “Targets, Part 3” we see a blanket or a top sheet, light yellow with some texture. In “Murder One”, Vanessa slept wrapped in the bedspread, no top sheet there.

Bonus: a panorama put together from that one scene where we see Hutch horizontal on this bed:

Hutch’s Venice Place Apartment (1027 1/2 Ocean Avenue) —

Hutch’s Venice Place Apartment (1027 1/2 Ocean Avenue)

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Built in 1923, the house used in S2-S4 as the exterior of Hutch’s home still exists, though some of the charming details like the decorative door are long gone: 1027 Abbot Kinney Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90291, USA.

From The Bay City Gazetteer: “There is a very good description of Venice Place in 2009 (http://starskyhutcharchive.net/advent/2011/12b.html) by Flamingo […]. This item prompted a fan named June to contribute pictures of Venice Place in 1981 (http://starskyhutcharchive.net/advent/2011/23e.html), just after the series had ended.”

An alternative address of the house is Washington Blvd (the FBI kickback in The Specialist; the street sign in Little Girl Lost).

Inside, the layout of the apartment is very similar to Hutch’s Canal Cottage, and Hutch has kept most of the stuff he had there. (I.e., it’s the same set, with some paintwork, minor redecoration – the main differences are probably the addition of the deck and moving the fireplace to the opposite corner.)

It’s interesting that the exterior of the house is seen only the third time Hutch’s new home is used in the show – “Vendetta”, with its many scenes filmed around (and one in the actual staircase) Venice Place would’ve have been the perfect episode to introduce the new place. Maybe the airing order did go wrong – especially “Gillian” seems out of place shown before “Vendetta”, showing Hutch falling in love with someone else when Abby from S1 is still his girlfriend in “Vendetta”.

Hutch’s Venice Place home is seen in:

02-05 Gillian
02-08 The Specialist
02-10 Vendetta
02-12 Iron Mike
02-13 Little Girl Lost
02-18 Survival
02-19 Starsky’s Lady
02-22 The Velvet Jungle
02-25 Starsky and Hutch Are Guilty
03-03 Fatal Charm
03-15 A Body Worth Guarding
03-19 Hutchinson for Murder One
03-20 Foxy Lady
04-02 The Game
04-14 Ballad for a Blue Lady
04-18 Targets Without a Badge, Part 1
04-20 Targets Without a Badge, Part 3
04-21 Starsky vs. Hutch

Starsky and Hutch’s Shared Living Room Lamp — February 25, 1976

Starsky and Hutch’s Shared Living Room Lamp

After being seen once in Starsky’s Ridgeway house in “Running”, this lamp moves to Venice Place, where it stays in one spot behind the couch for the rest of the series, surviving the many attacks on the Hutchinson household. The shade seems to have been changed, but the base is definitely the same. (Left, on the long table in the middle of Starsky’s apartment in “Running”; right, chez Hutch in “Little Girl Lost”.)

Details of the lamp base are seen well in the close-ups in “Running”. I’m no expert in ancient Mesoamerican ceramics, but it has an Aztec pottery vibe to me. Maybe it’s just because of the teeth of that creature (or is it even a creature?) that’s depicted there.

Hutch’s Cupid and Psyche Statuette — October 22, 1975

Hutch’s Cupid and Psyche Statuette

One of the more mysterious objects in Hutch’s possession is the small statuette that depicts the classical story of Cupid and Psyche. It is there in his Canal Cottage from 01-07 The Pariah onward, sometimes outside behind the alcove window (see: the party in The Deadly Imposter), but mostly it lives on the cable reel coffee table, where it’s always seen in Venice Place, too.

I call the statuette mysterious, because I’ve personally struggled to understand why Hutch keeps this rather ugly, worn piece of sculpture: maybe he wants to be a “god of love” himself, or is on a quest for eternal love – but surely there would be more aesthetically pleasing versions of these mythical lovers? I am not a fan of depicting Cupid/Eros as a cute toddler, but it’s a tradition that goes back to the Hellenistic era, so who am I to argue? And Hutch apparently values the statuette: he even fixes it after Cupid loses its right wing during Season 2 (screenshots below are from 02-18 Survival and 03-15 A Body Worth Guarding). The left wing seems to have been missing all along.

The chubby, baby-faced Cupid or “little angel” became a popular motif in cheap kitsch art during the 20th century, and the price of the statuette, when it surfaced in 20th Century’s prop auction in 2009, isn’t really a surprise: it sold for $0.01. According to the auctioneer, it had been used in the television series The Bold and The Beautiful, and in the movie I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry.  Starsky and Hutch isn’t mentioned in the provenance, but since they say the items in this prop collection had been used in television and movie productions in Los Angeles area for over 20 years, the odds are that this statuette (below), now painted white and with Cupid’s wings fixed, is the exact same item that was used in Starsky and Hutch. The details match.

The white paint brings out the statuette’s finer details, which led me to search for a possible original artwork it might be based on. I got lucky and found it without too much trouble: if you ever happen to be in London, UK, and want to see the original marble statue, visit the Wallace Collection in Hertford House – it’s free! The statuette in the Wallace Collection was long attributed to the French sculptor Claude-Augustin Cayot, whose signature and the year 1706 are on it for some obscure reason, but it was recently discovered to be a Italian piece by Filippo della Valle (1698 – 1768). So what I have judged as a kitschy piece of junk is actually based on a rather fine example of Baroque art from early 18th century (ca. 1730). Even if Hutch’s ceramic copy is a little rough in places compared to the original (below), the statuette now fits in with the rest of Hutch’s stuff – he does have a rather eclectic collection of European art in his apartment, from art posters to other small sculptures. The pittance the statuette was sold for in the auction in 2009 starts to sound like an insult: I doubt the person who bought it knows what this tiny piece of television history would mean to many, many Hutch girls out there…

Cupid and Psyche by Filippo della Valle (Rome, ca. 1730, marble). Photo from the Wallace Collection.

 

Hutch’s Couch — October 8, 1975

Hutch’s Couch

The trusty three-seat beige couch with its patterned cushions is seen in all (and put to very good use in many of) the episodes that have scenes in the Canal Cottage or Venice Place, with the single exception of “Iron Mike” where the guys play chess out on the deck.

The life of this couch is one of ups and downs, and I can’t resist telling the whole story of its upholstery in pictures.

“The Suffering Sofa: The Life and Times of One Very Unlucky Piece of Furniture”

In the first two seasons, the couch’s life is easy. From the first sighting in “The Fix” (01-05) to the S2 finale “Starsky and Hutch Are Guilty” (02-25), the couch sees some unpleasant things happen at both the Canal Cottage (Hutch kidnapped) and its new home in Venice Place (Abby attacked), but it doesn’t suffer any physical harm.

Little does it know what is to come in the third season… In “Fatal Charm” (03-03), the cushions have recently received new covers for no apparent reason:

But they are soon stabbed to death by Diana:

Hutch must’ve liked the new covers, because the next time we see the couch in “A Body Worth Guarding” (03-15), they’ve been replaced with identical ones:

But the worst is yet to come. For some reason, the couch has a new Mexican-style look (with a matching hem, too) only a few episodes later, in “Hutchinson for Murder One” (03-19):

But very soon this happens:

The couch survives and, miraculously, in the next episode “Foxy Lady” (03-20), the Mexican look is there again, untouched:

But very soon this happens again:

Season 4 may be a turbulent one for Starsky and Hutch, but for Hutch’s couch, it means the return of peace – and yet another new Mexican look that is so similar to the last one that the hem can stay the same. (In fact, not visible in the picture below, but like in the late S3 cushion covers above, the narrow sides of the S4 cushions are of the same fabric as the couch’s hem.)

No one threatens the couch with knives ever again, which is nice. This upholstery survives all the way from “The Game” (04-02) to the very last sighting in “Starsky vs. Hutch” (04-21).

The End.

 

Hutch’s Piano(s) —

Hutch’s Piano(s)

In the early episodes, Hutch had a small piano in the alcove (in the last sighting in 01-07 “The Pariah”, there was sheet music on it, so he probably even played it).

However, it was gone with the cottage renovation. From “Kill Huggy Bear” forward, there’s a big antique piano in the cottage (apparently serving as a fancy beer stand):

In Venice Place, the same piano is on the wall next to the door.

It’s always there in the background, but Hutch is seen playing it only twice, in “Little Girl Lost”:

And in “Ballad for a Blue Lady”:

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