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Layout at Glen Canyon - Recap

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Tod and Buz’s travels have most recently brought them to Arizona, where the two are working on the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. The construction crew is under the leadership of Jeff Grady, a hard-line taskmaster who is constantly berating his men. One afternoon during work, a heated exchange between Buz and Grady leads to Grady challenging Buz to a fight, which the younger man gladly accepts.

However, after a quick inconclusive exchange of blows, Grady calls a halt to the proceedings. He tersely explains that he deliberately provoked the fight as a test to determine the suitability of Buz for a special assignment. A group of fashion models affiliated with a New York magazine is flying into town for a fashion shoot on the site of the dam construction. Tod and Buz are to act as bodyguards of a sort, assisting in keeping the models segregated from the construction crew workers, as the gorgeous young women are certain to provide a distraction to the men and their delicate and dangerous work.

Upon accepting their assignment, Buz and Tod are subsequently dispatched to meet the arriving private plane from New York, carrying the models and their chaperone Jo Galloway. Jo proves to be the sort of suitably business-like, no-nonsense woman one would expect from her position. Her aloof demeanor, however, slips to reveal a stunned surprise when she hears that Grady is the head of the construction project.

The news that fashion models have arrived to Glen Canyon Dam leaks out into the nearby town of Paige, a community full of single young construction workers but with a paucity of correspondingly single young women. Soon a veritable army of men is descending upon the small trailer park the models are using for quarters. Just as Tod and Buz, forming a two-man bulwark, seem on the verge of successfully turning the crowd away, a flirtatious model named Betsy shows herself and encorages the men to stay. Tod and Buz immediately find themselves with a fight on their hands against a mob of arduous young suitors. Grady and Jo arrive on the scene simultaneously to take charge of the situation, with Grady expressing as much surprise to see Jo as she earlier displayed upon hearing his name. Grady establishes a peace of sorts by warning the men that he’ll fire any worker who comes near the models’ camp again.

That evening, Buz comes upon one of the models, Sue Ellis, crying in her trailer. She confesses to Buz that she discovered evidence of her husband’s infidelity. While the two are attempting to patch things up, she doesn’t know if she can ever trust or truly love him again. As Buz is acting as a confidant to her, she attempts to come on to him. Buz wisely extricates himself from the situation.

The next day, the models hold a shoot on the main construction site within view of the other workers. Their presence distracts an ogling crane operator, who nearly dumps a load of rock on one of the other workers.

The near-disaster provokes Grady to come out to the model’s camp himself to instruct Jo to restrict the fashion shooting to already-completed areas of the dam where there is no construction going on. In the exchange between the two, the nature of their past relationship becomes clear. They were once married to each other, and the circumstances of their separation have left Jo violently embittered.

That night, Tod and Buz discover that Betsy and Sue have gone AWOL. Although Betsy has obviously just gone to town to have a good time, the boys worry about Sue in her fragile emotional state. Enlisting Jo, they go on a hunt for the two women.

Betsy is found easily enough whooping it up in a local nightclub, where Jo finally gets the information out of her that Sue was seen departing with Lew Gillis, one of the more lecherous of the construction crew members. Gillis is eventually found in a drunken stupor, saying that he let Sue out of the car in the hills around the construction site when she fended off his advances. The two leave to continue the hunt for the missing girl, with Buz promising to deal with Gillis when the latter sobers up.

While the search for Sue continues into the following morning, Jo relates to the two young men the circumstances of her and Grady’s seperation, which was prompted by the death of their young son. The boy adored his father, but as a construction foreman with a world wide reputation, Grady was seldom home to spend time with him. On the occasion of a party for his Elementary School graduation, Grady had promised to come home from his assignment overseas to attend. However, a last-minute problem with the construction project he was then working on forced him to cancel those plans. When the young boy heard the news that his father would not be attending, he became upset and fled the park where the graduation party was being held. While running over a footbridge across a nearby river, he slipped off and fell in the water and drowned. Following the funeral, Jo left Grady and had not seen him since until the two encountered each other again at Glen Canyon.

Traces of Sue are finally found, leading up into a range of nearby hills. The only problem is, these hills are about to be dynamited to make way for the next phase of the construction project. With no time left to stop the blasting, Tod, Buz, and Grady drive Grady’s car into the area to attempt to rescue Sue before she is killed.

The dynamiting begins as soon as the trio drive into the hills. With massive explosions going on around them, reducing the surrounding rocks to rubble, the three men manage to find Sue and the little group miraculously survives the cataclysmic destruction, although Grady’s automobile is totaled. Collapsing in tears following the devastation, Sue cries out for her husband.

Later, after the fashion shoot is completed, the models prepare to board their plane on the return trip to New York. Before Jo boards the plane, she is stopped by Tod, who relates to her how Sue’s brush with death made her realize how much she needed her husband despite the problems between them. The implicit moral to Jo’s situation is clear; but Jo bluntly replies to Tod that, for her and Grady, it is too late for a reconciliation.

From a distance, Grady watches the plane fly away, carrying Jo out of his life forever.



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