The Lady and the Dale on HBO

It’s a documentary in 4 parts about a con artist trying to sell a 3 wheel car with 70 mpg in 1974. First 2 episodes are out now and the last 2 are out tonight Feb 7th. Very good show. the main person died in 2004 but they talk to her daughter and others who worked for the car company.

I found the family’s early life on the run fascinating. If I were a wanted felon, I would not launch a high-profile company that put me on the cover of multiple magazines, but like she said, “it’s easier to get someone to give you $75,000, than $20.”

We’ve watched the 1st three episodes, one more to go. Did not know any of the story previously and it was nothing like we expected- very interesting story and the animation/photo cut outs are a creative way to tell it.

I’ve seen only that first episode, and had a similar reaction. The film is very adept at getting across the character of the person profiled.

Some reviews of the documentary seem to be pushing it as a story of a victimized transgender person–a sort of rallying cry for rights, as though it were ‘every transgender person’s story’.

I’m not sure that’s a fair assessment. From the evidence put forward in Episode 1, it seems to be more about one particular individual who had a lot of intellectual gifts—but who also had a raging need to deceive, manipulate, and swindle others.

Guess I need to watch the other episodes to make a fair appraisal, though.

During the pandemic, my wife and I have been watching Unsolved Mysteries. They did an episode on Carmichael while she was still on the run, I found it all fascinating. That was the first time I heard about it.

Yeah, especially episode three where you start to wonder if the hostility toward Carmichael was because she engaged in securities fraud or because she was trans.

I had no idea what it was about. I kept seeing the cover art and the title in the guide and avoided it like the plague. Go figure, sounds interesting.

I first found out about this story when Regular Car Reviews did a doc on Carmichael and the car a bit over a year ago.

The Tale of the Dale (Revisited): RCR Stories - YouTube

It’s a pretty sordid tale, while still being heartwarming, and the HBO doc has gone into greater detail so far (I’m through episode 2). I’m not sure anything regarding their treatment as a transgender person would excuse the confidence behavior, but it might explain why they thought it was the way to behave. After all, I’ve known several transgender persons going back to about 1980, and to my knowledge none of them were con artists.

What’s funny to me is that one of my great-grandfathers spent time in San Quentin for a similar check passing scheme to the one that Carmichael did, about half a century before. My great-grandmother didn’t abandon him, either. She moved the family near the prison so they could visit easily. Vivian and my great-grandmother apparently had a different idea of what you did for romantic love than my wife and I do. We’ve both basically said “Oh yeah, I’ll stand by you through all kinds of nonsense I can’t foresee right now. But you transition from a general scofflaw to a lifestyle that’s just a chain of felonies? I’ll be out, and I’m not going to cover for your ass if someone comes asking questions.” When you have relatives doing time in prison and have ancestors who did so in the past, these questions come up.

much easier to be a con artist back then.

For another example read the book and watch the movie Catch me if you can. And that guy started scams while still a teenager

I think I read about this story on Jalopnik.

Probably from this SDMB post:

4th and last episode not out yet, maybe they are still working on it.

I don’t like the animation but I guess it’s unique.

I find it a lot less annoying than re-enactments with live actors.

Episodes are released every Sunday.

I agree that Carmichael’s trial was marred by prejudice, but she was a career criminal who abandoned several children before the family we see her with at the end. Also, because the family was always on the run, those kids never went to school.

I guess they will tell us Sunday where some of the people are now. Some may be retired but the daughter in the show looks to be under 50. I assume other kids did not want to be interviewed or maybe they could only find 1 or they thought 1 was enough.

That’s something I’d completely forgotten from the first episode. One of the shortcomings of the show is that out of all his many relatives, they only seem to have gotten interviews with two (her daughter and brother-in-law), both of whom are quite sympathetic to Carmichael.

It makes you wonder if the other kids don’t have the same rosy view. They were raised n the run, never received an education, and several time in their lives, Liz ditched them and made a run for it.

I know how it ends but still looking forward to episode 4. I assume they will not talk to anyone different than episodes 1-3.

How did I not see THAT coming?

Dick Carlson is Tucker Carlson’s dad!

I know right?

seems like they left out what happened after the Austin paper wrote about her. Overall very good but I did not like the animations.