Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The pilot episode of Sanford and Son was adapted from a script which aired several years earlier on the series' British prototype Steptoe and Son. After a quick introduction to the main characters -- irascible old junk dealer Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) and his frustrated son and business partner Lamont (Demond Wilson) -- the plot proper begins, when Lamont purchases a porcelain figurine from a retired movie star. Though Lamont paid a mere 20 dollars, Fred is convinced that the figurine is valuable, and uses all sorts of undehanded methods to up its price during an auction. As usual, however, Fred's dreams of sudden wealth are doomed to smash into a million pieces (literally). The Steptoe and Son version of "Crossed Swords" originally aired in 1965; the Sanford and Son remake was telecast as the series' debut episode on January 14, 1972.