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Mannix is coming!

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#1681 of 2195 OFFLINE   Regulus

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Posted January 24 2013 - 02:03 PM

The show ran until 12:40 am because they padded it heavily with commercials.

CBS always stuffed their "Late Movie" full of commercials, and it ticked me off that VCRs cost over $2,500.00 dollars at the time (1975). :eek: (My dad said what would you do regarding commercials with a VCR and I told him, fast-Forward the tape every time a commercial went on!) :laugh: It wouldn't be until 1984 that I got my first VCR but, by that time the late movie gave way to those cursed infomercials.:f BTW I got the complete series delivered to my house today that I bought from the Big River. :banana:

DVD Collection Inventory: TV Episodes - 36,372 :biggrin: ( 755 Series ) :biggrin: Movies - 2,413  :biggrin: Serial Chapters - 1,201 :B)


#1682 of 2195 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted January 24 2013 - 08:56 PM

I took advantage of Amazon's "Complete Series" deal and am now watching this series that I loved as a kid and hadn't seen in 40 years.  Only just started the second disc of S1, but am really enjoying it.  Kinda want to skip ahead to the "Peggy" years but am determined to watch in order.  I'd forgotten what a great theme and opening titles this series had.    And how great Mike Connors is!


#1683 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted February 03 2013 - 12:36 AM

My MANNIX viewing has slowed down considerably again. Being located in Florida, this is the time of year that we get lots of snowbirds visiting from the cold north, so my idle time for TV watching has been limited. But in between visitors yesterday I managed to squeeze in Season 6's "Broken Mirror". A lot of location budget was used in this episode with outdoor scenes allegedly in Mexico, a good amount of underwater photography, helicopter and classic car usage, all with the lovely Anjanette Comer to look at.


I think I missed an episode though. Looking at IMDB, the episode prior had the return-to-MANNIX appearance of Joseph Campanella, so I'll need to go back an episode, the next chance I get to watch an episode.


Harry

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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1684 of 2195 OFFLINE   Wiseguy

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Posted February 09 2013 - 12:19 PM

I recently came across an old Blooper tape which included a short Mannix scene. In it Mike Connors is driving and Joe Campanella is sitting next to him with a projection of the view of the moving car seen through the window. Not really a blooper but more of a joke they both exit the car while the projection shows the car is still moving and then the sound of a car crash is dubbed over it. What episode of the first season could they have been filming? One in which Mannix is driving and Lou is the passenger with a projection screen behind it.

#1685 of 2195 OFFLINE   BJ Thompson

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Posted February 13 2013 - 07:53 AM

Might be at the end of the episode, Coffin for a Clown.

#1686 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted February 15 2013 - 12:07 AM

Only slightly MANNIX-related: As I happened to be channel-surfing this morning, I happened upon a MeTV showing of a MY THREE SONS episode where Fred MacMurray's co-workers were confused about two women claiming to be "Mrs. Douglas". One of the co-workers had a voice that stood out from the rest - it was Gail Fisher in a pre-Peggy role, one of the few she had before MANNIX.


It all serves to remind me that I've been remiss in my MANNIX viewings and need to get back to it...


Harry


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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1687 of 2195 OFFLINE   Wiseguy

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Posted February 16 2013 - 02:40 PM

Might be at the end of the episode, Coffin for a Clown.

That's it, thanks. There is even a green-tinted still of this scene on the DVD episode menu. Apparently after finishing filming this short scene, Joe Campanella gestures to Mike Connors to leave the car "set" while the background projection is still running and they did. The projection begins to turn as if the car is out of control. Someone saved the footage and added the sound of a car crashing as the picture blacks out. Should have been included on the first DVD set!

#1688 of 2195 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted February 20 2013 - 12:59 AM

A MANNIX music cue has surfaced on the web. While looking around on another site, I was directed to a site for Robert Drasnin, noted composer of television music cues, and lo and behold, right there at the top of his list is the "MANNIX Driving Cue".


To hear it, go to http://robertdrasnin.net/

Click on Mr. Drasnin's picture to enter the site

Click on the "Listen" link on the left side

Click on the "Film Music" box


Now you should see a list of "songs", at the top of which is the "MANNIX Driving Cue". Click the play button and enjoy.


Harry


My DVD Collection

A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#1689 of 2195 OFFLINE   BJ Thompson

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Posted February 20 2013 - 01:37 PM

A MANNIX music cue has surfaced on the web. While looking around on another site, I was directed to a site for Robert Drasnin, noted composer of television music cues, and lo and behold, right there at the top of his list is the "MANNIX Driving Cue". To hear it, go to http://robertdrasnin.net/ Click on Mr. Drasnin's picture to enter the site Click on the "Listen" link on the left side Click on the "Film Music" box Now you should see a list of "songs", at the top of which is the "MANNIX Driving Cue". Click the play button and enjoy. Harry

Thanks, Harry, For the info on the "Mannix Driving Cue." You can find it in the second season episode, Night Out of Time. BJ

#1690 of 2195 OFFLINE   filmklassik

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Posted February 24 2013 - 07:42 PM

I joined this site for one specific purpose: To thank Jo Ann for her many great MANNIX postings both on here and at Amazon.com. Hats off, Jo Ann. Your giddiness and insight about the show was so infectious it made me run out and buy seasons one and two SIGHT UNSEEN, while the amazing work done by Mssrs. Connors, Geller, Goff and Roberts led to my buying subsequent seasons as soon as they became available (which was never soon enough!) So congratulations, Jo Ann. I am officially hooked now. MANNIX more than lived up to its billing -- and how many things can you say that about? It's a fast, smart, witty, and impeccably produced show with -- you're correct, Jo Ann -- top-notch characterizations. However (and this is something that doesn't get enough attention around here) it boasted masterfully plotted stories, too. Full disclosure: I'm a plot guy. More so than you, Jo Ann, and, I suspect, more so than many people on these boards. When it comes to mystery and suspense I love a rock-solid, cunningly crafted script as much as anything... and so too did producers Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts. Goff and Roberts were already well-established industry veterans by the time they assumed producing chores in 1968. And they were also brilliant. Yes, they were originally playwrights but not in the Arthur Miller/William Inge/Tennesee Williams tradition. The first play they wrote together, and the one that caught the attention of Hollywood, was an ingeniously plotted mystery called PORTRAIT IN BLACK (ultimately adapted for the movies by the playwrights themselves more than a decade later). And their first high-profile screenplay collaboration was on the legendary crime picture WHITE HEAT, starring James Cagney. So yes, Goff and Roberts could write terrific, well-rounded characters with the best of them, but they also knew from (and definitely respected) a well constructed plot. Structure... pacing... twists and turns... reversals and pay-offs... these things are incredibly difficult to get right ONCE, let alone 26 times a year... but getting them right was important to Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, and the scripts they supervised on MANNIX for seven seasons reflected that. This is fast becoming my favorite show of all time.

#1691 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 05:32 AM

Originally Posted by Harry-N 

8 season sets at 6 discs apiece for $129.99


That breaks down to:


$16.25 per season

or $2.71 per disc

or 68¢ per episode

or about 1.4¢ per minute


It doesn't get much better than that. Especially when many of us paid many times that amount.


Not that I mind. But when they come up with the Super-Special Deluxe MANNIX Full Series set, complete with free tweed sports coat (in your own size!), THEN I'll mind. :)


Harry

Harry,


Were those sports coats tweed or double-knit?   I guess they might have been tweed in the earlier seasons, but it does not seem to me that you can quite get the level of color weave achieved in some of the later seasons using tweed -- no sheep would stand for it, dead or alive.  The early '70s were surely the worst fashion period in the US since the revolution, when men wore wigs. 

Having said that, even though I knew some of the "Mannix jackets" were loud, they wound up being quite a bit more tasteful than I remembered.  Some of them are even quite nice, like the reddish one worn towards the end of season 7 (in "Walk a Double Line) and in season 8 (in "Walk on the Blind Side" and "The Survivor Who Wasn't").     Compare that to some of the other jackets and combinations that show up in sitcoms from the early-mid '70s and Joe Mannix winds up looking quite tasteful and even tame.


Well, with the possible exception of the jacket worn in season 6's "A Puzzle for One..."


But oh, if you throw in any one of those sports coats, no matter how loud and no matter how full of holes (preferably full of holes, actually), if it costed more than what is in my bank account, I'd have to seriously consider selling parts of myself that might bring in considerably more income than my mind does.


Been busy lately and missed posting here...



(originally mixed up "Death Has No Face" and "The Survivor Who Wasn't")....



#1692 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 06:14 AM

Originally Posted by Mark Collins 

Hi Mannix fans, before I get into the final season I wanted to speak about Mannix on ABC. I was in college in 1976 and had early morning class and I rememeber the show premired that fall of 76. I know this goes against what some have said but that is how I do remember. I was on my own I had bought my first color tv set and learned Mannix was coming to ABC late night on Tuesdays only. Not every night but just Tuesdays. I was so happy when I learned I would stay up for it even though I had 8:00 class the next morning. The other thing was Dark Shadows had just ended it's syndication in Chicago and what fun to get my other favortie show to replace it and Wild Wild West was also in late night local syndication too. WWW was another show I loved and even Peyton Place was in syndication airing in the afternoon on our local CBS station. What a year 1976 was. I just cannot believe it was 1975 when the show went to ABC. I think it had been off the air until the reruns on late night in the fall of 76. Just had to add that.

I just finished Season 8. I thought this final season went out with Mike Connors and Gail Fisher at the top of their game. I enjoyed the veiled references to Watergate and got a kick out of Joe calling Peggy Mrs. Olson as she poured the coffee. Only people of my generation will remember the Folgers Coffee Lady Commercial with Mrs. Olson. She played Katherine Hepburn’s racist business partner in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

The adding of Chip in two episodes was a new twist and also the addition of some light comedy which I found very acceptable in a few episodes. I also thought in the two part episode using Catalina as a location shoot for the island was a nice touch. I have been to Catalina and it is a very beautiful place. San Francisco used in season 7 was also nice to see again. I also thought they made good use of location shots around LA this season. The Capital Records Building could be seen and even the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We also got to see some great action scenes which was always what fans looked forward to on Mannix. Not stock footage either. I enjoyed when the girl in the wheel chair is watching a Mannix episode on her TV as the killer is about to strike. Nice touch guys!!! The airplane sequence was a good one and we even had Joe driving his new car through the under brush just like in the opening scenes of the series.

Nudity was of course present as in all seasons except season 7. In Ransom for Yesterday I could swear there was nude photo of woman behind the newspaper mans desk. I also enjoyed seeing Toby again. He had not been on the show I think since seasons 5.

I am sure everyone who has ever read any posts from me on this thread know that I am a big Gail Fisher Fan. I thought Gail really gave a great performance this season. Perhaps her best acting in the whole series. The usual office banter between Peggy and Joe seemed so comfortable in this Final Season. Joe and Peggy made you feel as though you were in the office with them. You sat back watching these two old friends bounce ideas off each other to solve a case.

I felt toward the end of season 7 the producers had put to much distance between Joe and Peggy. Season 8 had them working hand and glove again and I was properly grateful to the producers and writers for that. Just little things in conversation between Peggy and Joe showed we were back to normal.

I like how Joe learns who is after him by a tie Peggy gave him for his birthday and he wore the tie for a week he stated. Just small things like that added to the script which let us the audience know the bond between Joe and Peggy was stronger than ever.

Season 8 did deliver two episodes which stood out to prove the depth of Peggy and Joe’s relationship. The over done I know as some say Kidnap Peggy Episodes, in season 8 had a much different twist. Joe thinks this time Peggy is dead but you can see in Joe’s face he is not ready to believe it. I love when Joe states to the crooks girlfriend that he will turn the girlfriend over to the killers to save Peggy. Joe states it firmly without hesitation and we see a side of Joe we have not seen before. Connors really delivers in this scene. You know he means business in his voice and body language.

The other episode which I think was one of the best in the season was when Joe is put into a torture chamber. The crooks do not get what they want from Joe and send for Peggy. I am old time Mannix Fan but that switch in the plot made me get up out of my chair. The scene is Joe handcuffed to a table. The next scene to Joe’s horror Peggy walks in with crooks behind her. The producers again very astute had to have Joe handcuffed to a table as he watches one of the crooks slap Peggy. Joe is in agony and once again Connors does a great job of acting. Beautifully done guys!! Joe of course quickly gives up the name the crooks want. He names the Crook doing the torture. The Crook begins to strangle Joe. Peggy goes after the crook throwing herself on his back several times with increased strength as each of her attacks continue. Watch Gail Fishers face as she tries to save Joe. What a great actress Gail Fisher was.

Producers for the first time on Mannix allowed Peggy to go after who was ever trying to kill Joe. You had the impression Peggy with each assault made on the Crook was done with great fury. You felt Peggy had wanted to beat up these Crooks who had hurt Joe time again through out the years and now she had a chance to do so.

I think after that scene anyone who speculated on the depth of feeling between Joe and Peggy received their answer. I also liked very much a scene where Joe is off to work a long distance case and tells Peggy not to worry and gives her cheek a gentle stroke. I thought that scene is just like a husband leaving a wife for a trip.

We then fast forward to the 90s when Mike does the guest spot on DM. Joe is still Joe and we as loyal Mannix Fans for 8 years get the final pay off when Joe speaks of Peggy and we know they are still together. I had always wished Gail could have been in that episode but I am glad now she was not. We Joe and Peggy fans could on our own decide how their relationship may have evolved over the years. Joe does state in this DM episode to get in touch with Peggy so she is not worried. I think that said it all for me. I am so happy the series is completed and can be bought at now a very reasonable rate from Amazon.

I am so glad to see others like Harry who are interested in the show. So i leave the Mannix thread today in JoAnn and Harry hands and everyone else who so fond of this great tv drama.

I have enjoyed writing here but now it is time for new thoughts from new people.

Good bye Folks and enjoy this thread.


Long Live Joe and Peggy!!!

Mark,


Just a ton of stuff in here, as usual, and good stuff.


With respect to those ABC late night airings, something you have to know about Late Night TV is that local stations would sometimes bump "network" programs.   This probably happened for Mannix in multiple cities.  Heck, I remember when David Letterman first appeared on CBS, back in '92 or so, it ran 1/2 hour later on my local station because they had already sold the time to one of those entertainment rag programs.  Since the program was already sold, the local station was committed to it, even though they wanted to run Letterman.   Actually, I don't think affiliates are obliged to show any network program, even in prime time, although they tend to do so now, with so many channels.  Back when Mannix ran, some stations in smaller communities nearby were actually combined CBS/ABC affiliates!   When Mannix was bumped on my primary channel, for things like MLB games during the summer months, I picked it up there (snow and all), hoping they would run it instead of whatever ABC program was supposed to run during that time.


You are right -- both MC and GF were not only on top of their game, but they really grew into those characters in season 8.   Actually, watching them grow into those characters was part of what made the series so special.   They invented them, had no blueprint or gimmick behind them, and so they sort of took on the experiences their characters had, to include the relationship with each other.


That coffee line -- I noticed that as well!   It is one of the very few dated references in Mannix.   The producers seemed to understand that the series was somehow classic and timeless, and they really kept the dated lingo down. 

I read somewhere that they had planned for Mannix to shoot in all sorts of locations other than LA during season 8, including other countries.  But, that never materialized.  And, I'm glad too.   It would have seemed like they were trying to make Joe something other than an LA-based PI.  For example, I didn't really enjoy "Bird of Prey" and for much the same reason I didn't enjoy "Race Against Time."  The action and location shooting helped the energy of the series, overall, but it was really about the good someone can do in a more or less middle-class kind of way.


Wasn't Chip in just that one episode, "A Choice of Victims?"   He was needed to set-up the comedy, and that comedy was just brilliant.  I remember having a sense that the series got somehow lighter as the seasons went on, and that Joe Mannix smiled more, but it was really only in a few episodes that stood out, like that one.  Having seen MC in a quite a few comedy roles over the years, he was very good at it, and extremely good as doing it while staying in the character of Joe Mannix.  Heck, he could do just about anything while staying in that character (including going nuts, as in "Death is the Fifth Gear") because, for all intents and purposes, Joe Mannix and MC are one and the same.


Toby was actually in a season 6 episode, "See No Evil" and in a cute scene, too -- the opening one.   I think you are right that he was not in season 7 though, even though he was mentioned in the opening episode, "The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress" an in a fun way, too.


But, nude art was definitely present in season 7!   Take a look at the giant nude in the bar in "A Way to Dusty Death" and again in a bar in "The Gang's All Here."


I agree with your observations about Joe and Peggy, including the distance at the end of season 7, something I noticed first run.  I also noticed that at the end of "The Dark Hours," which otherwise has a great scene between them.   But, having said that, they knew enough to let Peggy take on some of Joe's attributes at the end of that episode, giving him the chance to say he "taught her everything she knows."  That actually was significant, in the context of those characters.


But, gee, notice how in "Design For Dying," the third to last new episode ever to air, they sort of try to establish this kind of relationship where Peggy is asking for candy and flowers and Joe is oblivious to it!    What were they thinking for season 9??


"Walk on the Blind Side" is probably the best "Peggy is kidnapped again" episode of the entire series.   When MC plays "Rudy the Real Estate Agent," with Peggy being held hostage in that house, it's just incredible, including her response to finding out he knows she is still alive after she is asked to describe his physical features!   I so wish that episode was restored better, so that you could see both of their faces better.

And, "A Word Called Courage" is almost too hard to watch!  That scene were Peggy fights the bad guy off -- you are right!   It was as if she was fighting off all of the bad guys that hurt Joe over the years!


The scene where Joe strokes Peggy's face is the same episode where the tie she bought him is a clue, "Death Has No Face."   The interaction between them in season 8 was timeless.  Mannix surely went out on top, and should never have gone out after a great season 8.


I have a feeling you might be back to this thread -- I hope so.



#1693 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 06:18 AM

Originally Posted by Regulus 

BTW I got the complete series delivered to my house today that I bought from the Big River. Posted Image

William,


Please be sure to post your observations when you watch it!



#1694 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 06:21 AM

Originally Posted by JohnMor 

I took advantage of Amazon's "Complete Series" deal and am now watching this series that I loved as a kid and hadn't seen in 40 years.  Only just started the second disc of S1, but am really enjoying it.  Kinda want to skip ahead to the "Peggy" years but am determined to watch in order.  I'd forgotten what a great theme and opening titles this series had.    And how great Mike Connors is!

John,


The most common comment, by far, of people who re-connect with this series is that is it much better than they remembered -- that type of comment is all over the web.    That was certainly true for me as well, even though I simply loved it as a kid.  

It has a modern-day reputation that is completely different from what it is all about. 


#1695 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 06:24 AM

Originally Posted by Harry-N 

My MANNIX viewing has slowed down considerably again. Being located in Florida, this is the time of year that we get lots of snowbirds visiting from the cold north, so my idle time for TV watching has been limited. But in between visitors yesterday I managed to squeeze in Season 6's "Broken Mirror". A lot of location budget was used in this episode with outdoor scenes allegedly in Mexico, a good amount of underwater photography, helicopter and classic car usage, all with the lovely Anjanette Comer to look at.


I think I missed an episode though. Looking at IMDB, the episode prior had the return-to-MANNIX appearance of Joseph Campanella, so I'll need to go back an episode, the next chance I get to watch an episode.


Harry

Harry,


That underwater stuff in "Broken Mirror" was strange, wasn't it?   I'm not even sure why they did it.   That same kind of struggle could have taken place on land.   I just think they wanted to do it!


When you watch "The Crimson Halo" be sure to pay attention to the opening line MC speaks to Joseph Campanella.    It's fun, when you think about season 1.


Also be sure to pay attention to Campanella's reply!!



#1696 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 06:28 AM

Originally Posted by Wiseguy 

I recently came across an old Blooper tape which included a short Mannix scene. In it Mike Connors is driving and Joe Campanella is sitting next to him with a projection of the view of the moving car seen through the window. Not really a blooper but more of a joke they both exit the car while the projection shows the car is still moving and then the sound of a car crash is dubbed over it. What episode of the first season could they have been filming? One in which Mannix is driving and Lou is the passenger with a projection screen behind it.

Erich,


There is actually another set of Mannix bloopers that appeared in one of those Dick Clark specials in around the mid-80's or so.   Among those is a scene from s4's "A Day Filled with Shadows" where Joe is visiting the university library.   He introduces himself to the librarian, and goes on to say "I'm looking for..."  then, MC has a real minor, but entirely clear, look of confusion on his face for just a split second before he looks over to the right and says, entirely seriously, "Who am I looking for?"  It's great.



#1697 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 06:29 AM

Originally Posted by BJ Thompson 

Might be at the end of the episode, Coffin for a Clown.

BJ,


Yep...



#1698 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 06:32 AM

Originally Posted by Harry-N 

Only slightly MANNIX-related: As I happened to be channel-surfing this morning, I happened upon a MeTV showing of a MY THREE SONS episode where Fred MacMurray's co-workers were confused about two women claiming to be "Mrs. Douglas". One of the co-workers had a voice that stood out from the rest - it was Gail Fisher in a pre-Peggy role, one of the few she had before MANNIX.


It all serves to remind me that I've been remiss in my MANNIX viewings and need to get back to it...


Harry

Harry,


MeTV is also good for giving a kind of timestamp for the other things viewed when Mannix first ran.  Since I watched a lot of TV, it can be fun to play the game of associating this or that Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart or My Three Sons episode with Mannix -- some of those series even ran on the same night (Bob Newhart is the only one that never did).


#1699 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 06:34 AM

Originally Posted by Harry-N 

A MANNIX music cue has surfaced on the web. While looking around on another site, I was directed to a site for Robert Drasnin, noted composer of television music cues, and lo and behold, right there at the top of his list is the "MANNIX Driving Cue".


To hear it, go to http://robertdrasnin.net/

Click on Mr. Drasnin's picture to enter the site

Click on the "Listen" link on the left side

Click on the "Film Music" box


Now you should see a list of "songs", at the top of which is the "MANNIX Driving Cue". Click the play button and enjoy.


Harry

Harry,


This is great!!! 

I wonder if he is going to post more of these!!



#1700 of 2195 OFFLINE   jompaul17

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Posted February 28 2013 - 07:20 AM

Originally Posted by filmklassik 

I joined this site for one specific purpose: To thank Jo Ann for her many great MANNIX postings both on here and at Amazon.com. Hats off, Jo Ann. Your giddiness and insight about the show was so infectious it made me run out and buy seasons one and two SIGHT UNSEEN, while the amazing work done by Mssrs. Connors, Geller, Goff and Roberts led to my buying subsequent seasons as soon as they became available (which was never soon enough!)

So congratulations, Jo Ann. I am officially hooked now. MANNIX more than lived up to its billing -- and how many things can you say that about? It's a fast, smart, witty, and impeccably produced show with -- you're correct, Jo Ann -- top-notch characterizations. However (and this is something that doesn't get enough attention around here) it boasted masterfully plotted stories, too.

Full disclosure: I'm a plot guy. More so than you, Jo Ann, and, I suspect, more so than many people on these boards. When it comes to mystery and suspense I love a rock-solid, cunningly crafted script as much as anything... and so too did producers Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts.

Goff and Roberts were already well-established industry veterans by the time they assumed producing chores in 1968. And they were also brilliant. Yes, they were originally playwrights but not in the Arthur Miller/William Inge/Tennesee Williams tradition. The first play they wrote together, and the one that caught the attention of Hollywood, was an ingeniously plotted mystery called PORTRAIT IN BLACK (ultimately adapted for the movies by the playwrights themselves more than a decade later).

And their first high-profile screenplay collaboration was on the legendary crime picture WHITE HEAT, starring James Cagney. So yes, Goff and Roberts could write terrific, well-rounded characters with the best of them, but they also knew from (and definitely respected) a well constructed plot.

Structure... pacing... twists and turns... reversals and pay-offs... these things are incredibly difficult to get right ONCE, let alone 26 times a year... but getting them right was important to Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, and the scripts they supervised on MANNIX for seven seasons reflected that.

This is fast becoming my favorite show of all time.

David,


I just can't thank you enough for this post -- and it came at a particularly good time, too.


This is probably the first time in my life I have ever been described as "giddy" but, in the context of this thread, I am happy to accept the label.


The way you describe having purchased the series sight unseen and that it is fast becoming your favorite show of all time -- I so wanted to see someone post something like this these past nearly two years now.  

Mannix is so much better than people give it credit for, having been caught up, I believe, in some distortions these past years for all sorts of PC reasons that Baby Boomers adopted without even realizing it.   In this case, those PC things obscure something far more important to us as human beings -- what heroism in story really means to us, why character matters, and how beautiful it is to be a tough individual who can manage to find a way to work beside "the system" -- not outside of it, nor cowed by it. 

The more I think about the series in the context of all sorts of things, the better Mannix holds up.    I still find this amazing.  So, when you say it is becoming your favorite show, that makes complete sense to me -- even as I so appreciate your saying it.


Mannix is actually often praised for its production qualities, and those were surely something I came to expect but took for granted during its first run.  When I compare it to other series I watched back then, it just seemed so much more polished.  I guess that's because it was.   Heck, I've even seen people praise the camera man on Mannix, which, since it was shot with a single camera, really does make a difference!


Add to that the symbolism, the score, the settings, the pacing, the story, the way MC inhabited and invented the role, what the character was all about, and you really do get something very special.


As for Goff and Roberts, I really don't mean to short-change the plots in Mannix, nor their role in making the series a classic.   Mannix certainly is characterized by extremely interesting and well-done plots.  But, since so many other series wound up being ALL about plot (ranging from Mission: Impossible to Colombo to Murder She Wrote), all I wanted to say was that Mannix is about so much more than that.  That "so much more" is what makes so many episodes and scenes re-watchable, something even worth thinking about more in the context of those characters as you re-watch them, even after you know how the plot is going to turn out.

I'm sure Goff and Roberts contributed to that, as well.   Heck, Ben Roberts wrote the incredible, "A World Between" which dealt with the Joe-Peggy relationship in a brilliant way.  In that episode, and in so many others, Mannix was masterful at mis-direction, so that something subtle and more significant would get through to you while you were supposed to be paying attention to the otherwise well-done plot!  This was also brilliantly done with respect to racism in "Death in a Minor Key."  Those episodes were both brilliantly constructed and acted -- most especially when you consider the racial climate back then.


Ben Roberts also wrote a couple of other Mannix episodes, if memory serves, "The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress" and "The Survivor Who Wasn't."  Curiously, he is credited with writing the story, but not the screenplay (in the opening credits of those episodes).   Each of those episodes include some great scenes that establish qualities of character.   And, I have no doubt that Goff and Roberts, along with Connors, cared a lot about consistent, well-done, qualities of character.  It comes across that everyone seemed to care about that series, right down to the nude art!


What I do not understand is why Goff and Roberts went off and did Charlie's Angels right after Mannix!   Having watched a few episodes of that series, and seeing their names there, in the way I saw them on Mannix so many times, I distinctly remember wondering what the heck was happening to the world.  It didn't help that I missed Mannix so much, and not only did nothing replace it then (nothing ever did), but those names were now associated with that show.    Heck, Goff and Roberts are mostly known for their "work" on Charlie's Angels, not Mannix!


But, your point about giving proper credit to plot, and the role Goff and Roberts played in Mannix is well taken.


By the way, Bruce Geller contributed a lot to Mannix as well, in particular the symbolism of the "jackets" and the cars -- but also the pacing, which kept the show moving.   He wrote the season 4 opener, "A Ticket to the Eclipse," which shows a bit of Joe's dark side.  But, I understand he was banned from the Paramount lot starting in around 1970, because of budgetary issues with Mission: Impossible.

Please keep posting!







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