Top-Rated, Nearly Forgotten DRAMAS!

Richard V

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jperez said:
I think he was nominated for a Grammy the three years the series was on the air, and lost every time to Bill Cosby, who starred (with Robert Culp) in I Spy, a series with which Run For Your Life had a lot in common, including the globe trotting, the difference being that I Spy actually went on location.
Anyway, as another reader said, Run For Your Life is certainly a holy grail for me..
Emmy
 

Frank Soyke

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jperez said:
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
What Frank Soykes says above about this series is true: it sometimes bordered on the melodramatic and it's a shame it had to use stock footage for its outdoor scenes, specially since it was a series that roamed all over the world: Africa, East and Western Europe, Cuba.... wherever Ben Gazzara, as lawyer Paul Bryant, happened to jump to in his effort to live what remained of his life as its fullest.
But, if one takes into account that the scripts were not following a set formula, I found most to be fairly good and some of them really excepcional, specially since many of the stories went head to head with the notion of what it really would be like for a young man to know he has a short time to live.
And Gazzara's acting is something else... a tour the force, if there ever was one.
I think he was nominated for a Grammy the three years the series was on the air, and lost every time to Bill Cosby, who starred (with Robert Culp) in I Spy, a series with which Run For Your Life had a lot in common, including the globe trotting, the difference being that I Spy actually went on location.
Anyway, as another reader said, Run For Your Life is certainly a holy grail for me..
By and large, Run For Your Life has always been viewed an inferior copy of The Fugitive. Personally, I think it is superior on most fronts. Don't get me wrong, I love The Fugitive and Janssen is an incredible actor but "Run" had some things The Fugitive didn't:

1) The chronic brooding of Janssen wears thin after 4 years. I understand this was part of his appeal as amthod type actor, but he rarely showed any positive emotion throughout the course of the series, whereas Gazzara went through a wide range of emotions in mostly every episode. I understand Kimble was facing electrocution if caught, but he had a chance to avoid it. Paul Bryan had a death sentence regardless of what he did. So my question is, which one has more a right for optimism? The acting comparison doesn't follow

2) The Fugitive was pretty formulaic every week. Kimble would come into a new town, get a job, find a girl, the jealous boyfriend/Angry father/distrustful brother would become suspicious and find Kimble out. Then Kimble would tearfully (or as tearfully as Janssen got) say goodbye to his latest girlfriend, and run. Gazarra went through a variety of adventures and rarely were two the same. He got involved in revolutions, car races, and other cultures. Sure, Paul Bryan had his share of meet a girl/get involved/sadly move on episodes but it's wasn't weekly.

3) No offense to hardcore Janssen fans, but with regard to the comparison of these two shows anyway, The Kimble character was kind of a wimp compared to Paul Bryan. Kimble's first instinct was to run away from any kind of conflict standing up for himself or his lady friend only as a last resort. Paul Bryan, on the other hand, was never afraid to get in there an mix it up with anyone who threatened him or his friends..

4) IMO - Pete Rugolo's theme is much better. Just IMO on this one.

Now, I realize these are are two different shows with entirely different characters, but since hstorically everyone compares them (with "Run" always getting the worst of it), I thought I would through in my opinion
 
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Frank Soyke

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Also I find it interesting that a lifetime doctor and a lawyer who "hasn't taken a day off since law school," to be so proficient at manual labor jobs and exotic high adventure sports respectively.
 

jperez

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Regarding Paul Bryan-Gazzara surprising proficiency in exotic high adventure sports.... it's not so. When he was parachute jumping or deep sea diving or driving race cars, he usually admitted he was doing it for the first time. The reason he was so good at it -unknown to others- was always the same: he was fearless and reckless, because he knew he hadn't too long to live anyway.
 

Neil Brock

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As with a lot of shows from the 60s, Run For Your Life is hurt by cheapo Universal and their backlot shooting. Had they actually gone off the lot to great locations, like I Spy for instance, the show would look a helluva lot better. Also, for a man with a terminal disease, he sure looked pretty healthy. Sorry but in no way is this show anything but a pale imitation of The Fugitive. For me, anyway, I think the best Fugitive knockoff was The Immortal, which was basically The Fugitive with a Science Fiction twist to it. Great bad guy in Fletcher (Don Knight) and it even had a great Dominic Frontiere score. And, even though it only ran a half season, there was a great concluding episode.
 
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Silverking

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Here's a few more dramas not mentioned so far - not all long running but I'd love to see on DVD -

Two Faces West (60/61) 39 Episodes
Tightrope (60) 37 episodes - Mike Connors
The Californians (57/59) 54 episodes
Man Without a Gun (57/9) 52 episodes - Rex Reason
My Friend Flicka (56/7) 39 episodes - Gene Evans
T H E Cat (66/7) 26 episodes - Robert Loggia
Legend of Jesse James (65/66) - Christopher Jones/Alan Case
Man from Blackhawk -(59/60) 37 episodes
Cannonball (59) 39 episodes
 
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