What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)?

JohnHopper

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Sutton Roley was the best television director ever!
Just take a look at his filmography.
His best work was for three groundbreaking series:
Combat!
Mission: Impossible
Mannix

[about producer Quinn Martin] “He demanded quality. When it was night in a scene, he'd shoot at night; he wouldn't shoot it day for night . . .
He spent some money. And he paid a little extra to directors, to writers, to everyone else to get that kind of quality.”
—Director Sutton Roley
 

Doug Wallen

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After a bit away from classic television, I am back to report on the past couple of weeks.

Lost In Space - Complete Series Widescreen
West of Mars (2.11) Western parody with Dr. Smith as a galactic supervillian. Interesting to see Jonathan Harris playing a tight lipped western villian. Made this episode laughable, but fun to watch.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Complete Series Bluray
I am so excited to have this series on bluray. It looks magnificient and I am having trouble showing patience in viewing these. My wife did not watch this series while in reruns. She is watching this with fresh eyes and has enjoyed the episodes she has viewed so far. I picked three from the first disc to show her.
The Sick Boy and the Sitter (1.1) Pilot show with different neighbors. I felt the home scenes were weaker until the end of the episode where Rob really shows his desire for Laurie (Laura). The party at Alan's was a wonderful showcase introduction for Buddy, Sally and Mel.

My Blonde-Haired Brunette (1.2) What can be said, a classic. And...

Oh, How We Met on the Night We Danced (1.5) The first flashback episode. Interesting to see how far away Rob's foot was from Laura's toe. Another classic episode. Pretty much sold my wife on the series.

The episodes were then viewed in order from the discs, these do not match up with the order found on IMDB.

The Meershatz Pipe (1.10)
Jealousy (1.7)
Sally and the Lab Technician(1.3)
Washington vs. The Bunny (1.4)
The Unwelcome Houseguest (1.9)
Harrison B. Harding of Camp Crowder, Mo. (1.6)
Forty-Four Tickets (1.11)
To Tell or Not ot Tell (1.8)
Sally Is A Girl (1.13)

All good episodes, do not feel the need to comment individually. Just loving this complete series set.

From The Earth To The Moon - Bluray
Part 9: For Miles and Miles
Part 10: Galileo Was Right
Part 11: The Original Wives Club
Part 12: Le Voyage Dans La Lune

Finished up this impressive HBO miniseries.

Rawhide - Season 1
Incident of the Coyote Weed (1.11) Rick Jason, Buzz Martin. The drive has been infiltrated and poisoned. Rowdy questions Gil's decision and is forced to make the same choice himself.

Incident of the Chubasco (1.12) George Brent, John Ericson, Noah Beery Jr, Olive Sturgess. The drive is sanctuary to a runaway wife and her boyfriend as they attempt to cross a dangerous plateau.

Incident of the Curious Street (1.13) Mercedes McCambridge, James Westerfield, Whitney Blake, Ralph Moody. Sadistic father and son hold three townspeople hostage as Rowdy and Gil decide who to assist.

The Rockford Files - Complete Series Bluray
The Reincarnation of Angie (2.12) Elaine Heilveil, Wayne Tippit, David Huddleston, Charles Seibert. A secretive brother is under FBI investigation and his sister hires Rockford to assist her get to the bottom of his secret safe.

The Girl In the Bay City Boys Club (2.13) Blair Brown, Stewart Moss, Paul Stevens, Stuart Margolin. Rockford is hired to infiltrate a crooked poker game where all the players are not who they appear to be.

The Hammer of C Block (2.14) Isaac Hayes, Lynn Hamilton, James A Watson Jr. Gandolph Fitch is released from prison and looks up "Rockfish" to help him prove his innocence. A bittersweet story that sticks with you.

The No-Cut Contract (2.15) Rob Reiner, Wayne Tippit, Dick Butkus, Gretchen Corbett, Stuart Margolin. A third rate pompous quarterback picked Jim's name from the phonebook and creates problems involving organized crime.

A Portrait of Elizabeth (2.16) John Saxon, Gretchen Corbett, Cynthia Sikes, Wayne Tippit, Tom Atkins, Katherine Woodville. Beth is enamored of Dave who Rockford doesn't trust. COme to find out there is a good reason for Rockford's jealousy.

Joey Blue Eyes (2.17) Michael Ansara, Gretchen Corbett, James Luisi, Stuart Margolin, Sandy Kenyon. Rockford is pushed to help a client of Beth's who is being forced out of his own restaurant.
 
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morasp

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50 years ago computers *were* mostly room-sized machines with a variety of control panels although it was a bit exaggerated in movies and TV shows.

My mom tried to get me to go into computers when I started college (I was excellent with math and electronic things - took trig and calculus in HS and built a digital hex based adding machine for a science fair project [and it lost to some schmuck who made homemade wine!]). When I started college their computer system was in the basement, filled the room, and used punch cards for data entry. I couldn't see myself doing that so was a music major instead (and dropped that for communications [aka radio/TV] after a year). I'm now a "Network Administrator" working with servers and databases on a daily basis (but I worked in TV for over 20 years and sing on the side so none of that was a total waste). Mom was right...
My story is similar. My dad talked to the neighbor who said programmers made $40k per year so I majored in Computer Science. You had to write a program by hand and sign up for terminal time, 30 minutes at a time, on the mainframe to enter it, compile it, and run it. I quickly decided that it wasn't for me and switched to electrical engineering. The funny thing was I ended up doing a lot of coding anyway.
 
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Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Dennis the Menace
"Dennis and the Signpost" (S1E2)--1959

I know of no logical reason why I do commentaries on this series. In my mind, it represents the worst of classic TV sitcoms with its cardboard characters and scripts as comedic as a Louisville bus schedule. Jay North's ubiquitous striped shirt and kiddy bibs makes me embarrassed that I was a kid his age when this aired. No kid I ever knew would be caught dead in such an outfit. Dennis' whiny, obnoxious manner is as irritating as a cocklebur in one's Speedos. I'm betting this show came about as close to an Emmy as Pluto is to Seattle.
But hey, it's just too much fun not to rag on an episode or two. So here goes.

George Wilson (Joseph Kearns) is staking out his back yard to be re-seeded. The poor man can hardly walk out of his house without being assaulted by Dennis with his never-ceasing obtuse questions and commentaries. I assume Wilson goes through at least 3 pints of gin a day just to get through it. How that man has avoided child abuse charges is a mystery. To get away from it all, George hauls his owl-like wife Martha (Sylvia Field) on a picnic, leaving instructions and his address to the local nursery for re-seeding.

upload_2019-11-22_10-18-32.jpeg
upload_2019-11-22_10-21-30.jpeg

Martha encourages George to talk on a sex line; Stunningly chic kid couture; Dennis' Dad dreams of being childless

Meanwhile, Dennis and his dim-witted friend Tommy re-erect a neighborhood street sign that's been accidentally knocked over. Of course, they set it up backwards thus creating a whole host of mishaps to follow. Instead of a simple re-seeding, a construction crew mistakenly shows up at Wilson's address to put in a swimming pool. George and Martha return home to a large hole in their back yard, to which he inexplicably attributes to an artillery shell attack. A perfectly square excavated hole due to an artillery attack. In a suburban neighborhood. Think about it. George dons his civil service outfit and runs through the neighborhood maniacally screaming AIR RAID! I bet the writers thought this would be hilarious. I know I nearly wet myself with mirth.

So despite my caustic analysis, the show actually lasted through 100 episodes. Even more surprising is that the comic strip still exists. I can attest that I remember watching the series when it originally aired, and thought it sucked even then. To those of you who still lovingly hold onto your Dennis the Menace lunchboxes, I apologize.

Notes:
An article written in 1961 quotes Jay North's mother as claiming her son was so clumsy as to not even to be able to effectively use the slingshot that was perennially in Dennis' back pocket. Somewhat a nerd, Jay's biggest interest / obsession was all things pirates.

upload_2019-11-22_10-36-31.jpeg

Yep, this is our boy today at age 68. Kinda looks like pirates might still be his thing.
 
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BobO'Link

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Episode Commentary
Dennis the Menace
"Dennis and the Signpost" (S1E2)--1959

I know of no logical reason why I do commentaries on this series. In my mind, it represents the worst of classic TV sitcoms with its cardboard characters and scripts as comedic as a Louisville bus schedule. Jay North's ubiquitous striped shirt and kiddy bibs makes me embarrassed that I was a kid his age when this aired. No kid I ever knew would be caught dead in such an outfit. Dennis' whiny, obnoxious manner is as irritating as a cocklebur in one's Speedos. I'm betting this show came about as close to an Emmy as Pluto is to Seattle.
But hey, it's just too much fun not to rag on an episode or two. So here goes.

George Wilson (Joseph Kearns) is staking out his back yard to be re-seeded. The poor man can hardly walk out of his house without being assaulted by Dennis with his never-ceasing obtuse questions and commentaries. I assume Wilson goes through at least 3 pints of gin a day just to get through it. How that man has avoided child abuse charges is a mystery. To get away from it all, George hauls his owl-like wife Martha (Sylvia Field) on a picnic, leaving instructions and his address to the local nursery for re-seeding.

View attachment 65316
View attachment 65318
Martha encourages George to talk on a sex line; Stunningly chic kid couture; Dennis' Dad dreams of being childless

Meanwhile, Dennis and his dim-witted friend Tommy re-erect a neighborhood street sign that's been accidentally knocked over. Of course, they set it up backwards thus creating a whole host of mishaps to follow. Instead of a simple re-seeding, a construction crew mistakenly shows up at Wilson's address to put in a swimming pool. George and Martha return home to a large hole in their back yard, to which he inexplicably attributes to an artillery shell attack. A perfectly square excavated hole due to an artillery attack. In a suburban neighborhood. Think about it. George dons his civil service outfit and runs through the neighborhood maniacally screaming AIR RAID! I bet the writers thought this would be hilarious. I know I nearly wet myself with mirth.

So despite my caustic analysis, the show actually lasted through 100 episodes. Even more surprising is that the comic strip still exists. I can attest that I remember watching the series when it originally aired, and thought it sucked even then. To those of you who still lovingly hold onto your Dennis the Menace lunchboxes, I apologize.

Notes:
An article written in 1961 quotes Jay North's mother as claiming her son was so clumsy as to not even to be able to effectively use the slingshot that was perennially in Dennis' back pocket. Somewhat a nerd, Jay's biggest interest / obsession was all things pirates.

View attachment 65322
Yep, this is our boy today at age 68. Kinda looks like pirates might still be his thing.
You know... I like this show, well... the first 3 seasons (until Joseph Kearns died), in spite of everything you say being 100% true. Granted, it's not the first thing I'll put on but I tend to enjoy it whenever I do even though there are truly no laughs to be had. I remember feeling pretty much the same during its original airings. I'd say it's mostly the nostalgia thing for this one. The strip runs in our daily paper and I read it every day - in spite of it being so generic/repetitive/obvious that my 7yo granddaughter "gets it" before she reads the caption. It *is* one of the first ones I read and I always save my favorites for last. If it were to be dropped I'd never miss it.

Trivia: It ran 146 episodes. Kearns died after filming #100.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Episode Commentary
Dennis the Menace
"Dennis and the Signpost" (S1E2)--1959

I know of no logical reason why I do commentaries on this series. In my mind, it represents the worst of classic TV sitcoms with its cardboard characters and scripts as comedic as a Louisville bus schedule. Jay North's ubiquitous striped shirt and kiddy bibs makes me embarrassed that I was a kid his age when this aired. No kid I ever knew would be caught dead in such an outfit. Dennis' whiny, obnoxious manner is as irritating as a cocklebur in one's Speedos. I'm betting this show came about as close to an Emmy as Pluto is to Seattle.
Good stuff per usual, Russ! I've tried watching a few minutes of this show on YouTube and couldn't get into it...that Jay North kid was just too annoying. I will try to watch an episode or two later, just to see if it is as laugh-free to me as it is to you and Howie. All I know is that I've got a LOT to watch, and this one's waaaay down the list.

Speaking of vintage TV watching...been a bit remiss this past week, mostly catching up with lots of newer stuff, such as Disney's very fun Star Wars series The Mandalorian, S2 of The Rookie, an exciting if occasionally ludicrous cop show with Nathan Fillion, and misc. BBC comedy and travel shows, including an enjoyable little series called Great British Car Journeys, which reunites Christopher Timothy and Peter Davison from All Creatures Great and Small as they tool around scenic British locales in a '30s Morgan 4/4 two-seater. I did manage to check out a typically solid early S1 episode of Perry Mason, which I'll talk about later.
 

morasp

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The FBI A Sleeper Wakes Season 3 Episode 7 IMDB rating 7.7/10
A favorite show growing up I finally picked up some seasons of this great show. There were two reasons it took me so long. The price for the sets is pretty challenging for example this 16 episode volume is currently listed for over $20 on Amazon and with so many other shows yet to acquire with better per episode prices I just never got around to it. The second reason was although I watched it all the time growing up I haven't seen it since anywhere and sometimes shows don't hold up that well over time. While I wasn't able to overcome the price issue I'm happy to report that if anything this show is even better than I remember. I was just going to sample this episode and ended up watching the whole thing without interruption. I also sampled fifteen minutes of an episode from season two and it seemed more like a 60's show still good but just different. The picture and sound on both episodes was great and I had no complaints.

Plot from IMDB
An Eastern Bloc nation seeks to prevent the defection of Gerald Salzman, one of its key officials, to the U.S. Salzman's wife has already flown to the U.S. with forged papers. Sylvia Prince, who acts as a messenger and coordinator of espionage operations, has activated a sleeper agent who supposedly defected to the U.S. six years earlier. The plot of the conspirators is to kidnap Mrs. Salzman to force him to go back to his homeland. The FBI is on the case after a U.S. State Department official, who knows Salzman, is murdered. Erskine and Colby race to rescue Mrs. Salzman to ensure Salzman's defection takes place. Written by Bill Koenig


 
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Rustifer

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S2 of The Rookie, an exciting if occasionally ludicrous cop show with Nathan Fillion, and misc.
I, too, have been following The Rookie with mixed thoughts. Is it my imagination, or does Nathan Fillion look like he's lost so much weight that his eyeballs seem to be popping out of his skull?
 

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I watch and Love Classic TV shows ! Here are ones that I own or watch on Tubi or Amazon Prime. Car 54 Where are you ?, Dennis the Menace, Adventures of Superman, The Munsters, Bonanza, The Honeymooners, Combat!, UFO, Thundedbirds, Captain Scarlet, The Jetsons, and Jonny Quest !
 

morasp

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I watch and Love Classic TV shows ! Here are ones that I own or watch on Tubi or Amazon Prime. Car 54 Where are you ?, Dennis the Menace, Adventures of Superman, The Munsters, Bonanza, The Honeymooners, Combat!, UFO, Thundedbirds, Captain Scarlet, The Jetsons, and Jonny Quest !
All good shows, I need to watch another episode of UFO.
 

Rustifer

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FBI: A favorite show growing up I finally picked up some seasons of this great show.
There's a fun few references to the FBI series in Quentin Tarantino's great Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. In fact. there's just a whole slew of nostalgic references--some very subtle--to classic TV throughout the movie. I had to explain most of them to my 33-year old son. It's worth just catching Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen. Eye popping!

I don't want to offer up a spoiler, but if you haven't seen the movie--you'll be blown away by the ending.
 

BobO'Link

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All good shows, I need to watch another episode of UFO.
I need to finally open and watch S2. I only got to see part of that season during the original airings so most of it will be new - first time viewings - for me. I've been saving it for a "special" time. I need to stop saving it...
 

morasp

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I need to finally open and watch S2. I only got to see part of that season during the original airings so most of it will be new - first time viewings - for me. I've been saving it for a "special" time. I need to stop saving it...
I know that feeling. I guess you could say I'm a hoarder when it comes to good shows without that many episodes.
 

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I've been enjoying the new season one Ben Casey release. I've had a number of these episodes in my collection from other sources, including 16mm, over these past many years. But some of them are virtually new to me...one being episode 12, Dark Night for Billy Harris (Dec. 18, 1961),directed by Alex March, guest starring Telly Savalas, Ellen Willard and Bruce Dern...Telly Savalas plays a cop who shot hood Bruce Dern while he was robbing a liquor store...Dr. Casey is troubled by what he learns about the incident while simultaneously trying to save the young robber's life...we're used to seeing Telly Savalas as a plainclothes detective, but not as a uniformed cop, so this is different...speaking of Savalas, I watched season four of Kojak (1977-78) not long ago on the Shout set, and I should probably do a post on that too...I also watched the WAC DVD of his 1971 feature film with Rock Hudson and Angie Dickinson, Pretty Maids All in a Row (lots of nubile young lovelies in various states of undress, yowza!), where Telly Savalas seemed to be test driving his Kojak persona two years before his very successful 5 year run as that iconic character...I've got to say, I always enjoy seeing him in classic TV and feature films as well...here are some screen caps I took from the new DVD release...

As Dr. Zorba, Sam Jaffe (ol' Gunga Din himself), intones in the intro while drawing these ancient Greek symbols on the chalk board..."Man...Woman...Birth...Death...Infinity"...
Ben Casey 1.JPG

Ben Casey 2.JPG

Ben Casey 3.JPG

Ben Casey 4.JPG

Ben Casey 5.JPG

Ben Casey 6.JPG

Ben Casey 7.JPG

Ben Casey 8.JPG

Ben Casey 22.JPG


Vince Edwards and Telly Savalas both put on their scary war face in a grim stand off...
Ben Casey 12.JPG

Ben Casey 14.JPG

Ben Casey 15.JPG

Ben Casey 16.JPG

Ben Casey 19.JPG

Ben Casey 23.JPG


For anyone not familiar with Ben Casey, it was a very much honored prestige drama on ABC that ran concurrently in the same era as the equally good Dr. Kildare (NBC), with both shows spanning the 1961-66 seasons, and both winning multiple Emmys...and which were often compared to each other in popular culture and fandom...for instance, Jack Benny, Bob Hope and others often parodied the ubiquitous intercom calls for Dr. Casey and Dr. Zorba for comedic effect..."calling doctor E. Ville, doctor Necessary E. Ville"...Ben Casey, Dr. Zorba and the show are referenced in numerous other contemporary shows such as Twilight Zone (The Bard ), Car 54, Donna Reed, Dobie Gillis, Dick Van Dyke, Leave it to Beaver, Mister Ed, My Favorite Martian, Patty Duke, Batman, etc...

Oscar nominated composer David Raksin (Laura, Forever Amber, The Bad and the Beautiful, Separate Tables etc.) created the wonderful Ben Casey theme, one of the iconic music themes of '60s TV, for this Bing Crosby produced series filmed at Desilu studios...apparently, the role of Ben Casey was first offered to both Cliff Robertson and Jack Lord before Vince Edwards got his big break...Russell Johnson (the Professor from Gilligan's Island natch) also auditioned for the role of Casey...
Ben Casey 26.JPG
 
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Bryan^H

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Last Friday I watched an episode line up from November 22, 1985

Early morning animation 6:30-8:00 A.M.

MASK -Eyes of the Skull. Great episode about magical crystal Skulls.

Gobots -Clutch of Doom. Really good ep. with high stakes Cy-Kill solidifies himself as one ruthless evil monster, as he would gladly kill a billion people with the help of an orb.

Jayce, and the Wheeled Warriors -The Gardner. Now this is more like it. Fantastic sci-fi wrapped in a cartoon shell. Great story, better animation than most Jayce episodes. Perfect.

PRIME TIME 8:30-11:00 P.M.

Mr. Belvedere -The Letter. Not the best episode, especially not for a special "Thanksgiving" episode. All the Characters seemed uncharacteristically cold, and unfeeling. Especially the son, and his Football dig at his father.


Twilight Zone (1985) -Dead Womens' Shoes. Helen Mirren is amazing in this episode playing duel roles of a meek/shy clerk that wearing special shoes is transformed into the previous owner that had been murdered. Amazing stuff.
Wong's Magic Emporium. This second segment of the program didn't fare as well. Not so good.

Miami Vice -Bushido. Blah.

 

morasp

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Last Friday I watched an episode line up from November 22, 1985

Early morning animation 6:30-8:00 A.M.

MASK -Eyes of the Skull. Great episode about magical crystal Skulls.

Gobots -Clutch of Doom. Really good ep. with high stakes Cy-Kill solidifies himself as one ruthless evil monster, as he would gladly kill a billion people with the help of an orb.

Jayce, and the Wheeled Warriors -The Gardner. Now this is more like it. Fantastic sci-fi wrapped in a cartoon shell. Great story, better animation than most Jayce episodes. Perfect.

PRIME TIME 8:30-11:00 P.M.

Mr. Belvedere -The Letter. Not the best episode, especially not for a special "Thanksgiving" episode. All the Characters seemed uncharacteristically cold, and unfeeling. Especially the son, and his Football dig at his father.


Twilight Zone (1985) -Dead Womens' Shoes. Helen Mirren is amazing in this episode playing duel roles of a meek/shy clerk that wearing special shoes is transformed into the previous owner that had been murdered. Amazing stuff.
Wong's Magic Emporium. This second segment of the program didn't fare as well. Not so good.

Miami Vice -Bushido. Blah.
I like your idea of watching shows from a given year on the day and month they originally aired.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Miami Vice -Bushido. Blah.
Aww...I like that episode. Edward James Olmos is INTENSE in this series. Miami Vice can get melodramatic (the above episode no exception), but there's no denying it's got style to burn. :cool:

That's cool, watching a whole night's line-up like that, Bryan. Might have to try that sometime.
 

Jeff Flugel

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I've been enjoying the new season one Ben Casey release. I've had a number of these episodes in my collection from other sources, including 16mm, over these past many years. But some of them are virtually new to me...one being episode 12, Dark Night for Billy Harris (Dec. 18, 1961),directed by Alex March, guest starring Telly Savalas, Ellen Willard and Bruce Dern...Telly Savalas plays a cop who shot hood Bruce Dern while he was robbing a liquor store...Dr. Casey is troubled by what he learns about the incident while simultaneously trying to save the young robber's life...we're used to seeing Telly Savalas as a plainclothes detective, but not as a uniformed cop, so this is different...speaking of Savalas, I watched season four of Kojak (1977-78) not long ago on the Shout set, and I should probably do a post on that too...I also watched the WAC DVD of his 1971 feature film with Rock Hudson and Angie Dickinson, Pretty Maids All in a Row (lots of nubile young lovelies in various states of undress, yowza!), where Telly Savalas seemed to be test driving his Kojak persona two years before his very successful 5 year run as that iconic character...I've got to say, I always enjoy seeing him in classic TV and feature films as well...here are some screen caps I took from the new DVD release...
Great stuff, Randall! Am tempted to pick up Ben Casey, if just for the prestigious nature and rarity of the series, despite my aversion to most medical dramas. I've liked Vince Edwards in the few films I've seen him in (he's good as the burly cigar-chomping sergeant in The Devil's Brigade, for instance).

Please do indeed post on Kojak S4 when the mood strikes you...I've only got S1, but love that show.
 

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