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What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)? (3 Viewers)

The 1960's

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The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) (BluRay Photo Essay #3)

S02E06 Eye of the Beholder (“The Private World of Darkness”) (Nov.11.1960)

And Now, Mr. Serling:

“Next week you’ll see these bandages unwrapped. And you’ll get a good, close look at the face beneath them. It’s an excursion into the odd and into the very, very different. Our play is called “The Eyes of the Beholder” and it comes recommended. I hope we’ll see you next week on The Twilight Zone. Thank you, and goodnight."

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:

“Suspended in time and space for a moment, your introduction to Miss Janet Tyler, who lives in a very private world of darkness, a universe whose dimensions are the size, thickness, length of a swath of bandages that cover her face. In a moment we’ll go back into this room and also in a moment we’ll look under those bandages, keeping in mind, of course, that we’re not to be surprised by what we see, because this isn’t just a hospital, and this patient, 307, is not just a woman. This happens to be the Twilight Zone, and Miss Janet Tyler, with you, is about to enter it."

Cast:

Janet Tyler (under bandages):
Maxine Stuart
Janet Tyler (revealed): Donna Douglas
Doctor: William D. Gordon
Janet’s Nurse: Jennifer Howard
Walter Smith: Edson Stroll
Nurse #2: Joanna Heyes
Leader: George Keymas

Crew:

Writer:
Rod Serling (original teleplay)
Director: Douglas Heyes
Producer: Buck Houghton
Associate Producer: Del Reisman
Production Manager: Ralph W. Nelson and Darrell Hallenbeck
Director of Photography: George T. Clemens
Art Direction: George W. Davis and Philip Barber
Set Decoration: Henry Grace and H. Web Arrowsmith
Assistant Director: Henry Weinberger
Casting: Ethel Winant
Editor: Leon Barsha
Sound: Franklin Milton and Charles Scheid
Music: Bernard Hermann
Makeup: William Tuttle​

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The 1960's

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Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

“Now the questions that come to mind. Where is this place and when is it? What kind of a world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm? You want an answer? The answer is: it doesn’t make any difference. Because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In this year or a hundred years hence, on this planet or wherever there is human life, perhaps out amongst the stars, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Lesson to be learned…in
The Twilight Zone."​



Purchase here.
 

Purple Wig

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Felony Squad - Death Of A Dream. William Smithers as the rich, sleazy team owner Roy Madden, smirks at a guy who's just caught him cheating with his wife. In the ensuing skirmish, the guy is dead, and Madden frames one of his old friends, Lou Asner, as Bull. The slow witted Bull is encouraged to go on the lam with a fistful of dough. Bull beats the crap out of 7 guys who try to rob him but still loses the money, seemingly more possessed of blood lust than greed. Madden dares old pal Howard Duff to prove he did it, sneering in his face about his lowly salary. Smithers is a delight to watch as he pours booze down women’s gullets and betrays his friends, the creep you love to hate and can't wait to see nailed.

Most Wanted - Pilot. Mayor Percy Rodrigues appoints old friend and marital difficulties besieged Robert Stack as head of a task force dedicated to solving a series of Nun killings, after Roger Perry as a much more in your face type than he usually plays, chews him out as a crowd of agitated reporters gape on, their faces nearly pressed against the glass window. (No word if a second task force was appointed just to get the windows clean).The 1976 pilot for this Quinn Martin series is a little slow moving at times but there are a lot of good scenes. The theme song doesn't grab me as much as Cannon, Barnaby, Streets or other QM productions but maybe it's a grower. Apparently Rodrigues is later replaced as Mayor by Harry Rhodes, this time as a less straight laced Mayor than the one he portrayed (as Hari Rhodes) in Cannon "The Investigator". Tom Selleck appears as a computer whiz, certainly a lot more likable here than in those current commercials where he trades on his celeb status to lure people into taking out reverse mortgages and seems to be indignant that anyone would question the integrity of a paid shill.

Cannon - The Conspirators. Cannon travels to a small Texas town to investigate the disappearance of a teenager, locking horns with smarmy sheriff Tom Skerritt, who pats his tummy at a gas station. A cafe owner denies venison to Cannon, puzzling his wife. Skerritt grabs a rifle and takes a few shots at Dabbs Greer, perhaps because venison is scarce? Seems to be a rather desperate locale despite the laconic facade of the locals. One more town Cannon will be happy to see in his rear view mirror, though it's possible he'll return when venison is back in season.
 
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Jack P

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I watched the two-part finale of "The Fugitive" last night for the first time in about five plus years and noticed something I hadn't realized for the first time in all the years I'd previously seen this. Lloyd Haynes (as a cop) and Michael Constantine (as the sleazy doomed bail bondsman) were in one scene together (exchanging no words with each other) two years before "Room 222".
 

Charles 22

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Speed Racer E33 - The Race for Life

Tonight's episode was really not noteworthy at all, other than just the usual array of stupidity so bad you bust a gut, but this was very noteworthy for one exceedingly minor thing. I believe this was the episode where Trixie's jealous rage went into its worst. Unfortunately, there's no clip on youtube I can show you, but man did she go overboard, screaming in fact. Good times.

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Jeff Flugel

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Doctor Who – 18.1 “The Leisure Hive”
Despite being a classic series Doctor Who fan for nearly 40 years, there are still many stories I have yet to watch. This late-era Tom Baker 4th Doctor four-parter is one of them. And what better way to first experience classic Who than via these astonishingly-detailed, meticulously-curated Blu-Ray season sets from the BBC? This inaugural S18 story was the first under new producer John Nathan-Turner and script editor Christopher H. Bidmead, and their “clean broom” approach to revamping the show as it entered the 1980s, with a focus on harder sci-fi concepts and a concerted effort to reign in lead Tom Baker’s increasingly over-the-top zaniness, stands in stark contrast to the previous two seasons under Douglas Adams / Graham Williams’ mostly comedic purview. Nathan-Turner also revamped the series' opening credits sequence and theme tune, introducing what, for my money, is the single best version of the show's iconic theme music, arranged by Peter Howell.

The Doctor and Romana II (adorable blonde pixie Lalla Ward), after a brief opening interlude on Brighton Beach, stop off at the planet Argolis, its radioactive surface rendered desolate after a terrible interstellar war, whose inhabitants now live in a domed city which acts as a leisure center for alien visitors. But instead of peaceful relaxation, the Doctor and Romana soon find out that the tachyon experiments being conducted there are destined for something far more sinister...An imaginative story with some interesting sci-fi concepts and a couple of cracking cliffhangers, all four parts nicely directed by Lovett Bickford. Baker and Ward are an engaging pair of Time Lord sleuths, and the impressive guest cast includes Adrienne Corri, Lawrence Payne, and David Haig.

As previously mentioned, the extras on these Blu-Ray sets are exhaustive to an almost ridiculous degree, so much so that no other television-on-disc release can come anywhere close. Just on this first disc alone (out of 8 BD discs in this S18 set), we have the remastered episodes themselves, looking as spiffed-up as possible, as well as (get a load of this): a new 5.1 audio track; two commentaries on all four episodes, the first dating from this story’s DVD release, with Lalla Ward, Lovett Bickford and Christopher H. Bidmead, and the second, a newly-recorded track with Tom Baker and journalist Matthew Sweet; almost 2 ½ hours of documentaries covering nearly every conceivable aspect of production; an isolated music score; production subtitles (notes on the making of the story, available as a secondary subtitle track); and a PDF gallery totaling 426 pages, which includes complete shooting scripts, production paperwork, studio floor plans, Radio Times material and Doctor Who Annuals. While less rabid Who fans (myself included) will likely not take the time to dip into all of this content, it’s absolutely clear that this release is just about as definitive as it can possibly be.

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Aside from some time spent wallowing in early '80s Doctor Who goodness, I also kicked off the first of what I hope to be a several post series covering the many television appearances of sultry Nancy Kovack.

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The FBI – 1.23 “Flight to Harbin”
Inspector Erskine (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.), dallying whilst on vacation in San Fran with a pretty blonde, is summoned to emergency duty when a disgruntled nuclear scientist (Arthur Hill) hijacks a flight bound for Seattle at gunpoint, demanding that the pilot plot a new course...for Communist China. Nancy Kovack and Jessica Walter, looking mighty fetching in their stewardess uniforms, are on hand as part of the harassed flight crew. Passengers include: Jason Evers (as another pilot hitching a ride); Milton Selzer as a nervous jewelry salesman; Robert F. Lyons as a young man reluctantly called up for the draft; and a young couple (Julie Parrish and Robert Doyle) obviously forced into a shotgun wedding. Bert Remsen also shows up briefly as a flight controller. Well done, tense take on the standard airplane hijack scenario, helped especially by a finely-tuned performance by Hill, a terrific if unsung character actor who always brings the goods. The ease with which passengers seem able to smuggle handguns on board airplanes leads one to wonder just how lax airport security must have been back in the day.

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Hawaii Five-O – 1.15 “Face of the Dragon”
McGarrett (Jack Lord) and team must work quickly to track down a mysterious masked motorcycle rider who is spreading the bubonic plague around the islands – and who also happens to be a Red Chinese agent, out to snatch top secret plans for a military infrared detection device. A young Soon Tek-Oh (billed here as Soon Taik-Oh), in his second of 8 Five-O appearances, portrays the murderous enemy agent with his usual tightly-controlled, implacable menace. It’s fun to watch stone-faced McGarrett’s eyes nearly pop out of his head when he gets a gander at sexy Nancy Kovack (as perhaps the world's most bodacious epidemiologist). But they are both far too busy trying to control the epidemic and nabbing the baddie to engage in more than mildly subdued flirting. There’s another amusing scene, as Danno, Kono and Chin Ho give each other a hard time, each tough guy wincing in pain as they are forced to endure a vaccine jab. Also with David Opatashu (heavily made up as a venerable Chinese grandfather type), Herb Jeffries, Jackie Cooper and legitimately Chinese actor Victor Sen Yung.

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Mannix – 2.17 “The Girl Who Came in with the Tide”
When two boys discover the body of a drowned young woman on the beach, Joe “iron skull” Mannix is back on the case…this time pro bono, as he is convinced that the arrogant flash attorney (Lloyd Bochner) who once got his P.I. license revoked is behind the apparent murder-suicide of the dead woman and her wealthy business mogul boyfriend. Joe soon finds himself captivated by the dead man’s seductive (albeit alcoholic) wife (Nancy Kovack)…could it be that Joe’s animosity toward the lawyer – and attraction to the widow - is clouding his judgment? Well, let's just say, when reliable smarm-ball Bochner is in the cast, you can pretty much guarantee that he’s up to no good.

Robert Reed (in his first of 22 appearances, and looking happy to have escaped the shackles of The Brady Bunch, however briefly,) debuts here as Mannix’s level-headed police sergeant (soon to be Lieutenant) pal. Salli Sasche continues her "Beach Party" association, slinking around Bochner’s yacht in a teeny bikini. Ms. Kovack received an 1969 Emmy nomination for her work here…a bit surprising, really...I mean, she's good, certainly, but it's not exactly an earth-shattering performance. Nonetheless, it’s cool that she received such an accolade...and she looks gobsmackingly gorgeous here, radiating glamour, poise and slightly-worn elegance. This must be one of the few episodes where Mannix doesn't get cold-cocked, shot or otherwise grievously wounded...one for the record books, I guess. As always, Joe's lovely, loyal secretary, Peggy (Gail Fisher), is there to ply him with coffee and help him keep his head straight.

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I Spy – 3.10 “Apollo”
Kelly Robinson (the great Robert Culp) and Alexander Scott (the once-great and now forever disgraced Bill Cosby) stage a mock falling-out...all part of a ruse that enables Scotty to undertake a new gig as a guide leading VIPs around a NASA aerospace facility, in hopes of luring out enemy agents trying to sabotage the rocket program. Their well-crafted plan soon backfires, however, leaving Scotty and the lounge singer civilian posing as his ex-wife (Charlene Jones), locked and left to freeze to death in a refrigerated freight car by the baddies – who include Kovack, H.M. Wynant, Ron Rich and leader Bobby (Pippa Scott, playing a right beyotch, 100% the brains and cast-iron balls of the operation).

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Now in possession of Scotty’s ID badge and clearance papers, Bobby and co. pose as a senator and her aides to infiltrate the jet propulsion facility at Rockadyne. Events culminate in an exciting final showdown, as Kelly must clamber over a precariously high array of pipes and girders to cut the power to the complex before the enemy agents blow up the whole shebang. (Culp's stunt double gets a workout in this sequence, although it's plainly Culp himself doing some of his own, less-death defying stunts in some scenes). Cold-hearted killer Bobby and most of her crew get what's coming to them, the traitorous bastards, mowed down in the ensuing gunfight courtesy of our two heroes. Producer Sheldon Leonard received unprecedented access to the Rockadyne jet propulsion facility in the Santa Susanna Mountains, plus the aerospace center in Downey, CA., both of which really add massive production value to the show. As always, Culp and Cosby’s camaraderie both on and off camera is readily apparent. Ms. Kovack is somewhat sidelined once Pippa Scott takes over, but gets some good scenes with Culp and especially Cosby early on.

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Despite her startlingly curvaceous figure, Kovack is demurely attired in every one of the above episodes, but puts in convincing performances in each, showing that she was more than just another Hollywood bombshell. But lest I disappoint my fellow fans of classic actress cheesecake, here's a shot of her in more Amazonian mode:

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It probably won't shock anyone to learn that Kovack won 8 beauty contest titles before the age of 20, but it might be a bit of a surprise that she began studying at the University of Michigan at the tender age of 15, graduating at 19. She got her start in showbiz as one of Jackie Gleason’s “Glea Girls,” and enjoyed a busy career throughout the ‘60s in both films - including Jason and the Argonauts, Frankie and Johnny (with Elvis), and Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (with Mike Henry) - as well as multiple roles on various television shows. Kovack married Indian classical music conductor Zubin Mehta in 1969, and worked less and less frequently in the early-to-mid ‘70s, finally retiring in 1976. Her final role was in the Cannon episode “Blood Lines” (more on which in a future post). She’s still with us today, at age 87. A tip of the hat to a beautiful lady, and a fine actress.
 
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Charles 22

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King Kong Spotting of the Day

Speed Racer E36 - Crash in the Jungle Part 1

This threw me for a big surprise. I've no idea how I've seen Speed Racer maybe ten times in my life, and yet cannot recall this episode, and it's majorly wild, so how could I forget it? I mean I probably saw this entire series within the last 5-10 years before this time, and yet I cannot recall this? There was one or two extremely brief really cheap effects they used that looked familiar, so I'm guessing I only recall those because they might had been re-used in later episodes. I'm starting to wonder if this episode ever made it to tv. Also, my not recalling it from the prior viewing may be explained by it being the last two episodes on the disc, such that I might had thought I finished the disc, when I had not.

Like I said earlier, this is a really wild episode, literally, as Speed has to fight numerous gigantic creatures, including a giant snake, giant tarantula (which actually was a good fight in Speed Racer terms), and last, but certainly not least multiple King Kongs (giant apes actually). Does this sound wild or what? And as big a monster fan as I was when I was younger, surely I couldn't had forgot this episode?

More wildness: Speed starts off running from the first King Kong, and he's sans his helmet, but everything else is in order. White short-sleeves, long white trousers, tan shoes, etc. But the weird thing is that as the episode goes along, he starts doing a striptease number, echoing back to Tarzan I guess (he's in a jungle you know). Slowly, with seemingly no cause whatsoever, he starts losing articles of clothing as he fights the numerous creatures. This has to be seen to be believed. Anyway, I think they gave him pants ripped up to the knees, his sleeves tattered, and his shoes disappear (barefoot). Later, very laughably, His pants rip much further up to his mid-thighs, his sleeves disappear, and his shirt turns into a one shoulder strap thing. I kid you not. And yes, he has times where he swings on vines too. I'm just totally blown away by this, and it's such a massive departure from the typical SR episode. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow night's concluding part🤣.
 

bmasters9

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Proceeding apace on the second go of Emergency!; quite enjoyable, but the only trouble is that the second go has the last disc to only have one episode-- why didn't they put two? (This was also the same way when the second go was originally double-sided.)
 

Rustifer

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Aside from some time spent wallowing in early '80s Doctor Who goodness, I also kicked off the first of what I hope to be a several post series covering the many television appearances of sultry Nancy Kovack.
Try as I might, I could never seem to develop an interest in the Doctor Who series. However, Nancy Kovack always caught my undivided attention in any show she appeared. Thanks for the nice pictorial portfolio of her from all the shows you watched.
I'm glad to know the lovely lady is still around.

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Nancy and hubby Zubin Mehta today.
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
I Dream Of Jeannie
"You Can't Arrest Me..." (S2E19)

Jeannie Gets a tick in her turban to take Tony's Pontiac Catalina convertible for a drive. Notwithstanding, the last time she likely drove any vehicle was Ben Hur's chariot to the local Noble Romans for pizza. In no time whatsoever, Jeannie is pulled over by a cop (Alan Hewitt), who writes her up for erratically driving the wrong way down a one way street. She offers the cop anything to get out of the ticket. Now cops, generally not being Rhodes scholars, are still smart enough to consider taking Jeannie's "anything" as a tasty opportunistic advantage when presented with the likes and looks of her. Not this dumb officer--who askes her for $10. When she willingly complies, he adds bribery to her list of offenses. Tony's Pontiac is promptly impounded.

Wielding some Air Force brass, Tony gets his car back and determines to teach his genie how to drive it. Somehow, with all her infinite powers, she apparently can't conjure up that skill herself. Jeannie prepares by inexplicably dressing up in what appears to be one of Eddie Arcaro's old jockey outfits as appropriate attire for a driving lesson. Tony coaches her from his spot in the passenger seat. Once again the car is pulled over by the same cop (of course) since Jeannie has made herself invisible leaving the appearance that Tony is driving from the wrong side of the car.

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"Sorry, no discount for cleavage..." A colorful driving lesson; Tony shares his favorite passage from "Schoolgirls in Leather"

Tony stupidly tries to talk man-to-man with the officer in hopes of eradicating any charges, only to unwittingly dig himself a deeper hole with what seems to be an additional bribe. But Tony's worse mistake is to let his bumble turnip buddy Major Healey (Bill Dailey) represent him in court. It takes some nifty shenanigans from Jeannie to thoroughly discredit the arresting officer in the eyes of the judge.

This episode had a touch of nostalgic significance to me in that I learned to drive in my mom's gold 1965 Pontiac Catalina convertible--a bitchin' set of wheels that afforded me the opportunity to pick up a few genies of my own at the local Noble Romans. If I recall correctly, some of the girls did have magical skills.*

*Keep in mind my recollections are dimmed by old age and overly fanciful interpretations...
 
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Charles 22

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Roy
The Most Exciting Part II of the Day

Speed Racer E37 - Crash in the Jungle Part 2

Wow, this one didn't exactly disappoint, but my memory is trying to blur it, lest it contaminate my SR purity. The ongoing adventures of our new Tarzan continues. Speed does absolutely no racing at all, and I rather doubt he drove at all. All the driving was taken by Trixie in a stupid attempt to rescue him. I've noticed thus far, every time Trixie drives for any extended period, she wrecks the hell out of the Mach 5, and this was no exception.

I never heard Speed yell like Tarzan, as he swung from tree to tree across the mighty rivers of British Columbia, with his best girly by his side. You could just see him say "Me Tarzan, you Trixie" but much to my disappointment it never happened. I feel cheated. No Tarzan yell and no famous Tarzan quotes, yet much of the Tarzan look. This was pretty much action from beginning to end, and I think I lost my brain as a result.

One slightly interesting thing about this plot, there was a leader which had something of a Hitleresque look to him (and his army all had the German helmets on, plus they had numerous tanks that looked like something out of Hobart's Funnies), but yet at the end, he actually admitted to the mad scientist, that maybe they were in error, and shouldn't had done all the giantizing every single thing that moved, to create an army to take over the world, and then, wouldn't you know it? No good deed goes unpunished, so the whole bally ceiling falls in on our one mad scientist, and our almost repentant villain.

The most amazing thing about this episode, perhaps, was the fact that while Spritle was in the car as part of the rescue team, he did nothing to save the day in the least. Usually, he's good for at least a save or two in each episode, that's because that's what seven-year-old boys do all the time. They watch so much Lone Ranger, they think the sky is the limit.

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GMBurns

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I've been enjoying ClassicFlix's O. Henry volume 1. Never knew about the show but I couldn't pass up some 1950s B&W tv, and the price can't be beat. I've watched 6 episodes and the stories are very pleasant, and some great stars in this anthology, like Ernest Borgnine, Beverly Garland, Gerald Mohr, Jeanne Cooper and DeForest Kelley. If you haven't picked this up, I encourage support of this release. I am looking forward to volume 2 this spring. And with it being 12 degrees this morning when I woke up, I am looking forward to spring also.
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
The Rifleman
"The Gaucho" (S1E14)

I'm lucky. Where I live, we've had the same neighbors for over 30 years. Apparently one doesn't leave this neighborhood unless feet first in the back of a medical vehicle. Which is good because I don't know how I would respond to new next door inhabitants. It takes time to be able to seamlessly coordinate mutual neighborly activities like which day to mow lawns, put trash out on the curb, where visitors' cars can park on the street and what kind of backyard barbeque aromas to release in the area. Any hitch in these rituals can throw off the entire equilibrium of the community.

The real estate market in North Fork is on fire. A chunk of prime property adjacent to Lucas McCain's ranch not only just went up for sale, but got snatched up immediately. The land is legally zoned for cows, barbed wire, barns painted with Mail Pouch logos and John Deere equipment--but not for Argentinian folks like the Argentez family, the new owners of the property. Sneeringly referred to as "Pepperguts" by Republicans in town, Senor Argentez (Lawrence Dobkin), his curvy daughter Nita (Chana Eden) and gaucho cowboy son Manolo (Perry Lopez) are considered intruders to the North Fork way of life. Lucas McCain has no problem with the family, knowing than Argentinians can throw one hell of a BBQ party.

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Manolo teaches Mark the bolo fling; Nita is out standing in her field; Senor Argentez with non-approved rancher hat

In addition, in order to shield son Mark from the hefty effects of bigotry, Lucas implores Senor Argentez to let Mark spend time learning the gaucho way of ranching from Manolo--who's not too crazy about the idea. Well, the lesson learned here is that people from different cultures can actually get along with one another. Manolo teaches Mark how to rope and steer cattle the gaucho way, and Mark shows Manolo how to be a snot-nosed wimpy kid. Meanwhile, lovely Nita entrances one of the bigoted rancher's son with her fiery Latino wiles. Unfortunately, the romance culminates in the mysterious death of the son--thus infuriating the townsfolk against the suspect Argentez family. It's going to take Lucas' sense of fair play and mighty fast rifle to straighten things out.

The Moral: North Fork teachers soon learn that Argentinians are superior students who earn excellent grades--thus promoting new report card standards referred to as "Gaucho Marks".
 
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Jeff Flugel

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Jan 7, 1999
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2,931
Location
Osaka, Japan
Real Name
Jeff Flugel
Gunsmoke
18.11 “The Sodbusters”
18.21 “Kimbro”
A couple of strong late period Gunsmoke episodes here. “The Sodbusters” is a satisfying riff on the familiar western story of a fast gun (played by Alex Cord) settling down on a ranch to protect a widow (Katherine Justice) and her young 'uns from the machinations of a violent cattleman [baleful Morgan Woodward, in his 15th of 18 (!!) appearances on the show]. The rancher, along with his two sons (one of whom is played by a young, surly Harrison Ford), is out to run the settlers off their farms. Cord’s a crack shot and a good match for the baddies, especially when he receives a timely intervention from stalwart Marshal Dillon (James Arness). Woodward’s character is given welcome shadings, painting him as more complex and layered than just another bad guy…particularly in a long scene where he talks to Dillon about carving a life out of the hostile valley 40 years before the story takes place. Woodward really chews into some wonderfully poetic dialogue here (by writer Ron Bishop). He’s such a good actor, and lead Arness is typically generous to his co-star, quietly standing by while Woodward does his thing.

Similarly, another great character actor, John Anderson, takes the guest star pole position in “Kimbro,” playing an aging, famous former lawman - and mentor of Matt’s - named Kimbro, now fallen on hard times, wandering from town to town slopping out stables to earn enough to buy him his next bottle. Matt, anxious to aid his old friend to regain his dignity, offers Kimbro three days' work as a deputy, helping to escort a shipment of gold dust from a mining camp back to the bank in Dodge. Of course, it wouldn't be a Gunsmoke episode without yet another dirty, weaselly family of crumbums (this time including Michael Strong and an unrecognizable William Devane), who make the mistake of trying to ambush the two marshals on the return trip. The plot might be predictable but this one works well as a nuanced character study, with Anderson given the chance to play a good guy for a change, and turning in a fine, sensitive performance. There’s an added undercurrent to this tale, too, as Matt is forced to ponder what his life might be like once he gets too old and grey to wear a badge, much like Kimbro, with little money to show for his long years of service. A sobering thought, which you can tell Matt would rather not contemplate too deeply.

Lawman
2.9 “The Press”
2.10 “9:05 to North Platte”
The WB equivalent of Gunsmoke is pretty damn good in its own right. In “The Press,” reliably rattlesnake mean Robert J. Wilke plays a former outlaw that Marshal Dan Troop (John Russell) once put away. Now he’s back for revenge, but not with a gun…he comes armed with a printing press, with plans to pillory Troop’s character in Laramie by printing lies and insinuations in his newly-minted rag, to such an extent that the townsfolk will lose confidence in him. A slightly far-fetched tale, but Wilke is just so good at his snarling slimeball act that he elevates it.

“9:05 to North Platte” kicks things up several notches, benefiting greatly from some real noirish cinematography and a tough, suspenseful script by veteran novelist and screenwriter, Clair Huffaker (The Comancheros, Rio Conchos, The War Wagon, 100 Rifles, etc.). Outlaw Pa Jutes (Harry Shannon) and two of his sons take over the jail with Troop’s saloon keeper gal pal, Lily (Peggy Castle, sexy, sassy and a welcome addition to the show from early S2 on) and a teenage boy as hostages. The gang demand Troop liberate Pa’s other son, Lester, en route to his hanging, off the train and hand him over, or else they’ll kill Lily and the boy. Well, anyone who knows ramrod straight Marshal Troop knows that just ain’t gonna happen...yes, folks, dirt nap city awaits for the Jutes. You know, the more of this show I watch, the more I’m convinced that John Russell’s implacable death stare might just surpass that of his closest rivals in lean, mean badassery: Richard Boone as Paladin and Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain.

846d38abdb561e7d8a3726ca195a6338--tv-westerns-western-movies.jpg


Kung Fu – 2.21 “The Nature of Evil”
It’s a family affair, as John Carradine returns (in his second of three outings) as blind preacher Serenity Jones, who’s in dusty little one-horse town Ninevah, looking for the man who killed his friend and helper, Sunny Jim. Gentle and wise asskicker Kwai Chang Caine (John’s son, David) is drawn to the same place, and ends up helping his elderly friend free the town from the malignant presence that haunts it – in the form of the Hanged Man (Morgan Woodward, again), a scarred, Frankenstein-faced maniac who enjoys inflicting pain and death on all and sundry. Woodward's one creepy customer here, mostly hiding in the shadows until his final, fatal set-to with Caine in a soap factory. Only one flashback to Caine’s Shaolin monk upbringing in this one, which is a somewhat weird, yet effectively atmospheric entry, tinged with a palpable aura of dread and horror. You can tell papa Carradine is having a whale of a time with his loquacious, larger-than-life character. Also with Shelley Novack and Barbara Colby.

the-nature-of-evil-season-two-32174-on-his-way-to-eureka-caine-was-picture-id93371046


And to continue my Nancy Kovack mini-marathon, here is part deux (listed below in chronological order, according to the IMDB):

12 O’Clock High – 1.9 “Appointment at Liege”
General Savage (brooding, beetle-browed Robert Lansing), prepping for a risky bombing raid, has misgivings about one of his squadron leaders, Major Gus Denver (Gary Lockwood), who seems rarin’ to go on the surface, but is in reality harboring a death wish, wracked with guilt and anguish after his previous squad was wiped out by German artillery while he was on temporary duty Stateside. The stunning Nancy Kovack co-stars as a WAC lieutenant who falls for the troubled young pilot. Unfortunately, most of Ms. Kovack’s scenes seem to have been hacked out of the 46 minute syndicated cut print that’s on YouTube, leaving their characters' burgeoning relationship feeling rather truncated.

Otherwise, this is a powerful slice of WWII military drama, as well as an early and welcome televisual focus on the PTSD suffered by many of the men and women who served. Hazel Court, no slouch in the looks department herself, shows up briefly, in her second of four appearances, as Gen. Savage’s English widow girlfriend. After watching this one, I sampled a few scenes from the second and third seasons, in which Paul Burke replaced an unjustly fired Lansing as series’ lead. I like Burke well enough in other things, but he sadly hasn’t a 10th of the charisma of the compellingly intense Lansing. I’ll happily watch more of the Lansing-led S1 one, though…just wish we had access to an official – and uncut – DVD release.

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I Dream of Jeannie – 1.9 “The Moving Finger”
Tony (Larry Hagman) is sent to Hollywood as an advisor on a high-concept sci-fi movie, starring sultry movie star Rita Mitchell (Kovack). A jealous Jeannie, posing as Tony’s secretary and worried about his going on a date with the six-times-married Rita, tries to compete for his affections by becoming a movie star herself...even getting as far as filming a screen test with manly hunk actor Jason Huberts ("Marlboro Man" David McLean, formerly of Tate). But she is shocked to discover that a genie's likeness apparently can’t be captured on film. Not much of Ms. Kovack here, as most of the focus is on the delectable Barbara Eden - compensation enough, I'd wager. Woodrow Parfrey is amusing as a producer who has the hots for Jeannie.

MV5BMDMzOGQwNWQtZjNmOC00Y2Y4LWE5MzEtNDBkNGMxMmM4MTc4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTY4MjQ0NzU@._V1_.jpg

MV5BMDBjN2IxMGMtMGYxZi00ZDJiLWI0YTctOGRmOWZkNGQ2NjVjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTY4MjQ0NzU@._V1_.jpg


Honey West
– 1.13 “The Gray Lady”
A snappy script (courtesy of Columbo creators Richard Levinson and William Link) and clever editing make this one a heck of a lot of fun. When a debonair jewel thief (Cesare Danova) pulls one over on glamorous private eye Honey West (Anne Francis) and her right-hand man, Sam (John Ericson), she’s determined to nab him during his next caper, to steal a priceless necklace called "the Gray Lady," belonging to a spoiled socialite (Pat Collins). Nancy Kovack has a brief bit at the beginning, doing her best Zsa Zsa Gabor impression as Honey and Sam’s European film star client. Again, the lack of Kovack is no biggie, as voluptuous Anne Francis (and her adorable beauty mark) brings the va-va-voom, holding center stage in the story with elegant poise, scaling down the outside of a high-rise hotel in a catsuit and judo flipping baddies all over the place. Also with smug, smirking Kevin McCarthy (up to no good, per usual) and a cameo appearance by Bert Parks (as himself).

MV5BY2FiYWVmOWEtYzhjNy00MTE1LThjYjItOWM5MTNiMDYxMjBhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjIyNjE2NA@@._V1_FMjpg_UX1000_.jpg


Star Trek: TOS – 2.19 “A Private Little War”
This second season episode is easily one of most famous roles in Ms. Kovack’s career. She plays Nona, ambitious witch-woman wife of peaceful tribal leader (and Captain Kirk’s old friend), Tyree (Michael Witney). Kirk – who had spent time on the planet 13 years before and earmarked it as a veritable Eden, peaceful and idyllic, and not to be tampered with - is dismayed to find that Klingon interference, arming a rival tribe with flintlock rifles, has upset the delicate balance of power on the planet. Kirk must grudgingly violate the Prime Directive and arm Tyree’s people, in order to prevent a one-sided slaughter. Our main Enterprise trio come in for some serious punishment in this one: Spock is shot in the back during the pre-credits sequence; later, Kirk is attacked and mauled by a one-horned ape-like monster called a mugato, soon to die from its poisoned bite until he is cured by Nona (who in return wants the Captain to give her “knowledge of the stars”); and Bones gets winged in a climactic skirmish. Kovack vamps it up magnificently here, seductively plotting, scheming and trying to claw - and kiss - her way to the top, her splendid figure barely contained by yet another super sexy William Theiss costume creation. Gene Roddenberry’s script is notable for keeping the politics messy and the resolution realistically downbeat. Ned Romero turns up as a Klingon interloper.

17ae68_53a114f6d4774b98901408e5257ff54e~mv2.jpg

C65hXq7V4AAg3_-.jpg

7cb1c489a286ead86ff10b93781383e4.jpg


Bronk – 1.18 “Long Time Dying”
Jack Palance is surprisingly effective as cerebral, pipe-smoking Lt. Alex Bronkov, a police detective solving crimes in Ocean City, California, in this one-season wonder, yet another in the litany of cool cop shows that proliferated the airwaves in the 1970s. In this episode, a mentally disturbed young woman (Britt Lind, believably deranged) is systematically killing the men she holds responsible for sending her brother to prison…and Bronk is on the hit list. Lloyd Bochner is on hand as the girl’s shifty shrink. In her next-to-last screen work, Nancy Kovack plays a wealthy neighbor who witnessed the killer leaving the scene of the first murder, and who gives Bronk the full court press. Kovack, just shy of 41-years-old here but still looking great, has fun making the moves on a rather bemused Palance.

Despite his gentle demeanor here, the 6’3”, hulking Palance (reputed to be one of the honest-to-God toughest men in Hollywood, along with Robert Mitchum, Lawrence Tierney and Broderick Crawford) remains one scary-looking mo-fo, his scarred face, with its slightly-crazed rictus grin, enough to theoretically make any crook wet themselves in fear. This is my first sampling of this series, and I liked it enough to add the Warner Archive Complete Series DVD set to my “buy soon” list. An interesting sidenote: Carroll O'Connor - yes, Archie Bunker himself - co-created this series, and also co-wrote the pilot movie.

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The above episode is available to view on YouTube, at 49 minutes seemingly complete, or very close:



Cannon – 5.23 “Blood Lines”
Ms. Kovack ended her acting career early in 1976 with this middling episode of the reliably entertaining Quinn-Martin crime drama, starring the great William Conrad (looking increasingly – and worryingly - rotund here, near the end of the series’ run) as ace P.I. Frank Cannon. Cannon is hired by an autocratic Mexican-American tycoon (Titos Vandis) to investigate the apparent suicide of his son (Robert Hays), who took a drunken dive off a cliff down in Acapulco. Kovack plays the dead man’s estranged wife, a rather unsympathetic, self-centered actress who was with her husband the night of his death. An OK plot, nothing special, and not much action to speak of…but even a so-so episode of Cannon remains watchable meat-and-potatoes fare, thanks to Conrad’s gruff presence. Also featuring Robert Drivas, Pepe Serna and Frank Aletter.

MV5BNjAzMTc2MmYtMTU2NS00ZjU1LWEwNzMtZGRjOTQyNTRlZDVjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjg0MzkwMzA@._V1_FMjpg_UX1000_.jpg
 
Last edited:

The 1960's

Effects Supervisor
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
2,554
Location
New York
Real Name
Neal Rose
Gunsmoke
18.11 “The Sodbusters”
18.21 “Kimbro”
A couple of strong late period Gunsmoke episodes here. “The Sodbusters” is a satisfying riff on the familiar western story of a fast gun (played by Alex Cord) settling down on a ranch to protect a widow (Katherine Justice) and her young 'uns from the machinations of a violent cattleman (baleful Morgan Woodward, in his 15th of 18 (!!) appearances on the show). The rancher, along with his two sons (one of whom is played by a young, surly Harrison Ford), is out to run the settlers off their farms. Cord’s a crack shot and a good match for the baddies, especially when he receives a timely intervention from stalwart Marshal Dillon (James Arness). Woodward’s character is given welcome shadings, painting him as more complex and layered than just another bad guy…particularly in a long scene where he talks to Dillon about carving a life out of the hostile valley 40 years before the story takes place. Woodward really chews into some wonderfully poetic dialogue here (by writer Ron Bishop). He’s such a good actor, and lead Arness is typically generous to his co-star, quietly standing by while Woodward does his thing.

Similarly, another great character actor, John Anderson, takes the guest star pole position in “Kimbro,” playing an aging, famous former lawman - and mentor of Matt’s - named Kimbro, now fallen on hard times, wandering from town to town slopping out stables to earn enough to buy him his next bottle. Matt, anxious to aid his old friend to regain his dignity, offers Kimbro three days' work as a deputy, helping to escort a shipment of gold dust from a mining camp back to the bank in Dodge. Of course, it wouldn't be a Gunsmoke episode without yet another dirty, weaselly family of crumbums (this time including Michael Strong and an unrecognizable William Devane), who make the mistake of trying to ambush the two marshals on the return trip. The plot might be predictable but this one works well as a nuanced character study, with Anderson given the chance to play a good guy for a change, and turning in a fine, sensitive performance. There’s an added undercurrent to this tale, too, as Matt is forced to ponder what his life might be like once he gets too old and grey to wear a badge, much like Kimbro, with little money to show for his long years of service. A sobering thought, which you can tell Matt would rather not contemplate too deeply.

Lawman
2.9 “The Press”
2.10 “9:05 to North Platte”
The WB equivalent of Gunsmoke is pretty damn good in its own right. In “The Press,” reliably rattlesnake mean Robert J. Wilke plays a former outlaw that Marshal Dan Troop (John Russell) once put away. Now he’s back for revenge, but not with a gun…he comes armed with a printing press, with plans to pillory Troop’s character in Laramie by printing lies and insinuations in his newly-minted rag, to such an extent that the townsfolk will lose confidence in him. A slightly far-fetched tale, but Wilke is just so good at his snarling slimeball act that he elevates it.

“9:05 to North Platte” kicks things up several notches, benefiting greatly from some real noirish cinematography and a tough, suspenseful script by veteran novelist and screenwriter, Clair Huffaker (The Comancheros, Rio Conchos, The War Wagon, 100 Rifles, etc.). Outlaw Pa Jutes (Harry Shannon) and two of his sons take over the jail with Troop’s saloon keeper gal pal, Lily (Peggy Castle, sexy, sassy and a welcome addition to the show from early S2 on) and a teenage boy as hostages. The gang demand Troop liberate Pa’s other son, Lester, en route to his hanging, off the train and hand him over, or else they’ll kill Lily and the boy. Well, anyone who knows ramrod straight Marshal Troop knows that just ain’t gonna happen...yes, folks, dirt nap city awaits for the Jutes. You know, the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that John Russell’s implacable death stare might just surpass that of his closest rivals in lean, mean badassery: Richard Boone as Paladin and Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain.

846d38abdb561e7d8a3726ca195a6338--tv-westerns-western-movies.jpg


Kung Fu – 2.21 “The Nature of Evil”
It’s a family affair, as John Carradine returns (in his second of three outings) as blind preacher Serenity Jones, who’s in dusty little one-horse town Ninevah, looking for the man who killed his friend and helper, Sunny Jim. Gentle and wise asskicker Kwai Chang Caine (John’s son, David) is drawn to the same place, and ends up helping his elderly friend free the town from the malignant presence that haunts it – in the form of the Hanged Man (Morgan Woodward, again), a scarred, Frankenstein-faced maniac who enjoys inflicting pain and death on all and sundry. Woodward's one creepy customer here, mostly hiding in the shadows until his final, fatal set-to with Caine in a soap factory. Only one flashback to Caine’s Shaolin monk upbringing in this one, which is a somewhat weird, yet effectively atmospheric entry, tinged with a sense of palpable aura of dread and horror. You can tell papa Carradine is having a whale of a time with his loquacious, larger-than-life character. Also with Shelley Novack and Barbara Colby.

the-nature-of-evil-season-two-32174-on-his-way-to-eureka-caine-was-picture-id93371046



And to conclude, here is part deux of my Nancy Kovack mini-marathon (listed below in chronological order, according to the IMDB):

12 O’Clock High – 1.9 “Appointment at Liege”
General Savage (brooding, beetle-browed Robert Lansing), prepping for a risky bombing raid, has misgivings about one of his squadron leaders, Major Gus Denver (Gary Lockwood), who seems rarin’ to go on the surface, but is in reality harboring a death wish, wracked with guilt and anguish after his previous squad was wiped out by German artillery while he was on temporary duty Stateside. The stunning Nancy Kovack co-stars as a WAC lieutenant who falls for the troubled young pilot. Unfortunately, most of Ms. Kovack’s scenes seem to have been hacked out of the 46 minute syndicated cut print that’s on YouTube, leaving their characters' burgeoning relationship feeling rather truncated.

Otherwise, this is a powerful slice of WWII military drama, as well as an early and welcome televisual focus on the PTSD suffered by many of the men and women who served. Hazel Court, no slouch in the looks department herself, shows up briefly, in her second of four appearances, as Gen. Savage’s English widow girlfriend. After watching this one, I sampled a few scenes from the second and third color seasons, in which Paul Burke replaced an unjustly fired Lansing as series’ lead. I like Burke well enough in other things, but he sadly hasn’t a 10th of the charisma of the compellingly intense Lansing. I’ll happily watch more of the black-and-white, Lansing-led S1 one, though…just wish we had access to an official – and uncut – DVD release.

View attachment 124869 View attachment 124870 View attachment 124872 View attachment 124873

I Dream of Jeannie – 1.9 “The Moving Finger”
Tony (Larry Hagman) is sent to Hollywood as an advisor on a high-concept sci-fi movie, starring sultry movie star Rita Mitchell (Kovack). A jealous Jeannie, posing as Tony’s secretary and worried about his going on a date with the six-times-married Rita, tries to compete for his affections by becoming a movie star herself...even getting as far as filming a screen test with manly hunk actor Jason Huberts ("Marlboro Man" David McLean, formerly of Tate). But she is shocked to discover that a genie's likeness apparently can’t be captured on film. Not much of Ms. Kovack here, as most of the focus is on the delectable Barbara Eden - compensation enough, I'd wager. Woodrow Parfrey is amusing as a producer who has the hots for Jeannie.

MV5BMDMzOGQwNWQtZjNmOC00Y2Y4LWE5MzEtNDBkNGMxMmM4MTc4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTY4MjQ0NzU@._V1_.jpg

MV5BMDBjN2IxMGMtMGYxZi00ZDJiLWI0YTctOGRmOWZkNGQ2NjVjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTY4MjQ0NzU@._V1_.jpg


Honey West
– 1.13 “The Gray Lady”
A snappy script (courtesy of Columbo creators Richard Levinson and William Link) and clever editing make this one a heck of a lot of fun. When a debonair jewel thief (Cesare Danova) pulls one over on glamorous private eye Honey West (Anne Francis) and her right-hand man, Sam (John Ericson), she’s determined to nab him during his next caper, to steal a priceless necklace called "the Gray Lady," belonging to a spoiled socialite (Pat Collins). Nancy Kovack has a brief bit at the beginning, doing her best Zsa Zsa Gabor impression as Honey and Sam’s European film star client. Again, the lack of Kovack is no biggie, as voluptuous Anne Francis (and her adorable beauty mark) brings the va-va-voom, holding center stage in the story with elegant poise, scaling down the outside of a high-rise hotel in a catsuit and judo flipping baddies all over the place. Also with smug, smirking Kevin McCarthy (up to no good, per usual) and a cameo appearance by Bert Parks (as himself).

MV5BY2FiYWVmOWEtYzhjNy00MTE1LThjYjItOWM5MTNiMDYxMjBhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjIyNjE2NA@@._V1_FMjpg_UX1000_.jpg


Star Trek: TOS – 2.19 “A Private Little War”
This second season episode is easily one of most famous roles in Ms. Kovack’s career. She plays Nona, ambitious witch-woman wife of peaceful tribal leader (and Captain Kirk’s old friend), Tyree (Michael Witney). Kirk – who had spent time on the planet 13 years before and earmarked it as a veritable Eden, peaceful and idyllic, and not to be tampered with - is dismayed to find that Klingon interference, arming a rival tribe with flintlock rifles, has upset the delicate balance of power on the plant. Kirk must grudgingly violate the Prime Directive and arm Tyree’s people, in order to prevent a one-sided slaughter. Our main Enterprise trio come in for some serious punishment in this one: Spock is shot in the back during the pre-credits sequence; later, Kirk is attacked and mauled by a one-horned ape-like monster called a mugato, soon to die of from its poisoned bite until he is cured by Nona (who in return, wants the Captain to give her “knowledge of the stars”); and Bones gets winged in a climactic skirmish. Kovack vamps it up magnificently here, seductively plotting, scheming and trying to claw - and kiss - her way to the top, her splendid figure barely contained by yet another super sexy William Theiss costume creation. Gene Roddenberry’s script is notable for keeping the politics messy and the resolution realistically downbeat. Ned Romero turns up as a Klingon interloper.

17ae68_53a114f6d4774b98901408e5257ff54e~mv2.jpg

C65hXq7V4AAg3_-.jpg

7cb1c489a286ead86ff10b93781383e4.jpg


Bronk – 1.18 “Long Time Dying”
Jack Palance is surprisingly effective as cerebral, pipe-smoking Lt. Alex Bronkov, a police detective solving crimes in Ocean City, California, in this one-season wonder, yet another in the litany of cool cop shows that proliferated the airwaves in the 1970s. In this episode, a mentally disturbed young woman (Britt Lind) is systematically killing the men she holds responsible for sending her brother to prison…and Bronk is on the hit list. Lloyd Bochner is on hand as the girl’s shifty shrink. In her next-to-last screen work, Nancy Kovack plays a wealthy neighbor who witnessed the killer leaving the scene of the first murder, and who gives Bronk the full court press. Kovack, 41-years-old here but still looking great, has fun making the moves on a rather bemused Palance. Despite his gentle demeanor here, the 6’3” Palance (reputed to be one of the honest-to-God toughest men in Hollywood, along with Robert Mitchum, Lawrence Tierney and Broderick Crawford) remains one scary-looking mo-fo, his scarred face, with its slightly-crazed rictus grin, enough to theoretically make any crook wet themselves in fear. This is my first sampling of this series, and I liked it enough to add the Warner Archive Complete Series DVD set to my “buy soon” list. An interesting sidenote: Carroll O'Connor - yes, Archie Bunker himself - co-created this series, and also co-wrote the pilot movie.

View attachment 124874 View attachment 124875 View attachment 124876 View attachment 124877

The above episode is available to view on YouTube, at 49 minutes seemingly complete, or very close:



Cannon – 5.23 “Blood Lines”
Ms. Kovack ended her acting career early in 1976 with this middling episode of the reliably entertaining Quinn-Martin crime drama, starring the great William Conrad (looking increasingly – and worringly - rotund here, near the end of the series’ run) as ace P.I. Frank Cannon. Cannon is hired by an autocratic Mexican-American tycoon (Titos Vandis) to investigate the apparent suicide of his son (Robert Hays), who took a drunken dive off a cliff down in Acapulco. Kovack plays the dead man’s estranged wife, a rather unsympathetic, self-centered actress who was with her husband the night of his death. An OK plot, nothing special, and not much action to speak of…but even a so-so episode of Cannon remains watchable meat-and-potatoes fare, thanks to Conrad’s gruff presence. Also featuring Robert Drivas, Pepe Serna and Frank Aletter.

MV5BNjAzMTc2MmYtMTU2NS00ZjU1LWEwNzMtZGRjOTQyNTRlZDVjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjg0MzkwMzA@._V1_FMjpg_UX1000_.jpg

Super Jeff!! I can see much time and effort went into this post.

Now that you've taken up at least half the bandwidth of this page with your dang screen caps are you proud of yourself? Sheesh!

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