by Mr. Mike » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:10 pm
A complete box set of this show was issued on DVD last month. It is available at Amazon in the USA for about $50 with free shipping. Considering the five seasons were originally each issued in two box sets, this is quite a good deal.
I watched the pilot episode tonight. It was pretty good, except at the end it gets totally nutty with Lawrence Dobkin appearing as the villain, a former cult movie actor who kidnaps Robert Wagner (a main suspect by Stone and Keller) and keeps him in this room of his house which contains a skeleton and torches like might have been seen in one of the actor's films.
by ringfire211 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:17 pm
Yes the ending with Lawrence Dobkin felt really weird. Up to that point it was just a solid police procedural but then it enters the Twilight Zone! Felt like we jumped into a different show. A horror show. With some tweaking it would have worked well as a Halloween episode.
by Mr. Mike » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:51 pm
The ending of the pilot is almost as if the writers wanted to suddenly start depicting something out of "weird San Francisco," which included organizations like the Church of Satan and its founder Anton LaVey, as well as other cultish types like Charles Manson, who established himself as a guru in the city's signature hippie locale Haight-Ashbury in the late 60's.
I dunno if I want to do "anal-ysis" for SOSF...
by Mr. Mike » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:52 am
Just look at the baloney which I found in the pilot which bothered me!!
- At the party at the beginning of the show, flower child Holly Berry (Kim Darby) addresses lawyer David Farr (Robert Wagner) by his name without being introduced. I think she may have overheard the hostess for the party mentioning his name and occupation very loudly to her friends, though. Holly is at the party where a rock group her brother Del (Brad David) plays with and which she sings with is playing, but Del is not seen and Holly is not singing. (Some of the relationship which develops between Holly and Farr is pretty rank; there was a 17-year gap between the ages of the two actors.)
- Holly at one point mentions her "uncle" (the villain Gregory Praxas, played by Lawrence Dobkin) to Farr. But he really is NOT her uncle. So why would she call him this? Is she so dumb or stoned that she doesn't know her own relatives?
- Del works in a gas station run by a halfway house where he was staying. When Praxas comes there to get gas, Del looks in the trunk of the car on the pretext of selling Praxis a new set of tires because he wants to look at the spare. At the end of the show Stone looks in the trunk of Praxas' car which has been impounded, and speculates that Del saw the boot of Joel Ramsey, a 6-year-old boy who was recently murdered, which was in the trunk and somehow connected this to Praxas. But it is never established that the clue of this boot was released by the police to the press.
- It seems very far-fetched that Praxas, who is the guy who murdered Del and Holly, is also the one responsible for the murder of Joel, which is the other big crime that the San Francisco cops are investigating at the time. When a box containing Joel's hat is opened at Praxas' house near the end of the show Stone's boss Malone (Andrew Duggan) says words to the effect that there is a probably a lot of evidence in this box that could be connected with a lot of other crimes. The end of the show, where Praxas kidnaps Farr and holds him hostage in a "chamber of horrors" located in the basement of his palatial house complete with a skeleton and torches like you would see in a film like The Mummy, is ridiculous.
- A big deal is made of the fact that a cult movie of Praxas' was showing on TV around this time. Del ripped the listing for this film out of a TV Guide-like magazine. The only significance of this seems to be that Del connected this movie with Praxas' name on the receipt from the credit card that he used to pay for gas. So did Del then contact Praxas and try to blackmail him with the information about the boot in the trunk which led to the death of not only himself but Holly? (The word "blackmail" is mentioned, but is not elaborated on.) Stone later has a brainstorm when he compares the TV magazine which he took from the location where Del was murdered by Praxas to his own copy of the magazine at home (but why does Stone take evidence from the crime scene!!). Looking carefully at the two magazines used in the show it seems like different pages in different parts of the magazine are supposed to be the same.
by ringfire211 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:31 am
Holly Berry? Lol. Halle Berry!!
I don't remember all the specifics now (it's been a while) but it wasn't a bad episode. A good way to kick off the series. Like I said, the "chamber of horrors" ending seemed like a weird detour but it was definitely an interesting idea. One thing that bothered me was Robert Wagner being involved with Kim Darby... err.. Holly Berry. Not only did she look like a kid but she wasn't attractive or sexy in the least. Just this gawky awkward looking kid. Why would someone like him and in his position be even remotely interested in someone like that? Maybe it's been a while and I missed something. If you check out the episode "45 Minutes from Home" you'll see William Windom as a businessman and father/husband who gets in over his head when he's seduced by a sexy Jo Ann Harris. I can totally understand that scenario because Harris (as you recall) was a total babe!! But Darby?? Heck no!! She's just some immature brat who's desperate and just wants to cling to someone.
by Mr. Mike » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:44 pm
Ringfire, it is actually Holly, Darby's character, who seduces Farr (Wagner). When they are outside escaping from the party, Holly extends her hand to Farr and after the party is over, she tracks him down through the phone book and shows up at his apartment. After this, it is pretty obvious that they "do it." Considering the hostess at the party tells Farr that all the women there have been slobbering over him, it is indeed curious why he gets seriously involved with Holly. According to Farr's neighbor Pyle (William Swan), she was "one of his weekend tricks." When Holly goes downstairs wearing only Farr's trench coat to feed the parking meter and comes back, he says "One more trip like that, and I'll have the vice squad up here," suggesting she is under age.
by ringfire211 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:26 pm
Yeah that's what I'm saying. A good looking swinger like Wagner's character seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel going for gawky kid Darby.
SOSF - First Season Episodes - Part 1
by Mr. Mike » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:48 am
I was thinking of doing "anal-ysis" for this show, but it is too much ... especially after my experience with the pilot episode! Instead, I will just do some capsule comments. Here is the first batch from season one.
The Thirty-Year Pin - Stone freaks out when his old partner Gus Charnovski (Edmond O'Brien) is near-fatally shot when investigating a jewellery store robbery. Adopting a "leave no stone unturned" (no pun intended) attitude to solving the crime, Stone has a serious run-in with fellow cop Roy Devitt (Tim O'Connor), lambasting him for not doing enough to find the killer. Keller tries hard to keep Stone from going off the rails. When Gus dies at the end of the show, Stone admits that he did go too far. The acting of both O'Brien, who spends most of the episode on a stretcher or a hospital bed, and Eileen Heckart, who plays his wife Stella, is very good.
The First Day of Forever - Loren Graham (James Olson) is a religious crackpot who is murdering prostitutes. Keller has to babysit Beverly Landau (Janice Rule), one of these women, who merely suffers a serious slash on her arm. During his assignment, Keller first seems indifferent to her as he guards her overnight in some dumpy hotel, but the two of them later become pals. At the finale, Stone manages to talk Graham out of jumping off a building. During this scene, Graham's sudden transformation from a nut case to a normal guy like Stone encountered in Graham's office earlier is kind of weird. The "process" they use to solve the crime in this episode is actually pretty interesting.
45 Minutes from Home - Lita Brewer (Jo Ann Harris), a free-thinking young woman, gets in conventioneer Russ Rankin's (William Windom) car and makes him drive her to a houseboat in Sausalito where she tries to seduce him. He pushes her away and she gets knocked out. When her boyfriend Bret Wilson (Steve Oliver) comes home, he kills her because he is fed up with her bringing men to the boat, then tells the cops that Rankin, who he saw leaving the scene, was the murderer. At the end, Rankin returns to the boat with the intention of killing Wilson, but Stone and Keller have been given information by Rankin's wife Emily (Jacqueline Scott) as to what really happened. If Wilson had not tried to escape at the end and kept his mouth shut, it would have been a case of his word against Rankin's! You also have to wonder why Stone and Keller are helping out the Sausalito cops; this case is out of their jurisdiction despite the possibility that the killer is from San Francisco.
Whose Little Boy Are You? - Peter Forrest (James Stacy) is a wacko Vietnam vet whose ex-wife Joan (Linda Marsh), gave their child up for adoption in an illegal way five years before when he had abandoned her. Forrest wants to reclaim the kid, then the three of them will run away to Canada. After a couple of failed attempts, Forrest manages to grab the kid and, escaping from the cops, takes him to what looks like an abandoned military bunker. Stone pursues him through tunnels and convinces him to turn over the kid after making another big speech.
Tower Beyond Tragedy - Amory Gilliam (Edward Mulhare) is having a mid-life crisis. He divorced his wife and is now dating women from escort services (real escort services, not fronts for prostitution) with the idea of refashioning them as his "ideal woman," murdering them when they don't want to co-operate. Kim Ahern (Stefanie Powers) is his latest girl friend. The end of the show has serious time issues with Stone and Keller driving over a hundred miles to save Ahern's life. It also has a non-sucky ending, unlike the previous four shows. (I actually did a review of this episode at IMDb over 10 years ago -- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0711598/reviews) This episode has several scenes which are reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.
by ringfire211 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:03 am
"The First Day of Forever" and "Tower Beyond Tragedy" are definitely among my season 1 favorites. I definitely agree about the VERTIGO angle in the latter. I grew up watching Edward Mulhare playing the very English head of the Foundation for Law and Government (F.L.A.G.) on KNIGHT RIDER, David Hassslhoff's boss. So it was a real treat to see him play something completely different here - a full blown psycho!
Re: "The First Day of Forever"
The "process" they use to solve the crime in this episode is actually pretty interesting.
What was this process? It's been a while since I've seen it so I can't recall.
by Mr. Mike » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:04 am
"The Process" is a term used by Karen Rhodes in her book about Five-O, meaning "the way the team gathers the clues and correlates them into a coherent theory to solve the problem."
by ringfire211 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:14 am
No, I mean what were the clues that led them to the perp?
[First, they cross-checked Landau's "trick book" against that with one of the other women who was murdered and came up with several names from both. Stone then questioned two men that we see, one of which is played by Ken Lynch, the other by Olson. Olson suggests that he did use the services of both women, but he denies killing or attacking them. After Olson tries to break into the room at the low-budget hotel, he goes out the fire escape, but he goes UP to the next level instead of down. Stone determines that fingerprints left on the window are those of Olson. When he returns to Olson's office with a warrant, he finds several newspaper clippings in Olson's desk with writing on them that the women he murdered were "saved." When a wooden cross on Olson's desk which Olson earlier told Stone was a "reminder of humility" falls on the floor, Olson's secretary notices that the names of four murdered hookers are on the bottom of it. - MQ]
SOSF - First Season Episodes - Part 2
by Mr. Mike » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:26 pm
Hall of Mirrors - Stone partners with Inspector Jim Martin (David Soul) to investigate a murder at a produce wholesaler where most of the people working are Mexicans. Martin's prejudice against Mexicans is extreme. While chasing a suspect named Rafael Diaz (A Martinez), Stone breaks his ankle, so Keller takes his place. Despite his injury, Stone micro-manages things from home, and goes to Salinas to talk to Martin's mother, where he learns that Martin is also Mexican and his attitude is the result of years of abuse that he suffered from people in his community. The blonde-haired Aryan Soul is hard to take as a Latino, and his performance is kind of one-note. After almost killing Diaz at the end of the show, he takes a leave of absence from the force and becomes what looks like a youth worker for a church.
Timelock - Bobby Jepsen (Peter Strauss) is released from San Quentin where he was serving a manslaughter rap on the condition that he get a job within a limited time frame. Because of his lack of skills, Jepsen has little luck, despite some companies that will go out of their way to hire convicts. Despite the fact he is not supposed to touch booze, Jepsen stops in a bar where he runs into another ex-con, Herb Shako (Felice Orlandi), who is freaking out because that morning, a professional hit man named Darryl Le Beau (the menacing Scott Walker), who was hired by Mickey McFee (Paul Mann), a big boss incarcerated in San Quentin, tried to knock him off. Shako grills Jepsen, asking if he knows who is behind this assassination attempt. Le Beau is also in the bar, and when Jepsen and Shako go outside and join a crowd of men, Le Beau sneaks up behind Shako and pushes him in front of a large truck, and he is run over and killed. Although Jepsen ID's Le Beau as the killer, only one guy from the crowd witnesses all this and he says that Jepson did it. After he is busted, Jepsen contacts Stone, who he knows from way back when. Stone and Keller go to the prison and get information which connects McFee and Le Beau. Stone, who has given up a trip to Hawaii to resolve the case, rushes back with Keller to San Francisco where Le Beau is about to embark on a voyage of his own overseas by boat. After being shot, Le Beau ends up in San Francisco Bay, as does Keller, who pulls Le Beau out of the drink. Some of the time frame in this show seems awfully compressed.
In the Midst of Strangers - Robert Foxworth is Dennis Hailey, the boss of a trio of thieves who specialize in knocking out people or abducting them and stealing their valuables, moving from one city to another to ply their trade. One of their San Francisco victims is Jules Rhinelander (Richard Eastham), a big shot in the local political scene connected to housing development. After he is murdered by the gang by mistake during his abduction, the Mayor gets interested in the case, suspecting that one of the conflicting groups that thought Rhinelander was doing a bad job knocked him off. David Wayne plays Wally Sensibaugh, a chatty newspaper vendor, who also gets $3,000 that he was saving to take a trip with his wife to Europe taken by the gang. Wally joins up with Keller and Stone to help catch the bad guys, who have a shootout with the cops after they are cornered at Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge. This episode is pretty good, but you have to wonder why there are almost no witnesses to the thefts, other than that of Wally, who recognizes one of the guys who ripped him off by his fancy shoes that are being shined next to his newspaper stand.
The Takers - Arthur Lavery (Harold Gould) and his wife Edna (Barbara Baxley) have come to California in search of a better life, but Gould ends up as a jewelry salesman which is a job full of humiliation and drudgery. One of his territories includes a building which caters to swinger types where a nurse and a stewardess are found murdered. Arthur and Edna end up as suspects, but so do a lot of other people. This is a very cleverly written episode, because you don't know who did it until the very end, and the cops are constantly running into dead ends as they investigate. The performances of Gould and Baxley are outstanding.
The Year of the Locusts - This is a "gypsy" episode, and compared to two Kojak gypsy shows, one of which is in many people's top ten and the other is kind of lame, this Streets of San Francisco episode avoided most of the usual gypsy clichés like fortune-telling. It was more like the Mafia, with younger members of the "clan" overriding the wishes and direction of the "capo di tutti capi" Angus Ferguson, played by George Voskovec. Not content to do typical gypsy scams connected with roofing and driveway resurfacing (a Google search reveals the writers actually did some research on this), Ferguson's sons and grandsons, led by his son Albert (Michael Ansara), decide to break into jewelry stores and banks. To do this, a certain level of geeky expertise is necessary and whether the people in the show would have this is highly debatable. In this regard, it is very strange that in Ferguson's Winnebago-like mobile home there is an elaborate computer system, something which is not explored in the show at all. Because the elder Ferguson represents the "old guard" of the gypsies, you would expect him not to have this sophisticated equipment. Ferguson's wife (Penny Santon), who you would expect to be a "big mamma" type, is a very uninteresting character.
The Bullet - Jeff Williams (Carl Betz) is a respected professor, but has a shady past involving murder and drug addiction. Jim Dayton (Barney Phillips), a former cop, is blackmailing Williams and several others with information that he took with him when he resigned from the police force after an investigation. Williams is making his payoff at Dayton's place when Victor Coyle (Pat Conway), a hitman hired by one of the other people Dayton is blackmailing, shows up and shoots Dayton dead. Williams, hiding in the kitchen, is hit in the shoulder by one of Coyle's bullets. Stone and Keller figure out that Williams was a witness, but he refuses to get the bullet removed because he will have to go court and his testimony will likely ruin his career. There is no way for the cops to get out of this dilemma, because that bullet is "protected" by the U.S. Constitution! After Williams' wife Alice (Geraldine Brooks) is kidnapped, however, her husband has a change of heart. Shortly after this, Stone pretends to be Alice's husband, and Coyle is taken care of with the help of a helicopter in the air and other cops on the ground. Actually, I thought the way they were going to get Williams to break down was Stone or Keller would themselves surreptitiously shoot at Williams to rattle him, pretending to be the hit man. This show used process shots when the wife, Stone and Coyle were driving near the end of the show, unlike previous episodes where the camera was inside the car or attached to its side.
Bitter Wine - In this "Greek" episode, Paul Michael Glaser stars as Jason Kampacalas, who gets released from San Quentin, just like Peter Strauss only a few episodes before. Jason has been there for 12 years because he ran his car over two young girls, but the driver of the car was actually Jason's brother Dimitri (Scott Marlowe), and Jason took the rap so that Dimitri could become manager of the family business owned by their father (Nehemiah Persoff). There is some very intense acting by Glaser in this show, especially after Dimitri sets the family restaurant on fire because the place is failing and then tries to put the blame on his brother. But the beginning of the show is dumb. Dimitri gives Jason the keys to borrow his car, and the parking attendant freaks out, thinking he is some guy who is going to steal it. Stone and Keller, who have no reason to be on the scene, suddenly appear out of nowhere, and Jason punches out Stone, which leads to him getting arrested, setting the whole plot in motion with Stone overriding his superior to release Jason so the father can handle things in a "family way." The sucky ending totally ruins this show for me. Jason comes to the family vineyard to confront Dimitri over being accused of setting the fire, but fortunately Stone and Keller also show up. In the Epilog, however, everything is suddenly peachy, and the old man, who totally hated Jason because of the accident, is now pals with his formerly estranged son, and Dimitri has been locked up in jail. I would have been very interested to see the resulting arrest and trial of Dimitri!
A Trout in the Milk - When Jenaea (Brenda Sykes), the daughter of eccentric black poet Yale Courtland Dancy (Roscoe Lee Brown) is suspected of murdering her boyfriend Rob Evanhauer, whose death was originally thought might be a suicide, her father tells Stone and Keller that "Evanhauer was a dichotomous man, parading his passions on both sides of the street ... Evanhauer and I had a homosexual relationship [!!!]," and he was the one who killed his daughter's lover. But Stone looks up Dancy's record where there were "Thirty-eight bookings on D&D. Thirty-three of those bookings were with women and the other five he was alone." Stone asks Keller, "Now does that spell 'queen' to you?" It turns out the killer was Cassandra Lauritsen (Carol Locatell), the "child bride" of an elderly judge, who got hot pants for Evanhauer, but then got jealous because of his relationship with Jenaea. Stone and Keller follow Lauritsen to a ferry and her keep from jumping into the harbor. The question of how the relatively petite Lauritsen was able to hurl Evanhauer out of his window with the force of bullet from a .45, according to a beat cop at the suicide scene, is never answered.
by John Chergi » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:52 am
I think The Takers & In The Midst Of Strangers were a few Top Season 1 Streets Of SF episodes. I thought In The Midst Of Strangers was particularly well-done. It was smart to work as a team and then they would go to the next city. That was a shame when he took the newspaper man's vacation $.
Enjoyed The Takers after a few watches now. Agree on the jewelry salesman excellent acting. I enjoyed the ending as the young stewardess almost got away with the perfect crime. JC
SOSF - First Season Episodes - Part 3
by Mr. Mike » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:21 am
Deathwatch - Two fishermen returning to port run across a people smuggling operation, and the smugglers fire shots at them. After they dock, one of the fishermen, Joe Patruro (Nicholas Colasanto) goes to see about some repairs to their boat, and the smugglers confront his partner Lou Rosselli (Anthony Caruso). Lou attacks one of the smugglers, who shoots him; Lou falls off the boat and drowns. Joe, who was returning, sees all this, but is hidden. Stone has to convince Joe to reveal what he saw, but Joe is worried that the smugglers will take revenge on his family. Joe does give Stone some morsels, but not enough to make a case. After Eugenia Rodriquez (Maria Elena Cordero), an "illegal" woman who is caught by immigration, spills a lot of beans which leads the cops to a warehouse connected with the smuggling, the case becomes more solid, but Joe heads out to sea with the intention of ramming his boat into the bad guys; the boat has several cans of gasoline aboard. Stone and Keller manage to stop Joe while having some interesting action on board a Coast Guard hovercraft.
Act of Duty - The cops are staking out a supermarket to catch a serial rapist/killer, and Officer Evelyn Hennick (Judith McConnell) is acting as bait. When they have no luck, partly because Stone's identify as a cop is compromised by a store cashier, everyone goes home for the evening. But the rapist, army "specialist" Oren Prentiss (Michael Burns), goes to Hennick's apartment and insinuates his way in on the pretext of helping her with her groceries and then he kills her. Officer Sherry Reese (Brenda Vaccaro), who was a good friend of Hennick's, wants to help with the investigation, but Stone says she is not experienced enough. She decides to take matters into her own hands and goes to the market on her own. When he encounters her there, Stone reads her the riot act and sends her home with Keller. After he drops her off, Keller notices that Burns' car, which had been ID'd after an investigation with the military, is in the parking lot. Keller returns and finds that Prentiss, who has actually been hanging around Reese's building recently hassling her for a date, is there. Keller shoots and kills him. The way the psycho Prentiss can be anywhere at any time is almost a cliché. The music by Patrick Williams is above-average. Burns also played a wacked-out military type in Hawaii Five-O where he was a sniper shooting at people from a bunker on a hillside. There are some comments by Stone and police psychiatrist Lenny Murchison (Fred Sadoff) in this show which these days are pretty sexist.
The Set-Up - Nick Carl (Stuart Whitman), a former hitman, is lured back to the States from a new life in France to knock off people who can connect his old friend Johnny Harmon (Jason Evers) to a murder several years before. Only problem is, Harmon really wants to knock off Carl. Led into a trap, Carl is seriously wounded, but later Stone and Keller show up just as Carl expires at Harmon's place before he can kill Harmon. A written "deathbed confession" in Carl's pocket seals Harmon's fate. There is a scene where Carl calls his wife Michelle (Claudine Longet) and two children back in Europe which is totally unnecessary. Whitman gives a top-notch performance.
A Collection of Eagles - John Saxon plays Vince Hagopian Jr., a dealer in rare coins who wants to steal valuable double-eagle $20 gold coins which are in the possession of rich guy John R. James (Joseph Cotten). The peculiar-accented Hagopian has help from two people: Tommy Hendriksen (William Gray Espy) and Karen Pearson (Karen Montgomery). Pearson, a young woman who is a university student, is friends with James on the pretext of helping him write his autobiography. She has second thoughts about the scheme because she realizes that James is a kindly old sort. Hagopian has no qualms about killing Tommy when his usefulness is exhausted, and almost murders Pearson as well. There is a gay subtext to the show, with Tommy looking very hurt when he realizes that Hagopian has hot pants for Pearson.
by John Chergi » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:33 pm
Act Of Duty definitely one of the best Streets Of San Francisco episodes. Burns gives an outstanding performance as Oren Prentiss the psycho killer of young women. I think Brenda Vaccaro's character Officer Reese was courageous in trying to use herself as bait to catch the killer. The funeral scene for the killed officer was well-done. JC
SOSF - First Season Episodes - Part 4
by Mr. Mike » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:19 pm
A Room with a View - Acting on orders from gambling boss Hoyt Llewellyn (Richard Anderson), hitman Art Styles (Steve Forrest) knocks off Frankie Chaffee (Eddie Ryder), to freak out Frankie's brother Roy (Sandy Kenyon), who is in hiding waiting to testify against Llewellyn. Styles charms himself into the apartment of Mary Rae Dortmunder, a 31-year-old English teacher, who lives across the street from Roy's hideout. Keller is doing a stakeout on this location, unaware that he is only a few feet away from where Roy is hiding. (In a weird coincidence, Dortmunder was the last person to see Frankie alive.) Llewellyn's right hand man Abbie Groat, perhaps motivated by some things he heard Stone tell his boss during an interview, knocks off Llewellyn. When Styles hears this, he is disturbed, because it means he will likely not get paid for the hit on Roy. Dortmunder, who allows Styles to stay at her place overnight and lectures him on famous works by Saint-Exupéry and Hemingway, is also disturbed, because Styles will probably kill her when his work is finished. Styles, acting out of a sense of commitment to finish the job, does shoot Roy, but immediately splits with Dortmunder for the airport to get out of town fast. He is trailed there by Groat and some thug as well as Stone and Keller. Styles is shot dead by Groat in the baggage area where he has fled on a conveyor belt and ends up on a carousel back in the terminal in front of horrified passengers. A phone book left open at Dortmunder's place suggests he was going to use Aria Romana Airways (phone numbers 555-8431 and 555-6000) or Atlantic International Airways. The way Styles insinuates himself into Dortmunder's life is kind of creepy, though he does have a certain William Smith-like vibe about him which means that arguing with him would be very dangerous.
Deadline - San Francisco Telegraph newspaper columnist Chris Bane (Barry Sullivan) meets his young mistress Maggie Ames (Terrence O'Connor) at her Belvedere home near Sausalito. He argues with her about her boyfriend who ferried her to the place by boat and who he does not see close up and accidentally knocks her off the dock, which kills her when her head hits the ground (this seems much more serious than it would probably be in real life). All this is witnessed by Roger (Greg Mullavey), who is watching through a telescope nearby. Bane tries to one-up the cops' investigation, going to great lengths to pin the blame for Maggie's death on the guy driving the boat, a young actor named Peter Anthony in a local theater group who Maggie had written about recently. But there is no such person, since this is just the actor's stage name. In a neat twist, it turns out that this actor is Bane's own son Greg (Geoffrey Deuel). Even after Greg is arrested, thanks to Bane's sleuthing, the father tries to place the blame elsewhere, like on Roger, who is attempting to blackmail him. Finally, Bane admits that he is the killer as he is confronted by Stone and Keller at Maggie's place. This show would have been more effective if Bane had killed himself at the end and the sucky ending eliminated. The way the coroner determined the time of Maggie's death considering how long her body was in the harbor (and other issues relating to this as well) seems far-fetched.
Trail of the Serpent - As the multi-ethnic Cobras gang headed by Buddy Simms (Cal Bellini) tries to shake down a corner grocery, the cops show up. One of the cops is shot and killed and Buddy is wounded and taken to hospital. Stone tries to find the gang on his own and is taken hostage by them. They want to exchange him for Buddy before 9 a.m. the next morning, or Stone will be killed. Keller is paired up with Roy Devitt (Tom O'Connor), who has his hands full with a Governor's conference to be held in San Francisco the next day. Stone tries to talk to gang members in a "nice" way, but it doesn't get him very far. At one point he attempts to escape, but he gets shot while doing so. Through a combination of clues, Keller and Devitt manage to locate the gang's hideout, and Stone is rescued just in the nick of time.
The House on Hyde Street - Three young boys, led by Billy Rudolph (Clint Howard), break into the house owned by the eccentric Harlan Edgerton (Lew Ayres) to find money which is hidden there, as Billy was told by his father Joe (Albert Salmi). Edgerton is regarded by one mother in the neighborhood as "a child molester [and] a murderer" because of events which happened 30 years before when a young girl was found killed and Edgerton's reclusive brother Donald was a suspect. The boys find the house full of junk hoarded for years. When Edgerton, who has gone to the store, returns, the boys flee through the skylight where they entered, but one of them, Mark Dunham (Michael Morgan), slips and falls down. When Mark does not come home that evening, the cops search for him. Stone and Keller follow Edgerton, who attempts to bury a body in Golden Gate Park which turns out to be Mark's. Edgerton is arrested, but doesn't have much to say when he is jailed, but he does reveal that his brother Donald was on the U.S.S. Oklahoma which was sunk at Pearl Harbor, and when he returned to the mainland, he became totally reclusive, and has lived in the house ever since. Donald is a suspect in Mark's death (as well as that of the girl years earlier), and Edgerton is sprung from jail to help Keller and Stone take his brother into custody. When they return to the house, they find Joe Rudolph and two other men have taken matters into their own hands to deal with Donald, who is actually hiding in the pigeon coop on the house's roof. The three men are busted for breaking and entering. What happens to Donald is not specified and there is a relatively "happy" ending with Edgerton being friendly with the kids in the neighborhood. This episode is definitely "something different," but I didn't particularly like it.
Beyond Vengeance - Leonard Cord (Joe Don Baker), who was arrested by Stone and sent to prison 12 years before for a series of brutal rapes and murders, returns to San Francisco to make Stone's life a living hell. Stone's daughter Jeannie (Darleen Carr) is coming home from Phoenix, where she is a university student, to visit her father. After she exits the bus in Oakland where her father meets her so he can spend a few more minutes with him on the trip back to town, Cord, who is also on the bus, stabs and kills her best friend Valerie Mercer (Julie Mannix), who was sitting beside her. Cord plays Amazing Grace on his harmonica several times in the show, which produces a creepy musical leitmotif sort of like the one associated with the Charles Bronson character in Leone's Once Upon A Time in the West. After he stalks Jeannie on a San Francisco transit bus, Stone gets Cord to participate in a lineup, but neither Jeannie nor the driver from the Phoenix trip can identify him positively enough to arrest him. When Cord taunts Stone in his office, showing him pictures of Jeannie he took recently in Phoenix, Stone totally loses it. Stone's boss Olsen is worried about the bad publicity the department will likely get because of the "harassment" of Cord, but Keller takes some time off work to do some investigating of Cord on his own. Unfortunately, he is not too successful at this, because when he follows Cord, he is knocked out and tied up. Stone goes to meet Cord at the Legion of Honor art museum and manages to wound Cord, who begs to be killed. While this show is very suspenseful, Cord becoming progressively more and more diabolical as it goes along verges on the ridiculous, especially when Stone shoots Cord's Mustang car which explodes. This reminded me of a scene from the Terminator movies. The business with Cord setting up a tape recorder operated by a timer to play a recording of him playing harmonica in Stone's apartment is also hard to believe. This show has an interesting tracking shot which goes on for about a minute and 20 seconds starting around 29:45 as Stone and Keller walk through the police building.
The Albatross - Robert Alan Hobbes (Ed Nelson) returns home to find his young son dead and Artis Pierce (Kaz Garas) robbing the place. The cops are called and give chase, and eventually corner Pierce. He is read his rights by Keller, but when the case comes to a preliminary hearing, it is revealed that Pierce has a severe hearing problem and was not wearing his hearing aid, so he didn't hear the Miranda warning so he could agree to it. As a result, his confession after this that he didn't intend to kill Hobbes' son is thrown out. Hobbes takes the stand, hopefully to tell the judge that he witnessed Pierce being at his place, but he says he has never seen him before in his life, his intention obviously being to go after Pierce himself. Hobbes attempts to do this, but as Stone warned him, he does a pretty bad job. After Pierce's hearing aid is located at the crime scene with the help of Nelson's father (Douglas Fowley), the case becomes one which is open-and-shut. Some of the photography as Pierce is being pursued by the cops at the beginning of the show is pretty cool.
by ringfire211 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:48 pm
Hall of Mirrors -
The blonde-haired Aryan Soul is hard to take as a Latino
Totally agree with this! I just don't see how someone who looks like David "Hutch" Soul can be a Latino in any way, shape, or form.
I don't remember Timelock and In the Midst of Strangers all that well, except that they were merely okay. Glad you enjoyed The Takers - definitely one of the best episodes from the first season. It's a very good mystery with 2 particularly ruthless murders, so when you find out at the end who done it it's pretty startling! I agree about Harold Gould playing the beleaguered down-on-his luck husband, a total departure from his Honore Vashon (which he did that same season, and both aired around the same time - Nov/Dec '72). The Year of the Locusts was an okay gypsy episode - nothing too special.
The Bullet was another very good episode (with a really cool premise!) which is definitely due for a revisit. It's been a while since I last saw it. As I recall Carl Betz (of THE DONNA REED SHOW fame) did a fine job as the professor/witness with a shady past. Pat Conway returned in season 3's "End Game" as another ruthless mobster type.
Bitter Wine - first we had a "gypsy" episode and now a "Greek" episode. Don't worry, a "Jewish" episode is on the way too. As with the "gypsy" one, this one is just okay. The one strong memory I have with this one is Nehemiah Persoff's wild and poofy Albert Einstein hair blowing all over the place, same as on Five-O in "Will the Real Mr. Winkler Please Die?" (again, during this same season). '72-73 must have been the bad hair season for Persoff. Also of note - both Starsky & Hutch guested in this season of SOSF. Paul Michael Glaser here and David Soul just a few episodes earlier (as a Chicano! ).
A Trout in the Milk - my vote for the stupidest episode title. No clue what this means. "The Pagoda Factor" ain't got nothin' on this one! Likewise the episode is just really lame and boring. Something about some poet (Roscoe Lee Browne) reading poetry throughout and someone falling out of a window early in the episode. It just might be my least favorite episode in the series.
by ringfire211 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:30 pm
Deathwatch (same title as the Five-O episode) - pretty good episode with Nicholas Colasanto ("Coach" from CHEERS) as the main guest star. At that time he was mostly a TV director, directing 3 excellent Five-Os in the second season as well as the stinker "To Hell With Babe Ruth". I thought the hovercraft chase at the end was really cool.
Act of Duty is a superb episode - tied with "Beyond Vengeance" as my favorite from season 1. Directed by Lawrence Dobkin!
The Set-Up - another good episode. Stuart Whitman is an actor I always liked and saw as a guest on various shows growing up. Always reminded me a bit of Charles Bronson.
A Collection of Eagles - another solid episode, with John Saxon planning to heist some valuable coins from Joseph Cotten. One thing you gotta give this show is the high profile names they were able to get. I mean here you've got Saxon, Cotten, Belinda Montgomery, and even Jamie Farr from M*A*S*H* (which debuted during this season). Joseph Cotten was a major film star in the 40s and 50s and he's not even the main guest star here. This was a regular occurrence on this show. They would get big actors even for the smaller parts. On FIVE-O, of course, those smaller parts would have been played by the locals.
SOSF - First Season Episodes - Part 5 (last part)
by Mr. Mike » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:38 pm
Shattered Image - Fred Marshall, a big shot from the U.S. Department of Commerce, is murdered with a spear from a harpoon while he is alone on a yacht in San Francisco Bay. This show is somewhat complicated, but it basically boils down to "the local cops are being jerked around by the Feds." Marshall's administrative assistant Boyd Caldwell (Dick Sargent) refuses to believe that Marshall was murdered and threatens to pull all sorts of strings with Washington to avoid any kind of scandal. Senator Ralph Bowen (Jeff Corey), who was heading an investigative team looking into improprieties committed by Marshall, gives Keller a lot of bafflegab when questioned. Marshall's widow Anna (Barbara Rush) arrives on the scene which moves the plot in an unexpected direction, because she is the sister of Stone's army buddy and best friend Andy, who was killed in action in the Pacific during World War II. All of them grew up in San Francisco's Potrero neighborhood. Anna also cannot believe her husband was murdered, though she eventually tells Stone that he was in a great deal of trouble because he took money under the table to make up for overages on a government contract. There are plenty of suspects as to who killed Marshall, but it turns out that his wife was the one who hired Skip Hunter (Scott Hylands) to do the job. Hunter was employed by Reid Bradshaw (Jim Davis) who was connected to Marshall by a pilot project to create a new kind of merchant ship where public funds were likely being misused. When Stone tells Anna what he really thinks of her at the end of the show, she slaps his face, leaving him stunned on the docks, in an ending which is very serious. The plot has some major time issues with the fact that Anna arrived in San Francisco at 11 p.m. at night from Los Angeles, then went back to L.A. by plane at 8 a.m. the next morning, but managed to return to SFO by noon soon after this, despite flying time from Frisco to L.A. being an hour and 40 minutes, all of which is supposed to give her alibi for the time her husband was killed.
The Unicorn - In the middle of the night, two patrol cops come across suspicious activity with goods being smuggled off a freighter. This results in a firefight with one of the cops being shot dead, the second seriously wounded, and one of the two smugglers cremated when a truck explodes. A second smuggler, Abel Hoffman (Mitchell Ryan), is wounded and escapes. A check of the ship's log shows that two boxes containing cobra venom are missing; it was destined for research involving muscle failure at the Jason Chemical Company. Taking the only box which survived the shootout, Hoffman escapes to the docks nearby where he asks for help from Father Joe Scarne (Richard Egan) who was a doctor in Burma before he became a priest. Keller does some investigating (which is not shown) and finds out that the chemical company boss Dr. Robert Jason (Charles Aidman) is not being truthful regarding the stolen goods. Jason is heavily in debt to a Las Vegas casino and the boxes actually contain heroin. Three thugs from Nevada, including Jonathan Lippe (later Jonathan Goldsmith, the Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man in the World"), convince Jason to help locate Hoffman and the drugs. Although Scarne is badly beaten and Hoffman is killed, Stone and Keller take care of the hoods in a dockside scrapyard. The sinister Paul Genge is a hitman from Las Vegas; he played a similar role in the classic film also based in San Francisco, Bullitt.
Legion of the Lost - Three homeless men are killed to detract from the planned execution of a fourth, Paul Callen Jr. (Dean Stockwell), son of a man who "used to own half the boat yards along the coast." Callen Jr., who lived a dissolute lifestyle of a playboy in the past, has become a homeless alcoholic suffering from the D.T.'s who sleeps under a freeway. He has been befriended by Big Jake Wilson (Leslie Nielsen), a former prize fighter who had his own problems with the bottle. Wilson's picture appears on the wall at the company established by Callen's father, though there is no indication that Wilson knows who Junior really is. Stone, disguised as a bum from Stockton, goes underground to investigate, a move which seems peculiar since Stone is kind of a high-profile cop in the San Francisco PD. The murders have been orchestrated by Roy Richardson (Tom Troupe) who "inherited" Callen's company, seemingly by virtue of the fact that he was its most hard-working employee. A fighter named Terry Benner (Max Kleven) is the one carrying out Richardson's dirty work and has Junior lined up in his sights. Paul's sister Cathy (Karen Carlson), who is a major babe, is also a suspect because of her attitude towards her brother, but she is reunited with him in the show's Epilog. The episode is interesting in the way it makes us think that Wilson is the killer, but at the end, he dies defending Junior from a brutal attack by Benner. We learn in this show that Keller drives a 1965 Porsche.
by ringfire211 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:13 pm
A Room With a View was another solid episode, with good performances all around. Always loved the name Abbie Groat (played by Michael Strong). It fits him too! Hoyt Llewellyn is another winner! Not too many Hoyts out there, are there? I only know of Hoyt Axton. And the only Llewelyn I know is Desmond - Q in the Bond films.
Deadline was also a pretty good episode. Barry Sullivan made a number of appearances on the show - one every season. I did like the twist involving his son - that was cool. As I recall this was the very first SOSF episode I saw. The director is Seymour Robbie, who directed the superb Five-O prison drama "The Box", as well as 3 others in the 1st season.
Trail of the Serpent and The House on Hyde Street are 2 that I never cared for. I don't even recollect the details all that well. Only saw them once a long time ago.
Beyond Vengeance is an all-out classic and one of the series' best! Creepy Joe Don Baker on a bus playing the harmonica and a night-time showdown outside the Legion of Honor museum? Nuff said.
The Albatross was pretty good too I think, from what I can remember.
"A Trout in the Milk"
by Mr. Mike » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:00 pm
"A trout in the milk" is from an expression by Henry David Thoreau as follows: "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
One WWW page comments as follows:
A 1977 episode of "Streets of San Francisco" had this phrase for a title: "A Trout In The Milk" A poet-balladeer (Roscoe Lee Brown) confesses to murdering his daughter's boyfriend, giving homosexual attachment as the motive.
If you Google the phrase, you will find several references to it.
by ringfire211 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:19 pm
Mike, I guess I should have googled "trout in milk" but I still say it's a bizarre title, especially if you don't have any perspective or context on it.
I checked out parts of "Act of Duty" again and I agree that Patrick Williams' score is very effective (and creepy/suspenseful!) and makes an already excellent episode all that much better. SOSF isn't known for its great episodic scoring but this one was definitely a standout!!
Interesting Trivia, "Shattered Image" episode
by Mr. Mike » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:13 am
NOTE: I would strongly recommend you do NOT click on any ads on the pages produced by the links below...
by Mr. Mike » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:41 am
I am going to separate the discussion of season one shows from the original thread which started out as just a general discussion of the show and put them in this area. I don't know if this is going to screw them up in terms of the order in which they were originally posted, though...
[Whew, it seems to have worked OK and they are all in the original order.]
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