Film Review – SHOWDOWN AT THE END OF THE WORLD (TV) (1973)

Showdown at the End of the World (TV) (1973; USA; Technicolor; 74m) ***  d. Lou Antonio; w. Robert Hamner; ph. William Cronjager; m. Lee Holdridge.  Cast: Dennis Weaver, J. D. Cannon, Bradford Dillman, Lee J. Cobb, Eddie Egan, Jaclyn Smith, Terry Carter. McCloud falls for model smuggling drugs to find a missing roommate. Strong entry in the McCloud series with an excellent guest cast and good use of NYC locations – including a finale at the disused observatory towers from 1964/5’s World Fare. [PG]

Film Review – LADY ON THE RUN (TV) (1975)

Lady on the Run (TV) (1975; USA; Technicolor; 97m) **½  d. Russ Mayberry; w. Gilbert Edd; ph. Ben Colman, Gilbert Torres; m. Stu Phillips.  Cast: Dennis Weaver, J. D. Cannon, Terry Carter, Mariette Hartley, Clu Gulager, Ken Lynch. A dead woman’s vengeful sister pursues her brother-in-law to Mexico City, but an assassin finds him first. McCloud entry is one long chase and travelogue. A slight (and old) plot of mistaken identity provides an excuse for fugitive pursuit through the city. Filmed on location in Mexico City, with many fine day and night interiors and exteriors centred around the Grand Hotel. [PG]

Film Review – THE PARK AVENUE RUSTLERS (TV) (1972)

Image result for mccloud the park avenue rustlersPark Avenue Rustlers, The (TV) (1972; USA; Technicolor; 74m) ***  d. Jack Arnold; w. Sy Salkowitz; ph. William Cronjager; m. Lee Holdridge.  Cast: Dennis Weaver, J. D. Cannon, Eddie Albert, Roddy McDowall, Diana Muldaur, Brenda Vaccaro, Lloyd Bochner, Norman Fell, Terry Carter. A partner poses as McCloud’s lover to help him infiltrate a car-theft ring. Strong entry in NBC’s McCloud series, which formed part of the Mystery Movie wheel. Veteran Arnold directs with added vigour – notably during the climax involving a hair-raising helicopter stunt. Weaver is excellent, as ever, with his laconic charm and Cannon is a great foil as his world-weary superior. Weaver was actually dangling from the helicopter skid as it left the top of the 20-storey building, having missed the cue to be replaced by a stuntman. [PG]

Film Review – McCLOUD (1970)

McCloud (TV) (1970; USA; Technicolor; 98m) ∗∗∗  d. Richard A. Colla; w. Stanford Whitmore, Richard Levinson, William Link; ph. Ben Colman; m. David Shire.  Cast: Dennis Weaver, Craig Stevens, Peter Mark Richman, Diana Muldaur, Terry Carter, Mario Alcalde, Raul Julia, Shelly Novack, Julie Newmar, Michael Bow, Nefti Millet, Kathy Stritch, Albert Popwell. A marshal from New Mexico travels to New York City to deliver a witness who is supposed to testify in a murder trial. The rather mundane plot is secondary to character introduction and the liberal use of New York locations. Weaver has plenty of charisma in the lead and the street shots are authentically captured. Pilot for the McCloud TV series (1970-77), which became part of NBC’s Mystery Movie cycle. Inspired by COOGAN’S BLUFF (1968). Syndicated sub-titles: PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GIRL and WHO KILLED MISS U.S.A.? A reunion movie THE RETURN OF SAM MCCLOUD (1989) also followed. [PG]