TV Movie Review – McCLOUD: ENCOUNTER WITH ARIES (1971)

McCloud : Encounter with Aries (1971) - Russ Mayberry | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovieMcCLOUD: ENCOUNTER WITH ARIES (TV) (1971, USA) ***½
Crime, Drama, Mystery
Network: NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY (NBC) (USA); production company: UNIVERSAL TELEVISION; director: RUSS MAYBERRY; writer: PETER ALLAN FIELDS; producer: DEAN HARGROVE; associate producer: PETER ALLAN FIELDS; director of photography: WILLIAM MARGULIES (Technicolor | 35mm | Spherical | 1.37:1); music: DICK DEBENEDICTIS; film editor: BYRON ‘BUZZ’ BRANDT; art director: WILLIAM H. TUNTKE; set decorator: JOSEPH J. STONE; costumes: GRADY HUNT; sound: EDWIN S. HALL (Mono); broadcast date: 22 SEPTEMBER 1971 (USA); BBFC cert: PG; running time: 76 MINS.
Cast: DENNIS WEAVER (Sam McCloud), J.D. CANNON (Peter B. Clifford), SEBASTIAN CABOT (Sidney Cantrell), PETER HASKELL (Richard Stevens), SUSAN STRASBERG (Lorraine), LOUISE LATHAM (Emily Cantrell), ALAN OPPENHEIMER (Mervin Simmons), TERRY CARTER (Det. Joe Broadhurst), ROBERT HOGAN (Detective Finnegan), JILL JARESS (Gloria), BOOTH COLMAN (Hines), WOODROW PARFREY (Elmer), ELISHA COOK JR. (Mr. Rafer), FORREST LEWIS (Old Man), FRED HOLLIDAY (Intern), ELIZABETH LANE (Nurse), ATHENA LORDE (Floor Nurse), NANCY JERIS (Marie), JAMES GAVIN (Policeman).
The kidnapping of a woman (Latham) who is married to a wealthy astrologer (Cabot) — and the appearance of her kidnapper (Haskell), who claims she is being held in a room with a ticking time bomb — spur the woman’s husband to bash in the kidnapper’s head with a vase. This leaves McCloud (Weaver) with a limited time to determine where the woman is and who is really behind the kidnapping. This was the first episode following the transition of McCloud from its one-hour slot as part of the Four-in-One wheel to a regular rotation as part of the NBC Mystery Movie series. The story is a strong one with elements of mystery and humour. By now the role of McCloud fits the charming Weaver as well as his cowboy boots and his sparring with Cannon is always a joy to watch. A good script by Fields, tight direction from Mayberry and the casting of Cabot as the astrologer also help make this an above average mystery movie.

TV Review: THE VIRGINIAN: THE CAPTIVE (1966)

The Captive (1966)THE VIRGINIAN: THE CAPTIVE (1966, USA) ***½
Western
net. National Broadcasting Company (NBC); pr co. Universal Television; d. Don Weis; w. Peter Packer; exec pr. Frank Price; pr. Winston Miller; ph. Enzo A. Martinelli (Technicolor. 35mm. Spherical. 1.33:1); m. Sidney Fine; m sup. Stanley Wilson; th. Percy Faith; ed. John Elias; ad. George Patrick; set d. Claire P. Brown, John McCarthy Jr.; cos. Vincent Dee; m/up. Bud Westmore, Larry Germain; sd. Earl Crain Jr. (Mono); tr. 28 September 1966; r/t. 75m.

cast: James Drury (The Virginian), Charles Bickford (John Grainger), Doug McClure (Trampas), Don Quine (Stacey Grainger), Sara Lane (Elizabeth Grainger), Susan Strasberg (Liliota / Katherine Ann Emory), Virginia Vincent (Louise Emory), Don Hanmer (Roger Emory), Than Wyenn (Grey Horse), Ross Elliott (Sheriff Mark Abbott), Michael Forest (Cavalry Lieutenant), Gus Trikonis (Running Elk), Tina Menard (Elk Woman), Alex Sharp (Ranch Hand).

(s. 5 ep. 3) A white girl is caught with her adoptive Arapaho parents stealing Shiloh cattle. She stays at Shiloh while the authorities try to find her white parents. She wants to return to the Arapaho but is forced to learn to live in the white world. The diminutive Strasberg gives a good performance as the adoptive Indian with emotional conflicts splitting her bond with her adoptive Arapho guardians and her natural parents. This is a good episode for Lane whose frustration in her attempts to bond with Strasberg are sensitively played. Good direction from Weis keeps the story the right side of sentimental and the finale is genuinely touching.