Man with a Camera (1958–1960)

TV Series  -   -  Crime | Drama
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Former combat cameraman Mike Kovac is now a freelance photographer in New York City, specializing in difficult and dangerous assignments where he can get the kinds of pictures that other ... See full summary »

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Title: Man with a Camera (1958–1960)

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Season:

2 | 1

Year:

1960 | 1959 | 1958
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Mike Kovac (29 episodes, 1958-1960)
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Storyline

Former combat cameraman Mike Kovac is now a freelance photographer in New York City, specializing in difficult and dangerous assignments where he can get the kinds of pictures that other photographers can't, or won't take. He sometimes gets help, often reluctantly, from his contact in the police department, Lt. Donovan, and advice from his immigrant father Anton. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Plot Keywords:

photographer | reporter

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

10 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Man with a Camera  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Watch the birdie ... instead of this show.
16 June 2004 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

I've never been a Charles Bronson fan, but 'Man with a Camera' was the role that brought him major attention. This was one of the very early series of the young ABC network, so it suffered from a low budget and poor production values, but was broadly hyped by ABC.

Bronson played Mike Kovac, a former combat photographer now free-lancing in New York City, specialising in getting the photographs that other lensmen can't (or don't have the guts to obtain). Ludicrously, a lot of Kovac's assignments came from the police and newspaper editors, who never seemed to have their own photographers on staff. As this was a crime show, Kovac's assignments always embroiled him in some caper, usually involving a good-looking woman. Kovac's police liaison was Lieutenant Donovan, well-played by James Flavin but stuck with the implausible cliché (dating back to Inspector Lestrade) of the cop who has to go to the independent free-lance hero for help with all the cases the cops can't handle.

One strong point of 'Man with a Camera' is that it involved the latest photographic technology, which inevitably must seem quaint from our modern standpoint. The boot of Kovac's car was converted into a portable darkroom. After he snapped his pix, he would then peel off his jacket to reveal a short-sleeved shirt (with Charles Bronson's brawny biceps). Kovacs would then ceremoniously take off his wristwatch, mix the hypo, and develop his negatives on the spot. (Wot, no Polaroids?) For special assignments, Kovac would use a miniature camera, a fisheye lens, a telephoto attachment or various other gimmicks ... all technologically accurate for the time.

The dialogue in this series tended towards the gimmicky as well. In a typical climax, Kovac went into the villain's hideout (unarmed, natch), punched the crap out of him single-handed, then threw him into the street. Lieutenant Donovan comes running along just as Kovac ominously reaches into his jacket as if drawing a weapon.

Donovan: "You're not going to shoot him, are you?"

Kovac: "After all the trouble I went to, you're darn right I'm gonna shoot him."

Then he pulls out his camera and he *shoots* the villain. Geddit? Hoo boy.

As played by monotone actor Bronson, Kovac could have been a dull stereotype. He was humanised somewhat by the presence of his immigrant father Anton, to whom Kovac frequently came for advice. The individual episodes of 'Man with a Camera' tended to have photographic titles, such as 'Close-Up on Violence', 'Double Negative', 'The Picture War'. The series boasted an impressive roster of guest stars, including Frank Faylen, Grant Williams and (pre-Batgirl) Yvonne Craig. 'Man with a Camera' may well be of great interest to Bronson fans but is not otherwise notable.


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