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This was an anthology series that presented a different story and different set of characters on each episode. It ran from 1954 to 1958 and featured Casino Royale of James Bond fame that lead to a feature film of the same name.
Filmed in a film noir atmosphere and featuring Henry Mancini music that could tell you the action with your eyes closed, Peter Gunn worked in style. Known as Pete to his friends and simply as Gunn to his enemies, he did his job in a calm cool way. He got his tips and cautions from Lieutenant Jacoby, a coffee drinking pal from the police. Also providing tips was "Mother" of her self-titled nightclub. Working at the nightclub as a singer was Edie Hart, his girlfriend. Written by
Mathias Banner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was one of the first television shows to have its own original score and it was the first to feature modern jazz for a soundtrack. Previously, producers used generic music scores that were used in many television productions. RCA released an album of music from "Peter Gunn" featuring the title song and other pieces. It reached #1 on Billboard's chart, stayed there ten weeks, and stayed on the list for the next two years. It was so successful that RCA put together a sequel. Henry Mancini received an Emmy nomination for the theme and won two Grammys for the album. See more »
It's true that anime series like "Cowboy Bebop" have elements never considered in 1950's TV, like a definitive end to the series, foreshadowing and tragedy. But the mood of "Bebop", its music, its eccentric characters and the cynical humor of the hero can all be traced to "Peter Gunn." (And to show that nothing is completely original, some have said that "Gunn" was derived from Will Eisner's classic comic strip character of the 40's and 50's, "The Spirit.")
Gunn had a great supporting cast. There was the old jazz lady Mother, whose jazz bar just happened to attract the best West Coast jazz artists of the day (occasionally mentioned by name in the episodes); her house singer Edie Hart, whose love for Gunn was remarkably passionate; and Lieutenant Jacoby, who had a love/hate relationship with Gunn. There were equally weird characters involved. One episode in the second DVD volume has Gunn protecting Timothy - who happens to be a sea lion, with his own cute little theme song. More typical, in the first volume, was a story about a dead body found in Edie Hart's apartment, which is being painted. The attitude of the painter of all these police and goons in the apartment, and making his job harder, goes beyond comic relief to a featured comic part.
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