Centers on Robert T. Ironside, a tough, sexy and acerbic police detective relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting who is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases.
Quiet young Orfamay Quest from Kansas has hired private detective Philip Marlowe to find her brother. After two leads turn up with ice picks stuck in them, he discovers blackmail photos ... See full summary »
Citizens of San Francisco are stunned by the news that Robert Ironside, the city's hard-nosed, tough-talking chief of detectives, has been shot and left for dead while vacationing at his ... See full summary »
Chief Ironside has just retired and is looking forward to running his vineyard with his wife. But his retirement is interrupted when his old friend and colleague Ed Brown, who is now ... See full summary »
A Sun Ma Si-tsang comedy with the usual masquerades and hijinks from the master. The film contains locations of the Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park in the 50's (now defunct), precious footage ... See full summary »
On the set of a popular daytime soap opera 'Mile High', actress Kris Buckner is being forced off by co-star Mark Stratton. When she says that she'll 'kill him before she leaves the show', ... See full summary »
Christian I. Nyby II
William R. Moses
A successful singer is forced to retire and marry a man she despises. She takes in a pupil to teach and falls in love with him, but - of course - takes no action on her feelings... even ... See full summary »
Ironside is confined to a wheel chair (an attempted assassination left him paralyzed). With his former assistants Brown and Whitfield (later Belding) and former delinquent (and later lawyer) Mark, he combats crime for the San Francisco police from his mobile office (a van) while leaving a pot of chili cooking back at headquarters. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Steven Bochco, who would later became one of the most successful television producers of the 1980's and 90's, worked on the series very early in his career. He had been hired by Executive Producer Frank Price at the start of the first season to write a few extra minutes worth of scenes in the first six episodes, which were too short. After looking at these episodes, Bochco asked Price if it was really necessary for him to do this for all six because he didn't think the show would last that long. According to Bochco, Price was not happy with the remark and this was the start of a strained relationship between the two of them that continued when Price was in charge of Universal Television and Bochco was a writer there. See more »
There are precious few actors who can create two successful television characters. More recent examples include Mary Tyler Moore (Mary Richards and Laura Petrie) and Bob Newhart (Bob Hartley and Dick Loudon). In 1966, Burr completed a nine-year run as the most recognizable attorney on television. In 1967, returning to television, his challenge was to create a new character that wouldn't stand in Perry Mason's shadow. The result was Ironside -- a rough, former chief of the San Francisco police forced to retire when an attempted assassination leaves him paralyzed. (The theme music is reprised in "Kill Bill Vol. 1", whenever the Bride flashes back on her paralyzing injuries.) Bob Ironside had none of Perry Mason's polish, frequently spoke without thinking, and enjoyed fast cars as much as he relished good police work. He was given a special task force that included a regular joe beat-cop, Ed Brown (even in the sixties, a more vanilla name was never given a character); a highbrow, educated female detective (Eve Whitfield); and a troubled black youth, Mark Sanger, who was to Ironside what Charlie Young is to President Bartlet on "The West Wing". Instead of the Los Angeles setting of Perry Mason, Ironside was in San Francisco. In addition, while Perry Mason kept the lights on at CBS for nearly a decade, Ironside was a steady performer for NBC for almost as long. The show was an instant critical and commercial success.
I think the reason Ironside is not as popular in reruns now as it was in the late 70s and early 80s is it will always be in the shadow of Mason, and that's a shame. The two shows are not the same, and there are many memorable episodes of Ironside. One in particular features Ironside isolated in his apartment, being stalked by a killer, that always reminded me of the climactic scene in "Rear Window" -- in which the killer was played by Raymond Burr! One of my favorite lines of dialogue, from the pilot, was his ribbing of his female detective: "By all means, ask Detective Whitfield. She's had the benefit of a classical education." That line -- which would never have passed Perry Mason's lips -- is a good sample of Ironside's tone through the series.
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