Sam McCloud is a Marshal from Taos, New Mexico, who takes a temporary assignment in the New York City Police Department. His keen sense of detail and detecting subtle clues, learned from his experience, enable him to nab unsuspecting criminals despite his unbelieving boss.
Sam McCloud is a town Marshal from Taos, New Mexico. He goes to New York to find an escaped criminal, and there falls for reporter Chris Coughlin, who is the cousin of the deputy police commissioner. After he tracks the criminal down, Chris convinces her cousin to request that Sam be assigned to temporary duty with the NYPD to learn modern police methods. He is assigned to the detective bureau headed by Chief Peter B. Clifford, who is less than thrilled with having McCloud under his command and gives him nothing but menial duties. Sam always winds up deep in homicides, drug busts, and various other major crimes. He is often helped out by Sgt. Joe Broadhurst, and solves them using a combination of good police work and good old country know-how. Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
For the first two seasons, music (including the theme) was composed by David Shire in a strongly country music fashion. During the third season, there was no regular composer, with four different closing themes used in five episodes. The main title theme used in most openings and all closings from season four, episode one, "Butch Cassidy Rides Again", was never given screen credit, but its resemblance to other scores in the fourth season suggests that Frank De Vol (My Three Sons (1960), The Brady Bunch (1969), and Fernwood Tonight (1977)) composed all, or most, of the theme. The theme is somewhat similar in a driving beat to others which Series Producer Glen A. Larson composed for later series, such as Switch (1975) and Sword of Justice (1978). See more »
Mccloud's accent is totally wrong for someone supposedly from Taos New Mexico. Taos is located in northern New Mexico, and Anglos there do not speak in that sort of accent, but rather more or less a general American accent. See more »
Fine Entry in the Sunday Night NBC Mystery Movie Series
When the Mystery Movies started on NBC, the viewer was treated to a set of rotating series, including the great Columbo, the fresh MacMillan & Wife, the unusual Hec Ramsey, the very 70s Banacek, to name a few. And then there was this fish-out-of-water series about a New Mexican lawman working in the Big Apple, and it was cool, very fun and enjoyable.
Having never seen Coogan's Bluff, I had no comparison points and so took the program on its own merits. The cast was excellent. Lanky, likable Dennis Weaver wore Marshall Sam McCloud like a second skin, and because he'd been in Westerns, was believable as the cowboy cop; his riding and gun-handling skills appeared very natural, and he was also good at fight scenes. Short-fused police Chief Peter B. Clifford was his foil, adeptly portrayed by veteran actor J. D. Cannon. These two formed the main dynamic conflict for the programs. They were supported by a good cast of characters that included long-suffering Sergeant Joe Broadhurst(Terry Carter), a lovely reporter in love with Sam named Chris Coughlin(Diana Muldaur), and a changing roster of cops(including a delightful turn by Teri Garr as Sergeant Phyllis Norton).
The writing was decent, and the episodes where McCloud went even further afield to places like Australia, Paris and Hawaii were great. The chemistry of the cast was never flat, and there did slowly build in the cranky Chief Clifford a grudging respect for McCloud's unconventional approach to police investigation. When stuck in Hawaii on a trumped-up murder charge, Clifford is almost even glad that McCloud is there with him...almost.
Unlike some of the other shows that aired in the NBC Mystery Movies, this one has not grown stale or appears too dated, much like Columbo. Yes, it was at times formulaic, but the formula was appealing and easy to enjoy, and the main character less grating than some from that same time period. It wasn't as dated as Banacek or as silly as the Snoop Sisters, but like Columbo and McMillan & Wife, has aged gracefully and is still a fun ride, you betcha.
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