|Index||10 reviews in total|
In "Coogan's Bluff," the movie that led to "McCloud," Clint Eastwood's
Coogan came to New York to capture a villain, did so, and went back to New
Mexico. Obviously this wasn't going to do for the series, so Sam McCloud was
sent to New York to study how they did things in the Big Apple... and then
proceeded to ignore them and do things his way.
Like practically every cop in the history of television, his boss didn't like his methods and would have loved to be rid of him (McCloud actually did grant his wish in one episode when he resigned, but needless to say he came back), but our horse-riding hero got results. Of course, it didn't hurt that his sort-of girlfriend was the Commissioner's cousin... it's what you know and who you know that counts.
So it went for seven years, first as part of "Four-in-One" (an hour-long revolving series with four instalments) then as part of the "NBC Mystery Movie" until its demise; the series had plenty of comedy (McCloud, trying to land a plane: "The big hand is on 3, the little hand is on 4!" Clifford: "You're looking at the clock, McCloud!") but it wisely took its central premise seriously, never going out of its way to be quirky a la "due South" - McCloud going horse riding down the streets notwithstanding. Dennis Weaver's had other series after this, but we're not going to remember him for "Stone" (and certainly not for the snooze-inducing "Buck James"); it'll be for "Gunsmoke," "Gentle Ben," and for (relatively) younger audiences Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud.
"There you go..."
I miss the NBC Mystery Movie, which gave us Columbo, McMillan and Wife,
McCloud, and several shows that didn't make it. McCloud deservedly was
a show that lasted. It starred Dennis Weaver who, after his big success
as Chester on "Gunsmoke" proved that he wasn't one to be typecast. He
was terrific as McCloud, a westerner assigned to work in New York City
under Chief Clifford (the ever-irate J.D. Cannon). Though his ways were
often criticized, McCloud always got the job done. "You said yourself
I'm funky," he once told Clifford. Terry Carter provided able support.
Diana Muldaur was McCloud's sophisticated Manhattan girlfriend, and you could really see how she'd fall for him - it's obvious she saw him as a real man in a world of dull types.
At the time of this writing, Dennis Weaver is 81 and still working occasionally, though not enough for his many fans. He has given us some wonderful characters over the years. McCloud is one, a funky cowboy riding the Manhattan streets.
McCloud is a good 70's police show. It is never really serious, and McCloud always drives chief Clifford crazy in almost every episode, JD Cannon (the Chief) adds some humor to the show. This is a great show to see famous old time TV and Movie stars make guest appearances. One can also see many stars when they were young and just starting out, example Terri Garr, and Weekend at Bernie's Terry Kizer. I rate this show a 9/10. See it for fun.
McCloud was one of my favorite detective series of the 70's. I guess the best thing about it was the way Sam McCloud not only caught the bad guys, but the way he usually was able to make fools of the uptight holier than thou New York cops who considered him a southern country bumpkin. The police chief, Peter Clifford, always looked like he was on the verge of having a stroke whenever McCloud was around. If only he had let McCloud do his job without making such a fuss, the bad guys would still have been caught, and with a lot less trouble.
This has to be one of the funnest detective shows in the history of television. Dennis Weaver went from being the country bumpkin deputy Chester on "Gunsmoke" to what became his defining role as Marshall Sam McCloud. I especially loved the fact that it never took itself seriously as most shows of this type did. I'm just sorry that it never was spun off onto its own separate series as this show was definitely a classic.
Why do we only have McCloud available in seasons 1 & 2?? If those
people are only going to release one batch, they should have selected
some shows from the whole series.
I remember watching these in the '70's. Forget playing outside, let me know when Sam rides his horse in NYC. I made sure homework was done before he came on. you betcha! What about the guest stars? Jackie Cooper fights Sam on top of a stagecoach in NYC. John Denver is a Deputy Sheriff in Colorado(of course), and I believe he sings his song "I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado". Shirley Winters went a round or two with him, also. What about the episode where Sam and Sgt. Broadhurst are handcuffed together out in Oklahoma so Sam's whereabouts are always known? It is amazing how seeing our past shows us how little many things have changed. Let's look and see that less PC time. We were really like that. You Betcha.
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.
I love this website and all the comments on it! McCloud was my favorite
TV series and still is way up there. I would love to trade with anyone
who has the 90-minute episodes on home video. I have the 2-hour shows
from A&E and some of the 90-minute shows from the CBS Late Movie, but
fairly often I have only opening and closing credits for episodes
(particularly from the poor second season, and the going-downhill
One correction: "Return to the Alamo," the best episode of the series, was directed by Walter Doniger. E.W. Swackhamer directed the next "Alamo" episode, "The Day New York Turned Blue," which is still my favorite. The first "This Must Be The Alamo" was directed by Bruce Kessler (who does an excellent job), and Dennis Weaver himself directed the last (and least available) "Alamo" episode, "'Twas The Fight Before Christmas," which among other things features "Dallas" star Linda Gray in her first major role. On re-watching this episode last Christmas, I think it may be the best in the whole series.
In my opinion, the show took a while to find its stride. The 60-minute first-season episodes, which were combined into 90-minute or 2-hour TV movies later on, are fair but a little too countrified for my taste. The second season is generally quite bad, due to writing by Peter Allan Fields (five of the seven episodes). When Glen A. Larson got back from "Alias Smith and Jones" and took over the reins in the third season, the writing got noticeably better (he scripted five of the best episodes -- the first three "Alamos," "The New Mexican Connection" and "Butch Cassidy Rides Again," as well as two of the worst -- "The Barefoot Stewardess Caper" and "Night of the Shark"). Michael Gleason was nearly as good a writer (with the fourth season's "The Colorado Cattle Caper" making the top five). Lou Shaw wasn't in their class, but turned in several good scripts ("The Man With the Golden Hat" was probably his best).
The show had more changes in theme music than any other series I know. David Shire contributed a pretty poor twangy theme song for the first two years. In year three, they had four themes in five episodes! (Two of them are "chase music" from the episodes themselves.") The show hit the mark with the fourth-season theme, which was re-arranged each season to lead off with the hard-driving music as McCloud and the horse pounded the pavement. It's my favorite theme of all time (the arrangement for season six is the best). In the seventh season, among many disappointments, the theme was cut down in the opening and used only three times over the opening credits. The 1989 "Return of Sam McCloud" reunion-film theme was forgettable and had no relation to the others. When will people learn that a good theme song and opening sequence is vital to a show's success????
The series really Jumped The Shark when Michael Sloan came on as producer and head writer during the final season. His debut, "Bonnie and McCloud," was pinned by Variety as "perhaps the sappiest episode in the entire series," and his next episode, "The Great Taxicab Stampede," is just plain idiotic. Surprisingly, his other two scripts ("'Twas The Fight Before Christmas" and "London Bridges") are pretty good; I suspect he had uncredited help and a lot of it.
Great job, fans!
Although I think that the original inspiration for the McCloud series
came from Clint Eastwood's film Coogan's Bluff which involved a New
Mexico sheriff in New York, Dennis Weaver certainly made Marshal Sam
McCloud his own character and certainly was a lot less stiff than
Eastwood's Joe Coogan.
The premise had Sam McCloud of Taos, New Mexico in New York to take some training in new law enforcement techniques. But it seemed that in every show he was teaching those New York City slickers a thing or two about criminal apprehension.
He was the bane of the existence of Chief Clifford who was played by J.D. Cannon. Cannon looked like he was about to let an ulcer get the better of him in each show. A bit more patient was the NYPD babysitter Terry Carter who played Sergeant Joe Broadhurst. Weaver even got a little romance going with reporter Diana Muldaur. Weaver was good for scoops at least.
And there was McCloud's eternal catchphrase. Whenever the New Yorkers finally got whatever he was doing it was always "There Ya Go". Weaver was always springing country aphorisms which he had to translate.
Weaver really made this show click. He hated playing Chester in Gunsmoke, always thought he should have been the marshal.
I'd say he proved it with McCloud.
I love this show as a young child, maybe not as much as "Happy Days", but alot. I seen re-runs of "Happy Days" and what a waste of time except for the first 2 seasons before the Fonz turn 70, and Richie looked like a father of 2. "McCloud" I saw a few years back on A&E and was surprised to see how well the show aged. I still laughed, and found the show tv-ish; entertaining but got a little formualted after a while. How often can the cheif get upset, and his folk manner became too much. The guy from BSG is on this show, as well a few notable guest like John Denver. The show were McCloud is in Australia is the best. There is another episode were Richard Dawson plays a mean one. I wonder if Arnold was in any episodes. This show must of got its idea from that Eastwood movie.
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