The adventures of private eye Jefferson Keyes, who charges a cool million bucks for his services.

Creator:

Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1972  

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Banacek (1972–1974)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The adventures of proud Polish-American detective Thomas Banacek.

Stars: George Peppard, Ralph Manza, Murray Matheson
Hec Ramsey (1972–1974)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The adventures of Hec Ramsey, a turn-of-the-20th-century detective who prefers to use his brains instead of his guns.

Stars: Richard Boone, Rick Lenz, Harry Morgan
The Snoop Sisters (1972–1974)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A spinster and her widowed sister, who are also mystery writers, try to solve mysterious murders.

Stars: Helen Hayes, Mildred Natwick, Lou Antonio
McCloud (1970–1977)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sam McCloud is a Marshal from a Taos, New Mexico, who takes a temporary assignment in the New York City Police. His keen sense of detail and detecting subtle clues, learned from his experience, enable him to nab unsuspecting criminals despite his unbelieving boss.

Stars: Dennis Weaver, J.D. Cannon, Terry Carter
Tenafly (1973–1974)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

African-American private eye Harry Tenafly was a happily married, middle-class family man who had given up being a cop to work for a better paying position at a big L.A. detective agency. ... See full summary »

Stars: James McEachin, David Huddleston, Rosanna Huffman
Stone (TV Series 1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sgt. Daniel Stone has been moonlighting as a writer and after he becomes a success with lots of fans, it leads to resentment on the force. Former friend Chief Paulson is among those unhappy, not so rookie Buck Rogers.

Stars: Dennis Weaver, Pat Hingle, Robert Weaver
McMillan & Wife (1971–1977)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

San Francisco Police Commissioner Stewart "Mac" McMillan and his amateur detective wife keep their marriage unpredictable while solving the city's most baffling crimes.

Stars: Rock Hudson, John Schuck, Susan Saint James
Madigan (1972–1973)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Stars: Richard Widmark, George Cole, Peter Vaughan
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Jefferson Keyes (5 episodes, 1972)
Edit

Storyline

Ex-government spy Jefferson Keyes is an always-in-demand private investigator who will travel anywhere in the world to take a case. His fee is a cool one million dollars, which includes a guarantee of success, or else the fee is refunded. He operates out of Lincoln, Nebraska with Elena, the telephone operator who knows how to contact Keyes, and Tony, the pilot of his private jet. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@soltec.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jefferson Keyes  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the NBC Wednesday Night Mystery Movie. See more »

Connections

Edited into The NBC Tuesday Mystery Movie (1971) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

James Farentino as a high priced private eye
3 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Brilliant writer Larry Cohen created "Cool Million". He also created "Coronet Blue", "The Invaders", "Branded" and "Blue Light". Cohen got his start writing episodes of "The Defenders". Cohen later wrote and directed cult B-movies with interesting actors like David Carradine and Michael Moriarity. In recent years Cohen has written the excellent pulp movies "Phone Booth" and "Cellular".

"Cool Million" hero Jefferson Keyes would solve whatever your problem was for $1 million. Another intriguing premise from Cohen. But the client's problem would have to be BIG to justify that fee. (And didn't Cohen miss a bet by not naming his hero Sam Cool?)

James Farentino had been one of the three stars of "The Lawyers" segment of "The Bold Ones" for three years. That very entertaining series had been produced by Roy Huggins, who also produced this show. Roy Huggins other series include "Cheyenne", "Maverick", "77 Sunset Strip", "Run For Your Life" and "The Rockford Files". (Huggins' original title for "77 Sunset Strip" had been "Anything for Money", which is what Stuart Bailey's newspaper add said).

Roy Huggins hired stylish directors for "Cool Million", including John Badham, Barry Shear and Daryl Duke. John Badham and James Farentino must have been pals. They also teamed for the memorable, brutal first episode of "Police Story" and for an erotic "Night Gallery" with Joanna Pettet.

The first episode of "Cool Million" landed in the top fifteen, but later episodes got much lower ratings. Viewers sampled this show and decided they didn't like it.

James Farentino is a skillful actor, particularly good at character roles. He also has a flare for comedy. He was sort of a 70's version of Alec Baldwin. George C. Scott once said Farentino was one of his favorite young American actors. Farentino made a fine Happy in a TV version of "Death of a Salesman" (1966), which also starred Lee J. Cobb, Mildred Dunnock and George Segal. Being selected for that brilliant production of "Salesman" shows how highly regarded Farentino was as an actor.

But as a leading man, Farentino always struck me as a little too smug and not very human. I found it impossible to identify with Jefferson Keyes and difficult to like him, even though I'm a big fan of Roy Huggins and Larry Cohen. You never understood what made Jefferson Keyes so special that clients would agree to that fee. He just seemed like the usual muscle for hire. I never got further than fifteen minutes into any of the four 90-minute episodes, even though I liked the premise.

Jefferson Keyes should have been more of an intellectual and a little quirkier. Maybe he should have been an extremely expensive attorney who defended people charged with capital crimes.

Or the problems he solved for a million dollars should have been bigger. Maybe he would get a beautiful movie star to fall in love with you. Or find a way to turn around your failing business. Or get your son to stop using drugs. Or get you elected senator. Or find an elusive terrorist leader. Or get better scripts for your banal TV series.

And what was Keyes doing with all that money? Was he leading a lavishly hedonistic life style? Or was he taking the money from the rich and funneling it back to the poor? What was his motivation to continue working, since he was rich after one case? Did Keyes grow up so devastatingly poor that he could never get enough money?

The formidable Elizabeth Ashley had the distinction of being married first to James Farentino (Jefferson Keyes) and then George Peppard (Thomas Banacek). As far as is known, she was never married to Richard Widmark (Sergeant Dan Madigan). Still, I suspect Farentino and Peppard were challenging enough.

James Farentino and Roy Huggins reteamed a third time twelve years later for the dreadful "Blue Thunder", based on John Badham's exciting thriller.

Instead of buying "Cool Million", NBC might have been shrewder to expand "The Lawyers" segment of "The Bold Ones" to 90 minutes and put it on the mystery movie. Huggins often came up with intriguing stories for that show and Ives, Campanella and Farentino were good company as Nichols, Darrell and Darrell.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Cool Million (1972) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page