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.
A pair of plainclothes homicide detectives, Lt. Mike Stone and Inspector Steve Keller, cruise the streets of San Francisco solving a variety of crimes, usually involving murder. Stone is the street-smart 20-year veteran cop, and Keller is the college-educated rookie. Much of the series' success was due to the friendly by-play and relationship between the two leads. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Following the success of producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Michael Douglas left the series at the beginning of the 1976-77 season. His character's absence was explained by having him take a teaching position. Inspector Keller taking a teaching position is similar to a scene in Dirty Harry (1971) where an SFPD Inspector injured in the line of duty stated that he had a teaching credential and later became a college professor (which was stated in the sequel, Magnum Force (1973) as well as the third sequel The Enforcer. See more »
End credits (from seasons 2-5): Photographed Completely On Location in San Francisco. In season 1, the production was split with exteriors filmed in San Francisco and interior scenes filmed at the Burbank Studios in Burbank, California. See more »
The Streets of San Francisco, as with most Quinn Martin series, is a standard crime drama. What makes the show better than most crime dramas is the father/son chemistry between Karl Malden as veteran Detective Lt. Mike Stone and Michael Douglas as the younger partner Inspector Steve Keller, the 70's, R&B-style theme music by Patrick Williams and the cool, pre-MTV opening credits.
What really made this show better than most is the fact that Quinn Martin did spend the extra money and filmed the show entirely in San Francisco. In the 70s, most prime time TV shows were filmed in Los Angeles. I believe Hawaii Five-O was one of only a few prime-time dramas from the early 70s that was filmed on location.
When Douglas left the series and Richard Hatch (from the original Battlestar Galactica, not the Richard Hatch from the first Survivor) replaced him, I quickly lost interest in the show. The chemistry between Malden and Douglas was very important to the show and Hatch had the thankless task of creating a character that in the long run was bland.
Despite the show's final season, I'm certain that if I had the TV on and heard the drum beats of The Streets of San Francisco theme, I am very sure that I will probably spend the rest of the hour watching the show.
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