Baretta (TV Series 1975–1978) Poster

(1975–1978)

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5/10
A character actor and a character
bkoganbing22 June 2016
One of the quirkiest cops in television series was Barreta played by Robert Blake who in real life got to see the other end of the criminal justice system. Loquacious and iconoclastic this was a guy who definitely followed his own beat.

Living with ex-cop Tom Ewell as a landlord and having a cockatoo named Fred as a companion, Baretta seemed completely dedicated to his job and didn't seem to have much of a social life. I'm betting that his friend Rooster the pimp who was his number one snitch supplied a little nookie for his pal. At least Rooster never called Baretta, an 'honorary soul brother' like Huggy Bear did with Starsky and Hutch.

Robert Blake who played some interesting roles like one of the GI rapists in Town Without Pity, one of the killers in In Cold Blood, serial killer John List was never traditional leading man material. As a kid he was best known for playing Little Beaver in the Red Ryder series and the Mexican kid who sold Humphrey Bogart the winning lottery ticket in The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, Blake never was a teen heart throb. He was a born character actor and a character.

The quirky Baretta is hard to find on the nostalgia channels. That arrest for murdering his last gold digging wife even with an acquittal spelled finis for Robert Blake. A pity because Baretta took a unique approach to crime fighting.

And that's the name of that tune.
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A great show but...
GUENOT PHILIPPE4 May 2016
I agree with most of the other comments. That's a brilliant cop series, with a unusual character. But I must also say that the social worker cop side of this Baretta character annoyed me a lot, especially in the last episodes. It annoyed me at a scale you can't even imagine. I almost stopped seeing the show. If I want to see social line stories, I watch EAST SIDE WEST SIDE, which was an excellent, brilliant TV show. I have nothing against social stories, so close to reality, but a cop show must remain a cop show. It can speak of social background, settings, but it also must remain a cop, crime show. One of the highlight of the whole series is in the last season: STONE CONSPIRACY, where Baretta is falsely accused of bribery and has to face rogue cops, including his own friend. With a very unexpected ending. A story that leaves you a copper taste in the mouth. Excellent.
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10/10
Best 70's TV cop show ever!
pam-31729 April 2014
When Baretta was first broadcast, I was 10 years old and I had the BIGGEST crush on Robert Blake. Unfortunately, none of my little friends liked "Baretta". They all watched "Starsky and Hutch" at that time. All I ever heard on the bus ride to and from school was "Paul's cuter!" "No, David's cuter!" It was those two guys or Mark Shera from "Barnaby Jones"...yeesh! I never quite understood the appeal of Paul Michael Glaser or David Soul or Mark Shera, so I had nothing to contribute to the debate (and they all thought I was weird for swooning over Robert Blake anyway). I have to completely disagree with the description of the character Rooster as a "Huggy Bear wanna-be"! (Not sure what Huggy Bear's deal was in "Starsky and Hutch"...some sort of scam artist?) You know Rooster wouldn't hesitate to smack a ho upside the head with his platform shoe, and he might even cut a bitch if necessary. Couldn't imagine anyone named "Huggy" delivering a proper beat down. "Baretta" was an awesomely gritty cop show (oh my, those tight shirts he wore!) and let's face it, Rooster was a straight up pimp. I wish this series was shown in syndication today. I haven't seen it in years.
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8/10
Baretta
rcj53659 August 2009
As with most police dramas that were on television during the 1970's,this was one of those shows they threw the overall police procedure out the window and the main character was a maverick detective who was working for the police department who went by his own set of rules. Most of the time he wore disguises on the job either by dressing up as a nun,an old lady or some lowlife who used unorthodox methods to capture the baddies and bring them to justice. "Baretta" was that show.

"Baretta" was the brainchild of producers Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins,the same ones who were behind the critically acclaim short-lived police drama "Toma",which ran for one season when "Baretta" came in as the mid-season replacement in January of 1975. "Baretta" was the milder version of "Toma" with much of the violent content tone down for good measure. And just like "Toma",the reviews that "Baretta" got during its first season were minimum. But the public loved it and this is why the series ran for three seasons on ABC-TV,producing 82 episodes from January 17,1975 until May 18,1978,under Roy Huggins' production company Public Arts Productions in association with Universal Television. Say what you want about this upbeat crime drama/police story series with Robert Blake in the title role as Tony Baretta.

Baretta was an police detective/unorthodox plainclothes cop who lives with Fred,his pet cockatoo in a rundown apartment on the mean streets of New York. Like his model David Toma,Baretta wore many disguises on the job,but the way he used those methods to catch the lowlifes and scums of the city were impressive,and without the violent content. And just like Toma,Baretta had a gun he used for measure when necessary,but never fired it. Each episode followed the same formula,and it became quite the format that went with the standard basic cop show routine that dominated much of the 1970's.

With a great supporting cast that included Tom Ewell,along with Michael D. Roberts, Dana Elcar, Edward Glover, John Ward, Chino Williams, and Ron Thompson,"Baretta" became one of the most popular cop shows of its day. The episodes were interesting as well as creative and the plots interesting to watch to see what Robert Blake's character would come up with next. Not to mention one of the greatest cop theme song ever made sung by the great Sammy Davis,Jr. One of the best from that era.
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Defined the genre in the 70's
vsdennis23 July 2005
Thursday nights just wouldn't have been the same growing up without Baretta. The show was tough and dirty and gritty and all the things my middle class suburban family upbringing wasn't. It was a view of the outside world, and Tony Baretta was the tour guide to all of the foul things that were waiting out there in "The City." He was the protector. The show was effectively lightened, though, by comedic parts by Rooster, the pimp/informant, and by Baretta himself, who could don some pretty outrageous costumes when he went "undercover." TV in the '70's didn't allow any profanity, of course - but even at age 12, I knew Baretta would have cursed like a sailor. Baretta was real - he lost people he cared about to crime, and he went on drinking binges and lashed out at people he cared about when he got emotional.

The first season on DVD is a must-have if you like crime drama. Along with "Hill Street Blues" and "CSI," Baretta defines the genre and set the stage for the others by giving us substantive supporting characters and an ensemble cast that only got better with successive seasons. Hopefully, with the recent acquittal of Robert Blake, season 2 will be released on DVD soon.
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Shoot First Ask Questions Later
Brian Washington7 May 2003
As with most police shows that were on during the 70's this was one of those that threw police procedure out the window and the main character was a maverick police detective who went by his own set of rules. I think the most memorable thing about this show was the bird and every episode followed the same formula. Too bad though. Robert Blake was a great actor that rose above his child actor days to have a great career.
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It doesn't get much better.
maskedwriter22 May 2000
Baretta has always been my favorite TV show. The character, Tony Baretta, created by Stephen J. Cannell and played so perfectly by Robert Blake, is one of the finest characters I've ever seen. The titles of the episodes are creative, the plots are very interesting, and the show provides a good balance of emotion. Baretta had a big influence on my early writing style. I still value the show today. >
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The Best of the best
Filmbuff-5521 October 1999
When I was a little kid I would watch Baretta starring Robert Blake (known as child actor who played in "Our Gang") who later domineered his career as an adult actor. This cop has something that most cop series don't have humor, good times and bad times. Robert Blake was an excellent choice for street police detective Tony Baretta.
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