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Bunco (1977)

TV Movie  |   |  Crime, Drama
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Tom Selleck is a member of the "Bunco" squad the squad in charge of nabbing con men, cheats, and swindlers. Most of their time is spent dealing with penny-ante street-corner crooks. But ... See full summary »



(as Jerry Ludwig)
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Title: Bunco (TV Movie 1977)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Milt Kogan ...
Lt. Hyatt
Michael Sacks ...
Marlene Clark ...
(as Jonathan Lippe)
Bobby Van
(as Ken Mars)


Tom Selleck is a member of the "Bunco" squad the squad in charge of nabbing con men, cheats, and swindlers. Most of their time is spent dealing with penny-ante street-corner crooks. But their investigations start to reveal a larger con game in progress... Written by Afterburner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama





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Edited into The Best TV Shows That Never Were (2004) See more »

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Numerous Popular Television Performers On Display Here, But The Script Furnishes Virtually No Interest.
9 August 2006 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

This artless effort was produced for television as a pilot film for a projected series that was not selected by its network as it was believed that the co-stars lacked that charisma required to maintain audience interest, a judgemental miscue because the leads, Robert Urich and Tom Selleck, directly after became very accomplished in that medium. These two are cast as Los Angeles Police Department Bunco Unit detectives deployed in this film for a wide range of assignments, including an attempted apprehension of "Sonny", a version of pimp whose female underlings, instead of being prostitutes, are instead confidence women skilfully taking advantage of eager victims who throng the streets of Hollywood. To help with the planned collaring of Sonny, the two detectives are given specialized Departmental support from "Frankie" (Donna Mills), an undercover officer who is tasked with becoming a member of the scamming entourage, thereby also becoming involved in dangerous situations for her in addition to her new partners, since Frankie must be convincing to her ersatz criminal companions, setting the stage for an expected dramatic climax. Although a number of players perform with gusto, and crisp editing ensures that there is always something going on, a logic lorn script lacks harmony in its dialogue, some of the acting is woeful, and it is apparent that a flock of minor television performers is merely being given a payday, this only serving to expand an element of predictability for a weakly written, slackly directed, and excessively episodic affair. Despite its routine nature and distinct television lineage, the work does provide marginal interest for viewers when illustrating several methods utilized by street based confidence operators, including examples of such common scams as Three Card Monte, the Pigeon Drop, and the Rock in a Box, each of which succeeds due to greed of victims. Urich, Selleck and Mills walk through their roles, finding little of substance to filter from them, but several players are effective in spite of the production's bald devotion to convention, including Richard Bakalyan and Denise Galik, with acting honours going to Diana Scarwid who somehow makes something interesting from a thankless part as pregnant lover of a low rent thug.

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