Hart to Hart: Season 1, Episode 0

Hart to Hart (25 Aug. 1979)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Crime
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 295 users  
Reviews: 4 user

A friend of Jonathan Hart's is killed in a motor accident just after he has left a health farm, apparently committing suicide. There was no warning of him being troubled so the Harts go undercover to find out what happened at the farm.

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Title: Hart to Hart (25 Aug 1979)

Hart to Hart (25 Aug 1979) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Max
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Dr. Peterson
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Sylvia Maxwell
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Business Manager
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Highway Cop
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Poker Player
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Dorothy Roberts
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Dr. Fleming
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Dr. Metz
Mimi Maynard ...
Secretary
David Landsberg ...
Man in Sauna
Paul Napier ...
Sam Roberts
Paul Tuerpe ...
Bellboy
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Storyline

A pilot film for a series which officially debuted a few days earlier. Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers play the wealthy, happy married couple Jonathan and Jennifer Hart. He's a self made millionaire, CEO, she's a journalist; together they solve crimes. In this first escapade, the Harts tackle the case of a friend's death at a fancy health spa. Written by Jules

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Release Date:

25 August 1979 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his autobiography, Aaron Spelling states that Natalie Wood was the original choice for Jennifer Hart. Although she was wanted by all involved, they gave up on the idea as she was concentrating on a film career. See more »

Connections

Follows Hart to Hart (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Lawrence of Arabia Overture
(uncredited)
Written by Maurice Jarre
Played at the end of the episode during the arrival of Mrs. H. to the poker game in Africa.
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User Reviews

 
The Pilot! In case you have any doubt, their hobby is murder.
28 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Finally, I get to see the pilot after all these years. Nothing looked familiar, so, like so many other wonderful eps, this was new for me, and it was great! I watched this as the originally intended 2-hour pilot as it appeared on my Season 1 DVD set and not as the two-part episode hack job that it ultimately became for most viewers of the reruns. I'm so glad I did, because I got to see some real gems that have probably gone missing at some point to accommodate the re-cut. The pilot very clearly lays out four very important things:

1. Jonathan Hart is very, very rich and drop dead gorgeous 2. Jennifer is independent, confident, and drop dead gorgeous 3. The Harts are completely in love and always will be.

And, oh yeah, their hobby is murder, which is only really to give them something to do, cuz make no mistake, this show is about them and their off-the-charts chemistry. They had mad chemistry in all of their eps, but in this one it was in the stratosphere, setting the tone for what would be every episode to come. They were the original supercouple.

This very first Hart to Hart revolves around three concepts they'd come back to time and again --> evil spa treatments, evil hypnosis, and evil dangerous winding mountain curves. Specifically, when one of Jonathan's good friends appears to commit suicide, Jonathan & Jennifer go undercover to get to the bottom of it.

This establishing pilot gives us so much foundation. A beautifully crafted camera shot shows us just how lush and beautiful their property is with the only shot of their actual driveway that I recall in the series. It's in this pilot that we see the two of them playing winding-mountain-road-chicken in their two fabulous cars that later become the opener. It's where we learn that Jennifer is a writer, Max is their butler guy, they have a nice big house, they are very loyal to their friends, and they love their dog. Speaking of which, there's a very funny scene with Jonathan, Max, and Freeway where they're spelling things out so Freeway won't hear that he has a trip to the vet coming up. The D-O-G and the V-E-T for the S-H-O-T is amusing, but it's also very relatable, which is something they always somehow achieved well -- relating to their viewers despite their avarice of wealth.

There was some truly surreal stuff going' on here, too. Jill St. John and Natalie Wood, both of whom married Robert Wagner, were both in this pilot. Natalie's role (credited under Natasha Gurdin) is tiny as an actress playing a Scarlett O'Hara type on a Hollywood set; Jill plays a principal role as a spa customer. It was positively fascinating to watch, especially knowing that this is one of the very last things Natalie ever did. Natalie is perfect in her role, but Jill is way too overly made-up. She had on so much blush and so spidery in the eyelashes that it was reminiscent of a clown, unfortunately. Talented girl, though, she was really quite good. Pity she hasn't done much these days.

I watched this with Mankiewicz, Stef, and RJ doing commentary and completely geeked out over the little titbits they offer up. I waited with baited breath for RJ to talk about Natalie, but interestingly, it was all three of them that talked about her, and the brief mentions were gold. And while the tidbits were plentiful, it was their wonderful camaraderie and mutual admiration between the three of them that really warmed my heart. If you have a chance to get the Season 1 DVDs, you really must watch this pilot twice, the second time with the commentary turned on.

Have to mention the two things that didn't seem to fit. James Noble is in a bad guy role, here, but honestly, all I saw was the hapless and clueless Governor from Benson. This was either just before or just as Benson started, but it just made me completely giggle. On the commentary, they talk about how Noble had to be directed over and over and over again to stop leaning. And he totally was! His character went kind of nowhere, so it seemed like a character that started out important but ended up unneeded but was easier to just keep in the script. There was also a strange scene with Jonathan in the steam room. Completely pointless scene.

Hands down, my favorite scene was Max on the 20th Century back lot when the actors playing Nazis are checking out the car, and as they walk away, Max makes a power fist and says, "Shalom," then Jonathan who is on the phone with Max says back, "Shalom." HYSTERICAL stuff. I mean, it's nothing on paper, but it's truly all about the delivery. Then a Native American Indian chief actor strolls by checking out the car, followed by Natalie Wood as the Southern Belle. Pure indulgence, but it worked so well. This scene, as well as Max in the window sets up early the funny Max and straight-man Jonathan that would play well for years after. There's also a scene where J&J are bickering in his room that is so gorgeously done between them, and that final scene in the jet, which is just truly what this show is all about.

There was also a pool bit after a snake that was a potentially dangerous stunt thanks to the walls of that pool forming bays that the StuntJonathan could have hit on this way down. Fun, but Stefanie totally anticipates the splash before it happens, as does at least two others, tho not as significantly.

This pilot was fantastic. Despite the James Noble and steam room weirdness, I'm giving it a 10, because I can't give it a 12. There's just nothing not to love, here.


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