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Reviews & Ratings for
"Chiefs" More at IMDbPro »

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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

A Great Story

Author: Brian Washington ( from Los Angeles, California
27 July 2003

This is definitely one story I wish someone would either release on DVD or show on television again. This is a wonderful story that shows is a wonderful look at how life was in the south as shown through the eyes of three generations of police chiefs. Wayne Rogers is great in his role as the first chief, Will Henry Lee, and Brad Davis is great as the racist chief Sonny Butts. However, Billy Dee Williams gives an outstanding performance as Chief Tyler Watts (aka Joshua Cole), the chief who manages to break the case that had been dogging the town for years. Also, Keith Carradine plays the perfect killer in Foxy. His portrayal of the maniacal serial killer really gave you the impression that he had a dark side. But the performance that really surprised me was Charleton Heston as town founder, Hugh Holmes. Normally, I'm not the biggest fan of Mr. Heston, but he turned out an outstanding performance as the man who is the tie to the three generations of police chiefs. This mini-series is definitely a classic.

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15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

absolutely riveting with strong visuals

Author: mollymischief from Wisconsin
30 March 2006

My entire family was riveted to the "Chiefs". I feel that it is one of the best written and casted films to this day. I'd promote this movie until I die. It was intelligently written, eluding to hideous crimes without the overkill of blood and gore. Anyone that appreciates old cars, old cycles and vivid acting would benefit to rent, buy or borrow Chiefs. I like to tell anyone that will listen that they will be on the edge of their seats for most of the movie. I was a teenager when it came on TV. To this day I can remember how I felt during the 'handlebar scene'. Sad to say, this movie's plot is the first thing I think of every time I hear of a disappearance or kidnapping in the real world. I'd rate this as one movie I would want on my TV line up once a year. A remake is in order if it could be cast with such strong actors again.

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Excellent adaptation.

Author: Vassago
28 December 2003

I still place Stuart Woods's "Chiefs" among the best police dramas ever written. Since I learned that a TV adaptation of the book was made, I've always wanted to see it, and, a few months ago, I finally bought the DVD release of the series. I actually did not expect much, but what I received surprised me - and it was a positive surprise. The series is an excellent adaptation of the novel and manages to do it justice, which is a rarity... as is the fact that very little of the book's plot is omitted. Certainly, some of the details - such as Will Henry's growing obsession with the mysterious murders, and the technical sides of his investigation - have to be treated superficially, but every important subplot and aspect of the book is present in the film; consequently, the series manages to be just as thrilling and involving as the novel. Amusingly enough, the credits on the box of the DVD misled me slightly - I assumed Charlton Heston, Keith Carradine and Billy Dee Williams would be playing the three chiefs, chronologically; of course, this is not the case.

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Great Cast, good history.

Author: hlw27 from Houston, TX
30 July 1999

If you like movies about dusty, small southern towns that are hiding a crime/mystery/secret, then this one's for you! It has all of the elements to keep you watching. Centered around the police chiefs of the town and serial killer, over a long period of time. Psssst....The men who play the police chiefs are all great actors.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Masterpiece

Author: magellan333 from Chattanooga, TN
25 January 2001

This movie will grab you and keep you in it's grasp from beginning to end! You find yourself cheering for one of the bad guy's at one point. The entire film is acted very well and it is interesting to see the characters and town age and change over time. I think Charlton Heston did a great job, better than Andy Griffith would have done had he gotten the role as planned. It was originally a mini series and it might take you two or three sittings to see the entire film, but when it is over you will be glad you did.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I give this movie high ratings

Author: LexDee38 ( from Detroit, Michigan
19 April 2004

I first watched this movie when it debuted on television in 1983, I was 19 years old. My whole family would get together each night for the ac- casion. I have to say, that even though the movie was quite long, it grapped at you for more and with that, it was well worth to watch. It has got to be the best "Chief" movie of all times. I loved it then and still feels the same for it now in 2004. I use to rent this movie to show other people who didn't get the chance to see it, and they all felt it was the best thing going. Even 21 years later, it's still the best thing going. I strongly recommend "CHIEFS" to all those who has not seen it. I applause all the characters especially Charlton Heston, what a great man. This is a must see.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Superb story and performances by all

Author: Joseph Noecker from Portland, Oregon
3 July 2002

One little correction to a previous comment, the story begins in the early 1920's and goes through the mid 1960's. Although the murders are the thread that ties the 3 generations together, it is the evolution of a town, the growing pains of a culture, and the ultimate acceptance of those once rejected that makes the story. Charlton Heston is superb in his role as he "ages" through the generations, as is Keith Carradine.

One word of caution, if you haven't seen it be sure you get an uncut version. The full movie (originally a TV mini series in 3 parts)is about 4-1/2 hrs. There are several commercially produced versions out there of varying lengths. Some are so badly chopped up you miss key elements of the show.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

the best

Author: flippi999 from albq. new mexico
20 October 2003

This is the best miniseries ever put on TV.However, do not buy this in VCR format because scenes are cut out in order to save money and space.They record in EP so they can get most of the movie on it, however they still come up short. VCR 200 min. Original movie is close to 4 hrs Also the quality suffers. Thank You.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Stuart Woods's best book and film!

Author: AbeStreet from Willoughby, OH, USA
17 February 2004

This film was made at a time when the big networks, in this case CBS, took pride in making tv movies and mini-series. Excellent attention to detail in just about every aspect of this 3 part movies. As the film movies from the 1920's to the 1940's and eventually the 1960's the viewer gets to see the town of Delano Georgia grow and change. It almost seems as though Delano is a real town. The costumes, settings and props for each time setting are well done.

This mini-series stick very close to the original story written by Stuart Woods. During a 40 year time frame 3 different police chiefs try to solve the various and ongoing murders that are taking place in the vicinity of Delano. Young male transients are being kidnapped and sexually assaulted before they are murdered. Racial tensions run high in Delano and add to the difficulty in solving the murders. Good acting by all who participated. Charlton Heston, Paul Sorvino, Brad Davis and Billy Dee Williams were at the top of their acting game in this mini-Series.

I was able to tape the original 3 part mini-series when it was first aired and despite some drop in quality due to age this mini-series is a favorite of mine and viewed at least once a year. For those who enjoyed the film they may want to read and or watch the story and film GRASS ROOTS. This story continues to follow the Lee family as one of their members attempts to become a U.S. Senator. During the race another racially motivated murder in Delano complicates matters.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One Good Mini Series

Author: wlmlbl from Hawaii
1 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was one of the best mini series I have seen. The plot was well written, and had a great cast. Charlton Heston was outstanding as Hugh Holmes, the man behind the town of Delano. It is a small southern town in need of a police chief. the mini series is in three parts, covering three generations. The first part is 1924. A meeting is held, and there are only two candidates for the job. One is a well known farmer, Will Henry Lee. The other is a World War I veteran named Foxy Funderburke. Foxy is breeding dogs, but a lot of people in the town think he is strange. Will Henry Lee is a fair man, and well liked. He has to deal with a county sheriff named Skeeter Willis. Willis is very bigoted, and has the backing of the Ku Klux Klan. Will Henry investigates a death, and leads him to begin an investigation of disappearing young men. As is turns out, they are being murdered by Foxy. Will Henry dies after being shot by a man that has malaria. The man mistakenly shoots Will Henry, and sends his son away before being executed for his crime. The second part takes place in 1945. Many of the towns soldiers are returning after the war, including a very bigoted Sonny Butts, who becomes police chief. He is involved in the beating of a returning veteran named Marshall Peters. Peters was set up in business by Hugh Holmes, and befriended by Will Henry Lee's son, Billy. Butts happens upon the investigation that Will Henry Lee began 20 years before, and goes to visit Foxy. Foxy kills Sonny, and buries him and his motorcycle. The third part takes place in 1962, and Delano is again in need of a police chief. Billy Lee is running for governor, and suggests a retiring army officer named Tyler Watts be given consideration for the job. Watts gets the job, and it is revealed that he is the son of the man that shot and killed Will Henry Lee almost 40 years before. Again young men are disappearing, and Tyler Watts begins an investigation of his own. He runs into trouble when he wants to search Foxy's property, but eventually does get permission to search the property. One of the agents there trips over what he thinks is a pipe, but it turns out it is the handlebar of Sonny's motorcycle buried almost 20 years before! Foxy gets his rifle and shoots Tyler, and then is shot by agents. More than 40 bodies are unearthed on his property. Billy, Tyler, and Hugh are saddened by what they have found out. In the end, Billy is elected governor, and Tyler reveals his true identity to Billy by recalling a conversation they had almost 40 years before. Billy is brought to tears as he realizes it is his long lost friend.

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