Diagnosis Murder: Season 4, Episode 17

Hard-Boiled Murder (13 Feb. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Mystery | Drama
8.2
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P.I. Joe Mannix (star of a homonymous TV detective series) is brought to friend Mark with a mild flesh wound after a shooting outside the hall of records while re-investigating the Lou ... See full summary »

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Title: Hard-Boiled Murder (13 Feb 1997)

Hard-Boiled Murder (13 Feb 1997) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Norman Briggs (credit only)
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Edie Reynolds Fallon
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Stella Carter
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Susan Lee Hoffman ...
Tina Reynolds
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Deputy Chief Clark Nichols
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Phil Eggers
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Storyline

P.I. Joe Mannix (star of a homonymous TV detective series) is brought to friend Mark with a mild flesh wound after a shooting outside the hall of records while re-investigating the Lou Reynolds murder (Mannix episode Little Girl Lost, 1973) about incriminating tapes, 25 years ago- with a bullet from the murderer's gun; alas Joe's X-rays show a life-threatening cardiac risk, so Mark decides to 'help' his investigation. His client, Lou's daughter, TV reporter Tina Reynolds, is deadly determined to solve this case now she moved back to L.A. from Florida, but the killer, who wears a policy academy ring, proves literally deadly, fatal for witness Stella, who sold Lou the tapes, but possibly kept some back for blackmail, which would explain her apparent affluence without matching income... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Mystery | Drama

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13 February 1997 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Pernell Roberts' final TV and final filmed role. See more »

Connections

Features Mannix: Little Girl Lost (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't remake, don't reimagine ... just solve the case!
6 November 2009 | by (Palm Springs, Calif.) – See all my reviews

"Hard-Boiled Murder" may be a unique creature of 1990s television, when networks still cranked out fare for the "older" (i.e., of drinking age, in Hollywood terms) audience that would at least recognize characters from 1960s-1970s shows. And who better to turn up with Dick Van Dyke than another '60s icon in Mike Connors, reprising his role of the rock 'em, sock 'em Joe Mannix.

The beauty here is that, instead of some oddball, come-out-of-retirement bit, the writers went back and found a Mannix episode -- "Little Girl Lost " -- where the detective tied up some loose ends, but never solved the case. He also promised the subject of the episode that, someday, he'd find out who killed her father.

Advance the timeframe 25 years (just about the same interval from the original Mannix episode) and Mannix is still doggedly on the case, and still surviving as one of the lone-wolf PIs. Using a spare-but-telling collection of clips from the Mannix episode as flashbacks, the story progresses with several of the original players from a quarter-decade past reprising their roles.

Since this is a "Diagnosis: Murder" show, there's a bit less of the harder edge of "Mannix," and the solving of one mystery -- the corruption angle -- seems a bit soft and hasty. The twist ending that solves the original murder also might be bit predictable, but it's a nice bit to finally close the case.

Sure, it's a trick concept that's not going to work for every show every week, but it's a concept done very well here. And viewers who knew about the show at its initial broadcast in 1997 got a bonus: Nick at Nite, which handled Mannix reruns, broadcast "Little Girl Lost" in the hour prior to the premiere of "Hard-Boiled Murder" on CBS, and it showed the nice continuity of the storyline.


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