Hawaii Five-O (1968–1980)
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The Guarnerius Caper 

A Russian musician is planning a concert using a priceless violin. After it is locked in the trunk of their car, three derelicts steal the car and strip it. Forcing the trunk open, they see... See full summary »


(as Tony Leader)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Josef Sarpa
Kenneth O'Brien ...
Deke DeKoven
Dmitri Rostov
Gary Ah Vah ...
Tojo (as Ah Vah)
Wright Esser ...
Gino Mazzini
Larry Ronson ...
Jared Gifford
Jim Demarest ...
Lippy Espinda ...
Taxi Driver (as David 'Lippy' Espinda)


A Russian musician is planning a concert using a priceless violin. After it is locked in the trunk of their car, three derelicts steal the car and strip it. Forcing the trunk open, they see the violin and decide to sell it to a violin teacher. Against McGarrett's wishes, the Russian diplomats offer a $10,000 reward for the return of the violin. The punks steal the violin back and kill the teacher. They decide to ask $30,000 for the return of the violin, which the Russian quickly agree to. When the money is delivered, the men decide to kill the Russian violinist, just as McGarret and his men show up. Written by Doug Leighton

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 October 1970 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The violin at the center of this story was produced by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri, a contemporary of the more famous Antonio Stradivari, and the son and grandson of equally highly regarded violin makers. Giuseppe, a devout Catholic, always identified his violins with the initials I.H.S. (as shown during the episode). While these violins are not as famous as the more well known Stradivarius, many musicians today actually prefer the Guarnerius, believing it gives a better, richer sound. See more »


Governor: Steve... If anything happens to Rostov's violin, Washington's going to come looking for scalps... And there won't be anything I can do for you when they start to lift yours.
See more »

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User Reviews

Not among the better episodes.
14 February 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Meh. While I love "Hawaii Five-O", I must admit that "The Guarnerius Caper" is not among their best episodes. It's not bad...just not all that great.

A visiting Russian violinist (Ed Flanders--who was also seen in the previous season) has brought his extraordinarily rare and irreplaceable violin with him. When the Guarnerius is accidentally stolen by a couple lunk-headed car thieves, his Russian "handler" (i.e., the secret policeman who accompanies him to prevent him from defecting) sees this as a chance for some anti-American propaganda. This isn't surprising, as the handler is played by Albert Paulsen--a guy who ALWAYS plays bad guys or at least real jerks in such shows as "Mission: Impossible" and "Hawaii Five-O". This is a bit of a shortcoming, as when you see the likes of him or John Calicos or Anthony Zerbe you KNOW they won't play nice characters!! Another shortcoming of the show is that the bad guys are incredibly obnoxious, stupid and just plain jerks. It's hard to imagine that the police didn't put these guys in prison a long time before or that they could actually figure out how to steal and strip cars...they were THAT stupid and annoying. I think the show would have played MUCH better had they been a bit brighter and less obvious.

And finally, the end had a bit problem because in a move that smacked of ridiculousness, McGarrett ON HIS OWN, tracked down the baddies and defeated all three of them AND saved the priceless violin!! Overall, an interesting idea for an episode but not among their strongest. There are just too many "duh" moments to make this anything special.

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