Sam McCloud is a marshal from Taos, New Mexico, who takes a temporary assignment in the New York City Police Department. His keen sense of detail and detecting subtle clues, learned from his experience, enable him to nab unsuspecting criminals despite his unbelieving boss.Written by
This show was a television adaptation of the Clint Eastwood movie, Coogan's Bluff (1968). See more »
McCloud's accent is totally wrong for someone supposedly from Taos New Mexico. Taos is located in northern New Mexico, and Anglos there do not speak in that sort of accent, but rather more or less a general American accent. See more »
Only the first season featured hour long episodes (47 minutes plus commercials). The pilot and subsequent seasons were 90 minutes or longer. For repeats, the six episodes of season one were edited together in pairs of two to form three 90 minutes installments. These were given the new titles 'Man from Taos'; 'Manhattan Manhunt'; and 'Murder Arena'. Some additional voice-overs by the main cast was added to imply connections between the story lines where originally there had been none. See more »
I love this website and all the comments on it! McCloud was my favorite TV series and still is way up there. I would love to trade with anyone who has the 90-minute episodes on home video. I have the 2-hour shows from A&E and some of the 90-minute shows from the CBS Late Movie, but fairly often I have only opening and closing credits for episodes (particularly from the poor second season, and the going-downhill seventh).
One correction: "Return to the Alamo," the best episode of the series, was directed by Walter Doniger. E.W. Swackhamer directed the next "Alamo" episode, "The Day New York Turned Blue," which is still my favorite. The first "This Must Be The Alamo" was directed by Bruce Kessler (who does an excellent job), and Dennis Weaver himself directed the last (and least available) "Alamo" episode, "'Twas The Fight Before Christmas," which among other things features "Dallas" star Linda Gray in her first major role. On re-watching this episode last Christmas, I think it may be the best in the whole series.
In my opinion, the show took a while to find its stride. The 60-minute first-season episodes, which were combined into 90-minute or 2-hour TV movies later on, are fair but a little too countrified for my taste. The second season is generally quite bad, due to writing by Peter Allan Fields (five of the seven episodes). When Glen A. Larson got back from "Alias Smith and Jones" and took over the reins in the third season, the writing got noticeably better (he scripted five of the best episodes -- the first three "Alamos," "The New Mexican Connection" and "Butch Cassidy Rides Again," as well as two of the worst -- "The Barefoot Stewardess Caper" and "Night of the Shark"). Michael Gleason was nearly as good a writer (with the fourth season's "The Colorado Cattle Caper" making the top five). Lou Shaw wasn't in their class, but turned in several good scripts ("The Man With the Golden Hat" was probably his best).
The show had more changes in theme music than any other series I know. David Shire contributed a pretty poor twangy theme song for the first two years. In year three, they had four themes in five episodes! (Two of them are "chase music" from the episodes themselves.") The show hit the mark with the fourth-season theme, which was re-arranged each season to lead off with the hard-driving music as McCloud and the horse pounded the pavement. It's my favorite theme of all time (the arrangement for season six is the best). In the seventh season, among many disappointments, the theme was cut down in the opening and used only three times over the opening credits. The 1989 "Return of Sam McCloud" reunion-film theme was forgettable and had no relation to the others. When will people learn that a good theme song and opening sequence is vital to a show's success????
The series really Jumped The Shark when Michael Sloan came on as producer and head writer during the final season. His debut, "Bonnie and McCloud," was pinned by Variety as "perhaps the sappiest episode in the entire series," and his next episode, "The Great Taxicab Stampede," is just plain idiotic. Surprisingly, his other two scripts ("'Twas The Fight Before Christmas" and "London Bridges") are pretty good; I suspect he had uncredited help and a lot of it.
Great job, fans!
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