In the syndicated two-parter, John Karlen and Taylor Lacher appear in just one scene. They play two unidentified detectives walking the character played by Diane Baker out of the supermarket after a hostage situation. See more »
Astonishingly good cast helps make TV movie outstanding
Though I fondly remember "Police Story" as a TV series, and I don't fondly remember much TV, I had never seen this pilot movie. I am now very grateful that YouTube offers this truly outstanding production.
Joseph Wambaugh was the creator and apparently wrote many or most or at least contributed to other shows in the series. Just recently I read his "Finnegan's Week" and realized I had missed too many of his novels. Wonderful reading, nearly every one.
He turned out some of the best drama and some of the best comedy about police, particularly Los Angeles police, and this pilot movie is a prize example.
Vic Morrow gave surely his best performance of his career. What power and control he showed in this role.
Ina Balin has been one of my favorites since I first saw her and here she looked even better than ever before, and was billed fourth even though her character didn't do much.
Dominique Pinassi, who played her daughter, was one beautiful child and had a remarkable screen presence, but has done very little acting, with only 10 credits.
Chuck Connors, who really was another superlative actor, with much more range than his most famous roles might suggest, is powerful, terrifying, and chilling as the targeted criminal. This must be one of his best performances too.
This cast is so good, in fact, even Ed Asner was compelling. Never having liked him or most of his roles, I sat watching him in absolute awe as the lieutenant. He was more than impressive.
Diane Baker, whose character began as a hostage, was one of Hollywood's great beauties but, more, she was another superlative actress, capable of probably any type of role.
Every actor here, to repeat, was just perfect, just as hypnotic and believable as anyone could be. But don't think the story isn't gripping in itself.
This is one of the very best TV movies I've ever seen, and would easily qualify as a top-notch theatrical release. I cannot recommend it too much. Do try to see it.
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