8.2/10
1,366
26 user 2 critic

Chiefs 

Three generations of police chiefs for a southern town go about their jobs while a serial murderer operates.
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1983  
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Charlton Heston ...  Hugh Holmes 3 episodes, 1983
Keith Carradine ...  Foxy Funderburke 3 episodes, 1983
Stephen Collins ...  Billy Lee 3 episodes, 1983
Brad Davis ...  Sonny Butts 3 episodes, 1983
Tess Harper ...  Carrie Lee 3 episodes, 1983
Wayne Rogers ...  Will Henry Lee 3 episodes, 1983
Paul Sorvino ...  Sheriff Skeeter Willis 3 episodes, 1983
Victoria Tennant ...  Trish Lee 3 episodes, 1983
Billy Dee Williams ...  Tyler Watts (aka Joshua Cole) 3 episodes, 1983
Lane Smith ...  Hoss Spence 3 episodes, 1983
Leo Burmester ...  Emmett Spence 2 episodes, 1983
Kaiulani Lee Kaiulani Lee ...  Mrs. Butts 2 episodes, 1983
Novella Nelson ...  Nellie Cole 2 episodes, 1983
J. Kenneth Campbell ...  Dr. Tom Manton 2 episodes, 1983
James Brown Henderson James Brown Henderson ...  Pieback Johnson 2 episodes, 1983
Leon Rippy ...  Tommy Allen 2 episodes, 1983
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Storyline

This series tells the story of a southern town's police chiefs and the serial murderer who confounds them. Will Henry Lee is the first chief, an easygoing man who works to establish the position while the murderer begins his havoc. The second is a violent racist who stumbles about his job as the murderer continues his. Tyler Watts is the final chief in the story, an African-American cop who must deal with the virulent racism of his community while he puts together the pieces to finally bring the murderer to justice. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An epic adventure seeming with power, love and hatred.


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chefia See more »

Filming Locations:

Chester, South Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Highgate Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video) | (3 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is interesting to note that Tyler's wife, Liz, is worried that he will be recognized in Delano, since he grew up there. Her fears are well founded, when Pieback Johnson, the town drunk, recognizes him, but no one makes anything of it. Later, when Tyler pulls over Hoss Spence, and Hoss attacks him with a cane, Tyler has flashbacks to when Hoss attacked him as a boy for spilling milk. However, Hoss should have recognized Tyler, and did not. See more »

Quotes

Hugh Holmes: [to Billy Lee after the revelation of murders at Foxy's place] It's gonna take a lot of good people to make this place decent again.
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Alternate Versions

There is a video version that sometimes shows up on cable. It cuts the running time from six to four hours and mainly skims the middle story of Sonny Butts. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Stuart Woods's best book and film!
17 February 2004 | by AbeStreetSee all my reviews

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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