There has been a spate of recently released crime shows on DVD. Some of the releases are notable (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Mannix), but others seem to come out of left field (Cannon, Jake and the Fat Man)
CANNON – SEASON ONE!
Just release, Cannon brings us the weekly adventures of Frank Cannon (William Conrad), an overweight, balding ex-cop with a deep voice and expensive tastes in culinary pleasures, who becomes a high-priced private investigator. Since Cannon's girth didn't allow for many fist-fights and gun battles (although there were many), the series substituted car chases and high production values in their place.
JAKE AND THE FATMAN – SEASON ONE!
Also just released, Jake and the Fatman gives us veteran district attorney "Fatman" McCabe (William Conrad again) who solves cases in Los Angeles with the help of his easygoing private investigator partner Jake Styles (Joe Penny). This is a nero Wolfe rip off, but still plays well due to Joe Penny in a pre Riptide role.
MAN FROM UNCLE BOX SET HEADING TO STORES!
Warner Brothers, in the latest step in their plan to acquire ALL of your discretionary income, have announced that The Man from Uncle: the complete series will be released on October 21st. Previously, the set was only available online. The suggested cost is $199.92, but Amazon is taking pre-orders for $139.00
*Interviews with stars David McCallum and Robert Vaughn
*Commentaries and home movies from the U.N.C.L.E. set
*Rare promos and TV appearances
MANNIX – SEASON ONE!
This seminal private eye show originally aired over eight seasons starting in 1967 and had a fantastic Lalo Schiffren title track. Forty years later it’s still a great watch.
The shows first season had Joe Mannix working at Intertect, a security and investigations firm on a corporate scale run by Lew Wickersham. Mannix is, of course, a rough card who doesn’t fit in with the new smooth corporate world. Mannix believes in legwork and hitting tough guys in order to solve cases. Wickersham, the boss, believes in computers and obsessive compulsive neatness is the way to clear crimes. Obviously they clash.
The first season plays heavily on the relationship between Mannix and Wickersham. While they are at odds, there is always a twinkle of friendship and respect. Mannix gets involved in all the standard P.I. cases – missing persons, kidnapping, forgery – and does it all with a low threshold for polictical correctness or other baloney. He hits hard and gets hit hard, he gets shot at and hit, but always prevails – probably because he drives a really cool car, a ’68 Toronado.
Extras include a recent two part conversation with Mike Conners (Mannix) and Joeseph Campanella (Wickersham).
NASH BRIDGES – SEASON ONE!
Season one of Nash Bridges will be released on October 14th. This wasn’t a favorite of mine, but it was one of the last traditional crime shows on the network airwaves. Even though he was a San Francisco cop working the elite Special Investigations Unit, Bridges often acted more as a private eye. The show was most notable for the casting of Cheech Marin as Bridge’s partner – both of whom starred in one of my favorite sports films, Tin Cup.