Tuesday, August 9, 2011

David Janssen in Harry O. (1974)

Obscurity factor: 5

The early seventies saw a revival of the hard boiled detective with such hits as Mannix and The Rockford Files on the small screen and Chinatown on the big one. This series was another such show with sensitive story lines, dark characters and unsettling endings. Harry Orwell is a care-worn detective who used to be on the police force, until a bullet lodged near his spine ended his career. He lives on the beach in Santa Monica and gets around by bus. His cases get him involved with all strata of society, but the seedy side seems to be most prevalent.

This series was cancelled when the network changed gears - out were the hard boiled detectives and gritty realism and in was "jiggle TV" with Charlie's Angels taking Harry O.'s slot in the following year. It was broadcast on American Life TV several years ago, but is no longer on any network. It's not available on DVD with the exception of one of the pilot films produced for it - Smile Jenny You're Dead (1974), which also stars a young Jodie Foster. Above are the opening credits for the show uploaded to YouTube by bretmaverick2004.

Obscurity factor: 5 (fondly remembered by some, not on DVD, hard to find)

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