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Years ago I purchased the A & E 17 disc DVD box set of The Avengers, featuring the two seasons with Mrs.Peel

Below are some images taken off the DVDs to give you an idea of the quality of the image.

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Much as I enjoyed Rigg as Mrs. Peel, I must admit I also enjoy her later and more classic roles in many British productions.  She's one of those actresses whom I could watch reading the phone book.

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Go Ask Alice (1973 TV movie) 7/10

Image result for go ask alice movie images

This was the first time I saw this, even though I thought I saw all the great 1970s movies of the week, a period I consider a "golden age" of TV movies. I thought it was quite good with an interesting cast.

Jamie Smith Jackson stars as Alice, a teenager caught up in the drug world of that 60s-70s generation. Jackson soon guested on the TV cop show "The Rookies" and later married one of the stars, Michael Ontkean. William Shatner and Julie Adams play Alice's clueless parents. Andy Griffith shows up as a priest who takes in runaway teens and he encourages her to go back home when she runs away. Ruth Roman has a brief role as a doctor. Wendell Burton ("The Sterile Cuckoo") is a nice guy who falls in love with Alice. Mackenzie Phillips has a bit part as a fellow addict, she had her own problems like that in real life. Things don't get too graphic but there are some quick shots of disturbing scenes where Alice and one of her friends are menaced by a sadistic couple. There is music of the time on the soundtrack, including Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" though it is performed by a fake group, a similar one does the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations". I heard Lee Michael's 1971 hit "Do You Know What I Mean" which sounded like it was the original. The final scene is jolting. 

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8 hours ago, rayban said:

I am sure that Vincente Minnelli knew that he was dealing with a falsified version of "Tea and Sympathy", not the already famous play that everybody said COULD NOT BE DONE.

Well, the famous play was not done - the subplot involving Laura Reynolds' husband's homosexuality was dropped.

Forced to work with a lot less, Vincente Minnelli delivered a "Tea and Sympathy" that was different, but no less true - the ingrained destructiveness of homophobia.  

Hey, what do you expect?--Anyone can be a Friend of Judy, not everyone can be a HUSBAND of Judy...  :D

Years ago I purchased the A & E 17 disc DVD box set of The Avengers, featuring the two seasons with Mrs.Peel

Below are some images taken off the DVDs to give you an idea of the quality of the image.

All the seasons (at least back to Cathy Gale, although very little of Avengers '61 remains) came out on A&E DVD, at various points through the 00's.  Also the Tara King '68 seasons, although those weren't prime, and even Patrick Macnee said he hated the addition of "Mother".

The '67 color Peel season also went to Blu-ray, even if PAL conversion left the pacing a hair sped-up.

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HANNIE CAULDER (1971) *Score: 4/10*

*Warning: This movie contains some potentially triggering scenes dealing with assault, so if you are sensitive to that, you might want to stay away.*

Starring: Raquel Welch, Robert Culp, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam, Strother Martin, Christopher Lee, Diana Dors, Stephen Boyd (for approx .2 seconds). 

Hannie Caulder finds herself widowed and assaulted all within the span of approximately 30 minutes to an hour, and she enlists the help of Tom Price, a bounty hunter, to teach her to shoot a gun so she can exact her revenge on the 3 brothers who committed these crimes upon her and her husband. The assault scene was actually more upsetting than I thought it was going to be. The camera-angles made so much more of an impact, I thought.  This managed to keep my attention for its entirety, but it isn't what I would call a "great" film. I had never seen anything of Welch's before this, and I was pleasantly surprised with her. She was very likable and mostly believable... I'm not going to add this to my personal collection, but I was entertained. I also initially thought I recognized Christopher Lee in this, but then brushed it aside, assuming I was wrong... I was not wrong. I need to have more confidence in my ability to recognize names/faces. 

I thought Robert Culp looked like Josh Groban when he starred in "Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812" on Broadway. See for yourselves: 

Image result for robert culp hannie caulder

Image result for josh groban great comet of 1812

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11 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Go Ask Alice (1973 TV movie) 7/10

Image result for go ask alice movie images

This was the first time I saw this, even though I thought I saw all the great 1970s movies of the week, a period I consider a "golden age" of TV movies. I thought it was quite good with an interesting cast.

Jamie Smith Jackson stars as Alice, a teenager caught up in the drug world of that 60s-70s generation. Jackson soon guested on the TV cop show "The Rookies" and later married one of the stars, Michael Ontkean. William Shatner and Julie Adams play Alice's clueless parents. Andy Griffith shows up as a priest who takes in runaway teens and he encourages her to go back home when she runs away. Ruth Roman has a brief role as a doctor. Wendell Burton ("The Sterile Cuckoo") is a nice guy who falls in love with Alice. Mackenzie Phillips has a bit part as a fellow addict, she had her own problems like that in real life. Things don't get too graphic but there are some quick shots of disturbing scenes where Alice and one of her friends are menaced by a sadistic couple. There is music of the time on the soundtrack, including Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" though it is performed by a fake group, a similar one does the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations". I heard Lee Michael's 1971 hit "Do You Know What I Mean" which sounded like it was the original. The final scene is jolting. 

Oh man, does this bring back memories!  I can't remember if it aired in the spring or fall of '73, but I do recall practically everyone at my high school did nothing but talk about this show the day after it played.  Another song I recall from it was "Mr. Fantasy" by Traffic (lead vocalist was Steve Winwood).  And you're so right about that jolting end.

Most of the time, those ABC Movies of the Week were very well done; interesting casts, great stories, and it was all presented in 90 minutes, commercials included!  Some others I still remember included:  "Tribes" with Darren McGavin and Jan Michael Vincent (whom all the girls went ga-ga over), "Duel" with Dennis Weaver, "The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped" with Karen Valentine and Richard Long, "Satan's School For Girls" with Pamela Franklin, and "Home for the Holidays" with Walter Brennan, Eleanor Parker, and Sally Field.

There was also an interesting-looking show that I never got to see, but I think it involved a plane crash which caused a delay in mail service, and the movie featured 3 or 4 vignettes about how failing to receive letters in a timely fashion impacted the lives of the people who eventually received them.

Another TV movie from the '70's I vaguely remember my schoolmates watching en-masse was "The Voyage of the Yes" (I think Desi Arnaz, Jr. starred in that one).   "Rich Man, Poor Man" also generated a lot of teenage buzz, which sort of kicked off the spate of mini-series that were prevalent from the mid-70's to mid-80's.

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6 hours ago, midwestan said:

Most of the time, those ABC Movies of the Week were very well done; interesting casts, great stories, and it was all presented in 90 minutes, commercials included!

Agree. I was also a big fan of ABC's "After School Specials" they made for teens. I was too old for Sesame Street/Brady Bunch that sort of kid's programming, but EXACTLY the right age for the After School Specials (oops, can't abbreviate that) 

As a smart aleck-y kid who made fun of (belittled) everything, I genuinely enjoyed the high production values & great acting of up & coming stars.

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17 hours ago, rosebette said:

Much as I enjoyed Rigg as Mrs. Peel, I must admit I also enjoy her later and more classic roles in many British productions.  She's one of those actresses whom I could watch reading the phone book.

I  have to admit, I'm afraid, that I haven't seen that much of Diana Rigg's post-Avengers work.

Having said that, she is a glorious scene stealer as the self centred, delightfully ****y show biz star in Evil Under the Sun. I particularly love this scene, one of the highlight moments of the film, I feel, when she decides to entertain those at the holiday resort with her rendition of a Cole Porter hit only to have Maggie Smith do whatever she can to upstage her. Rigg's combination of style and ****iness only makes me wish she had been in the film more. She was my favourite performer in the all star film.

 

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6 hours ago, midwestan said:

Another TV movie from the '70's I vaguely remember my schoolmates watching en-masse was "The Voyage of the Yes" (I think Desi Arnaz, Jr. starred in that one).

I liked that one too, though I haven't seen it since the first broadcast in 1973. Mike Evans (Lionel on "All In The Family") is Desi Jr's co star in this one. Mike is on the run after killing a thug in self defense, the duo go on a sail boat journey, learning to work through their bigotry. They are also heard on the soundtrack singing the Simon and Garfunkel song "El Condor Pasa".

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"Pauline at the Beach" - Eric Rohmer - 1983 -

starring Amanda Langlet (Pauline), Arielle Dombasie (Marion), Pascal Greggory (Pierre), Feodor Atkine (Henri), Simon de la Brosse (Sylvain), Rosette (Louisette) -

this film was the third in Rohmer's famed 6-film cycle, "Comedies and Proverbs" -

it illustrates the proverb that people who talk themselves to death do themselves a disservice -

Pauline and her cousin Marion go to the beach and get involved - with men -

Marion meets an old lover, Pierre, but she doesn't want a second chance with him -

she hooks up with an aging playboy, Henri, who is more to her liking -

Pauline seems interested in Sylvain, but he proves elusive -

meanwhile, a girl who sells candy at the beach, Louisette, proves a complication with all of them -

did she sleep with Henri? - it looks that way -

but Pauline is led to believe that she slept with Sylvain -

the amusing thing about this film is that nobody can stop talking about IT -

that is, their attraction to the opposite sex -

maybe if they stopped wagging their tongues -

and became more involved with their feelings -

things might have sorted themselves out -

or perhaps -

not have sex in the first place -

in this film, sex becomes a mystery -

in the end, Pauline believes that Sylvain slept with Louisette -

and Marion believes that Henri slept with Louisette -

so, everyone feels somewhat - cheated -

and not too happy -

hey, what is wrong with going to the beach and reading a book? -

13154_3.jpg

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2 hours ago, TomJH said:

I  have to admit, I'm afraid, that I haven't seen that much of Diana Rigg's post-Avengers work.

Having said that, she is a glorious scene stealer as the self centred, delightfully ****y show biz star in Evil Under the Sun. I particularly love this scene, one of the highlight moments of the film, I feel, when she decides to entertain those at the holiday resort with her rendition of a Cole Porter hit only to have Maggie Smith do whatever she can to upstage her. Rigg's combination of style and ****iness only makes me wish she had been in the film more. She was my favourite performer in the all star film.

 

Yes. I enjoyed that film. Has TCM ever aired it?

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I too loved watching "The Avengers" when it was on in the '60's.  Patrick MacNee and Diana Rigg were excellent as John Steed and Emma Peel.  The weekly villains were really cold and sinister in some of their portrayals, and I really liked how the beginning of each episode took the viewer on an amusing path to find the note that said, "Mrs. Peel, we're needed".  Along with "The Wild, Wild West", this show was a 'must-watch' for me as a kid.

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7 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017) 

What the *expletive* 

I guess I should clarify that I was well aware of some of the themes in this film before I actually watched it. I could find myself sympathizing with the protagonist, Elisa, who is mute and overlooked a lot of the time. She connected with the fish-man and found a new friend-with-benefits of sorts (I'm gagging just typing that). I have no idea where along the road Guillermo Del Toro decided to make this film. To each his own, I guess. 

The only thing I liked about this, was the setting, and the overall aesthetic of it. The scenes at the lab were pleasing to the eye (or, at least, my eye); I've been into greens/aqua colors lately, so that's probably why some of this was so appealing to me. Also, Sally Hawkins was great as Elisa. Despite the strange material, and her character's strange choices (and none of her friends even batting an eye!), she was quite good. 

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THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS STONE     there will be SPOILERS (even though this film doesn't have much plot)

I wonder if they selected this to air on Good Friday because it's got the word "Roman" in it.  😐 (In which case, they'd have done better showing "Roman Holiday".)

Anyway, this film made me realize something I've suspected for a long time: I don't like Tennessee Williams. He's over-wrought and over-rated. (The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone is based on a novel, or novella, or whatever, that he wrote. And here I thought he just wrote plays.)

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone is what I call a much-ado-about-nothing film. It takes a tired story and does nothing new with it. Oh, unless you count the nasty "surprise" ending. 

Mrs. Stone, effectively played by an older but still lovely Vivien Leigh, is an aging ex-star of the stage. She's a little like Margo Channing, but without the personality. She has enough sense and wisdom to realize she's too old to play characters like Rosalind (you know, the young girl who masquarades as a boy from "As You Like It"), but not enough to figure out that there are perhaps other roles she could play*, and other things she could do. For example, she inherits a lot of money when her husband dies - this within the first five minutes of the film -  but it doesn't seem to occur to her do try and do anything with that money except hang around in Rome looking elegant and vaguely depressed. 

Enter Contessa Magda, arguably the only interesting character in the story. The Contessa's a sort of female pimp; she parades handsome young men to rich older women in the hope that they'll become the rich women's gigoloes, and share some of the largesse with her (the Contessa.) This, I must admit, was at least an intriguing set-up. Sleazy and distasteful, but at least a bit different. I kind of liked this horrible character, maybe because of the way she was played by Lotte Lenya (you know, the lesbian spy-meister in "From Russia with Love").

Countess Magda parades (I mean, introduces) a young virile Warren Beatty, complete with what looks like a fake tan and  definitely a fake Italian accent, to Mrs. Stone, who at first sees clearly what's going on and demurs. But, for reasons not entirely clear (Warren Beatty's obvious handsome-ness finally gets to her?), she does eventually succumb to his attractiveness, in a scene entirely devoid of charm or passion. Or even humour.

The rest of the film just delineates the predictable, inevitable, somewhat sordid downward spiral of their affair. Mrs. Stone, despite her passion (I think it's supposed to be passion, it's hard to tell) for "Paolo" (Warren Beatty), refuses to play the gigolo-sponsor role, the sugar -mama. Oh, she buys him clothes and takes him out to dinner, but she never gives him any real cash; she won't even leave her jewels lying conveniently around for him to accidentally pick up.After a while Paolo tires of pretending to be in love with a rich woman who just wants him to pretend to be in love with her for free. He gets restless, as does the Countess, who as his female pimp, complains that she's seen no profit, not even a lousy 500 bucks, from her scheming and her efforts.

Anyway, blah blah, surprise surprise, the affair ends badly, with Paolo mocking and insulting Karen Stone and running off to a hotel assignation with, improbably, Jill St. John, who actually is as young and beautiful as he is.

Oh, I forgot to mention-- throughout the film, we see another young man, maybe not as pretty as Warren Beatty, slinking and sneaking around outside Mrs. Stone's apartment. We never hear him say anything, nor does Mrs. Stone ever speak to him, except once, to ask him why he's following her. But he disappears before she can get an answer.

This is where the SPOILER maybe comes in: earlier, Paolo mocks Karen by telling her that rich women like her often end up dead in their beds, murdered not by intruders but by a man they've invited in to their home. After the humiliating break-up with Paolo, Mrs. Stone, presumably in a slough of despair, throws her keys down to the sinister stalker. The final scene has her sitting in her room, smoking, as the stalker opens her door. THE END.

So, I guess we're supposed to assume that the stalker kills her and that she more or less committed suicide by throwing him her keys. Oooh, this is deep.

No, it's not deep. Nor is it meaningful, or thought-provoking, or even sad. It's just annoying that I sat through 100 minutes of somewhat dull drama to find that Mrs. Stone is a rather shallow, self-absorbed woman who can't face the fact that she's no longer young and can't think of anything interesting or worthwhile to do with the rest of her life.

I don't know whether to blame Tennessee Williams- after all, he's the original author - or the screenwriter (Gavin Lambert) or the director (Jose Quintero). But I think I'll mostly blame Tennessee Williams, as his stories, as far as the ones I'm familiar with, are always over-wrought, with few likable characters and almost no wit or humour. In other words, he's no fun.

 

*Ok, yes, good roles for older women, on stage OR screen, have always been scarce, especially maybe in 1961. But Karen Stone doesn't even try to find any...

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Very interesting take on the controversial material, but I think that the story is about a woman, a star, who has always been devoted to a glorification of her self and relied on her husband to manage the details of her life.

Now, that her husband is dead and she is unable to cope, she cannot manage on her own.

Becoming "involved" with the contessa and Paolo, is her way of saying, "Yes, I still matter."

But she just doesn't know how to manage "a love for sale" life.

It has always been about her, Karen Stone.

You pay allegiance to her - and damn the consequences.

A moneyless giggolo is not the answer.

He can barely take care of himself.

In the end, when Paolo deserts her and she throws her keys down to the stalker, she is, in effect, saying, "Yes, life is over."

Degradation from here on out.

She doesn't have the resources to re-invent a new life for herself.

The young stalker won't kill her, but he will be the means to "her demise".

She wants to "die".

 

 

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16 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017) 

What the *expletive* 

Hah, there are a limited number of things I liked about that one, too. It looked so horrible and got so much praise that I made myself watch it, just so I had the grounds to tell everyone else how wrong they were. It wasn't really as bad as I thought it would be, tho... at worst it just sorta seemed like pointless re-hash of other stories, with the lonesome, downtrodden protagonists from different worlds finding each other, fish-out-of-water complications (no pun intended,) all the while dodging the ridiculously over-evil guy. I am a fan of Michael Shannon, but a one-dimensional character like this one needs some serious over-acting to make it not seem completely stupid, and I know he's capable of it. This story was just so shallow, and pretending like it was so subtle and sweet and whimsical... the plot was no thicker than a kid's fairy tale, and it was no more fun than, say, Rachel, Rachel... a bad blending of worlds, with some freaky sex stuff thrown in. (Oh, and the Fred & Ginger dance number with the fish guy... they should not have gone there...)

My favorite thing about it was the green jello sub-plot, (that, and Michael Shannon's fingers... *cringe.*) A while ago I found some recipe books among my grandma's things, a couple only for jello desserts, with really nice looking illustrations. I thought at the time that artists don't get jobs like that anymore- it's all photographs. It was a coincidence that it came up in this film, with her artist friend struggling to not be replaced by the photograph, even re-drawing his jello ad in the trendy green color they wanted. Hahaha... artists fight a losing battle. I had to laugh when the bad guy's wife, who looked just like the wife in the ad, came walking in with the green jello. A small moment, but one I genuinely liked.

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32 minutes ago, rayban said:

Very interesting take on the controversial material, but I think that the story is about a woman, a star, who has always been devoted to a glorification of her self and relied on her husband to manage the details of her life.

Now, that her husband is dead and she is unable to cope, she cannot manage on her own.

Becoming "involved" with the contessa and Paolo, is her way of saying, "Yes, I still matter."

But she just doesn't know how to manage "a love for sale" life.

It has always been about her, Karen Stone.

You pay allegiance to her - and damn the consequences.

A moneyless giggolo is not the answer.

He can barely take care of himself.

In the end, when Paolo deserts her and she throws her keys down to the stalker, she is, in effect, saying, "Yes, life is over."

Degradation from here on out.

She doesn't have the resources to re-invent a new life for herself.

The young stalker won't kill her, but he will be the means to "her demise".

She wants to "die".

 

 

Thanks for your take on the film, rayban.

Yes, I believe everything you said about it is true. I had those same insights as I watched it (except for the final scene, where I really thought there was a strong chance she was going to be, quite literally, murdered. But degradation will also suit the purposes of the story...)

Here's the thing though: I don't care. I don't care about characters who are self-absorbed and "don't have the resources to invent a new life" for themselves. A leading character in a film doesn't have to be "good" (often I prefer them not to be), or even likable, for me to be engaged in their story. But they do have to be interesting. And Karen Stone is not in the least bit interesting. She is, as you say, unable to cope, because "it's always been all about her", and she doesn't know how to manage now that she's lost both her youth and her husband.

She doesn't even want to continue her friendships, and the one she had with Meg (Coral Browne) seemed worth keeping. Meg is the only character who seems to genuinely care about Karen, and the only one who is honest with her. But of course, because of that very honesty, Karen Stone avoids Meg. She never wants to have "real" conversations with anyone.

She never developed an interest in anything else - not even the theatre, it seems. Her acting career was, apparently, just a way for her to get the adoring attention she sought. Mrs. Stone is a completely uninteresting person, and as such, her story did not interest me.

For me, there's nothing about The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone that moves or even provokes me. 

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17 hours ago, NickAndNora34 said:

THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017) 

What the *expletive* 

What, don't you know?
Guillermo del Toro puts the Creature From the Black Lagoon in EVERY movie he makes (he reportedly consulted on "Monsters vs. Aliens" while developing projects for Dreamworks), and in this case, he wanted to be 80's-sentimental and remake "Splash":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0Kx3jqEGh4

 

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2 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

No, it's not deep. Nor is it meaningful, or thought-provoking, or even sad. It's just annoying that I sat through 100 minutes of somewhat dull drama to find that Mrs. Stone is a rather shallow, self-absorbed woman who can't face the fact that she's no longer young and can't think of anything interesting or worthwhile to do with the rest of her life.

I made it through about 15 minutes, I couldn't take Beatty's fake Italian accent. 

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The Untouchables - Season Two (1960-1961)

07HOBERMAN-articleLarge-v2.jpg?quality=7

Sophomore season of the 30's-set crime drama, running 32 hour-long episodes. Robert Stack returns as Eliot Ness, G-man crimefighter extraordinaire. He's joined by the previous season's team (Abel Fernandez, Nicholas Georgiade, and Steve London), as well as newcomer agent Lee Hobson (Paul Picerni). They fight all facets of the underworld, from dope peddlers to extortionists, to human traffickers and bootleggers. They also roam around the country, from their usual base in Chicago to New York and even Canada. Since the episodes aren't shown in chronological order, various crime figures from the previous season that were killed off return once again in earlier-set escapades, such as Frank Nitti (Bruce Gordon) and Dutch Schultz (Lawrence Dobkin and Robert J. Wilke). 

Joan+Blondell-Untouchables.jpg

Notable guest stars this season included Elizabeth Montgomery (who was nominated for an Emmy for her season-opening appearance), Steven Hill (as Legs Diamond), Oscar Beregi, Luther Adler, Michael Ansara, Nehemiah Persoff, Will Kuluva, Eduardo Ciannelli, Henry Silva, Frank Silvera, John McEntire, Steve Cochran, Jan Sterling, June Havoc, Richard Jaeckel, Jack Warden, Francis Lederer, Joseph Wiseman, Murray Hamilton, Gavin MacLeod, Rip Torn, Richard Conte, Harry Dean Stanton, Keenan Wynn, Susan Oliver, James Coburn, Brian Keith, Telly Savalas, Sam Jaffe, Michael Constantine, Harry Guardino, Ed Nelson, Larry Parks, Jack Elam, John Marley, John Dehner, Ricardo Montalban, Barry Morse, Victor Buono, Viveca Lindfors, Constance Ford, and Lee Marvin. Two of the best guest turns were courtesy of Joan Blondell as an eccentric old dame who fugitive Richard Devon uses to make a getaway, only to discover that Joan is more dangerous than the cops; and an early-career appearance by George Kennedy as a deaf-mute goon who manhandles Ness on a few occasions. 

George+Kennedy-Untouchables.jpg

The show has the same exceptional production values as the first season, although there's still the anachronistic hairstyles. There is a lot of action, even too much in a few episodes, but I liked the exaggerated gunshot sound effects. The violence level is still high, as well, although it seems a little less shocking than the first season. The show reached #8 overall in the ratings, the height of its popularity.

Source: Paramount/CBS DVD

18970727.jpg

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Diana Rigg did a pretty good turn as Mrs Danvers for the BBC in the 80s for television. She did well and a couple of scenes that might be considered tour-de-force where she was alone and soliloquized while revealing her darker nature. I remember being impressed at the time but it has been ages.

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