Sunday, November 12, 2017

Manhunter (1974)

Director: walter Grauman

Writer: Sam Rolfe

Composer: Duane Tatro

Starring: Ken Howard, Gary Lockwood, Tim O'Connor, James Olson, Stefanie Powers, John Anderson, L.Q. Jones, Ford Rainey, Robert Hogan, R.G. Armstrong, Luke Askew, Marie Windsor, Ben Frank

More info: IMDb

Plot: Pilot for the short-lived TV series set in the 1930's about a World War I ex-marine-turned-bounty-hunter, named Dave Barrett, who goes after two Bonnie-and-Clyde style bank robbers who murdered his former girlfriend.

My rating:  6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

The problem with TV movies and shows, mostly, is that they feel like they were made for TV.  Take a subject like this and it's easy to have that aesthetic which also looks like low budget theatrical movies.  This 71 minute pilot movie feels like one of those low budget BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) knock offs that proliferated the late 60s and early to mid 70s and it's not bad.  I've lived near and have driven through hundreds of the small rural towns that look about like they did nearly a hundred years ago so that's neat.  Ken Howard makes for an imposing bounty hunter standing at 6'6".  The cast has a whole bunch of great character actors whose faces and names you've probably seen.  There's nothing special about the story but it was probably rare to be a TV series back then that dealt with Depression Era gangsters (and I'm sure they were all made up characters).  The series lasted for one season with 23 episodes (not including this TV movie lead-in).  If I caught this when I was a kid back then I probably would've liked it a lot more.

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