made for tv

Hans 2021 Movie Draft: Round Ten-Pick Three-Jesse Stone Series

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Stone Cold IMDb & Amazon Image One
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Hanspostcard has a movie draft challenge. This is my Round Ten pick.

Category: Movie Series
Films: Jesse Stone

Chief Stone: “I *know* who killed them.”
Captain Healy: “Do you have a motive?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Witnesses?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Weapon?”
Chief Stone: “No.”
Captain Healy: “Hell, I’ll warm up a cell right now.”

Jesse Stone is a character in a series of novels written by Robert B. Parker (the creator of Spenser from the TV Series Spenser: For Hire, the film series and the recent Netflix movie). Portrayed by Tom Selleck, the first four films are based on actual novels but, produced and shown out of order. The last five films are a collaboration between Tom Selleck, Michael Brandman and Ronni Kern.

As the series begins, Stone is approximately 35 years old (despite Selleck’s age) and is a former short stop in the minor leagues, leaving the career due to a shoulder injury. After a painful divorce from his beautiful actress wife Jennifer, he begins to drink heavily and is asked to resign from his job with LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division. Traveling to the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts (loosely based on Marblehead), for an interview to be Chief of Police, he is visibly drunk. Thinking him easy to control, the president of the town council, hires him, anyway. Stone realizes that the president is corrupt and, the town has serious issues with the mob, money laundering and murder. Throughout each movie, except for one, Jesse & Jenn talk on the phone.

Bridge To The House IMDb & Amazon Image Two
Photo Credit: IMDb & Amazon
Joe the Dog as Reggie

Characters (regular ones):
Kohl Sudduth as Ofc. Luther “Suitcase” Simpson (nicknamed by Stone after first baseman/outfielder Harry Simpson)
Viola Davis as Ofc. Molly Crane (first four movies)
Kathy Baker as Ofc. Rose Gammon
Vito Rezza as Ofc. Anthony D’Angelo
Stephen McHattie as Captain Healy, head of the Massachusetts State Police Homicide Division
William Devane as Dr. Dix (cop turned therapist)
Saul Rubinek as Hasty Hathaway (former town council president)
William Sadler as Gino Fish (crime boss)
Sylvia Villagran (first movie) & Gil Anderson (voice of Jenn)

Additional characters:
Polly Shannon as Abby Taylor (first two movies)
Stephanie March as Cissy Hathaway (second movie)
Leslie Hope as Sydney Greenstreet (with MSP/5th & last movie)
Gloria Reuben as Thelma Gleffey (last three movies)

This series was never theatrically released. These are made-for-TV movies (CBS & Hallmark) and are still in development. These are great movies. ~Vic

Additional Reading:
List of Novels
Robert B. Parker
(Author’s Legacy Website/09-17-1932 ~ 01-18-2010)

Stone Cold 2005 Trailer

Night Passage 2006 Trailer (Prequel Movie)

TV Tuesday: Mister Jerico 1970

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Mister Jerico Image One
Image Credit: imdb.com & media-amazon.com

Fifty years ago, today, the British crime-comedy, made-for-tv movie Mister Jerico aired on ABC. Directed by Sidney Hayers, it starred Patrick Macnee, Connie Stevens, Herbert Lom, Marty Allen and Bruce Boa.

Summaries:

Smooth con man Dudley Jerico sets out to rob corrupt millionaire Victor Rosso [sic] of his legendary Gemini diamond.

A conman hatches a plan to swindle a corrupt millionaire out of his treasured priceless diamond by claiming to have discovered its twin. However, his plot is disrupted by a rival hustler who comes up with the same idea and, the two crooks must each convince their suspicious target that they can be trusted and the other is lying.

Reviews:

This disappointing comedy caper evidently got the green light due to the popularity of Patrick Macnee‘s dapper superspy John Steed in The Avengers. Unfortunately, this attempt to turn Macnee into an equally charismatic jewel thief just can’t compete with its bigger budgeted competition, despite the catchy title track from Lulu and the star’s stunning array of flowery shirts. Herbert Lom is good value as the object of Macnee’s felonious attentions (in a role similar to the one he played in the Michael Caine caper Gambit three years before) but, this lacklustre yarn, ultimately, can’t cut it in the excitement or suspense stakes.

Jeremy Aspinall of RadioTimes

Mister Jerico Image Two
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Mister Jerico is one of those charming and fluffy capers that the 1960s did well, quite similar to the higher-budgeted Gambit or How to Steal a Million. The palette is sun-soaked, the plot buoyant and just this side of ridiculous. The second half of the film, in particular, moves along at a nice pace, complicating matters without making anything seem too serious. If you think too deeply about the story, it will all appear very nonsensical but, this is a stylized caper film not intended for deeper scrutiny. It’s a surface film and as such it’s quite enjoyable.

Lauren Humphries of Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out… Blog

A fun film with a very Avengers feel to it, which should be obvious given the cast and crew. Allen is a little out of place but, Macnee and Lom are great, as is Laurie Johnson‘s score. I’ll even admit, against that, Lulu‘s theme song is catchy. Apparently [it was] intended as a pilot for a Macnee series to follow The Avengers but, instead, [was] released theatrically (though, in the US, it only ended up as a TV movie of the week).

Dave W. of Actors Compendium

Trivia Bits:
Filmed in Malta and Associated British Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.
♦ The lead role was originally offered to Robert Wagner but, he was not available.

Additional Reading & Sources:
Rotten Tomatoes
RadioTimes
Cinedelica
Cult TV Blog
Allmovie Overview
Mubi

Video Link: (Late Update)
YouTube Link (Video will not embed as the owner of the account disabled embedding.)

Tune Tuesday: John Denver 1974

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John Denver Image One
Photo Credit: seventiesmusic.wordpress.com

Forty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver. Co-written with guitarist Mike Taylor and bassist Richard Kniss, the song was originally released in 1971 as an album track on Poems, Prayers & Promises. It wasn’t released as a single until October 1973 (oddly, the same month as his death) and hit #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart just two weeks prior to making the Hot 100. It had been re-mixed to include woodwinds and strings and, had the last verses removed. The full length single mix showed up on Denver’s later compilation albums.

From Wikipedia (without citation?):

Denver described how he wrote “Sunshine on My Shoulders”: “I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call ‘late winter, early spring’. It was a dreary day, gray and slushy. The snow was melting and, it was too cold to go outside and have fun but, God, you’re ready for spring. You want to get outdoors again and you’re waiting for that sun to shine and, you remember how, sometimes, just the sun, itself, can make you feel good. And, in that very melancholy frame of mind, I wrote ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’.”

The song was used as the theme to the CBS Friday Night made-for-TV movie Sunshine starring Cristina Raines, Cliff De Young and, Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush. Canadian singer-songwriter-actress Carly Rae Jepsen released her cover version of the song on June 16, 2008.

Lyrics:
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
Sunshine almost all the time makes me high
Sunshine almost always