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Cannon: Season 1, Vol. 1 (1971)

William Conrad , Patrick Culliton , E. Arthur Kean , Jimmy Sangster  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Cannon: Season 1, Vol. 1 + Cannon - Season One, Vol. 2 + Cannon: Season 2, Vol 1 & 2
Price for all three: $87.11

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Conrad, Patrick Culliton, Tom Pittman, Charles Bateman, Donovan Jones
  • Directors: E. Arthur Kean, Jimmy Sangster
  • Writers: George McCowan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 615 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001675ZJM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,817 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cannon: Season 1, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

William Conrad became television's first plus-sized detective in this Quinn Martin production that ran for six seasons. His girth makes him the butt of snide comments. In the episode, "Salinas Jackpot," a good 'ol boy invites Cannon to shoot a game of pool. Referring to The Hustler, he says, "Ever since I seen that movie, I've always wanted to take on a champion fat man." In the pilot episode, a little boy bluntly asks him, "How'd you get that fat?" But the balding, pipe-smoking Cannon has a style all his own (check out his boating shorts in the episode, "A Lonely Place to Die."). Fleeing miscreants may be just as surprised as viewers at just how fleet he is on his feet in a chase. The pilot episode fleshes out Cannon's backstory: He is a former Los Angeles cop-turned-private insurance investigator. He is introduced in his swank apartment (that comes complete with personal firing range), but the rest of the episodes find him in outlying locations that are at odds with his bon vivant lifestyle. Though expensive and "the best," he does handle desperate personal cases, as in the pilot episode, in which his investigation of a Korean War buddy's death leads him to "a town that reeks of bad money." Cannon is nothing but intuitive. He tracks down the bar from which a threatening phone call was made by noting the sound of a phone booth ceiling fan's faulty bearing. His imposing size, gruff manner, and blunt talk do not win him many friends. "Go back where you came from" is a representative greeting from those who don't want to be bothered by "the fella with all the questions." Among the most compelling episodes include "Death Chain," in which a married man turns to Cannon when his mistress is murdered, and "Stone Cold Dead," in which he defends a Viet Nam veteran falsely accused of murder. Cannon has no sidekick or office staff to banter with, but Conrad deftly carries the show on his hefty shoulders. Guest stars of note include Vera Miles, Earl Holliman, Keenan Wynn, and John "Tigger" Fiedler in the pilot, Tom Skerritt as a killer disguised as a rodeo clown in "Jackpot," and a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill as a farm boy in "Country Blues." While Cannon may not rank in the pantheon of TV detectives, it's good to have him back pounding the beat on DVD. --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

The weekly adventures of Frank Cannon, 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very BIG Entertainment!!!!! March 22, 2008
Finally, "Cannon," the Classic TV private eye series that premiered in 1971 is making its debut on DVD, with a four-disc boxed set collecting the first half of the show's Season 1 episodes.

Its star, William Conrad made a very big presence as Private Investigator Frank Cannon, well beyond the veteran actor's trademark girth. His deep, resonant baritone voice, and his remarkable acting demanded viewer's attention throughout the series' five-year run - and it still does today.

Cannon was a tough L.A. sleuth with very refined tastes. But, what could have been a forgettable series became an instant Classic when the versatile Conrad portrayed the character with depth and feeling. Cannon cared about his clients and it showed, so viewers cared about him.

Since Cannon's size didn't allow for many fist-fights and gun battles, which were the staple of the TV landscape of the day (and sadly still is), the series substituted car chases and high quality and innovative production values in their place.

Cannon had once been a police officer, but was discharged from the force for being overweight. After the murder of his wife and son, Cannon tracked down the killer and confronted him in a tearful and angry scene that still resonates. That loss and a deep understanding for the need for real justice, prompts Cannon to launch his successful career as a private investigator.

Cannon charged high fees to his well-to-do clients so that he could work for poorer clients at little or no charge. He also indulges his high-priced lifestyle, which includes a penthouse on the Sunset Strip, gourmet culinary delights and cooking, expensive wine, and regular maintenance on his Lincoln Mark IV, which was frequently damaged as a result of his cases.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cannon July 12, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I just can't give more then 3 stars. Not because this is a great series..but because Paramount continues to offer sloppy looking copies. This looks like something copied off TV in VHS and then transfered to DVD. Now I know that is not the case but just pointing out the over all quality of the set. Colors shift on some episodes and the picture quality is soft. I buy hundreds of DVD each year and many of the TV series. But this is truly the poorest quality I have seen so far. I know, Paramount will come back and say that this is because it is an old show, etc etc etc. But that is bull. Why Paramount couldn't have remastered the set before transfer is beyond me. They could have cleaned this set and offered the kind of quality I get from Universal, Disney, etc. Final statement - A great TV series that deserves better quality. Shame on you Paramount as you continue to blunder ahead.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the show, hate being ripped off July 20, 2008
Cannon was, without a doubt, one of my top 5 detective series of all time. My problem with this set is the fact that it has been released without being re-mastered, and because it comes in two volumes. Why would Paramount do such a thing? As a company, when you try to rip off your customers, you lose much of your credibility. Universal released the Columbo series without re-mastering, and without extras (except for an episode of Mrs. Columbo - oh, joy). Paramount has also done the same thing with Mission: Impossible - no extras, and "some episodes may be edited from their original network versions". Can these companies not take a page from Criterion and release their shows in the very best quality they possibly can with all the bonus material they can? I will pay extra for Criterion released movies because they have demonstrated that they are willing to go the extra mile for their customers. Hey Paramount, how about re-thinking this series, and get it right starting with volume 2?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoying TV shows from the past. October 12, 2008
My Husband and I are in our sixties and although we do enjoy many shows that are currently on TV, we also like to take an occassional walk down "Memory Lane". The old detective shows from the early seventies were great. We purchased CANNON, Season One - Volume One. from The set includes 4 discs. Each one has 3 shows on it...They are great! The story lines are pretty tame compared to what we see today on TV, but they are still fun to watch. You will find some familiar names on the guest star list for each Joan Van Ark, Tom Skerritt, Kim Hunter, and more. The only negative that we found is that the night scenes are very dark. The technology has progressed over the years, but I guess that those scenes can't be lightened up. Other that that, these old shows are great and when the next one is issued in December....I'll order it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Viewing April 22, 2008
The 120 hour-long episodes of the detective drama "Cannon" were originally broadcast on CBS from 1971-1976. There was also a two-hour pilot, which premiered on March 26, 1971 and a two-hour sequel broadcast on November 1, 1980. This DVD set includes on the first twelve regular episodes of the first season (no pilot). The episode titles, original broadcast dates, and notable guest stars are detailed below.

"Cannon" was probably the least pompous of the original entries in television's anti-establishment police/private-eye subgenre; setting the stage for "Harry-O" and "The Rockford Files". Rotund actor William Conrad played the title character; dubbed "Cannonball" in Mad Magazine's satire of the series. After years as the voiceover narrator of "The Fugitive" and "Rocky and Bullwinkle", Conrad finally was allowed to be on-screen and is said to have incorporated a lot of his own quirky characteristics into the Frank Cannon character.

Frank is a detective who only takes a case when he feels like it or his pressed for cash to maintain his expensive epicurean lifestyle (i.e. adventures in eating). Most of the action in the series is in the form of car chases; there is some fighting but almost no running. Lacking a handsome co-star "Cannon's" producers were obviously ceding most potential female viewers to the other networks during this time slot; which is generally a good thing for those in the target demographic as there are no compromises to expand the audience.

"Cannon" was a quality Quinn Martin production with logical situations, good suspense, and fast pacing.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars review
I love the Cannon Shows. This is a very good show if you like these old tv shows. I do!
Published 1 month ago by DS
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannon TV series on DVD
Of the many detective shows on during the 70's, this was a favorite of mine. This first season was very good and demonstrated the quality of shows that were to come. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dr. Terry J. Moody
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully entertaining and well worth the $
Jake & the Fatman is wonderfully entertaining and well worth the $. It is P.I. excitement and humor at its' best. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lance White, P.I.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings back memories
This was a gift for my wife; she loves these old 70's shows. Lots of then unknowns making guest appearances.
Published 9 months ago by Warcam
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannon Season 1, Vol. 1
The two hour pilot was awesome. It explained how Cannon was able to handle his investigation in another town besides Los Angeles.
Published 15 months ago by Douglas Deicke
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannon: Season 1, Vol. 1
My husband and I are "older", and remember well how much we enjoyed watching Cannon when it
was first run on TV many years ago. Read more
Published 18 months ago by barbara west corea
4.0 out of 5 stars P.I. stars
william conrad does a great job as a '70's P.I. One of my favorites I watched in a era when there were only 3 channels on tv.
Published 21 months ago by huckleberry
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting 70s detective show w/ great episodes & guest stars
Cannon, which ran for 5 seasons from 1971 to 1976, was a terrific detective mystery series led by the incredibly fit big actor William Conrad. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jancal
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as you get!
What a series. Big man with the Big car. For all of you who worry about being let down when you buy these vintage detective series, you won't be let down here. Read more
Published on May 23, 2011 by My Way
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Excellent on all fronts!!!!!!!! Loving seeing the t.v. show I watched as a Kid. Good price!
Published on May 20, 2010 by Mike
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Topic From this Discussion
The Frank Cannon Appreciation Society
We need Volumes 4
Jan 29, 2013 by Richard L. Wertz |  See all 3 posts
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