on April 22, 2011
Mannix was always one of my favorite shows back in the day and I'm glad to see that Season 5 will be coming out shortly on DVD. If memory serves correct, it moved from its original Saturday night perch to Wednesday nights and finally broke into the Top 10 in Nielsen ratings for the season. They changed up the music a little, making it more pronounced and upbeat, if that was possible. There were a lot of great episodes, so the writing, directing, acting and action remained high. I think we saw more of Lt. Malcolm that season compared to the other police types that Mannix dealt with. Here's hoping that we get another quick turn to Seasons 6, 7 and 8 (seasons 4 and 5 were six months apart) after this release. Most of season 7 and none of season 8 were part of the syndication package in the U.S. for Mannix, so those episodes haven't been seen for more than 35 years. Let's get them out of the vault and into the hands of Mannix fans! Thanks, CBS/Paramount.
on July 23, 2011
This fifth season run of episodes is simply superb.
What went on before in previous series was already pretty good most of the time, but this season really sees the show hitting its stride.
The plots are intelligent and sometimes interwoven so that there is more than one story involved in an episode, the characters even more developed and the action evenly laid on.
Mike Connors seems to be more at ease reprising the lead role, his secretary, Peggy (played by Gail Fisher) is given more screen time (and this does not always mean getting kidnapped as some other reviewers may allude), while the action is laid on impeccably with smarter than average criminals often giving Mannix a run for the money, pitting their wits against his intellectually as well as through the inevitable fisticuffs.
Setting all this off is the best rendition of the memorable theme by Lalo Schrifin and support music that would do credit to some big screen movies.
While resucing damsels in distress, dodging bullets and getting knocked out, Mannix still finds time to indulge in the finer things in life, seemingly changing from a '71 Cuda to a '72 midway through a case in the first episode on disc five!
If Hollywood ever decides to rejuvenate a past hit and reshoot a modern day edition, Mannix just cries out to be it.
on June 16, 2011
Mannix was always one of the most interesting shows to watch on T.V. Unlike the wannabe private eyes, Jim Rockford, Barnaby Jones, etc., Mannix had a big heart and also guts. Willing to take a risk to right a wrong, Mike Connors breathed life into one of the most formidable characters ever to grace the T.V. screen. Much like Steve McGarrett, Mannix was like a pitbull with justice, and once he sank his teeth into it, would not let go until he finished. Peggy, always managed to keep him walking a straight line, most of the time, and the character development between the two of them, was as great as the story being told that evening.
In season 5 we are treated to a freshened opening, updated vehicles, Peggy loses the Simca finally, and much more thankfully of Ward Wood, Lt. Art Malcom. Having to piggy back on Cannon or Barnaby Jones for most of the season, cudos to the team at Mannix for putting the show in the top ten this season. Proves when an actor like Mike Connors, who was never caught up in the Hollywood whirl and Gail Fisher are allowed to thrive, anything is possible. And the writers gave us some incredible stories that season as well, along with fabulous guest stars all year long. So sad that television today is not anywhere near as entertaining or rewarding as Mannix and the original Hawaii Five-O were. I doubt there is a producer or writer out there that could give us the gut wrenching stories and make you have to watch it to the end, like they did on Mannix. I can'Mannix: Fifth Seasont wait for the release of season 5 and look forward to 6-8 !!!!! Better than anything on t.v. today...and that says something.
Joe Mannix, private investigator, was the defining role of Mike Connors' career, and he played it from 1967 through 1975. He started off as part of an agency, then from Season 2 onward he went solo and hired Peggy (Gail Fisher), his always helpful and anticipatory secretary/assistant. This action packed Fifth Season ran from 1971-1972, and the episodes and their featured (many famous) guest stars are listed below:
Dark So Early, Dark So Long - Rosemary Forsyth, Vic Morrow
Cold Trail - Patricia Medina, Heidi Vaughn
A Step In Time - Shelley Fabares, Dean Stockwell
Wine From These Grapes - Marion Ross, Francine York
Woman In the Shadows - Ina Balin, Eric Braeden
Days Beyond Recall - Elizabeth Allen, Vic Morrow
Run Till Dark - Jonathan Lippe, Charlotte Stewart
The Glass Trap - Robert Foxworth, Doreen Lang
A Choice of Evils - Georg Stanford Brown, Stephen McNally
A Button For General D - Joanna Pettet, Ross Hagen
The Man Outside - Andrew Duggan, Coleen Gray
Murder Times Three - Daniel J. Travanti, Pippa Scott
Catspaw - Vic Tayback, Peter Donat
To Save A Dead Man - Brooke Bundy, Robert Mandan
Nightshade - Milton Berle, Jesse White
Babe In the Woods - Nita Talbot, Paul Stevens
The Sound of Murder - Madlyn Rhue, Jon Cypher
Moving Target - Jessica Walter, Art Buchwald
Cry Pigeon - Barry Sullivan, Corinne Camacho
A Walk in the Shadows - Jeanne Cooper, Lonny Chapman
Lifeline - Lou Rawls, Ta-Tanisha
To Draw the Lightning - Steve Ihnat, Joan Hotchkis
Scapegoat - Lane Bradbury, John Vernon
Death is the Fifth Gear - Mariette Hartley, Elsa Lanchester
on July 12, 2011
Would you believe, I just finished watching the final episode of season 5 barely a few minutes ago, and already I'm asking Paramount to get Season 6 out, Season 5 barely came out a week ago. Once again episodes were well-written & action-packed. This afternoon I watched "Scapegoat"-that's right, the episode with Joe Mannix's Evil Twin & Co as they try to frame him. And I just watched the season final "Death is in the Fifth Gear" where Mannix is in a serious race-car wreck, one of his fellow race-car drivers was the target, thugs spike his coffie & he's horribly drugged, resulting in him hallucinating & in a straight jacket. Also, early in the season is "Wine From Those Grapes" where he again comes back to Summer Grove to visit his Dad, to name just a few of the stories. Picture quality is pretty good too. Yes I understand more fans of the show need to have time to purchase & watch season 5, the better the chance we'll see those last 3 seasons. I'm now waiting for Season 6.
on August 23, 2011
"There is no reason for war that reasonable men cannot resolve."
--Private Eye Joe Mannix translating an Armenian proverb in "Wine from These Grapes".
POLICE FORCES NOTES
Los Angeles cop characters from the Homicide Division return and Lt. Malcom (actor Ward Wood) appears in all episodes except in:
* "Dark So Early, Dark So Long", "Woman in the Shadows", "The Glass Trap" with Lt. Tobias (actor Robert Reed)
* "The Sound of Murder" and "Lifeline" with Lt. Ives (actor Jack Ging)
* "To Draw the Lightning" with Lt. Mendez (actor Victor Millan) and Lt. Gifford (actor Steve Ihnat in one of his last performances)
Local cop characters also return in:
* "Cold Trail" with Chief Wedlow (actor Len Wayland) in which Mannix mentions Lt. Tobias in his office
* "Wine from These Grapes" with Summer Grove Sheriff Madeiros (actor Perry Lopez)
BEST CASES NOTES (in broadcast order)
* "Cold Trail" (directed by Barry Crane and guest starring George Voskovec, Patricia Medina, Paul Mantee) is a weird Cold War espionage plot which tackles the abduction of a Russian spy defector's daughter with vidid scenes: the ambush of a female skier, a tough car chase in the mountain a la "Bullitt", the drugging of Mannix through a glass of Brandy which breeds distorted visions and the interrogation-regression of the drugged Russian daughter.
* "A Step in Time" (directed by Sutton Roley and guest starring Dean Stockwell) in which a man living in a villa near the beach pretends to be the witness of the gruesome murder of his wealthy wife by two thugs and remains one year in an asylum because of the shock when Mannix realizes that things are not what they appear to be! The fantastical film-making by magician demiurge Sutton Roley and the twist ending are worthwhile. Note that Secretary Peggy Fair is attacked by a vicious hippie with circular spectacles in the experimental club called The Freak-Out "where all the weirdos up and down the beach come to groove".
* "Woman in the Shadows" (directed by Paul Krasny and guest starring Ina Balin and Hans Gudegast) is another unusual Cold War espionage plot full of revivals and focuses on a trade: the manuscript of the first two chapters from Karl Marx's "Das Kapital" against the release of Russian deviationist Eric Stefan: don't miss the hectic and mysterious prologue with a long chase!
* "The Glass Trap" (directed by Reza Badiyi and guest starring Robert Foxworth, H.M. Wynant, Frank Christi, Charles Piscerni) is an action-oriented narrative dealing with a friend of Mannix, policeman Ross Santini who is blackmailed and must release a top drug dealer against his wife: find again a car chase a la "Bullitt".
* "A Choice of Evils" (directed by Paul Krasny and guest starring Stephen McNally, Robert Colbert, Georg Stanford Brown, Paul Carr, Noah Keen) is a strong and intricate Syndicate episode in which Secretary Peggy Fair is kidnapped by two henchmen and, to get her free, Mannix is obliged to find and kill the undercover Fed infiltrating the organization of big shot Powers: to make things ambiguous, one of the two kidnappers is fond of Peggy.
* "The Man Outside" (guest starring Andrew Duggan, Katherine Browne, Mike Masters, Roy Jenson) in which an old army friend of Mannix asks him to pay a female blackmailer to get back a compromising roll of film which can't ruin his career as an owner of a company and, as usual, things gets complicated and we're diving into a sordid espionage intrigue with two sides.
* "Murder Times Three" (directed by Leonard Horn and guest starring Pippa Scott, Daniel Travanty, Alan Bergmann, Joe Maross) in which Mannix is fired from his three last clients which leads him to an mysterious assassination plot on a Middle East ruler at the racetrack: don't miss the violent prologue between two wild hell's angels on wheels chasing Mannix on foot!
* "Babe in the Woods" (directed by Leonard Horn and guest starring Paul Stevens and Nita Talbot) in which the wife of a wealthy electronic company owner orders a hitman to shoot her husband but it fails and her lover passes away and Mannix is hired to find out hidden schematics of the engineer lover in a lake lodge: don't miss another car chase on a mountain road between Mannix and a hitman a la "Bullitt".
* "Moving Target" (guest starring Charles Aidman and Jessica Walter) in which a toy producer is accused of the murder of his business associate who doesn't exist: find again a car chase a la "Bullitt". As in the season 3 "Who is Sylvia?", actress Jessica Walter plays again a character with a double life.
* "Cry Pigeon" (directed by Reza Badiyi and guest starring Barry Sullivan, Richard Devon, John Colicos, Pat Renella) in which Mannix is involved in a setup between two rival gangster organizations. The episode has the sentimental flavor of "The Godfather" because of the two brothers. Actor Pat Renella used to play Johnny Ross in "Bullitt"
* "Scapegoat" (directed by Leslie H. Martinson and guest starring John Vernon, Rex Holman, Paul Fix) in which Mannix is replaced by a lookalike on his way to smuggle 8 million pounds of jewels to London. The premise with the master of disguise--whose voice is done by actor Vic Perrin--is a nod to "Mission: Impossible": the rival Desilu series. As in the season 4 "A Gathering of Ghosts", the real Mannix ends up in a western ghost town in the middle of the desert.
* "Death is The Fifth Gear" (directed by Paul Krasny: see the entry in the next notes)
PATHOLOGICAL CASES NOTES
After the alcohol-induced state in the season 2 "The Solid Gold Web" and the drugged-induced state in the season 1 "Beyond the Shadow of a Dream" and "Dead Fall" (written by Chester Krumholz), the season 2 "The Need of a Friend" (written by Chester Krumholz) and the season 4 "The Mouse That Died" (written by Chester Krumholz), find again some medical cases: "Days Beyond Recall" (guest starring Vic Morrow, Elizabeth Allen, Geoffrey Lewis, Douglas Henderson) in which a drunk and corrupted ex-journalist is running away from the Syndicate after being the witness of a murder. Actor Vic Morrow simulates delirium tremens in a car junkyard where distorted mygale spiders attack him and, later on, his character swallows a drug by mistake and fails to have a fatal car accident. "Death is The Fifth Gear" (written by Chester Krumholz and guest starring Mariette Hartley, Jason Evers, Charles Batesman, Elsa Lanchester) is linked to the season 2 race car-oriented episode "To The Swiftest, Death" -- the prologue is a nod to John Frankenheimer's "Grand Prix" -- but its treatment is derived from the season 4 shocker "The Mouse That Died" (also written by Chester Krumholz) because Joe Mannix is drugged via coffee and driven mad but by sheer mistake. This is the pinnacle of the season and a psychedelic episode built like a German Expressionist nightmare containing wild hallucination scenes showing, among other things, Mannix's paranoia: the fireball in the racetrack, the three pal drivers watching and plotting against Mannix after the crash, Secretary Peggy Fair and police Lt. Malcolm talking in a cynical way (depicted in an agressive solarized aesthetic), the meeting with a drugged and wealthy old lady (depicted in an agressive solarized aesthetic) and the fall from room 207, the instant recall in the nurse's car, the strangling of Mannix in the apartment of his doctor (depicted in an agressive solarized aesthetic), the defenestration of the cynical nurse (depicted in an agressive solarized aesthetic), the shady lawyer playing with the motor of his car to weaken Mannix's attention. The solarized look was already used in the season 3 "The Sound of Darkness".
ARMENIAN BACKGROUND NOTES
"Wine from These Grapes" is a sequel to the season 3 "Return to Summer Grove" in which Mannix investigates on a new murder case with the assistance of Attorney at Law Leo Kolligian (actor Booth Colman) and Sheriff Madeiros (once played by actor Valentin de Vargas now by Perry Lopez) and visits his father (actor Victor Jory) at once; actress Marion Ross appears in both but with different characters.
KOREAN WAR NOTES
"The Man Outside" makes references to Joe's past during the war through a black and white picture with his friend Alec who reminds him a trick: "Let's try the Inchon maneuvre".
This season shows female photographers during a shooting: see "Days Beyond Recall" with actress Elizabeth Allen and "The Man Outside" with actress Katherine Browne.
GRAPHIC DESIGN NOTES
The opening titles is updated and feature new footages to fill up some of the squares: see the second batch of squares (two shots from the action-packed conclusion of "Dark So Early, Dark So Long") during the extreme close-up of Joe Mannix's eyes, the fifth batch of squares depicts Joe Mannix driving down his car during a tight chase in "The Glass Trap", the ninth batch of squares with a mix of season 4 (the escape from the dam scene in "Sunburst" and the jumping of the bridge scene in "What Happened to Sunday?") and season 5 footages (Mannix catches up a little plane at the end of "The Glass Trap"), the tenth batch when Joe Mannix is kissing a new beautiful blonde. In "The Glass Trap", director Reza Badiyi uses the split screen technique to show a phone conversation between Joe Mannix and his old pal cop Ross Santini.
Mannix ceases to carry his usual Italian Persol sunglasses and, instead, carries a pair of metal-framed sunglasses in the ski episode "Cold Trail", in "Wine from These Grapes" and in "Scapegoat", a pair of yellow Ray-Ban Pilot in "Babe in the Woods".
Composer Kenyon Hopkins is still credited as music supervisor. The theme music is slightly modified with an additional instrument (a Salsa type of percussion: Timbale Cowbell) in the beginning. Composer Lalo Schifrin writes no score for this season: pity. Find six composers who contribute: Laurence Rosenthal for "Dark So Early, Dark So Long", Fred Steiner for "Cold Trail", George Duning for "Woman in the Shadows", Robert Drasnin for "Days Beyond Recall", George Romanis for "The Glass Trap" (a score in the line of the urban-funk and hectic sides of "The Visitors" from the sixth season of "Mission: Impossible") and Richard Hazard who writes three scores: "Wine from These Grapes" (Mexican-flavored and Schifrinesque all the way, especially the action scenes, but also has the same tense piano arrangements as "The Bride" from the sixth season of "Mission: Impossible"), "Babe in the Woods" (still on the "Bride" mode) and "Death is The Fifth Gear" (a distorted and ominous score with an avant garde orchestration). For the record, Richard Hazard was the orchestrator of Lalo Schifrin during the Silver Age: see his input on "Bullitt", "Kelly's Heroes", "Telefon" to name but a few. "Lifeline" features the performance of soul music singer Lou Rawls doing "His Song Shall be Sung" at the Club Pier while playing the guitar sat on a rotating platform. As in the season 2 "Death In a Minor Key" in which we see a jazz band in The Furnace Club, "The Glass Trap" features a jazz-funk band performing on a rotating platform in The Cable Club: notice the guitar player who also appears with actor Greg Morris in "Blues" from the sixth season of "Mission: Impossible". Still on the jazzman mode, we meet a performing drummer in a bar in "Murder Times Three". For the anecdote, you can hear a track entitled "Mission Blues" from the Lalo Schifrin's "Mission: Impossible" LP at Lou Weldman's bar in "To Draw the Lightning". The best scores remain the ones that has the contemporary feel of the era which means that George Romanis and Richard Hazard provide the exact sound.
As in the previous season 4 set, these season 5 discs feature English subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of hearing (English SDH).
PICTURE QUALITY NOTES
Paramount/CBS delivers, as usual, well-restored crisp prints in living color. They follow the path of "Mission: Impossible" prints.
on May 17, 2011
Mannix is the American James Bond. In season 1 of Mannix, Mike Connors even looked like Sean Connery did in the early Bond years, and the feel of that first year of Mannix was definitely Bond. Of course, the show was completely re-tooled for season 2 as Mannix's status as the organizational rebel/misfit is carried to its next logical step when he starts to work for himself. But that same evolutionary spirit infuses the entire series. Each year of Mannix has a different feel to it. Mannix carries a constant set of themes throughout, but the main characters evolve throughout all of the years. The result is a uniquely American character - and the best one TV ever produced.
Both Bond and Mannix are iconic characters in the genre of those who fight the good fight with high physical energy and lots of self-reliance. But the contrasts are equally interesting, and they say something uniquely positive about our American culture and the American spirit. While Bond had special agent status within a governmental organization, Mannix works for himself - he has an everyman quality, proud of his heritage as second-generation and being his own man (transcending his father's wishes for his life). While Bond works to save the world, Mannix works to help individuals - one day, one story at a time. While Bond works on assignments that come from those who govern, Mannix relies upon the next case to come to him in its own time. While Bond uses his special gadgets, Mannix relies upon his guts. While Bond is a lady's man, Mannix seldom gets the girl. While Bond overcomes all obstacles with little to no damage to himself, Mannix gets beat up and shot a lot - thus including sacrifice, which has a distinctly biblical theme (as acknowledged in an October 31, 1970 TV Guide article on the Mannix writers). And sure, the beatings and shootings probably could not happen in TV today, at least in the same way - but that is really a shame, because those who labeled this show as violent completely missed the point. The label of this show being violent is similar to saying Christianity is about violence because of the way Christ died. But, because of the label of violence, because the main character evolved over the years as almost an alter ego to Mike Connors and because of the evolutionary spirit of two sets of producers, this show is one of a kind. Thankfully, CBS/Paramount is now finally giving us Mannix on DVD and with all eight seasons having already been digitally re-mastered and season 5 now coming out, it appears we will finally see all eight seasons again, unedited and as clear as possible. And thanks in advance to CBS/Paramount for doing the right thing and finally giving us all of this show again.
For those who did not experience Mannix during its first run, there is another similarity between Bond and Mannix. In the genre of special agents in movies, there is Bond and then there is everyone else. In the genre of private eyes on TV, there is Mannix and then there is everyone else. The TV detectives that came afterward were either negative reactions to Mannix (which "The Rockford Files" was, according to its creator), buddy shows ("Magnum PI"), or one of a host of gimmick shows ("Barnaby Jones," "Colombo," "Cannon," etc...). Mannix stood alone not only because it was the first highly successful detective show on TV, but it also had no gimmick - it was bold enough to make a statement about the kind of heroism found in everyman working class individuals who figured things out enough to put themselves out there, as today's terminology would put it, "all in" -- significantly, by choice: not reluctantly, not by accident, with nothing to hide behind and alone. If you want evidence of this, you will find it in season 5's "A Button for General D," where Joe Mannix waxes a bit philosophic by remembering verbatim a passage that he and a dead buddy used to kick around in college.
But, you have to pay attention, or you will miss it. The concept of Mannix is Picasso-like in that multiple dimensions are represented in fewer. In Mannix, this is done with time in contrast to Picasso's manipulation of space. (This tight editing was discussed in the PBS Documentary, "Pioneers of Television," innovated by Bruce Geller.) Brief scenes mean a lot, especially in revealing the nature of the main characters, but also allowing you to actively participate in what might have gone on in-between the tight editing of the scenes. The extremely tight editing is precisely why those who came to know the show though syndication might actually not have liked it when they would have liked the original run. The unedited versions on the DVDs have significantly more richness and meaning. Syndication edits target action at the expense of story. But, if you are looking only for action in Mannix, you miss the point. Mannix was never a "crime drama" so much as it was a singular character portrayal and thus a vehicle to tell a larger story about human nature. The themes in Mannix are some of the most useful themes America ever produced - everyday heroism, the beauty and cost of individuality, the value of having an internal moral compass, toughness, working outside of an organization (in this case the police) - but also in concert with it, a willingness to sacrifice, and a workman-like focus on making the world a better place. These themes infuse you when you watch this show, because they are so beautifully and artistically done, starting with the acting, but also with the producing, through the writing, even in the musical scoring, and in the setting in both time and place.
Season 5 of Mannix is the year the series won the Golden Globe for Best Drama and it is also the year in which Mannix had its highest ratings - because it had its best timeslot over its eight year run. This was the only year Mannix ran on a weeknight (Wednesdays at 10PM) which was its natural fit - and lots of people found it there, since it finished at number 7, overall, for the year. Prior to season 5, Mannix ran on Saturday nights at 10PM (for its first four seasons) and then in a variety of Sunday night timeslots for its last three seasons, when CBS threw Mannix up against the biggest competition of the week (on the only other two networks that existed at the time were the "ABC Sunday Night Movie" in an era when the only way to see a movie after it was in theatres was on TV - no VHS, DVD, or any kind of on-demand download, and the "NBC Mystery Movie" which ran a highly-touted collection of 2 hour shows like "Colombo," "McMillian and Wife" and "McCloud." ) But, since Mannix survived that competition - in true Mannix fashion - enough to make it to eight seasons, and even wound up in the top 20 for its eighth season, anyone who invests, or re-invests, in this series will know that there is not one single bad season in the eight years of Mannix. And for those who have re-invested already, a recurring comment in other reviews of Mannix is that this is the one series you loved as a kid that does not embarrass you as an adult. Mannix holds up for both the kid and the adult. Amazing.
Loyal viewers who follow the evolution of the main characters through the seasons are not disappointed. The only other main character in the opening title credits, of course, is Gail Fisher, who plays Peggy, Joe's secretary and best friend who just happens to be of both the opposite gender and a different race. She plays a critical role, as both foil and witness, but also in allowing Joe to become softer, more human, even as he maintains his toughness. Somehow, even though seasons 2-8 ran from 1968-1975, many viewers actually wanted that relationship to cease being platonic - and that is a remarkable testimony about the acting and the chemistry between those characters! If you invest in following those characters closely, and pay attention to the often extremely subtle, and yet highly significant, evolutionary items included by the show's producers (which include playwrights Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts for seasons 2-8), you are rewarded. Mannix rewards you for paying attention. It can actually help enrich the experience of watching this show to stop the DVDs and wonder what happened in-between the tight edits, in sharp contrast to today's shows where you mostly think about other things while you are watching. And, if you follow the characters closely, you are especially rewarded with "Death is the Fifth Gear," the episode which closed out the fifth season of Mannix - and an episode for which I can still remember looking forward, all week, to its original airing after having seen the previews the week before. It did not disappoint. There are lots of subtle things that go on in that episode that evolve and reveal the essential nature of the characters. I can't wait to see it again, digitally re-mastered and unedited, along with a host of other shows from season 5 (as well as seasons 6-8) that have lived in a special place in my memory over all of these years. The experience of re-connecting with seasons 1-4 of this show has been nothing short of amazing. I have no doubt that this will be the case for season 5, as well as the remaining, yet to be released, seasons 6-8, of this truly classic, iconic, television show.
on August 15, 2011
Remember when TV shows had theme songs? I mean real theme songs that you could hum if you wanted, that you could remember. There's even been CD compilations released of these old themes. Today's shows don't seem to have them any more. I remember seeing a joke online about LOST's theme song. It was one stretched out note.
The shows were different then too. Less edgy, more standard fare that offered us good guys we looked up to. Joe Mannix was one of those. A private investigator who always fought the good fight, Joe took on murders and criminals each week whether he had a paying customer or not. And in season five of MANNIX, just release, we get the chance to see Mannix throw down with those bad guys once again.
Mike Connors was the actor who took on the role of Joe Mannix. His dark hair and rough good looks made him an ideal leading man. And he played the character straight rather than go for the signs of the time. No bell bottoms or long hair, instead Mannix was fond of plaid suits and ties. A subtle item this made sense as chances are a businessman would be more likely to send work his way than the stereotypical hippie of the time.
I'm sure Mannix was different in some ways than most private eyes on TV, but for me it didn't seem so when I grew up in the sixties. Looking back now I can see the differences. First off Mannix was all for racial equality. This was one of the first shows to feature a black leading actress, Gail Fisher as Mannix's secretary Peggy. Peggy was not only his secretary but his friend as well.
The other thing MANNIX was known for was as one of the most violent shows on TV at the time. Compared to what we watch today it's hard to believe. There were always plenty of car chases, gunplay and somehow Mannix always got the jump on the bad guy...literally. He always seemed to find himself above the bad guy and jumped down on him. It was even one of the scenes shown during the opening credits.
The series stared with Mannix working for a high tech firm that employed the use of plenty of electronics, but Mannix was the one who caught the bad guys using the instincts of the man at the scene. As the series progressed he went to work for himself and must have done well seeing the cars he drove and the office he had.
Season 5 had Mannix helping all sorts of people from old friends being set up for murder to new ones about to be kidnapped. Each week starts with the set up followed by that popular theme song composed by Lalo Schifrin (who also did the themes for MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, MEDICAL CENTER and THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.) with blocked images like a puzzle put together showing Mannix in action.
The guest stars were a whose who of popular actors at the time. Rosemary Forsythe, Robert Foxworth, Victor Jory, Ina Balin, Eric Braeden, Joanna Pettet, Andrew Duggan, Milton Berle, Jessica Walters, William Marshall, Lou Rawls, Marriette Hartley and Elsa Lanchaster, while not names most youngsters today will recognize, all appeared during this season on the show. And Robert Reed appears in a number of episodes as a police detective friend of Mannix.
Each episode offered a decent mystery to be solved and had you guessing till the last segment. Sure on occasion you could figure it out, but the clues that are offered didn't always come together until the last few pieces were presented. Not surprising once you discover (as I did watching this for the first time in decades) that the series was created by Richard Levinson and William Link, the two men responsible for the acclaimed series COLUMBO and MURDER SHE WROTE.
Having the chance to go back and watch this series was a joy. Fans will be glad that they now have the chance to relive fond memories. Those of us to young at the time to appreciate the show will have a chance to enjoy it on a whole new level. And for those who've never seen it, take a trip back in time and see what TV was like back in the late sixties/early seventies. You'll be glad you did.
on October 23, 2015
Loved this series when it was new and on TV in the 60's and 70's. The cars, and street scenes take us back to old Los Angeles, not to mention the Botany 500 suits and clothing worn by Mike Connors. The hair is always perfect even after driving in a convertible.
There were many famous guest stars, some veterans and some up and newcomers featured in every episode.
The audio / visual quality is sharp as ever. The CD's mount in the front and back covers and on a swing arm mounted to the center spline. A synopsis of each show is on the inside of the label.
Jazzy type music is provided by Lalo Shciffrin. The Original TV Music Sound Track was released a few years back and I highly recommend it. Beware of the newer re-recorded version from the early 2000's. It has a blue sleeve. The original 1969 album version has a black cover with multi pictures from various Mannix episodes.
on August 30, 2011
Basically, if you're a private eye, you don't want a huge, noticeable car when you're tailing people. It's also stupid to have a convertible, as bad guys tend to duck in the back seat with guns, hide bombs inside, cut the cord of your awesome car-phone, access your license & registration to ID you, or punch you from behind when you are stopped somewhere...
I've also learned that a good detective can take on average five bullets a season in the arm or leg (which adds up to near 40 bullets over 8 seasons !!!!) without any slow-down in drinking, running or womanizing.
A good detective has an incredible car-repair team, since you are often rammed or pushed off the road by other cars, & high-speed, off-road driving is an occupational hazard.
It's probably wise when you are hated by the underworld as much as Joe Mannix, to arm your secretary, as many of your office visitors are wielding guns.
This is a great show, although like Mission: Impossible, the plot quality varies with the episode.
As far as I'm concerned, after Mannix, Mission: Impossible & Kung Fu ended, dramatic TV shows slid into a long twilight of mediocrity.