on June 26, 2013
If I remember the Linda Carter TV version was a little more accurate to the comic book " Wonder Woman". Its odd the pilot episode contains hardly any of the super hero aspects of Wonder Woman, there's no lasso of truth or invisible jet, no bullet proof armlets or bracelets. Admittedly the invisible jet might have been hard for 70's TV budget. But the only thing that made "Wonder Woman" anything more than a female version of James Bond was her Amazonian lineage. If your picking this up for your comic book too movies collection you might want to pop for the season 1 Wonder Woman with Linda Carter. No disrespect for Cathy Lee Crosby, it is just that the Linda Carter wonder woman series is a better portrayal of Wonder Woman the super hero.
on December 20, 2012
WONDER WOMAN (1974) starring Cathy Lee Crosby comes to DVD at long last via the amazing (and essential) Warner Bros. Archive! This is a tough movie to pin down - the absolutely *beautiful* Cathy Lee Crosby is excellent as Wonder Woman, but the turgid script by John D.F. Black (STAR TREK - Season One writer/story editor) is difficult to sit thru - this movie is a scant 73 minutes...that runs for AT LEAST 3 hours :-). Wonder Woman's costume is a Hollywood fabrication and looks nothing like the Classic costume from the comic books (TV network logic unleashed...). The Diana-as-a-secret agent set-up was later utilized - far more effectively - as the premise for the last two seasons of the Lynda Carter WONDER WOMAN TV series. Trivia Note - Kaz Garras who plays Steve Trevor later guest-starred on the 1979 WONDER WOMAN episode "Going, Going, Gone". Guest stars Andrew Prine and Ricardo Montalban are A-plus all the way. There are also several excellent action/battle scenes in this movie (particularly Wonder Woman's duel with Ahnjayla, the renegade Amazon). The picture and sound quality is good overall - there is definite "grain" visible in several scenes, but nothing too distracting. If you own the Lynda Carter WONDER WOMAN TV series on DVD (a "must-own" TV series!), this TV movie makes for interesting - but perhaps not "essential" - viewing. I give this movie 3 (Wonder) Stars!!!
on September 19, 2013
People forget that the comic book landscape was very different in 1974. They also forget that Wonder Woman went through a phase where she was pretty much as she is portrayed here. (Not blond, of course.)
Cathy Lee Crosby does a fine job as Diana and as the more secret agent / less super-hero Wonder Woman. Ricardo Montalban is a lot of fun as the villain-with-ethics Abner Smith. (Yes, Ricardo Montalban as *Abner Smith*. I love it.)
There's some nice conflict for Diana with a former friend from Paradise Island that foreshadows the Artemis comic book storyline from twenty years later.
Overall, there are a lot worse (and less authentic) comic book adaptations out there. It was a good thing they didn't go in this direction. I love Lynda Carter's WW and I'm not sure this version could be sustained for three seasons. But as a stand-alone film? Not bad. Not bad at all.
on January 25, 2013
Lynda Carter cast such a magical spell upon the character of Wonder Woman during her 60-episode tenure as the Amazon Princess, it may come as a surprise to many that she wasn't the first actress to play the role. That honor went to tennis player-turned-actress Cathy Lee Crosby, who was cast as Wonder Woman in a pilot film made for ABC nearly two years prior to Carter's version. The pilot's writer, John D.F. Black, based this version of the character on a storyline in the Wonder Woman comic, where she lost all her powers and traveled the world as an independent adventurer who fought crime with little more than her courage and martial arts skills. Although this storyline had long since concluded by the time Black finished his script, it clearly had a substantial influence on him.
The pilot centers on Wonder Woman's efforts to retrieve a set of code-books which contain the names and cover identities of virtually every undercover agent working for the United States. A criminal mastermind named Abner Smith (charmingly played by the always-entertaining Ricardo Montalban) offers to sell the books back for a king's ransom; having little reason to think he can be trusted, Wonder Woman sets out to find him before the deadline is reached. The pilot establishes her as working for a secret government agency, ostensibly as a secretary to Steve Trevor (Kas Garas) but in fact an accomplished agent in her own right. It's never fully established whether she truly maintains a secret identity; one of Smith's agents referrs to her as "Wonder Woman" while she's in civilian attire, suggesting that "Wonder Woman" is nothing more than a code-name, much as "007" refers to James Bond.
Indeed, this version of Wonder Woman is far more suitable to low-key espionage stories than super-heroics. Most of the iconic devices used in the comic book (and the follow-up series with Lynda Carter) are either used out of context or are completely absent. There is no Magic Lasso or Tiara, her Bracelets are not magical (though they do conceal minature explosives), and her Invisible Jet is thrown in almost as an afterthought. While she's an accomplished fighter, there's only one instance where she displays anything resembling super-strength, and in all instancs she seems no more than an highly-trained, highly capable woman who is not so extraordinary as to be considered super. Her origins are encapsulated in a short sequence where Diana bids farewell to her sisters on (an unnamed) Paradise Island and receives the blessings of her mother; it's simply stated that she's been chosen to bring her people's ways to the outside world, though we never learn why she was chosen or why she wanted to go in the first place.
The positives? There certainly are a few. Although she's miscast in the role, Cathy Lee Crosby is actually fairly good, giving Wonder Woman as much dignity as the script allows her to. Kas Garas is nearly a dead ringer for Steve Trevor as he appeared in the comic books at the time, but unfortunately he isn't given much to do. (Garas went on to make a guest star appearance in the Lynda Carter series [the Season Three episode "Going, Going, Gone".) There's virtually no action in the story, save for a battle between Wonder Woman and a rogue Amazon, Angela (Anitra Ford, who looks more like the comic-book Amazon Princess than Crosby did); Ford plays the part with relish, and had the pilot gone to series she would have made an excellent recurring villain.
All in all, this attempt at Wonder Woman isn't up to power, and though this pilot floated in syndication as a stand-alone telefilm for a number of years, it was Lynda Carter who (rightfully) captured our imaginations by her dead-on performance as the Amazon Princess. Still, now that the Cathy Lee Crosby version is finally (and legally!) available on DVD, fans of Wonder Woman may find it worth a look, if only to speculate how this incarnation would have worked out had ABC accepted it as an ongoing series. Would Cathy Lee Crosby have been as solid an anchor as Lynda Carter? Would the show have ironed out the problems in the pilot and found its own voice? Would thousands of teenage boys in 1974 be hanging posters of Crosby on their bedroom walls, sporting her very different version of the Wonder Woman costume?
Have a look, and judge for yourself.
on April 22, 2013
I remember watching this on tv when it was first shown. I loved it then and still to this very day i still love it This very movie started my love for superheoines as portrayed in tv and movies wich continues to this very day.THANK YOU CATHY.BUY THIS DVD YOU JUST MIGHT LIKE IT.I DID AND STIILL DO.
on September 5, 2015
All I'm going to say is that even looking at the box, Cathy Lee Crosby is NOT Wonder Woman. I thought it might be a nostalgic fun look at a 70s movie but instead it was terrible. I sold it on Ebay soon after I bought it.
on January 31, 2015
I can't help thinking that the producers sat down with the script-said it's too long-take out pages 24-25 and 40-45 and 50-56. That would explain some of the inconsistencies that abound. Some of the plot just makes little or no sense. That said Cathy Lee Crosby makes a fair heroine, given a sexless costume and some poor direction. Her duel with fellow Amazon Anitra Ford is a huge waste of screen time, so badly is it choreographed and filmed. Only Cathy and Montalban (and, I suppose Andrew Prine) make this worth giving it a go, but frankly...no wonder (no pun intended) it had to have a serious reboot. What would have happened if Cathy had Lynda's sexy costume, budget, scripts and co-stars? Would she have been such a big hit? We'll never kknow. Glad it's been released, with a pretty good transfer, no extras or subs.
on May 12, 2014
I guess Lynda Carter will always be regarded as the go-to Wonder Woman but this vehicle wasn't so disappointing as it took its core from the non super power Wonder Woman of the 70s. The acting was hokey and the fights, weren't really fights...
on January 26, 2015
Loved this as a kid growing up; was so glad that it finally came out on DVD. It has the same spirit of the TV series (fighting crime for the good of humanity), but yet so different in many aspects (the wonder woman outfit for instance), but nonetheless, i love it, not as much as the series but it's right up there.
on May 26, 2015
I've never heard anyone say anything good about this TV pilot film, just as I've rarely heard anyone say anything good about the period in the late 60s in which the WW comic was retitled, "Diana Prince, Wonder Woman" and the character relinquished her costume, code-name, super-powers and JLA membership in favor of an Emma Peel-style look and adventures. No less a personage than Gloria Steinhem actively lobbied to have the character restored to her traditional interpretation and so she was long since by the time of this pilot, which nevertheless was clearly modeled on that period. Standing on its own, however, the movie, like the Diana Prince comic, is fairly compelling and does no disservice to Wonder Woman. It re-imagines her as a mere mortal, a female super-spy with a mystical origin, who despite her lack of super-powers, proves capable of extraordinary feats. In short, she is the very model of the woman that Wonder Woman was designed to inspire young girls to become; smart, strong, beautiful and confident. Sans her magic girdle and boomerang tiara, she is still the Amazonian ideal, the wonder that Amazon philosophy says all women are. Cathy Lee Crosby is quite winning in the role, despite being as far removed from the traditional picture of the comic character as Robert Redford would have been had he been cast in the 1978 Superman film (which he nearly was--and with all due to reverence to Christopher Reeve, does anyone think Redford would have made a bad Man of Steel?), especially in the resolute optimism she displays (perhaps the character's most defining attribute) as she doggedly pursues villain Ricardo Montalban and confronts a rogue Amazon, the latter a brilliant idea that was never explored in the comic. Fans don't like the film because it's a radical departure from the classic version of an iconic character, but it's a worthwhile interpretation that is remarkably true to the spirit of the original.