Cannon - Season One, Vol. 2
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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.
With his impressive girth and balding pate, no one will mistake insurance investigator Frank Cannon (William Conrad) for, say, Jim Rockford, or any other of TVs more conventionally handsome PIs. But with his imposing size and resonant growl of a voice, Cannon could throw his weight around with the best of them as he so ably demonstrates in these 13 episodes that concluded Cannon's impressive first season. The pipe-smoking gourmand has a style all his own. In one episode, he quotes famed critic Alexander Wolcotts classic bon mot that everything he likes is either "illegal, immoral, or fattening." But underestimate him at your peril; The tough-talking Cannon can dish it out as well. He threatens an uncooperative biker in "Devils Playground" with hospitalization, and in "Death is a Double Cross," he nimbly gets the drop on a hit man. Cannons salary is as ample as he is, but he doesnt let that influence his investigation. To an acquaintance who wants Cannon to learn the truth about her husbands death (which the insurance company has ruled a suicide), he states, "The truth is like rain. It doesnt care who gets wet." He is also thorough. "When I look at a picture straight on and don't get it, I try looking at it sideways," he tells another client. Cannon boasts solid writing ("Double Cross" is adapted from the Thomas B. Dewey novel, Every Bets a Sure Thing) and some great guests before they were stars. Martin Sheen is featured in "Devils Playground" as a vengeful disabled ex-cop who wants Cannon to help him prove that the supposedly dead thief who shot him during an armored car robbery actually faked his demise (this episode also costars future Hill Street Blues costars Daniel Travanti and James Sikking). Just as Cannon performs a firemans carry on one injured party, so does Conrad bear the weight of this tailor-made series that provided the character actor (who voiced Matt Dillon on the radio incarnation of Gunsmoke) with a long overdue leading role. --Donald Liebenson
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Three things struck me as I watched the series that I didn't even notice at the time: 1) all the cars in the show are Fords, 2) there were no seat belts, 3) no one locked their cars. Motels have evolved since this series.
Conrad is a likeable overweight private detective who takes on clients he believes are innocent. He is the protector of the underdog and women. The stories are still interesting and believable. Setting are, of course, period. A nice glimpse into Southern California history and values. Emphasis is on story line and character rather than special effects. Car chases are in most episodes.
For anyone wanting to dip into TV nostalgia, this series is a must.
I tried to update Amazon's product information to include this, but I'm not sure my addition will be accepted. I really wish Amazon would take the presence or absence of captioning much more seriously. Many customers must make a decision on whether to purchase a DVD on the basis of the description and if it is wrong or incomplete, it is the customer who must suffer!
pilot of Barney Jones! My dad was a big Cannon fan and after the
first show I loved it! Like Jones Cannon wasn't like your typical
young good looking PI and that's what made those shows work!
Yeah they were funny at times but more like real life! Not every guy
or policeman or PI are Burt Reynolds! I hate that they divide the
seasons up like they did with Streets of San Francisco! what a
bunch of money grubbing Hollyweirdos! and where's the rest
of the Barnaby Jones series? Anyway Cannon is a great 70's
detective show that gets overlooked but it's a must for any fan
of 70's cop and PI shows. First rate writing and acting!
My only complaint is that I wish the studios would put ALL of Season One in ONE set vs. breaking them into 2 volumes -- just because NOW we only get 10-12 episodes of a show in one entire season doesn't mean we've "forgotten" the good old days of 30-35 episodes in a season....would rather pay a bit more to get full seasons, than have to order 2 different sets (and it takes up more space on the DVD shelf).