Yes, it’s that time again: four TV movies on DVD. If you’re an IMDB aficionado, you’ll find that I sharply disagree with user ratings on two of these movies. So what else is new?
A Real American Hero, 1978, color, Lou Antonio (dir.), Brian Dennehy, Forrest Tucker, Ken Howard, Brian Kerwin, Sheree North, Lane Bradbury. 1:34.
The stick-wielding sheriff in the â€œWalking Tallâ€ movies, Buford Pusser, played here by Dennehy, in a plot that deals with bad moonshine, a double-crossing worker in his office, a reformed call girl who the Proper Ladies force to stay in Her Part of Town using obsolete statutes–and using other obsolete laws to legally harass a bad guy. Ken Howard makes a great villain. Not great, but watchable, albeit with some picture and sound flaws (and huge lapses in logic). $1.
Get Christie Love, 1974, color, William A. Graham (dir.), Teresa Graves, Harry Guardino, Louise Sorel, Ron Rifkin. 1:14
Remember Teresa Graves from Laugh-In? First black woman hired in a major city police department, goes undercover to take down a major narcotics operation, great costumes, great attitude. It became a one-year series. Very much of its time, but not bad at all. $1.25.
Born to be Sold, 1981, color, Burt Brinckerhoff (dir.), Lynda Carter, Harold Gould, Dean Stockwell, Sharon Farrell, Lloyd Haynes. 1:36.
The title may tell you most of what you need to know: this is a â€œsocial crisis of the weekâ€ movie. Lynda Carter is an overworked social worker; one pregnant 14-year-old client maybe doesnâ€™t want to carry through with the adoption agreement. Turns out thereâ€™s a baby-farming operation for high-priced private adoptions. Carter manages to crack it, of course (and the client winds up pregnant again). Lynda Carterâ€™s always a pleasure to watch and Dean Stockwell always makes a good villainâ€”but this one just feels tired. $1, charitably.
The Hanged Man 1974, color, Michael Caffey (dir.), Steve Forrest, Dean Jagger, Will Geer, Sharon Acker, Brendon Boon, Cameron Mitchell. 1:13.
A gunslinger who might be innocent of the current charge but certainly killed others gets hanged. But it doesnâ€™t quite take: He revives and seems to be able to read minds under some circumstances (which doesnâ€™t really seem to have much to do with the plot). Seeking redemption of sorts, he gets involved in a mining-claim war between the swaggering evil mining baron and a beautiful widow with a spunky son. I know, I knowâ€”but for some reason, I found this Western eminently watchable, quite possibly workable as the lower half of a double bill. Maybe itâ€™s the excellent video quality and sere western landscape: It just felt right. $2.