50-Movie All Stars Collection, Disc 10

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 “Walking Tall” 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 “social crisis of the week” movie. Lynda Carter is an overworked social worker; one pregnant 14-year-old client maybe doesn’t want to carry through with the adoption agreement. Turns out there’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 Carter’s always a pleasure to watch and Dean Stockwell always makes a good villain—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 doesn’t quite take: He revives and seems to be able to read minds under some circumstances (which doesn’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 know—but for some reason, I found this Western eminently watchable, quite possibly workable as the lower half of a double bill. Maybe it’s the excellent video quality and sere western landscape: It just felt right. $2.

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