Thursday, May 8, 2014

Classic TV: Peter Gunn (1958)

Lissen, bub. Lemme tell ya 'bout a man name'o Gunn. Peter Gunn.

Blake Edwards, before he became a Hollywood director, created Gunn for television in 1958. One must assume that Spartan Productions was Edwards' own company, since he also produced and created Mr. Lucky. The other common link between the two shows was the legendary Henry Mancini, who composed the themes for both shows.

Craig Stevens played Gunn, who never seemed to get his hair messed up. Must'a gotten groomin' tips from that Joe Friday feller on Dragnet, lemme tell ya. Big diff, though, was that Gunn had a girlfriend, Edie (Lola Albright), a chanteuse who sang at Mother's, a regular hangout of Gunn's and police Lt. Jacoby (Herschel Bernardi), the gumshoe's best friend. In season 3, Edie made enough dough to open her own juke joint. Go figger that one out, eh?

Anyway, Gunn lasted three years, and a few years back, they resurrected the guy, with Peter Strauss in the role, for a TV-movie that went nowhere. Again, go figger.

Currently, Me-TV has Gunn runnin' in the wee small ones as part of their Sunday late-night block. If'n ya ain't got it on DVD yet, invest in a DVR 'til ya do.

Right now, Internet Archive serves up the 1st season episode, "Let's Kill Timothy", adapted from a Richard Diamond radio drama. Who's Timothy? A seal, dat's who. Yeah, Edwards created Diamond, too, in case ya didn't know.

Me-TV'd be better served movin' the show back up the ladder on the schedule, know what I mean? Some of us regular fellers can't afford DVR's.

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

I always knew the theme song (which you may remember was rerecorded by Art of Noise back in the 80s) but never saw the show itself.

I DID see Mr. Lucky on Me - TV a while back and I must say I was a bit bored by it. Perhaps it's my more modern sensibilities but it just didn't hold my interest. Perhaps the basic premise would work but with a more current modus operendi.

hobbyfan said...

I neglected to mention that Gunn was briefly revived in a TV-movie in the 80's, with Peter Strauss as Gunn, and that sucked.

Mr. Lucky? That one also needs to move up so I can see it.