(Tuesday Night Movie)
|With ||Raymond Burr, Geraldine Brooks, Wally Cox, Kim Darby, Lilia Skala, Don Galloway, Barbara Anderson, Donald Mitchell, others|
|Producer: Collier Young|
|Director: James Goldstone|
|Writer: Don M. Mankiewicz|
|120 Mins., Tues., 9 p.m.|
NBC-TV (color, film)
|Heres one feature for tv doubling as a pilot that made it all the way. Ironside will be on the NBC schedule next fall as a new fuzz-action hour.|
Going for the series from the preem will be a strong lead, Raymond Burr, with the successful years of Perry Mason behind him. In this one he plays a San Francisco police inspector (Robert T. Ironside) confined to a wheelchair, but with a staff of three and props like a redesigned paddy wagon (Rolls-Royce engine etc.) to keep him hyper active.
The pix-plot, seen last night (Tues.), told the story of a sniper shooting that crippled Ironside and his own tracking down of the killer.
Don Mankiewicz script (based on a story by producer Collier Young) was mostly solid with intriguing plot turns, but strained against the extended format. Performing sustenance came primarily from Burr, but Don Galloway and Barbara Anderson were okay as his cop aids, and Negro actor Donald Mitchell as the detectives personal aid and driver was excellent and should add a dimension to the series. Guest thesp Geraldine Brooks tended to chew the sceneryor mobiles, in this case, since she was cast as a blow-torch sculptress. Young actress Kim Darby turned in a most effective bit, and Wally Cox was briefly seen as a Boy Scout Leader, but they couldnt come up with a laugh line for him.
Like the other Unipix, Ironside was confined to the backlot, except for a couple of postcard shots of the SF police HQ and the Golden Gate bridge. For the series, producers would be very smart to get with the SF locationand that doesnt mean with a lot of stock cutins and rear screen loops.
Direction and editing in the feature version was startlingly gross much of the time, especially in its machine-gun cutting in close-up and semi-close scenes which served no dramatic purpose.
But the series should come off the Universal beltline in slick style.