DVD Review: CANNON Season 2 Volume 2

Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: Feb 16th, 2010
MSRP: $36.98

Stars: William Conrad, Patrick Culliton, Tom Pittman, Charles Bateman, Donovan Jones

The early seventies was a great time for television detectives, some better than others. The networks were run by people who had a more realistic view of the world and understood that not everyone is thirty and beautiful. They actually cared about stories. Political correctness was not running amuck. And for me it was the golden age, the shows that would shape how I would read and watch television for the rest of my life.

William Conrad was a well known dude in the early seventies, he did a lot of voice overs and he was a trusted face on commercials. He seemed a natural for his own show. And he was. As a man who was pretty damn big it was obvious there would be less physical confrontation than we were used to on Rockford Files or Mannix, but that was fine because even at his large size Frank Cannon could take care of himself when he needed too. And seeing him pull a gun and toss out a wisecrack was totally
believable. It was also nice to see him actually solving cases. And in pre political correctness days people smoked, made jokes about the big man’s weight and acted like people.

Season two part two has less recognizable actors unless you are a genius on TV character actors from 40 years ago. But the stories are solid. I really liked THE SEVENTH GRAVE which has a forensics guy tampering with evidence and the other serial killer episode, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was great too.

The only negative I have is the transfer to disc is not as clean as it could be. But really, back in 1972 who would have imagined that all these shows would be collected and released for viewing again? And it’s a minor quibble. There have been a few complaints about some of the CBS show being released in two volumes per season, but I think it’s a marketing point and actually helps sales.

This is classic seventies PI stuff and fans of crime fiction should see this. It has in its own way influenced some of the great crime fiction we read today.

Jon Jordan