15 November 2002 | stp43
Goldsmith Score And Superb Cast Make For Strikingly Effective Crime Drama
During a 1966 break from filming The Fugitive TV series, David Janssen joined with producer-director Seymour "Buzz" Kulik and screenwriter Mann Rubin to film Warning Shot. The film finds Janssen in familiar territory as a man wrongly accused and having literally no recourse but to defend himself, and his performance as LAPD Sgt. Tom Valens can be seen as another alter-ego of Richard Kimble. The presence of Fugitive alum such as Carroll O'Conner and Ed Begley Sr. adds to the familiarity for Fugitive fans.
Jerry Goldsmith composes a strikingly strong score for the film, from the mildly bombastic opening theme through its more mournful renditions throughout the movie.
Janssen's performance as Richard Kimble made The Fugitive a television clasic, and here he imbues Sgt. Tom Valens with identical sympathy. Valens, on a stakeout for a prowler, encounters a doctor, James Rustin, who pulls a gun on Valens and is shot. The gun flies out of Rustin's hand, and is lost.
Because the gun cannot be found, Valens is suspended, and faces even greater trouble because Dr. Rustin has earned a striking popularity with neighbors of his for his medical efforts, both in LA and in his frequent flights to Baja. When Valens digs into Rustin's past, he finds some discrepencies with the doctor's image, but it all blows up in Valens' face in the death of a model Rustin was having an affair with.
Nonetheless, despite persistent pleas from his friends to admit to guilt, Valens pushes his investigation of Dr. Rustin, and he hits paydirt when he finds a curious truth about one of Rustin's elderly neighbors (and her dog), and when someone tries to kill him and then Dr. Rustin's nurse is found dead, leading to a confrontation between Valens and his ex-partner.
Janssen shines in this film, but gets superb help from his supporting cast, including George Grizzard as a playboy pilot who is always missing out on the action - or so he says.