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  • sonomabeets29 November 2004
    This movie was terrific in it's view of what police work was like at that time, before the handcuffs were put on the police more than they were on the criminals. Bumper Morgan was the kind of cop I trained under, and each of them, and he, were real characters. The most memorable line to me was, when Morgan (William Holden) told the State's Attorney, after screwing up in court and being asked why "Because I'm 50 lousy years old, and I just can't cut it anymore!" Only people who have been in law enforcement can understand the truth in that admission...... This is a wonderful movie on many levels. It shows how police work used to be done in another era, it may make some people realize that maybe it was better done that way, it may scare some people, and it truly sheds light on the dilemma that faces a man in the twilight of his chosen career. A stellar performance by Holden, who was in his twilight at the time it was filmed. Perhaps he brought more to the role than even he realized. His personal decline was mirrored in his portrayal of the kind of cop we all want when we are the victim, but never, ever want to face as the offender. Darkly brilliant !
  • I also saw this NBC mini series in its original uncut network run in the fall of 1973 and then saw it repeated in 1975, but that's it. Yes, it needs to be released on DVD or VHS in its original state because this is classic landmark adult TV. This was the re-birth of William Holden's career and he was beyond memorable as Bumper Morgan. The characters ran better here than in print and that was hard to top because Wambaugh wrote a great first person character analysis with his novel of the final works days of a dinosaured LAPD street cop. Overlooked was the supporting mastery of Joe Santos, Vic Tayback and Sam Elliot. Along with KOJAK, this was TV's best of 1973.
  • I saw this mini series when it first aired back in the seventies before the days of the vcrs. The only time I ever saw it again was after it was cut down to a 90 min. TV Movie with most of the "bite" taken out of it. I think that it was this movie that made me realize how good an actor William Holden was. I certainly would like this entire min-series put on a DVD. I would buy it in a heartbeat.
  • I have read the book so many times I forgot how many, it was that good! I saw the TV movie when it first came out in the days before video staring William Holden and the TV show staring George Kennedy, Holden had the moxie that Wambaugh describe in his book but Kennedy had the build, Bumper Morgan weighing in at 275 pounds, the TV series was played down more than the movie was as far as attitude and Bumper way of thumping on people, but they were both excellent films and were way ahead of their time. You had to wait for Hill street Blues to come to TV before you got another true life cop show. Blue Knight was on TV in 1973 and 1975-76, Hill street did not come on tell late 80's I believe, that left a lot of years without good police shows on TV. now people are use to good shows with Law & Order and others but I remember a time when on a Saturday night at 7pm all you had to watch was Lawerance Welk, he-ha, and bugs bunny,! I choose the Bunny..
  • jdeitz24 August 2001
    Truly one of the best mini-series ever, with a monumental, Emmy-winning performance by William Holden. I sure wish I knew who to bug about getting this out on DVD, because if you weren't around in 1973, you missed a wonderful, gripping series. Holden is fantastic. Please, please put this on DVD!!!
  • Some of William Holden's best work from the 70s is in this made for TV movie The Blue Knight. It came out at the time that Joseph Wambaugh was being celebrated for his work involving police. The Blue Knight was a best selling novel and one of Wambaugh's best.

    Holden perfectly captures the aging Bumper Morgan on the last week of his job hoping to go out on top against the criminals. A prostitute he knew from his beat is found murdered.

    That in itself is interesting because police as a rule don't give too much attention to crimes against hookers. But Holden is apparently thought of enough that they make an effort on this one.

    Holden is keeping company with college professor Lee Remick who would like to marry and settle down with him. Holden is at loose ends though contemplating his retirement.

    Some praise should go to Sam Elliott as the homicide detective who is assigned the hooker case. He and Holden don't get along, but by the end respect each other. Also to young Sergeant Joe Santos who the following year would be another sergeant, Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files who serves kind of as Bumper's alter ego and better self.

    What I liked best about this film is that we really have no idea what Holden's future will be. You can speculate for a week about it.

    A Golden Globe for Lee Remick and an Emmy for William Holden as Best Actor to go with his Best Actor Oscar for Stalag 17. The Blue Knight is one of the best made for TV films out there.
  • The film has a gritty realism. Holden gives, I think one of his best performances. Lee Remick is wonderful as the love intrest. You'll be surprised to see a very young Sam Elliot in the role of the rookie cop.
  • My friend & me were discussing old TV shows & she remembered a great detective/police show starring William Holden that she viewed back in the 70's. She couldn't remember the name of it so I told her I would go online & find out the show's name & the information for her, which I did at this site. She loved the show & watched it even though the series didn't last as long as she would have liked. She also said the show included a dog which was his companion. I did discover that the dogs name was Leo & that it was a Bulldog/Terrier mix. I noticed this information was not on the other comments & thought maybe some of the readers would enjoy knowing this. Thanks so much for this great site!