18 February 2001 | moonspinner55
"You can steal if you're starving...God won't hate you."
As a beach-front living private investigator with a bullet still lodged in his back, David Janssen made a terrific, hard-bitten crime-fighter of the Old School (not quite Bogie, maybe a latter-day Dana Andrews). This pilot for his very successful TV series "Harry O" is mostly memorable though for young Jodie Foster, playing a pre-teen street urchin waiting for her shoplifting mother to get out of jail (the movie opens with a beautiful shot of Foster asleep on Janssen's boat, The Answer). Foster has all the best lines in the movie, and she reads them straight--without a hint of precociousness. As a murder-mystery, the film lags a bit and as a film it certainly doesn't benefit from future-director Zalman King's unpleasant presence (he's like a second-rate Marjoe Gortner). But for Foster-philes it's a goldmine, and students of cinematography should study that amazing first shot. 'The Answer' indeed!