During the mid-1970s to 1980, NBC aired what might have been the best cop show of all time, "Police Story". What I loved about the show was that it showed all sorts of jobs the police did...including many of the unsung and less popular ones. And each week, you never knew what sort of show you'd see because there was no cast for every episode and the characters changed as well. Well written, well acted and very realistic...it was a heck of a show. About a decade later, NBC must have thought about reviving the series, as they made a couple made for TV "Police Story" movies--most likely to see if the public once again embraced the show. Whatever the reason, the show never was green lit after "The Freeway Killings" and "Gladiator School" (my personal favorite of the two).
This particular episode focuses on the Deputy Chief of Police, Bob Devers (Richard Crenna) and focuses on a lesser extend on Captain Tom Wright (Ben Gazzara). The city has been looking for a new chief and many just assumed that Devers would be given that job. However, the Mayor and his lackey aren't hip on this and a high-profile string of serial killings in the city aren't helping Devers' chances either. After all, if the force cannot capture these two creeps who rape and murder repeatedly, maybe he isn't the best man for the job. Much of the show is about the police work done to finally bring these men to justice.
It was obvious that the producers were trying to entice old viewers of the show with this movie and they did so by bringing in some veteran actors who made more frequent appearances on the show. Don Meredith, Tony Lo Bianco and Angie Dickenson are in the show, though in the case of the first two, it seemed like they were guest stars. As for Dickenson, she was given a meatier role and really was amazing at the end of the show.
Overall, a very good show but apparently not good enough. Whatever the reasons, there was no new series and this and the next film have been all but forgotten...which is a real shame.
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