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  • greatwar3 November 2001
    I saw this first run on tv in 1973 and I believe it was the second 90 min "pilot" episode to the six million dollar man series. I was a 1st grader at the time but I remember the action well. It was pretty James Bondish( even has bond girl Britt Eklund in it) It is the first time I remember seeing ole Six mil in action. Points that impressed me at age 7: there is the scene where Steve Austin breaks through stone wall. Very cool. Also there are some sinister looking black and white painted rockets/nuke weapons that moved around on wheels. Oh then there is Steve's super swim from the submarine. After seeing this I was hooked on the Six million dollar man show that followed. I would love to see this film again and if I ever do, hopefully I'll find it as much fun now as then.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I recently had the opportunity to view the original version of this TV movie and the re-edited two-part syndicated version back-to-back. At all costs, try to watch the original version instead of the terribly re-edited 2-parter. In order to fill up the running time of two regular episodes, the original tightly-paced telefilm is stretched beyond the breaking point with stock footage, repeated footage, and even footage taken from later seasons of the Six Million Dollar Man.

    Among the many bits of padding, there's a confusing sequence showing Austin apparently training -- which is repeated at the start of Part 2. The scene where Austin escapes the exploding yacht is padded with footage from old World War II films (I'm serious), and when he wakes up on Alexei's boat, the editors inserted a recap, more or less, of the first TV movie. Which is great, except the clips show Martin Balsam as Rudy Wells and Darren McGavin as Oliver Spencer -- and in rest of Wine Women and War their characters were played by other actors (and Spencer was renamed Oscar Goldman, to boot). But the silliest and most distracting re-edit occurs when a nearly 90-second sequence of swordfish fishing is inserted between two lines of Austin's dialogue, using an obvious body double holding a fishing rod. It's awful and NOT recommend as something to show a newcomer you're trying to make a fan of SMDM.

    The original TV movie, however, is a fascinating example of a TV series in development. The producers weren't quite sure how to develop Steve Austin for television. In Martin Caidin's Cyborg novels, Austin is depicted as a cold-blooded assassin in the Executioner mode, but he had to be lightened up considerably for TV. So producer Glen Larson decided to make Austin more TV-friendly by making him a bit of a James Bond clone in this second outing. It doesn't always work (especially when Austin wears the world's ugliest tux later in the film), but the result is still entertaining, though one is advised to turn one's brain off during the latter part of the proceedings, especially at the end.

    This was Richard Anderson's first appearance as Oscar Goldman, and there are still some rough edges in not only his portrayal, but Oscar's relationship with Steve. There's still a lot of mistrust and manipulation going on -- quite a contrast when compared to the first regular hour-long episodes that followed only a few months later. Comparing the James Bond-like approach of this TV movie with the more traditional Six Million Dollar Man missions that followed is an interesting exercise.

    Wine Women & War may not be an example of 1970s TV at its best, but it's fun, and seeing it recently reminded me of why Steve Austin was my childhood hero. Just steer clear of the re-edited version if you can. Needless to say, my ranking of 7 is based upon the original telefilm. The reedited version is so badly done, I'd give it a 3.
  • I have never seen The Six Million Dollar Man so am starting from the very beginning: the two introductory pilot movies. They each have a slightly different feel, with this one definitely being the more playful and lighthearted.

    Steve Austin's cyborg powers are on display throughout the movie, and the audience is treated to cool abilities like night vision, fast swimming/running, etc. This is provided as expected, but what caught my attention and allowed for some cheese filled chuckles was the funny attempts at double entendre. It feels forced, as if the screenwriters had to seduce the audience and lure them into the chambers of the mind. It felt like a pounding instead as they were usually in inappropriate - plot wise - situations and we are left waiting for the rim shot from the band.

    Fun effort all around, makes me excited for the show, I hope future episodes can rise to the occasion!

    Rating: 20/40
  • Having seen the flick based on the novel Cyborg which I loved a lot this flick here was the second flick about Steve Austin way before the series started and moved away from the Cyborg story. The typical bionic sound is used here but still no sign of his bionic eye.

    Although it moved away from Cyborg it comes closer towards the series were our six million dollar man had to solve some world problems. It looked a bit sometimes like a James Bond with superpowers and that's because he also seduces beautiful ladies (Britt Ekland) among others.

    But still it's not too bad because the sentences used by Steve are sometimes funny. But where as the original movie didn't had that many goofs this one does. There is use of footage from the original flick when Steve is thinking what happened to him, strange to see because non of the actors in that footage are in this flick. But as in the original flick they used stock footage and here are a few major mistakes. In the beginning we see a blue helicopter moving towards a submarine but when the submarine is shown suddenly we got a complete other helicopter and to make it worse it also had another color. And they even used that whole sequence twice! When Steve's making his escape in the beginning we do have day combined with stock footage night scene's although it has to be day or night. Still there are other goofs but not as clear to see as the latter ones. One involves a door when he escapes after releasing himself from chains. Just see what he is doing with the hinge pins and how the door is opened.

    In comes Richard Anderson who also did a part in Bionic Woman. He is a regular later in the series as Oscar Goldman. Also a regular in the series is Alan Oppenheimer as Dr. Rudy Wells. And see David McCallum as Alexi Kaslov who becomes The Invisible Man (1975-1976) still unreleased on DVD.

    It's much slower than the original flick but still worth watching where you can see how the character of Steve grown. It is sometimes a bit slow especially the scene with, again, stock footage of catching a sword fish. But it did survived the time and one to see if you are a sci-fi fan or even likes action flicks from the seventies.

    Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 1/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 1/5
  • Wine,Women & War was a departure from Martin Caidins novel Cyborg that the series was based on. It was a joy to watch when I was a boy of fourteen & had the feel of a bond film which included bondish music written by Glen Larson, who also wrote the TV movie.

    It was two hours of escapist fun which was not as gritty as Martin Caidins novel Cyborg, but did make you think it would be possible for a former astronaut who had walked on the moon could be a natural as a super powered operative for a government agency like the OSI (CIA like agecy) & even though it had some technical weakness it was a great movie in my humble opinion.
  • "The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War" is the second pilot movie for the upcoming series. This is because the first made for TV movie turned out to be a hit and ABC decided to try another film to see if fans still were interested. Well, opinions must have been a bit mixed, as ABC made yet one more movie before ultimately green lighting the series.

    The film begins with Steve (Lee Majors) on a secret mission in Egypt. However, it turns out to be a bust due to bad intelligence information and Steve barely gets out alive. A lady who helped him isn't so lucky. As a result, Steve is bummed and not exactly in the mood for another mission. However, an old Air Force buddy (Earl Holliman) offers to left him use his luxury vacation villa in the Bahamas and Steve disappears from the OSI compound to enjoy some much needed R&R. Little does he know that all this has been arranged and he's actually going on his next mission!

    This second pilot has a few changes. In addition to Austin now being an Air Force colonel, the man playing Rudy Wells is a different actor AND the scumbag playing Austin's boss is not only a different actor but a different character entirely. I miss the original boss, as Darren McGavin was truly amoral and a jerk--Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson) was much more genial. Apart from these changes and a funky intro song, the movie is pretty much what folks would soon see in the TV series...which is very good, though I liked the first pilot better partly because of McGavin's character and partly because it was less an action film and more about science and how the man was created. Still worth seeing.

    By the way, the villain in this one is much like a Bond Villain and even has a secret lair in the Bahamas...much like Largo from "Thunderball"...and ALSO a guy with stolen nuclear bombs.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As I have with the pilot, I've had the pleasure of viewing both the 90 minute movie version (my preferred favorite) and the 2 part syndicated version of what is the second episode of the Six Million Dollar Man.

    As other posters have commented, this is one episode or should I say movie that has a James Bond type of feel to it. For me, it's due to a couple of guest stars in the cast. Britt Ekland is one of the most beautiful women I have ever laid my eyes on. Ironically, she was a Bond girl, so that helps give the movie a Bond feeling. The other actor who gives it a Bond type of feeling is Eric Braeden as Mr. Finletter. The presence alone of these two performers really does it for me. Along with the musical score, the plot, and the tropical location where Steve is on vacation (or so he thinks).

    Lee Majors is in his second outing as Colonel Steve Austin, a man who does go on missions, but he makes it clear that he's nobody's robot. Dr. Rudy Wells has been recast. Alan Oppenheimer plays him in this movie and the one that follows and as a recurring guest in the early half of the series. To be honest, when I think of Alan Oppenhimer, I think of the cartoon characters he's voiced over for Filmation studios.

    This movie is the official debut of Oscar Goldman played by Richard Anderson, whose character is a cold, government type of man, but unlike his predecessor, Oliver Spencer, Oscar Goldman is at least likable. As much as I like Darren McGavin, I'm glad his character did not return, but they tried to make us believe that Oscar was there from the beginning.

    At this early point, Steve and Oscar do not get along very well and we see a fault with Steve's bionics that occurs whenever Steve experiences anger. A problem that is eventually remedied.

    Harry Donner is a guy you just want to beat up, and Cynthia (or Sin)may be pretty, but her voice leaves a lot to be desired. If there were any reason not to make a pass at this lady, just listen to her talk. I really hated Harry's arrogance when Steve cold cocks him for tricking him and then later, Harry says "Don't worry Steve I'm not mad." Harry mad? Now that's a joke. Steve is the one who has the right to be mad after being tricked the way he was.

    Last but not least, I read somewhere that the Six Million Dollar Man was going to be a movie of the week type of series that ran on ABC, but it didn't last that way since ABC wanted a series and well, the rest is history. I must admit, as corny as it was, I actually liked that rare intro for this movie and I can only assume that they used it on the other one. "The Six Million Dollar Man" was sung by Dusty Springfield and maybe not the greatest intro, but a memorable one I felt.

    This is definitely on the recommended list of episodes to view, alongside the pilot movie.
  • Russ Mayberry directed this second TV movie pilot to the eventual series that sees Lee Majors returning as (now) Col. Steve Austin, continuing his secret government missions overseen by Oscar Goldman(played by Richard Anderson) taking over(no explanation) from Oliver Spencer, though Dr. Rudy Wells is now played by Alan Oppenheimer(a decent replacement for Martin Balsam). Eric Braeden plays a nefarious villain dealing in stolen nuclear missiles that Steve Austin must stop, and also avenge the death of a lady friend at his hands. Earl Holliman and Britt Ekland costar. OK as escapist fare, though a comedown from the first film.