Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hunting Down “The Manhunter”

After writing yesterday about the death of actor Ken Howard, at age 71, I went looking for material in my files about his 1974-1975 CBS-TV crime drama, The Manhunter. I found two things that might be of interest to others. First, TV Guide’s 1974 Fall Preview write-up about that series, which found Howard playing Dave Barrett, an ex-Marine—recently returned from China—who was establishing himself during the Depression-era 1930s as a private eye-cum-bounty hunter.

(Introduced on that same page is Lucas Tanner, a single-season NBC program starring David Hartman as an athlete turned English teacher in my father's hometown of Webster Groves, Missouri.)

Next in this show-and-tell is a February 1974 column by Francis Murphy, who at the time served (quite ably, I should note) as TV critic for The [Portland] Oregonian. This piece was built around his interview with Howard, and focuses on the Manhunter pilot film.

Click on either of the images above for an enlargement.


michael said...

I did a review of the series for Mystery*File blog.

The book QUINN MARTIN,PRODUCER by Jonathan Etter (McFarland, 2008) quotes Howard about the series.

RJR said...

There was also a Roy Thinnes pilot film for this show, I think. Unless it was only similar.


J. Kingston Pierce said...

You're right, Bob, that Thinnes did make a TV movie called "The Manhunter" in 1972, but I don't think it had anything to do with Ken Howard's historical crime series. IMDb describes the plot of the Thinnes film this way: "A professional hunter is brought in to track a bank robbery suspect through a Louisiana swamp, and winds up getting romantically involved with the suspect's wife."

I suspect coincidence in the fact that these titles are identical.


J. Kingston Pierce said...

By the way, Roy Thinnes' "The Manhunter" is available on YouTube (at least for the time being), in seven parts. You will find Part I here:

Links from that page will lead you to the other six parts.