Paramount // 1971 // 1220 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 14th, 2011
For those in trouble, there's no better detective than Mannix. (Encyclopedia Brown can pretend he didn't hear that.)
Paramount has pumped out the latest installment of Mannix, the hard-boiled private dick drama from the '70s. Mike Connors (Stagecoach) is Joe Mannix, one of the best detectives in the business and a guy who always finds himself in the middle of thorny situations...about 24 times a year.
Mannix will be jogging along a beach and spot a woman fighting for her life being dragged into a house. Or he'll be out for a leisurely trip down the ski slopes and moments later be evading a couple of gun-toting thugs pursuing him in a muscle car. Or maybe he'll get into a race car accident and wake up framed for murder.
The man is a magnet for danger.
But that's oaky, because Mannix is such an accomplished badass, no kidnappers, murderers, jewel thieves, or little league-baseball-coach-abducting low-lifes can ever hope to best him in a battle of wits/punches/gunfire/skis. Helping him on this crusade is his lovely assistant Peggy Fair (Gail Fisher) who is quick to provide useful intel or piping hot coffee.
I have to confess: this is my fist exposure to Mannix. It's obviously a cornerstone of groovy detective hourlongs and, judging from what I can see, deserves entry into the genre Hall of Fame. The show's budget must have been hefty, because all the action scenes are shot practically (gotta love the car-driving-over-the-cliff-and-exploding-for-no-reason) and nearly everything appears to be filmed on location. There are car chases, ski chases, and foot chases; hand-to-hand combat, gunplay exchanges, and more than a few concussions (you can bank on Mannix "coming-to" at least once an episode, making me fear for his long-term mental health). There's even an episode where Mannix is cuckolded by a diabolical evil twin! Score!
Mannix himself is half-a-loaf of man; between his fat neckties (which are the width of the Suez Canal) and a perfectly molded coiffure that holds up during the most intense of gunfights, you can be assured that exposure to his Alpha male bravado will almost certainly make your testicles recede.
All 24 episodes look nice in their original full frame aspect ratio, given clean transfers, and joined with a mono audio track. No extras.
Not Guilty. Because he puts the "man" in Mannix.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 1220 Minutes
Release Year: 1971
MPAA Rating: Not Rated