The Blue Knight (film)

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The Blue Knight
GenreAction
Crime
Drama
Thriller
Based onThe Blue Knight
by Joseph Wambaugh
Written byE. Jack Newman
Directed byRobert Butler
Composer(s)Nelson Riddle
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes4
Production
Executive producer(s)Lee Rich
Producer(s)Walter Coblenz
Production location(s)Los Angeles
CinematographyMichael Margulies
Editor(s)Marjorie Fowler
Samuel E. Beetley
Gene Fowler Jr.
Running time100 minutes
Production company(s)Lorimar Productions
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseNovember 11 (1973-11-11) – November 14, 1973 (1973-11-14)
Chronology
Followed byThe Blue Knight

The Blue Knight is a 1973 made-for-TV film based on Joseph Wambaugh's 1973 novel The Blue Knight. It gave rise to the 1975 TV series also named The Blue Knight. It ran originally on NBC TV in November 1973, was directed by Robert Butler, and starred an all star cast headed by William Holden as Police Officer Bumper Morgan. The additional cast includes Lee Remick, Anne Archer, Sam Elliott, Joe Santos, and Vic Tayback. The film was a four-hour series.

Plot[edit]

Bumper Morgan is a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department who is scheduled to retire in a week. Before he leaves, he must work on the murder of a prostitute in one of LA's far corners. Along the way, he must grapple with vicious thugs, his fellow officers who feel mixed about his retiring, and his woman who wants him to leave the streets.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Holden said he was surprised to be cast as Morgan, as he thought Ernest Borgnine or Rod Steiger would have been preferred.[1] Shooting took seven weeks.[2] The Blue Knight was filmed as a four-episode miniseries of 100 minutes each for the US market and a 100-minute theatrical film for European markets.[3] It was one of the first miniseries on American television.[4]

Reception[edit]

The episodes were broadcast on four consecutive evenings, beginning on November 11, 1973.[2] It received positive reviews.[4] Jay Sharbutt of the Associated Press praised the miniseries' realism and wrote that readers "ought to catch this show".[5] Rick Du Brow of United Press International wrote that the miniseries' length allows it to unfold slowly and create a "cohesive dramatic atmosphere", unlike typical TV shows.[6] Time Out London, in a retrospective review of the theatrical cut, called it "seminal stuff" and wrote that it is more interesting for its influence on following police dramas than its story.[7]

Awards[edit]

Emmys went to William Holden (in his first TV film role),[8] director Robert Butler, and editors Marjorie and Gene Fowler Jr. Lee Remick received an Emmy nomination. The show was also nominated for Outstanding Limited Series.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Witbeck, Charles (1973-11-10). "Bill Holden Is Blue Knight in 'Serial' Movie This Week". The Blade. p. TV-1.
  2. ^ a b Stelzer, Dick (1973-11-11). "Awed by His 'Blue Knight'". Chicago Tribune. p. 5.
  3. ^ Thomas, Bob (1973-08-27). "William Holden Pounds the Beat". Montreal Gazette. Associated Press. p. 34.
  4. ^ a b Capua, Michelangelo (2009). William Holden: A Biography. McFarland & Company. ISBN 9780786455508.
  5. ^ Sharbutt, Jay (1973-11-14). "'Blue Knight' Series Well Worth Your Time". The Register-Guard. Associated Press. p. 58.
  6. ^ Du Brow, Rick (1973-11-15). "'Blue Knight' Offers Moving Study in Humanity". Pittsburgh Press. United Press International. p. 62.
  7. ^ "The Blue Knight". Time Out London. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  8. ^ Gray, Tim (2016-04-17). "William Holden: The Golden Boy of Vintage Hollywood". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-12.
  9. ^ "The Blue Knight". Emmys.com. Retrieved 2016-05-12.

External links[edit]