Harry Orwell has been retired from the force ever since he caught a bullet that lodged inoperably in his back. But that doesn't mean the man called Harry O is out of the action. Moonlighting as a private sleuth, fighting off daily back pain and typically traveling by public bus instead of his own car ("It gives a man a chance to think"), he's on the trail of the lowlife who murdered his pal's son-in-law. It won't be the only time the killer strikes before Harry closes in. David Janssen (The Fugitive) portrays dogged detective Harry in the telefilm that was the second of two pilots preceding his memorable Harry O series. Among the highlights: young Jodie Foster as Liberty, the wise-beyond-her-years homeless waif Harry befriends.
From the fall of 1974 to the spring of 1976, David Janssen - previously acclaimed for his role as The Fugitive
- is doing the hunting this time as a private investigator that used to be a cop. Before the show's two seasons aired, there were a pair of pilot telefilms starring Janssen as "Harry O": the March 1973 broadcast of "Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On
" and then, after some reworking was done, the February 1974 airing of "Smile Jenny, You're Dead
" (also titled "Don't Call the Police" in later airings). Because the second telefilm was much closer to the format that the regular Harry O
series used when it formally premiered in September 1974, it's usually considered the show's "real pilot."
And the Warner Archive Collection is bringing that second ("real") pilot telefilm home to the fans on May 3rd
, with a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release of Harry O - Smile Jenny, You're Dead
. The 90-minute-long production comes on a single disc presented in the original full frame video and English mono audio. Cost is $19.95 SRP. Besides Janssen, there are other notable cast members in this story, but none moreso than future Oscar winner Jodie Foster...who at the time of the filming for this item had not yet done the TV series Paper Moon
yet, much less Freaky Friday
or Taxi Driver
. Look for her as "Liberty Cole" in this show!
Here's a look at the package art, plus a link to make your advance purchase for this title: