Great TV Themes: Mod Squad, The Streets of San Francisco, Baretta, and Harry O

Great TV Themes: Mod Squad, The Streets of San Francisco, Baretta, and Harry O

There were some nice sounding opening of the show musical themes from these TV series.  We share the links to them on YouTube for any readers who may be interested in hearing them.  Trivia: most of these series originally aired on abc.

It is a shame that David Janssen died at about age 50.  He was a good actor, and did a good job in the Harry O series of the mid 1970s.

The Mod Squad theme song:

The Streets of San Francisco  (The skyline of downtown San Francisco has changed a lot since the filming of this video clip in the early 1970s.  There are many more recently constructed tall office towers evidencing better economic times in the nation.)  We recommend that you watch it through to the end as it is in the ending credits that you see more of the Bay Bridge and the then (somewhat wimpy compared to today) skyline of the financial district.

Baretta theme (sung by the late Sammy Davis, Jr.)  We offer two video clips here.  Both are good.  Robert Blake was a good actor for this crime series, but proved, subsequently, to be less than a model citizen in real life.  (You do not arrange to have your wife or lover to be murdered.)

Harry O theme  (The original link we had bookmarked to the intro theme of the second season (better) has been taken down – an ongoing and annoying problem with some uploaders on YouTube.  So, this new found link will have to do.  The video is not as clear on this one but the music is good.  Also, we include the theme from the first season.)

Second season (good music):

First season (different music, but still okay):

Why not throw in Starsky and Hutch?   Okay, we will.  The 70s muscle cars!  Those were the days!  Bernie Hamilton, the police captain, was excellent, and is still alive we hear in his 80s now.

A surprise honorable mention here.  The theme from Miami Vice – the show that undeniably made Don Johnson’s career (1980s).  As well, Olivia Brown was good in this series.  We have removed this link as the uploader has taken down his video upload or been banned by YouTube.

Here is a bonus link.  The Devil’s Laughter is an episode from the series, One Step Beyond (1957 – 1961).  It is in black and white.  A rather unusual episode and rather entertaining.  A condemned man escapes the hangman.  Worth watching once in your life as it is only about 25 minutes in length.  The maniacal, mocking laughter starts at 14:30 into the film.

Let’s also share this photo.  Originally put out to all as the featured image in the essay on Barbra Streisand a week ago, it may not have gone out correctly to the email subscribers of the blog.  (We have got to remember to place these images within the essay text and below the essay title to make sure they are sent out correctly.)  It is a beautiful photo courtesy of Wikipedia (the Nashua River Trail).

some favorite movies

some favorite movies

“It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” – Lao Tzu (founder of Taoism, contemporary of the Buddha)

(Please note that this essay, originally published on Sunday, July 8, did not post to the tag topic pages successfully at that time, as intended, due to issues that have now been resolved.  We are publishing this essay, today, in slightly different form, so that you have an opportunity to read it on the various tag topic pages that it has been assigned to.  Thank you.)

A totally random essay for today! (This took some effort.)

My wife loved this very short clip of a very young weightlifter.  Check it out!

Here are some of my favorite movies and a brief explanation of why they are.

Good plot development is important.  A theme, or moral to the story, helps but is not critically important.  Good acting is a must.

(Please note that some of the movies not available for watching (streaming) online do, from time to time, show up on various cable TV networks such as AMC, Turner Movie Classics and others.)

Barabbas (1961) Anthony Quinn, Jack Palance, Ernest Borgnine.  Quinn plays the role of Barabbas, the criminal acquitted at the behest of the crowd in Jerusalem while Jesus was condemned to crucifixion.  But Barabbas does not enjoy freedom for very long.  Great acting, and good dialogue and exchanges between Barabbas and the Romans and with early Christians. Worth watching at least once.

Here is the link for the full movie (2 hours, 17 minutes, in English, subtitled in Spanish):

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)  This movie is great simply for its zingers throughout. Zeus declares that “no man calls upon the gods unless he wants something.”  Phineas laments that he did not sin every day, yet Zeus punishes him every day.  Also, pretty good acting, and some humor and action along the way.

For the full movie (in 11 parts, a bit less than two hours if you continue through all parts) click here for part 1:

HUD (1963, black and white) Paul Newman plays a Texas “heel” of a renegade man.  Good acting.  Available for streaming (online watching) thru Amazon for a rental fee.  (Again, these old movies do show up on the cable movie channels from time to time.)

The Hill (1965, black and white) stars Sean Connery and Ossie Davis.  This is available in its entirety on YouTube and is worth watching.  Set in a British prison camp for British army soldiers who have screwed up during World War II, it deals with sadistic camp officers and racial stereotypes.  Davis gives a stellar performance as he panders to the racist stereotypes of the camp’s officers, but shows he is one of the more humane and civilized individuals in the entire camp.  Great acting also by Connery and the others in the film.

You can see it here in nine sequential parts:

You Only Live Twice (1967) my favorite James Bond movie for its exotic setting in Japan.  Bond always gets the pretty girl.

The full movie is not currently available online for streaming.

For the theme song sung by Nancy Sinatra click here:

Here are some highlights from this movie:

Hombre (1967) Paul Newman, Richard Boone, Cameron Mitchell, Martin Balsam.  In this western saga, Newman, as John Russell, a white man raised by the Apaches, confronts bigotry as he tries to both save several whites from murderous outlaws and return money to the Apaches on the reservation who have been cheated out of it.  Newman is great partly because he always has a ready answer to all verbal shots taken at him.  (Hombre is not currently available online for streaming.)

Planet of the Apes (1968) Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans.  Evans really ought to have won some kind of award, if not an Oscar, for his convincing portrayal of an intelligent ourangatang (Dr. Zaius) in this Sci-fi classic.  A cautionary tale for humans not to destroy themselves, it features great acting and great dialogue and exchanges. (The full movie is available for streaming through Netflix for a rental fee.)

You can quickly watch one of the best parts of the film, for free, at YouTube by clicking here:

The Magus (1968) Anthony Quinn, Michael Caine, Candice Bergen.  This one is somewhat of an enigma.  No clear cut answers.  But, good acting by all 3 above.  Unusual movie and worth seeing once in your life.  This hard to find movie has recently been uploaded on YouTube.  So, you might want to watch the movie before it unexpectedly is pulled from YouTube as so many other films are.  (Anne, the French stewardess, is actually a Danish actress.)

Here it is in 2 parts, if you are interested.

Part 1 (59 minutes) is here:

Part 2 (57 minutes) is here:

Patton (1970) stars George C. Scott.  I am not a war monger by any stretch, but Scott’s acting is superb and that is why I like this movie.  Currently, unavailable online for streaming, but does appear on the cable TV networks from time to time.

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) stars Eric Braeden, Susan Clark.  The United States turns over the management of its nuclear missile national defense to a super computer which eventually tries to take over and rule the world.

The full movie ( I hour, 40 minutes) is here:

What’s Up Doc (1972) Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal.  A funny comedy!  (Could not find the complete movie online.)

One funny scene:

Siddhartha (1972, made in India, in English).  This is a movie adaptation of the 1922 book of the same name by Hermann Hesse.  The full movie had been on YouTube for a while, but has been removed.  It was done very well, and hopefully someone else will upload it in the future.  It does not appear to be available for watching online any where else at present.

Skyjacked (1972) Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, Walter Pidgeon, Rosey Greer, James Brolin, Leslie Uggams, Claude Akins.

What a cast, too bad the full movie is not on YouTube.  But, you can get a hint of what it is like here:

Skyjacked- Entering Soviet Airspace (10 minutes long)

Hijack (1973, made for TV movie) stars David Janssen, Keenan Wynn.  Good acting and good action in big rig trucking film.

Complete movie, 1 hour and 13 minutes here:

Westworld (1973) stars Yul Brynner, James Brolin.  Set in a futuristic amusement park/resort for the wealthy, Brynner plays a robotic character in human form that defies its programming and runs amok.  He is also unstoppable much like the terminator in the 1984 film, Terminator.  Good action and suspense.  Regrettably, not currently available for watching online.

Rollerball (1975) stars, James Caan, Maud Adams, John Houseman, Moses Gunn.  On the surface, one might think that the movie is being critical of excessive violence in sports for entertainment value.  But, the theme really is about the suppressing or squashing of individuality in people, so that the corporations that run the world have an easier time of ruling and exercising (or abusing) their authority.

Here is the link for the full movie (2 hours, 5 minutes):

Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) Burt Lancaster, Michael York, Barbara Carrera.  Good acting in a beautiful tropical setting (the Virgin Islands of the Caribbean).  Based on the sci-fi novel by H. G. Wells.  Lancaster was one of the best actors of all time in my opinion.  (So was Anthony Quinn.)

The entire movie (1 hour, 38 minutes) is here:

Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977) Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark and others.  Great acting and suspense.

Another great acting performance by Lancaster but currently unavailable online.  Lancaster’s character, a former Air Force general, takes over a US missile silo in Montana, and demands that the president reveal to the American people the real reasons the US went to war in Indochina.

This had been available on YouTube for a short time last fall and winter, but has since been removed without explanation. That is a shame.

Gandhi (1982) Ben Kingsley

As a special bonus for those of you who have read this far, here is the theme song with video for “It Takes a Thief”, the late 1960s TV show starring Robert Wagner.  Enjoy.


Tribute to Bruce Lee

Tribute to Bruce Lee

The late Bruce Lee (1940-1973) was a multi-talented and refined man.  He was not just a “karate kid”.  Bruce attended college at the University of Washington, Seattle (USA), although he did not complete his studies for a degree.  He wrote some on self-defense/martial arts, and wrote a number of poems and was somewhat of a philosopher.  He also had some good acting ability in his movies.

Here are some clips for viewing that remind us of his life and contributions to the world.

Game of Death Intro theme song (just the theme song) 2:52 in duration

Billy Lo Vs Carl Miller (Full Fight Scene with Bruce Lee, physical violence) 5:53 long

Game of Death – a good ending tribute to Lee is here with Colleen Camp singing (2 minutes, 49 seconds long):

A touching instrumental song from when Billy and Ann were on the ferry during the movie (no video, 2:36 long)

Colleen Camp – Will This Be The Song I’ll Be Singing Tomorrow (no video, 2:26 long)


Classic Science Fiction TV: The Outer Limits and What Man Could Be in the Distant Future

Classic Science Fiction TV: The Outer Limits and What Man Could Be in the Distant Future

If you have an hour to spare some evening or on the weekend, you might consider watching this episode of the original Outer Limits television series (1963-1965).  Don’t worry.  This post is filed under the category “TV” and it will be there for you on a future visit to my blog.

The episode, The Sixth Finger, deals with the potential, latent in man, for becoming better, shall we say more civilized.  I won’t spoil the plot and will step aside.  It is an entertaining episode and worth watching.  (Update on 8/14/12, this full episode has been removed from YouTube so we are providing an alternate link.)

Here is the link to the first of six sequential parts of the abbreviated episode on YouTube:


Indianapolis 500 Race Day Highlights – We Need A Change of Subject

Indianapolis 500 Race Day Highlights – We Need A Change of Subject

As the French say, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”  Life goes on.

For a needed change of subject, check out these videos on YouTube.

2012 Indy 500 Highlights

2011 Indy 500 Highlights

Classic TV: Kung Fu (the Original Series) – the first “eastern” western

Classic TV: Kung Fu (the Original Series) – the first “eastern” western

Before we get to the main part of the post, let me say that you ought to click the follow button at the bottom of your screen (it’s free).  Over the next several days, diverse and somewhat challenging essays will be posted and you (likely) won’t want to miss them.  If you keep reading…..I’ll keep writing.

This was a great series on TV in the 1970s (1972-1975).  It featured David Carradine (Kwai Chang Caine), Keye Luke (Master Po) and Philip Ahn (Master Khan), and had many great guest stars.  Last autumn, I was watching many of the episodes free of charge on YouTube.  So for my Asian and Taoist friends, and all others, the below links are offered for your viewing pleasure.  The plot development was usually done well and the acting was very good.  The themes (or morals of the stories) were good, too.  Enjoy and share the kindness.

For the pilot TV movie in 1972:

 girlfromrio (an American journalist living in Brasil) has uploaded many, if not most, of the episodes from the series.  I watched most of the episodes that she has uploaded to YouTube.  She is a real aficionado of the series.  (“KungFuSeries” is another YouTube uploader of some episodes.)  This where you really want to go.

This link takes you to her menu of 514 video pieces (mostly segments of Kung Fu episodes – do not worry, you get to see complete episodes in 6 segments each):

For a generic search for episodes on YouTube:

Tell a friend about my blog.