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Wonder Woman

USA 1974
produced by
John G. Stephens, John D.F. Black (executive) for Warner Brothers/ABC
directed by Vincent McEveety
starring Cathy Lee Crosby, Ricardo Montalban, Andrew Prine, Kaz Garas, Anitra Ford, Charlene Holt, Richard X.Slattery, Jordan Rhodes, Robert Porter, Mario Roccuzzo, Beverly Gill, Ronald Ling, Lomax Study, Donna Garrett, Roberta Carol Brahm, Thom Carney, Robert Kersch, Alain Patrick, George Dega, Ed McCready, Sandy Gaviola, Steve Mitchell
screenplay by John D.F.Black, based on the comic created by William Moulton Marston, published by DC Comics, music by Artie Butler

TV-pilot
Wonder Woman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Coming from an island of women, Diana Prince (Cathy Lee Crosby) these days spends her time as a secretary of Secret Service boss Steve Trevor (Kaz Garas) - but of course, that's just a pretense, actually she's the agency's top operative ...

One day, the secret codebooks that would unmask all of the agency's secret agents are stolen, and if they would get into the wrong hands, that would pretty much end the agency's operations as such. It's fortunate then that the baddie behind it all offers to sell them back to the agency first. Nobody of course knows who the baddie is, but Diana is quick to guess it's one Abner Smith (Ricardo Montalban), and she tracks him down to Paris - where she meets Smith's second-in-command George (Andrew Prine), who alternatively tries to charm her and kill her. No matter how hard Diana tries though, she is not able to get her hands on Smith, and eventually, the agency sees itself forced to pay up - and the money is to be delivered via muleto the Grand Canyon. Diana, who now rather inexplicably wears a stars-and-stripes costume and is called Wonder Woman, is on the scene of course, and walks from deathtrap to deathtrap, has to fight a sister from her island (Anitra Ford), and ultimately manages to trail the mule to Smith's secret hideout, where the two of them have a drink (really) before she blows the place up and puts George out of commission (finally). Smith manages to escape in a dinghy (!) though, and almost makes it to safety - but only almost, because Wonder Woman is a resourceful little girl, and she sees to it that justice is served after all.

 

Granted, Wonder Woman has undergone many changes, but this is not the Wonder Woman we know: She's a wholesome blonde with no superpowers whatsoever who is a secret service operative much like James Bond, prefers to engage her adversaries in long dialogues rather than action, and her stars-and-stripes costume looks rather ridiculous and doesn't seem to serve much purpose.

This though only tells us that Wonder Woman is not the comicbook adaptation fans have hoped for, but gives little information about the film on hand. The good things first: Ricardo Montalban is a great villain, that's a given, and Andrew Prine is at least fun as his a bit dim-witted second-in-command. Cathy Lee Crosby - she's she's not great but ok playing the role she was given, and it was not her fault how it was written.

And now we have arrived at the film's core problem: Its script - basically the whole thing lacks excitement, never allows its pace to pick up, and is way too much in love with its dialogues, which just aren't all that good or witty or whatever. If you add to that television veteran Vincent McEveety's featureless direction, you get pretty much routine television fare, mid-70's style. Nothing to get excited about, and it's no wonder this did not get picked up and made into a series - though it's a wonder some other equally dull pilots did ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD