Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Man With A Camera Complete Collection|
Actor: Charles Bronson
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Infinity Resources Inc Release Date: 11/20/2007
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Then Came Bronson . . . . . Charles, that is.
Robert Huggins | Suburban Philadelphia, PA United States | 12/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Throughout the 1950s, Charles Bronson spent the majority of his early acting career in episodic television, appearing in everything from "The Roy Rogers Show" to "Four Star Playhouse," as well as small parts in films. From 1958 to early in 1960, however, he landed the lead in the ABC television network's "Man with a Camera," portraying freelance photographer Mike Kovac. The series' premise has Kovac finding himself in a variety of professional assignments, usually becoming involved in some sinister situation involving criminals of every sort. "Man with a Camera," along with higher profile roles in films like "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape" in the early 1960s led to starring roles in films by the end of that decade and eventually superstardom. By the end of his career, Bronson returned full-circle to television with a series of three made-for-TV movies titled "Family of Cops."
The guest star list for this series is, perhaps, not as strong as other series from this era, but does include early turns by Harry Dean Stanton, Angie Dickinson, Yvonne Craig, and even a pre-"Billy Jack" Tom Laughlin appears as a boxer in an early episode. Another surprise is seeing noted B-movie horror film icon William Castle credited as director for one of the episodes.
Up until this release, "Man with a Camera" has been a tough find on DVD. There have been just two episodes from the series ("Two Strings of Pearls" and "Missing") that have apparently fallen into the public domain and have appeared on classic television compilations such as Best of TV Detectives 150 Episodes and a few others. The series had two abbreviated seasons in 1958-59 and 1959-60, and the entire run of 29 episodes is presented in this collection released by the Infinity Entertainment Group, in collaboration with the Falcon Picture Group and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, from which the source prints were obtained. The episodes appear to be sourced from 16 millimeter prints and occasionally exhibit minor damage, but are in comparatively good shape for a series of this vintage, with clear monaural audio. There are no extra features on the DVDs, but there is an informative description of the series on the outer slipcase and the inner packaging includes synopses for all 29 episodes along with a listing of the guest stars. Many (but not all) of the episodes include the "This has been an ABC television network presentation" tag at the end.
"Man with a Camera" is certainly not remembered as one of the all-time greats of television, but it does offer stories that move along at a quick pace and the appeal of a young Charles Bronson in an off-beat role, just prior to making the big time in films. Bronson fans that are more familiar with his film roles will want to see what all the fuss is about and vintage television fans, looking for a then new twist on a television crime series, will find much to enjoy in "Man with a Camera." Kudos to all involved in bringing this forgotten television series to DVD.
Photo by Kovac . . .
trebe | 01/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Did you know that Charles Bronson was a lead in a TV series? Man With A Camera, a half hour, mostly crime related drama, ran on ABC for two seasons from 1958 through 1960. Bronson is Mike Kovac, a street-tough, very freewheeling, freelance photographer, who gets involved in a variety of edgy exploits that include kidnapping, extortion, swindling, smuggling, arson, hostage situations, and murder.
Kovac is sometimes on photographic assignment, but more often he operates similar to a private investigator. Being a photographer adds some unique twists, and Kovac's gear is on the cutting edge for the time. Besides an array of cameras for normal use, for surreptitious work he employs cameras hidden in a radio, cigarette lighter and even his necktie. He has a phone in his car, and a portable darkroom in the trunk.
The series is well-written with good pacing. Things typically move pretty quickly, but there is still usually time to flesh out the stories. Bronson, aged 36 at the start of the series, is quite the physical specimen, pure chiseled muscle, and he brings to Kovac, many of the traits that would be associated with his tough guy movie persona. Looking back, it is interesting to see Bronson's acting range in this recurring role. And while Kovac has a contemplative and sensitive side, there's no shortage of action, fights, and gunplay, involving the rugged Mr. Buchinski. Displaying his boxing skills, he dons gloves for bouts with Johnny Seven, and Tom `Billy Jack' Laughlin.
Though based in New York City, the series also features stories set in various locations, with guest stars that fans of the era will appreciate. In `The Killer', Kovac is ruthlessly gunned down at a Nevada airport. `Hot Ice Cream' teams Mike with budding photographer, Yvonne (Batgirl) Craig. The photographer journeys to Lisbon in `Blind Spot', to investigate the death of a friend. `Missing' is a tense tale of abduction and smuggling between Tijuana and San Diego. `Six Faces of Satan', is an over the top psychological case study. In the series finale `Kangaroo Court', Don Gordon guests as a psychotic gang leader in France, bent on abducting a famous actor.
The picture quality of the digitally restored black and white episodes is quite good for the most part, with only minor instances of streaking. Far superior to the Peter Gun sets. Fans of gritty 50's crime dramas, may find Man With A Camera a very pleasant discovery. The entire run of the series, 29 episodes, are included in this four disc set.
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 03/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The half-hour length crime/drama series MAN WITH A CAMERA appeared for two half-seasons on the ABC-TV network, Friday nights at 9. This program starring Charles Bronson aired from 10/10/58 to 2/8/60.
Mike Kovac is a former WWII combat photographer now based in NYC as a freelancer who assists newspapers, police, private citizens and insurance companies in solving crimes. By often acting as a private eye, Kovac gets himself into plenty of trouble.
Charles Bronson (Mike Kovac)
Ludwig Stössel (Anton Kovac)
James Flavin (Lt. Donovan)
The following sequential-by-airdate list also includes episode title, season and guest stars:
Second Avenue Assassin (S.1, (10/10/58) - Ruta Lee/Leonard Bell/Art Lewis
The Warning (S.1, 10/17/58) - Bill Erwin/Robert Carricart/Robert Ellenstein
Profile of a Killer (S.1, 10/24/58) - James Handler/Tom Pittman
Turntable (S.1, 11/7/58) - Logan Field/Phyllis Avery/Dennis Patrick
Closeup on Violence (S.1, 11/14/58) - Grant Williams
Double Negative (S.1, 11/21/58) - Don Durant/Frank Faylen/Karl Lukas
Another Barrier (S.1, 11/28/58) - Norma Crane/Peter Walker/Ann Morrison
Blind Spot (S.1, 12/5/58) - Chana Eden/Mario Alcalde
Two Strings of Pearls (S.1, 12/12/58) - Audrey Dalton/Bert Remsen/Elaine Edwards
Six Faces of Satan (S.!, 12/19/58) - Linda Lawson/Arthur Batanides/Joe Di Reda
Lady on the Loose (S.1, 12/26/58) - Judith Braun/Ivan Triesault
The Last Portrait (S.1, 1/2/59) - Booth Colman/Virginia Field/Russell Thorson
The Face of Murder (S.1, 1/9/59) - Jay Barney/Phillip Pine/Dick Wessel
Mute Evidence (S.1, 1/16/59) - Rachel Ames/Russ Conway/Sue George
The Big Squeeze (S.1, 1/23/59) - (?)
The Killer (S.2, 10/19/59) - I. Stanford Jolley/James Parnell/Bek Nelson
Eye Witness (S.2, 10/26/59) - Marian Collier/Joseph Hamilton/Casey Walters
The Man Below (S.2, 11/2/59) - Patricia Donahue/Dave Lewis/Frank Gerstle
Black Light (S.2, 11/9/59) - (?)
The Positive Negative (S.2, 11/16/59) - Anthony Caruso/Anne Neyland/Richard Gaines
Missing (S.2, 11/23/59) - Wendell Holmes/Steve Brodie/CeCe Whitney
Live Target (S.2, 12/7/59) - Gavin MacLeod/Jimmy Lydon/Tracy Stafford
Girl in the Dark (S.2, 12/14/59) - Gregory Morton
The Bride (S.2, 12/21/59) - George Conrad
The Picture War (S.2, 1/4/60) - Holly Bane/Dolores Donlon/Johnny Seven
Touch-Off (S.2, 1/11/60) - Sebastian Cabot/Nancy Valentine/Stacy Harris
Hot Ice Cream (S.2, 1/25/60) - Lawrence Tierney/Yvonne Craig/Howard McNear
Fragment of a Murder (S.2, 2/1/60) - Jesse White/Doris Singleton/Larry Blake
Kangaroo Court (S.2, 2/8/60) - Maurice Marsac/Danielle Aubry/Don Gordon
The complete first season of another unique (and almost forgotten) half-hour crime/drama TV series is available on TIMELESS MEDIA's THE LAWLESS YEARS. These stories are set in Prohibition-era America."
Excellent little film noir dramas
Charles Hall | Raleigh, NC USA | 03/17/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I stumbled across this DVD set by accident. I'm neither a Charles Bronson fan nor old enough to remember the original series, but I really like these little shows. The music is somewhat limited, but works very well to set the mood, like Mancini did for "Peter Gunn". Bronson is a more natural actor here than in anything else I've seen him in. The plots are intriguing, and the camera angle they work into every episode is generally quite plausible.
Check out this little gem. I came away with a new respect for Charles Bronson. Too bad the series didn't run longer. These 29 episodes are all there is."