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The Lonely Profession 1969
Description: Personal investigator Leo Gordon is hired to trail Karen Mendaros, the mistress of a reclusive billionaire. When they meet, Gordon and Mendaros hit it off and check in at a motel. Gordon wakes up the next morning and discovers that Mendaros had been murdered during the night. Gordon opens his own investigation of Mendaros' past in an attempt to determine who killed Mendaros and why he's been set up as the fall guy.
Released: 21 Oct 1969 Director: Douglas Heyes Writers: Douglas Heyes (novel) Actors: Harry Guardino, Dean Jagger, Barbara McNair, Joseph Cotten Genres: Crime, Drama
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The Lonely Profession Reviews:

I saw this tv mystery movie years ago and remember being impressed by it. Underrated actor Harry Guardino plays a trench coat wearing San Francisco detective who gets involved with a situation that leads him to the inner circle of shadowy millionaire Dominic Savarona. The storyline had some great twists and an interesting ending, so it fulfills the requirements of the detective storyline well. It uses some cute Bay Zone territories and the theme song is a ver of the pop standard "San Francisco" that was well performed by actress Barbara McNair. It was produced by Universal Tv and originally aired on NBC. The only downside here is that if you are familiar with the productions Universal TV churned out during the late 1960's to mid 1970's (McCloud, Name Of The Game), you probably already know the primary look and style of the production. Elements of this production were probably incorporated into soon Universal TV investigator characters like Columbo and James Rockford. If you wish to know a tiny about the birth of those characters, view this movie.


I first saw "The Lonely Profession" as a teenager in 1969, when it aired as a film of the week on NBC. It cannot on any lvl be classified as a nice movie, but I responded viscerally to its main character, Leo Gordon, brilliantly portrayed by the underrated Harry Guardino.Especially affective is the opening, with Leo walking in a mass of folks down a San Francisco street, the camera slowly closing in on him and his tired, lonely face as those in the background fade into a blur. On the soundtrack as the opening credits roll we hear the pretty and superb Barbara McNair singing the sixties pop hit" (If You're Going to) San Francisco." I've tried unsuccessfully for years to locate a copy of the film and a recording of McNair's rendition. Perhaps it's just as well. Both live fondly in my memory and the revisit may be disappointing.


In the Ross Macdonald tradition, a hangdog loner personal eye finds himself a murder suspect after the woman he was hired to look after is killed on his watch while he's sleeping in a nearby room. Harry Guardino plays the hapless detective who spends most of the film searching for the killer(s) and trying to determine why she was killed. The storyline takes the detective into a globe of treacherous international high finance and suspect building-development deals involving the high and mighty and their secrets. Along the method we are introduced to a series of interesting characters who slowly propel the storyline to a surprise ending that some viewers will have guessed long before Guardino. All in all, a nicely done tiny film of the week with fine zone shooting - I'm guessing at that because the DVD I watched is terrible quality - marred at times by swirling transition scenes famous with many directors in the late 1960s and 70s. I want Universal had issued a general release for DVD of this movie.



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