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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars style and class
Smile, Jenny, You're Dead is still excellent. It is mood and plot and characterization and dialogue. It's David Janssen as private detective Harry O. He is perfect. Every word, every move, every inflection, it's his alone. You hear him thinking, and he's every bit as good at this as he was as Richard Kimble. And that's really saying something too. From his very first...
Published on 13 Nov. 2011 by Joel, Holden

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for Memory-Laners
David Janssen owned the screen in his classic TV series, but watching this Harry O pilot now just emphasizes how much crime drama has moved on. If you caught it in your youth 40 years ago you want to like it, but the reality is it's twee and thin and poorly scripted by today's standards.
Published 13 months ago by Mike Brecher


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars style and class, 13 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Smile Jenny Youre Dead [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Smile, Jenny, You're Dead is still excellent. It is mood and plot and characterization and dialogue. It's David Janssen as private detective Harry O. He is perfect. Every word, every move, every inflection, it's his alone. You hear him thinking, and he's every bit as good at this as he was as Richard Kimble. And that's really saying something too. From his very first scene, he is hypnotizing. He could convey with the slightest gesture.

He makes Harry funny, iconoclastic, wry and deeply human, deeply compassionate. The cast is impeccable. The storyline riveting. The writer was Howard Rodman. One of the best. John Anderson, Andrea Marcovicci, Clu Gulager, Jodie Foster and Howard de Silva put their interpretations on the words and make them their own. When Harry says to Jenny, "You move me, I want you," our hearts go out to him, and when it's his duty to tell of death a second time to a person whose world has just ended, what else could you do but hold her through the night, let her cry, admit to yourself that you fell in love with her then and knowing of course, it can lead in only one direction.

I'm told David Janssen always gave credit to his writers. As he should, but also for himself, and for this ensemble cast, and superb direction by Jerry Thorpe, this is a minor miracle or a major one. His character and the film fit beautifully. Everything is so eloquent and eloquent, and you feel like crying because there's been a point of life touched here, and we have the honor, thanks to very talented people, to see such a good and fine thing.

It is suspenseful and has an excellent framework, so you won't be disappointed in that either. That boat Harry O was constantly working on, name of THE ANSWER, and the bus he rode " because you can sit and look out the window and think. Try it sometime." And because his car was always in the shop and we just had to get David Janssen on the bus again. All of these things and more became endearing to us.

And when he smiled, the whole world is incandescent. This is a treasure trove, this movie, and it is all life-giving, every word and every scene with these actors saying Howard Rodman's lovingly crafted, thoughtful, profound dialogue, with such relish, and how because it's been for something.

And sometimes all you can do for a person in pain is to hold them through the night, admit to yourself you have fallen in love with them, and prepare to say goodbye. And maybe this is as close to the answer as you can get. Smile Jenny, You're Dead, you move me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Janssen's best performance, 30 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Smile Jenny Youre Dead [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
David Janssen is perhaps best known for the role of Richard Kimble aka "The Fugitive", but Harry O saw his finest work as an actor.He portrays a real human being complete with flaws and quirks, creating a characterisation that was unusual in its day. Harry O has never been released on DVD, so this TV movie is the only example so far. I love the repartee between the characters and the intelligent use of the voiceover. This is one of the greatest TV detectives - enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, 22 July 2014
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This review is from: Smile Jenny Youre Dead [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Bought for a friend. He's ecstatic. He has a vast collection.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strictly for Memory-Laners, 11 April 2014
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Mike Brecher (London & New York) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smile Jenny Youre Dead [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
David Janssen owned the screen in his classic TV series, but watching this Harry O pilot now just emphasizes how much crime drama has moved on. If you caught it in your youth 40 years ago you want to like it, but the reality is it's twee and thin and poorly scripted by today's standards.
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