6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An excellent pilot to a classic American cop show,
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This review is from: Kojak: The Marcus-Nelson Murders/Mojo [DVD]  (DVD)
I bought this DVD consisting of the pilot episode of Kojak, "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" (which was based on a true story), because I discovered that it wasn't included in the DVD set for series 1 of Kojak (a DVD set that I received as a present for my 28th birthday this year) - "Mojo", the other episode on this DVD, is also included in the series 1 set. At first I had no idea that there was a pilot for Kojak as I'd never seen it before until watching it on DVD, although several years ago whilst I was in my teens I did watch some episodes of the series on the now-defunct cable channel Granada Plus and I remembered it being a good series from when having watched repeated runs of the show on that channel (Kojak is currently being repeated on ITV4).
At around 2 hours and 17 minutes long, "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" serves as a pilot for the Kojak television series, and it is based on a true story of the 1963 Wylie-Hoffert Career Girls Murders, the brutal rape and murder of two young professional women in Manhattan, New York City. Telly Savalas starred as Lieutenant Theo Kojak in the pilot as well as in the series, a part he played brilliantly and it was the role that he was best known for. In this made-for-TV movie from 1973, Kojak's name is spelled with a "C" meaning that his name was spelled "Kojack" rather than the familiar spelling "Kojak" which was used in the series. Also, on the closing credits to each episode of the series created by Abby Mann (and possibly the pilot as well, I can't remember for certain), it stated that the show was "Suggested by a book written by Selwyn Raab" (the book is titled "Justice in the Back Room").
After having discovered that there was a pilot episode for Kojak, I was a little bit surprised that "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" wasn't included in the series 1 set of the show. Other than that, "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" is an excellent pilot which I highly recommend along with the Kojak TV series.