Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HONEY WEST


HONEY WEST (1965) ABC-TV series.

This series about a female private eye only lasted one season and thirty episodes, but it could be very snappy stuff. The TV incarnation of Honey was introduced on an episode of Burke's Law. The show was based on a series of exploitation novels by G. G. Fickling [a husband and wife writing team] with the emphasis on sex. Things are toned down a bit for the TV show, although the emphasis remains on Honey's shapely charms, as personified by actress Anne Francis. Although occasionally on the "cutesy" side, Francis is pretty much perfect as Honey, and John Ericson is similarly excellent as her partner, Sam Bolt. Honey inherited the detective agency from her father, and Sam -- who used to work for the old man -- now works for her, although in general they function as a team that now and then has a prickly relationship [this was in the days before "sexual tension" was coined]. Most of the episodes were fun and well-acted, with plenty of action in a compact half hour minus commercials. There were only a couple of clunkers and even these episodes aren't really awful. The best episodes include "The Swinging Mrs. Jones" [a blackmail ring preying on wealthy married women]; "Whatever Lola Wants" [a sinister society hostess]; "Little Green Robin Hood" [Edd Kookie Byrnes as a crazy thief, with Allen Jenkins and Eleanor Audley -- who was the voice of Malificent in Disney's Sleeping Beauty -- also in the cast; and "An Eerie, Airy Thing" [a man out on a ledge wants to talk his wife, unaware that she's been murdered]. Irene Hervey shows up now and then as Honey's likable and helpful Aunt Meg.

Verdict: Honey with some spice and humor to it. ***.

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