Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model? (1977)

Network: NBC
Original Air Date: January 16th, 1977

The great, indomitable Barbara Eden is Liz Stonestreet, topnotch private detective who is willing to go deep undercover to solve any crime. Luckily for the viewers, deep undercover involves lots of hot pants!

The disappearance of a beautiful socialite named Amory Osborn (played by the gorgeous Ann Dusenberry) is somehow tied to a missing hood named Eddie (James Ingersoll). Liz decides to go undercover as a tramp. Actually, it’s pretty vague what she’s supposed to be but she does dress slutty and works on the display art at a porno theater!!! You gotta love this stuff! Anyway, Stonestreet discovers some rather fine jewelry which Eddie, who is in hiding, desperately wants back. The expensive jewels tie him Amory, a woman who lived the high life and also dabbled in porn under the name Angel Collins. And this little side job also leads to the notorious racketeers Jessica Hilliard (Joan Hackett) & Elliot Osborn (Richard Basehart), Amory’s dad. Wow, what a tangled web we weave!

Liz is an apparent master of disguise because aside from pretending to be a whore, she also can go under as a cleaning lady – wow, she’s good!

This is a convoluted by fun mystery with the awesome Eden taking on yet another strong female character. Most of the time, and much to the constant frustration of her boss, Stonestreet insists on not having any backup. It often gets her in big messes though, and at one point she’s even framed for murder! She should really listen to her superior sometimes. Although her feminine instinct does help her differentiate between expensive and cheap jewelry, which must come in handy all the time – or at least here in this pilot for a series that never got picked up. If this had of become a series imagine all of the expensive/cheap things she could have ferreted out!

Joan Joan Dancer, Your Life is Calling!

Eden is helped out by the awesome cast, which includes a young Sally Kirkland as one of the employees of the porno theater and LaWanda Page (who doesn't play an employee of the porno theater)! Of course Joan Hackett is amazing and a lot of fun to watch, making an appropriate foe for Eden.

So if you like TV movie sleaze, hot pants, socialites turned porno stars, Eden in barely-there clothes and a bit of mystery, then Stonestreet is waiting for you!

Must. See. Must. See.


Ross Horsley said...

Updates! Hooray! *Breathes again*

aunt john said...

Was there ever really a costume strong enough to contain that sauce pot Barbara Eden? I love Joan Hackett, hot pants, socialites turned porno stars & LaWanda Page (in hot pants!)... so I must see this one.