It has been said before that the real star of this show is the City itself, with its charismatic blend of scenic vistas and cold cement alleyways. Having only gotten halfway through the first season, I must admit that this is the thing that keeps me coming back more than any other facet of the show. The endless parade of long-defunct nightclubs, restaurants and stores play a role in each episode, and indeed, seem to have a story of their own.
The dramatic element of this series is pretty lightweight by contemporary standards though, and there isn't a whole lot of intrigue or heavy tension, as you might expect from cop shows like the Wire, for instance.
Instead, each episode presents a quirky case that must be solved within the four acts of the main story. No real mystery ever develops, and no loose ends are left dangling afterwards, although an epilogue closes each episode.
Karl Malden's hammy "buddy boy" exclamations and throwback fashion sense grow on you after a while, and the depth of Michael Douglas' acting ability is a pleasant surprise. Its a show well worth watching if you've spent enough time in San Francisco to recognize any of the places in the background.
I recently re-discovered this gem when reruns started appearing on a local TV station. I remember watching this show when I was young and even remember that we used to watch it dubbed in German on West German TV when my father was stationed there in the mid 70's. I am not in any way an experienced critic, but in watching the Streets of San Francisco reruns, in my humble opinion, it is, and was, a truly great show of it's genre. The interaction between Karl Malden and Micheal Douglas was very believable and their acting was by far the best part of the show. Some of the story lines were pretty weak and don't hold up under close scrutiny, but unlike most current Police Dramas, "SOSF" holds my attention for the entire hour. I have a typical male attention span which is pretty short for anything but sports, but am glued to the TV for the entire hour of nearly episode of SOSF that I have watched recently. It is great to see a show actually filmed on location and not one that uses LA or Vancouver as the stand-in for every city on the planet. One thing I have noticed that is unusual and that is no longer used on network TV, is the frequent use of the same guest stars. By my calculation, our local station is about midway through season 3 and I have already seen alot of the same actors show up as guest stars, all playing different characters. Leslie Nielsen is one that comes to mind as I have already seen him pop up on three different episodes, all playing new characters. All in all, I think this was a great Show. All I ask of any TV show is that it entertain me and hold my attention till the ending credits. The Streets of San Francisco does that easily. I see that CBS is thinking of doing a modern re-make of this series. It will be hard to match the original.
Unlike some other 1970s shows (I'm thinking mainly of "Columbo" and "The Rockford Files") "The Streets of San Francisco" doesn't really hold up as well some 30 years later. While it certainly isn't bad, I see it more as a competent cop drama rather than a classic.
The ingredients are there - Karl Malden and Michael Douglas are terrific actors and they have the potential to make a great "odd couple" pairing. However, the pedestrian scripts don't give them a lot of room to work and there's nothing outstanding about the show. Crimes are regular stuff, and they tend to blend together. Malden and Douglas bicker and banter, but it never really feels genuine. It hurts even more, knowing that these actors are capable of better performances.
There's plenty of local color, and the show gets points for taking advantage of its locale. It's rare in TV today to see a show like "Streets" or "Hawaii 5-0" that makes its setting such a major part of the drama.
Don't misunderstand me - I don't think "Streets" is bad. I'd still take it over most of the prime-time dreck today. But I don't think its writing was strong enough to rank it up among the kings of 70s crime drama.
This was my favorite show in the 70's.I loved the fact that it was actually filmed on the Streets of San Francisco, which to me is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.The Team of Douglas and Malden was a perfect fit.The young college educated detective with the older street wise veteran.
This show help to inspired me to seek a career in Law Enforcement even though my own father was a police officer and also an inspiration to me.
When Douglas left after year four it lost it's appeal.The new actor could not click with Malden the way Douglas was able to.Douglas went on to big screen stardom and Malden kind of faded away after the show ended.I hear that they are still great friends or more liken to father and son.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, across on the Oakland side, so a lot of the show’s locations were familiar to me. The San Francisco area gave the show some beautiful locations in which to shoot, and the producers were smart enough to take advantage of the opportunity.
This was a Quinn Martin produced detective show, which gave it an advantage out of the gate. Martin had produced several highly respected shows of the time. Streets had the added bonus of starring the excellent Karl Malden and the talented, young and very handsome Michael Douglas. Douglas left after four seasons to produce “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest” and the show never recovered.
A television series that was filmed on location in San Francisco, California. Karl Malden and Michael Douglas make their small screen debuts as two plain clothes detectives on The San Francisco Police Department.
Another hit series of the production company of QM(Quinn Martin). This series was filmed entirely in the city of San Francisco, and from watching you can see all the attractions(i.e. Coit Tower, Fishermen's Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, Hyde Street Pier, Golden Gate Bridge, The Embarcadero etc). This series is about two of San Francisco's finest, one is a 20 plus year veteran named Lt. Michael Stone, and the other is Inspector Steven Keller, a college graduate. There beat is the streets of the city by the bay. The detectives drive a 1970's Ford Galaxie 500, Custom 500 LTD or Crown Victoria sedan and other cars used in the series are from Ford Motor Company(Quinn Marin tie-in and a Major Sponsor).
Guest Stars on the series include Jessica Walter, Earl Holliman, Harry Guardino(Lt Bressler on The Dirty Harry Movies), Paul Sorvino, David Wayne, Robert Foxworth, Leslie Neilson, Don Gordon, Bradford Dillman(A San Francisco Native), Tony LoBianco, Len Birman, Andy(Andrew)Robinson and others.
Veteran movie character actor Karl Malden leads this cast as the veteran know it all LT who has seen better days
And it paired up with then an unknown Michael Douglas as
His younger and college educated partner and despite both
Sometimes not seeing eye to eye, they still manage to get
The bad guys. Ahead of its time and wished Douglas didn't leave as the series would had have one more year to tie loose ends.
Ditto the other great reviews. I was about 5 when this series started so I probably started watching towards the end of the series when Ritchard Hatch joined the series in M.D.'s place. then watched plenty more in syndication. Loved the characters. Also one of my favorite locations (Love S.F. I live 45 minutes away and see it often). One of my top 10 cop/ detective drama shows along with 'Hawaii Five- O'(my #1), 'Vegas' and 'Barnaby Jones'.
So I wasn't alive when this show came on but thanks to syndication, I have become a huge fan of this show. Stone and Keller have to be one of the best cop duos of all time. Their interactions with each other are wonderful to watch. It probably helped that Michael Douglas knew Karl Malden all of his life since he was his father's friend. I loved the fact that the story was told in acts, I wish more shows did that. If you ever catch one of the episodes watch closely, you'll never know who is going to be the guest star who turns out to be more famous than the one listed as special guest star. A five star show! I wish it would come out on DVD soon.
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