Hill Street Blues (1982) – The World According to Freedom, and Pestolozzi’s Revenge

Things get pretty dark on the Hill in The World According to Freedom, and Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) is pissed. Written by Michael Wagner, it first aired on 7 January, 1982. A gruesome collection of murders and rapes seems to be gang motivated, and it makes Furillo and the rest of the precinct incredibly angry….

Amistad (1997) – Steven Spielberg

Spielberg returns to another examination of humanity and history with his 1997 film Amistad. Based on an actual event in 1839, the film explores a revolt of Mende captives aboard the Spanish ship La Amistad. When the captives take over the ship they demand that the surviving crew take them back to Africa, but instead,…

Hill Street Blues (1981) – Your Kind, My Kind, Humankind, and Gatorbait

Anthony Yerkovich alongside series creators Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll pen the teleplay for Your Kind, My Kind, Humankind from a story by Bill Taub. It was first broadcast on 28 February, 1981. Renko (Charles Haid) and Hill (Michael Warren) deal with problems in different ways when the suspect in their shooting is released. Hill…

Hill Street Blues (1981) – Choice Cut, and Up in Arms

Seven episodes in writer Lee David Zlotoff brings us full circle with Choice Cut. First airing on 14 February, 1981, the episode sees Frank Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) dealing with a hostage situation in a supermarket, not entirely dissimilar from what happened in the first episode. In fact, it’s the same hostage takers! They went…

Mission: Impossible (1971) – The Catafalque, and Kitara

Paul Playdon wrote Catafalque, which first aired on 6 February, 1971, and features John Vernon as Ramone Fuego, who gets manipulated by the IMF in an attempt to get sensitive information into the hands of the American government. And while most of the story is really engaging, as Phelps (Peter Graves) and his team set…

Tank (1984) – Marvin J. Chomsky

1984. A few short months before my family would be posted to a new home in the middle of the ocean, I was of an age that I was allowed to go see movies in the theatre with my friends (despite the fact that the theatres were in the city proper and not on the…

In the Heat of the Night (1967) – Norman Jewison

In the Heat of the Night shouldn’t be as timely and relevant as it still is. You’d think we could have moved beyond such levels of racism and prejudice, and yet, sections of society seem worse than ever before, and it seems to be both hidden and overt. Featuring powerhouse performances by Sidney Poitier and…

TIFF 2021: Hold Your Fire dir. Stefan Forbes

New York. 1973. While it looks like a different time on film, not everything has changed, and consequently, Forbes documentary, which looks at a hostage situation that featured around the clock coverage at the time is just as relevant today as it was then. There’s errors on both sides, accusations, instituionalised racism, redemption for some,…