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Book Review "Quinn Martin, Producer"

Jonathan Etter authored "Quinn Martin, Producer - A Behind-the-Scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder", first published back in 2003, as a fan of classic TV series and a non-insider of the movie and television business. Quinn Martin surely was an outstanding TV producer in the 1960’s and 1970’s – if not the most outstanding ever – and definitely had kind of a sixth sense for hit series.

Etter offers 222 pages of information on all QM Production series, starting from "The Untouchables" and "The Fugitive" via "Cannon" and "The Streets of San Francisco" up to "Most Wanted" and "The Runaways". A rather short foreword by director Walter Graumann is followed by an overview of Quinn Martin and his TV productions. The centrepiece comprises 21 chapters, detailing all the series produced by QM, including separate essays on pilot movies that never materialized, on TV movies that were based on true stories, and the legacy Quinn Martin left. There is pretty much space for quotation from some who worked with or for Quinn Martin, in an effort to add insider information to the book.

Telling the facts first, "The Streets of San Francisco" is covered on 13 pages. This may not appear to be anything like a sufficient part, however, Etter concentrates on pure information. There are just two photographs consuming little space, so what we get is a pretty nice view of what made the series special – the screenplays, the actors, and the location. Etter puts a certain emphasis on Karl Malden's acting attitude, and the way "The Streets of San Francisco" was actually filmed. There are a lot of quotations from and anecdotes contributed by Walter Graumann, William Hale, John Wilder, William Robert Yates, and Howard Alston just to name a few. Generally, the chapters appear like a nice chat about the memories of people 'in-the-know'. There is no real indepth-review of the shows, critics might say, but the first-hand accounts are what make Etter's book entertaining and worthwhile at the same time. We learn about actual production and filming, and we do get a lot of information on the relationship between actors, directors and producers.

Just like Rosin's dedicated book on the series, I recommend to grab this issue which is full of interesting memories of production supervisors, directors, writers and the like who actually worked on the shows and made them special.

You can buy the book on Amazon.com and McFarland Books.

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