Back on track, set to graduate and then shot dead

'Johnny Staccato'


He would become one of the top filmmakers in independent American movies, but John Cassavetes ("Faces," "A Woman Under the Influence") first had a season as a television star in this unique 1959-60 drama, of which he directed several episodes.

The character is a New York-based detective and jazz musician, and his cases have the same moody tone that informs his melodies. Gena Rowlands (alias Mrs. Cassavetes), Michael Landon and Elizabeth Montgomery are among the guest stars ... and the musicians sitting in with Staccato include Shelly Manne and later film composer extraordinaire John Williams. *** (Not rated: AS, V)

Buy 'Johnny Staccato' on DVD.

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