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Man in a Suitcase Set 2
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A disgraced former U.S. agent, now a gun for hire
After 10 years working for U.S. intelligence, “Mac” McGill (Richard Bradford, The Untouchables) knows a thing or two about living by his wits and getting the job done. But after his employment is terminated under mysterious circumstances, he has to look for work among those prepared to pay for his services. From his base in London, McGill travels all over Europe and beyond, taking on the jobs no one else can handle, tracking down the people no one else can find.
This action-packed Cold War drama aired on ABC in the late 1960s and features savvy writing and a host of superb guest stars, including Donald Sutherland (Pride & Prejudice), Felicity Kendal (Rosemary & Thyme), Peter Arne (The Return of the Pink Panther), Ray McAnally (My Left Foot), Colin Blakely (The Beiderbecke Affair), Philip Madoc (A Mind to Kill), and Edward Fox (Gandhi).
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Top Customer Reviews
In fact, his performance is highly unusual for its intensity. If there was any example of a scene stealer, the acting of Richard Bradford is it. He simply dominates every scene he is in, to such a point that he leaves a lasting impression upon the viewer about the character he plays.
Richard Bradford is a genuine example of the intangible of what makes a star in TV and the movies. His talent should have propelled him into a much more successful career, yet his career is largely forgotten. He is fortunate to have this short series as his legacy, though unfortunately outside of cult circles this show is often ignored. What a shame!
Finally, one cannot forget to mention the great theme tune of this show, which frankly is one of the greatest ever written for a TV show. It was always a pleasure to listen to it at the beginning and end of every show.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
52 min. episodes have SUBTITLES: * = guest stars
~1 Burden of Proof-Plantation owner (*Patrick Allen) abuses AFRICA workers with ally Fr. Loyola (*Colin Blakely). Investigating McGill must choose dead/alive.
~2 Why They Killed Nolan-Mac's PI LONDON friend (*Sam Kydd) recognizes someone (*Ursula Howells) and calls for Mac who gets accused. Who killed Nolan?
~3 The Boston Square-Mac to GREECE chasing man (*Vincent Ball) & stolen sea farming data. Albanian spy (*Peter Arge) also interested. CIA man (*Rex Everhart) helps. Red herring?
~4 Somebody Loses, Somebody...Wins?-Br agent (*Jacqueline Pearce) defects with a loyalty test involving ex-lover McGill in GERMANY, in danger, again. Kommandant is (*Philip Madoc, who will also star in #12).
~5 Blind Spot-Blind PARIS girl's (*Felicity Kendall-35 yr younger "Rosemary" & Thyme) ma is killed. Mac gets little help from the girl's Uncle (*Marius Goring) in finding killer or jewels leading to a darker end.
~6 No Friend of Mine-Owner (*Clive Morton) of an AFRICA mine who supports a political cop (*Errol John) asks McGill to probe sabotage. A security man (*Allan Cuthbertson) helps-who?
~7 The Jigsaw Man-Mac's in ITALY via Ct. Ugo (*Maurice Kaufmann) to find brother (*Paul Bertoya) living with another artist (*Michael Sarne). Money at a heavy cost.
~8 Web with Four Spiders-Lawyer (*Ray McAnally) on a space travel committee gets photographed in MANCHESTER, compromised. Some (*Jacqueline Ellis, *Ralph Michael, *Simon Oates) involved suggest blackmail. Is it?
~9 Which Way Did He Go, McGill?-A released gold thief (*Donald Sutherland pre-MASH) seeks his ex-gang, trailed by Mac in the UK, both after the loot. Also see * Hugh McDermott, and Mac wrestling a red head (*Jennifer Jayne).
~10 Property of a Gentleman-Jane's (*Justine Lord) ill father (*Gordon Gostelow) refuses seeing her. McGill's in the UKcountry after Dad's Cezanne oil is sold, a copy according to son (*Terrance Alexander). Mac puts his spy-art to work.
~11 The Revolutionaries-SWEDEN exile (*Hugh Burden) and daughter (*Sonia Fox) call on McGill who must get by betrayals of Col Haider (*Ferdy Mayne) alive, if possible.
~12 Who's Mad Now?-Joan (*Audine Leith) another of McGill's ex-girls, is stalked & frightened. Unfaithful hubby (*Robert Hutton) says she's mad. Mac and a psychologist (*Philip Madoc) try sorting truth.
~13 Three Blinks of the Eyes-Eleanor (*Faith Brooks) hires McGill to trail husband (*Drewe Henley) and mistress in PARIS; then get rid of her.
~14 Castle in the Clouds-Sir Dennis (*Gerald Flood) blackmailed by mistress (*Gay Hamilton) asks Mac to recover a broach which is also sought by `Gentleman' Jim (*Edward Fox) and a Bermuda club owner (*Sydney Tafler).
~15 Night Flight to Andorra-McGill's gang ("Zia Mohyeddin, *Ewan Hooper) in SPAIN plans to raid a fortress for art. It's not paintings Radek (*Peter Woodthorpe) sells. And who's this lost blonde tourist (*Luanshya Greer)?
Final 15 episodes of "Man in a Suitcase" are better than the first 15 in Set One.
In the first episode of the series, it is learned that McGill (no first name stated) was an American agent who was disgraced about six years previously, and is regarded by some as a traitor. McGill discovers that his reputation was sacrificed as part of a scheme to plant agents behind the iron curtain. Rather than endanger those operatives, McGill chooses to remain in disgrace. He makes his living doing investigative work, and other jobs that usually involve intrigue, and danger. The title of the series comes from McGill's somewhat nomadic lifestyle, as he frequently travels from place to place carrying his worn tan suitcase.
McGill may travel light, and doesn't always go first class, but he is seldom in dire financial straits. Even with a tarnished reputation in some circles, McGill seems to have no shortage of employment opportunities, and is sometimes selected to be the fall guy. McGill is ruggedly handsome, but has some rough edges, and lacks the refinement and sophistication of a Simon Templar. His prematurely graying hair makes him look older. Because he has received a raw deal, McGill often has a huge chip on his shoulder, and his headstrongness seems to cloud his judgment at times. He can be a fierce fighter, but still takes a number of beatings, and is also badly wounded on several occasions. This may add an element of realism, but fortunately McGill appears to be a fast healer.
Operating as a lone wolf, and only occasionally employing high tech "Bondlike" gadgets, McGill is a tough operator who has a tendency to be stubborn, and doesn't always take the sensible course of action. Similar to Danger Man, the series has as a dark cynical tone, with very little humor. McGill was apparently originally conceived as more of a light hearted wiseguy, but Bradford preferred taking a more dark, low key approach, and also changed his lines without approval, which apparently didn't endear him to many in the writing and production staff.
The adventures are set in mostly European locations, and feature a lot of variety, from different types of crimes, to political intrigue, to international espionage. The episodes are generally well written, and pretty lively. For those acquainted with other ITC series from the era, the subject matter will seem quite familiar, as will many of the guest stars. And become accustomed to the series' downbeat vibe, and McGill's at times sour attitude, the lack of happy endings won't be as much of an issue. McGill may never be the most popular guy, but his determination and personal integrity are admirable.
Albert Elm's music and cues for the series, are very reminiscent of Edwin Astley's work on The Saint. Image quality is quite good for a program over forty years old. Unlike the import release which contained some substantial extras on each disc, this Acorn Media collection is a bit skimpy on extras. In this reviewer's opinion, the writing in the series improves as the series progresses, and the stories in the later 15 episodes are a bit stronger overall, than those in the first set. Given a choice, Set 2 would probably be the one for the casual fan to consider first. For the really hardcore fan, the import release (Man in a Suitcase: The Complete Series), with the additional bonus material, would be the one to look for. Be advised that these episodes are not subtitled, and you will need a region free DVD player that plays DVD's in PAL format.
For those that enjoy ITC Productions' mystery and suspense programs, Man In A Suitcase is a series that is well worth your time. Similar to The Baron (1965-66), ITC was hoping that an American in the lead role, would result in commercial success when broadcast in the USA, but unfortunately neither series garnered a substantial audience, and were cancelled.
And nothing is more quirky about the series than Richard Bradford, who plays McGill. A dedicated method actor, Bradford lurches about and smugly emotes without let-up. Yet, from start to finish, the offbeat plots, the music, and the presence of a number of ITC and other familiar character actors in support makes this a must-watch for the period afficionado. I give it four stars because, well, it's not perfect: at times it's got a cheesy look, story details become improbable or slightly questionable, and there is that frenetic dance scene in The Whisper. Nonetheless, this one is fun and engaging.