CENTRAL DISPATCH

THE HAWAII FIVE-0 NEWSLETTER

wave from opening credits

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  Volume 1                                          July 1999                                           Issue 3 

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From the Files of Marty Cooper

For approximately 20 years, Marty Cooper was the editor of the Official Jack Lord Newsletter. She has very generously allowed us to reprint some of the articles pertaining to Hawaii Five-0. Iím sure everyone will enjoy these articles and I would like to thank Marty on behalf of all the Five-0 fans for sharing her newsletter with us.

(The following article was originally from a 1978 Aloha Magazine and written by George Herman who played character parts throughout the series. The pictures are also the same ones accompanying the article.)

Confessions of a Honolulu Hit Man

 Now, get this straight, see? Iím a professional, and I work out of Hawaii, because this is the place where many rich and famous people - like movie and television stars - come to relax.

And be robbed or beaten or mauled by me and my friends.

Thatís right. And Iím good at my work. Some pals and I gassed Patty Duke in the Kuilima Hotel on Oahuís north shore, and I stole a small fortune in Post Impressionist art from Luther Adler. I may be a crook, but I have class, baby.

I knocked Michael Anderson, Jr. unconscious, stuffed him behind the wheel of his van, and sent it flaming down the slopes of the Pali. I fenced hot opals, laundered syndicate money, and was hired twice by rival actors to kill Jack Lord - once as he was jogging in Kapiolani Park.

Unfortunately that caper was unsuccessful, because I was shot in the head by a sniper hidden in the Rose Garden across the street. It was a classic double cross, sweetheart.

But Iíve survived. And Iíve paid my dues, sugar.

Over the past ten years I have been pistol-whipped twice, strangled twice, shot four times, and booked by "Danno" annually. Thatís right, baby, Iím a character player on Hawaii Five-0 and season after season I have gone around trying to bump off Mr. Lord or Mr. MacArthur or any of their assorted friends - when Iím not informing on the bad guys for Kam Fong or on the good guys for Nephi Hanneman. Iím a professional. I have no loyalty, honey.

Normally I am disguised as a meek, middle-aged staff specialist for the Hawaii State Department of Education, but with a single call from my agent, I take vacation time, break out my hardware (I prefer a .44 caliber magnum - like Dirty Harry), and start working on the latest contract.

That contract by the way is the standard Screen Actors Guild agreement calling for a little more than $200 a day for speaking roles - even if itís only one word like "Help!" - and more than $700 for a weekís work - plus residuals. Okay, okay. So itís something less than the standard Mafia arrangement. But the most hazardous thing I can expect is the wrath of a director if the scene requires more than three takes. Al Capone should have been so lucky.

Fortunately, due to the high degree of professionalism of everyone connected with Hawaii Five-0 from the CBS-TV technicians right up there to Mr. Lord himself most of my work is completed successfully after a rehearsal and two takes.

All in all, I have appeared in some thirteen segments of Hawaii Five-0 and in other Island-based TV series such as The Brian Keith Show and Westwind to Hawaii. So, too, has my wife, my insurance man, my doctor, some of my students and half the personalities in the islands.

Credit for this must go to the CBS-TV management and to Leonard Freeman who originated the series ten years ago. And to casting directors Bob Busch - who, until its untimely demise, cast Big Hawaii - and Dick Kindlon who steadily compiled a repertory company of accountants, clerks, teachers, athletes, gardeners and truck drivers who were secretly smugglers, murders, thieves, arsonists and rapists. All they needed was a break, see? Is that too much to ask from this lousy society?

Anyway, when the series first began the producers and directors looked to those kamaainas with past theatre skills, people like L. Newell Tarrent, director of the oldest theatre in the Islands, the Honolulu Community Theatre. Mr. Tarrent was the first medical lab man for the Five-0 force; and when his work at the HCT became more demanding, he was succeeded by Al Eban, an Island resident and a veteran actor.

Glenn Cannon, another graduate of the New York theatre, became a regular: the District Attorney. Being one of the good guys hasn't hurt his reputation at the University of Hawaii where he is a professor in the Theatre Department.

Lee Stetson, one of the founding fathers of the Hawaii Performing Arts Company, became a deranged killer with great consistency and so did Bob Basso, a local TV and radio personality. He worked so often for Hawaii Five-0 he decided to make acting his profession and is now on the Mainland doing just that - and quite successfully.

One of the better-known character actors on the Five-0 series is, of course, St. Maryís College All-American football star of yesteryear, Herman Wedemeyer, who plays "Duke" the liaison man between the Honolulu Police Department and the Five-0 squad. A thoroughly competent actor, Wedemeyer says, "All athletes develop a certain haminess, because of their exposure to the public, and when director Dick Benedict was playing golf with me out at Waialae one day he asked me to come read for him. I did, and the next thing I knew I was on Five-0 playing a judge."

That role led to many others for Wedemeyer, most often a police officer in full uniform so when an opening was created after Zulu and Al Harrington left the series, Wedemeyer was offered the plain-clothes role and accepted it, "because I knew I could get out of that hot uniform."

Or look at Harry Endo who was a quiet, gentlemanly vice-president for a conservative financial institution until he became the regular pathologist for the Five-0 squad. Harry went on to become a TV pitchman for everything from insect repellants to politicians, and today he is a high executive in the local government of the city and county of Honolulu. Which is what we call Graduate Show Biz.

You realize, of course, sugar, that not everybody who wants to, works for the series. Linda Coble, a real-life news commentator for local station KGMB (the CBS affiliate), auditioned for the role of a news commentator. And lost. Later, however, she appeared in other roles - as did her colleagues Bob Seavey and Bob Jones.

     Jack Lord and Richard Denning  

                         (Jack Lord with Richard Denning, cast as the Governor of Hawaii.  Filming was done and photo shot in the actual office of Hawaii's governor in the State Capitol.)

To Islanders like myself, the mystic appeal of Hawaii Five-0 is sometimes elusive. Hawaii has her share of criminals, but they are the usual, unimaginative types who extort the more successful Waikiki nightclubs, mug visitors, steal cars and drop a rival syndicate type in a nearby canefield.

But no Island baddie ever had the bizarre notion to encase a victim in a skin-tight, insulated suit with two breathing tubes and then immerse the poor guy in a huge tank of water until he lost all sensory perception - and his mind. That had to come from the twisted soul of the recurrent Five-0 villain, Wo Fat, always played by Khigh Deigh. (Wo Fatís, by the way, is also the name of a popular Chinese restaurant on Honoluluís swinging Hotel Street.)

So, while we wondered at the continued success of the series in its early days, we have to admit that one of its great attractions is that very touch of the bizarre. A murder is a murder is a murder, but when that dastardly deed is performed by Seth Sakai - he of the shaven head and the drooping Fu Manchu mustache - the simple act of destruction becomes a masterwork of villainy.

This bizarre crime is beautifully photographed and slickly presented, of course and that professionalism adds to the appeal.

Though, in the preparation, the slickness is not readily apparent. I remember when director Richard Benedict - a talented and creative gentleman - spent almost an hour setting up a difficult tracking shot for "Thanks for the Honeymoon", a Five-0 segment of four or five seasons past. The scene began with a shot of the baddies gathered around a table plotting how to get to material witnesses who were under heavy guard up at the Kuilima Hotel. The trick here is that the scene was to be shot through a glass of whiskey which colored and distorted the view into something resembling an amber hell. The head villain was then to pick up the glass and the view was to immediately clear up - which required a quick and tricky re-focusing, and then the camera was to track in to a two-shot of the main plotters around the table.

It took another half hour to set the lights which had to be adjusted for every part of the scene, making sure that when the camera moved there would be no sudden reflections in the lens and so on. All this was complicated by the fact that the scene was being shot on location in a rented beach house near Kahaluu, rather than in a studio where such things such as lighting can be more easily controlled. At last everything was ready to go. The recording machine was at speed. Mr. Benedict called for action, and the camera began to film through the glass. Successfully the glass was removed and the camera re-focused and began tracking into the nest of villains. It reached the mark and slowly turned up to reveal the faces of the baddies, and two non-actors who were walking along the lanai outside and were clearly visible through the window.

At once, Mr. Benedict called "Cut" and was about to add a few other choice words when the guilty culprits entered the room - totally unaware a scene was being shot and talking brightly to one another. Poor Mr. Benedict, he wasnít even to have the satisfaction of telling the guilty people off. They were the producer and a visiting friend. Years later, when Jack Lord was to insist that there be no visitors on the set of Hawaii Five-0 that memory came back to me, and the wisdom of that decision.

But like I say, sweetheart, this sort of thing is never permitted to affect the final version which is always slick and of high quality technically. And, like I say, thatís part of the appeal of the series.

still from Wooden Model Of A rat

(Still from the chapter "Wooden Model of a Rat" gathers stars - from left to right - Kwan Hi Lim, Kam Fong, special guest Edward Asner, James MacArthur and Jack Lord.)

The second major appeal is the tourist game called, "Look Helen! We were there!" With more and more tourists coming to the Islands annually, it is only natural that more and more Mainlanders are fully familiar with the Koolau Range, Kapiolani Park, the Ala Moana Shopping Center and Kuhio Beach; and who know full well that Hilo is the principal city on the Big Island and not a command one screams at insolent dogs. This second major appeal has variations, such as the "if-heís-going-to-the-airport,-why-is-he-heading-for-Hanauma-Bay? Game.

The know-it-all visitors are getting better and better at spotting these geographical maneuvers and delight in them. More and more of our veteran visitors are able to spot the fact that MacArthur is not going ewa but Koko Head, and mauka at that. And in those terms!

They must wonder, these sharp-eyed experts, how that phone booth got in the middle of a Kakaako street when Danno was being set up for my murder in a 1975 segment. Or how I stepped out of my shop in Kilohana Square in "Flash of Color, Flash of Death" right into a car parked high up on Diamond Head Road. And if they wonder about that, they must be floored when they ask the location of the Five-0 offices - not the studio, but the State Police offices - and learn they are referring to Iolani Palace where Mr. Lord and Company have been encamped - illegally - from the beginning.

I have seen the shocked expression on many a tourist face when I had to confess that Iolani Palace is the traditional seat of the Hawaiian monarchy and not available to any agency - government or otherwise - for office space. It is the same look they get when you explain that Hawaii doesnít have a state police force. Each county has its own.

If visitors were permitted on the CBS-TV sound stage, they would be more astounded to discover a huge background drop, drawn precisely to scale, of the park and city as it is seen from that mythical office in downtown Honolulu. And several offices that would really have to look that way if they were located in Iolani Palace. It is this attention to detail, and this thirst for professionalism that marks the series; and the man behind that has to be Jack Lord.

Next to the question "Where is Hawaii Five-0?", the big question is always, "What kind of a man is Jack Lord, really?" I donít answer it, because the implication is, that even if I told you, you wouldnít believe it. But Iíll try.

The word, lady, is professional. Mr. Lord knows his profession from a long and wide experience with it, and he continually grows at it. He had directed some segments of the series, including "How to Steal A Masterpiece" in which the aforementioned Mr. Adler and Mr. Anderson came to bad ends.

And if you looked closely at the gallery in that segment where the great art of the world was being stored prior to my stealing it, you would have been introduced to another aspect of McGarrett. The top paintings in the room were all his. Jack Lord is as well known to Islanders for his art as for his television work. He collects, and he paints; and he brings the same intense, professional attitude to that as he does to McGarrett.

He has developed a personal exercise to get the adrenaline flowing prior to the shooting. He claps his hands briskly together and makes sharp, staccato sounds to clear his throat and get the energy up. Nevertheless, his style is naturalistic and low-key.

Brian Keith also works for low-key, natural delivery; but his method is completely different. In one segment of The Brian Keith Show he began telling me a story about his children. The director yelled, "Action!" Mr. Keith went on telling me his story, and then, suddenly, he threw me the cue line, and we were off and running - in the same, simple natural tone in which he had been telling me the story.

But what Jack Lord produces is a tough man in a tight situation, tense, alert and thinking. Brian Keith radiates warmth and casualness. His image is a man who would rather not fight if he could avoid it, but if he has to, heíll think about it.

James MacArthur of the Five-0 squad is an equally professional actor. He is competent, intelligent and attractive. He is also perpetually young; the less experienced cop learning the ropes from an old pro. He brings warmth and humor to the squad room. He projects those qualities off-screen as well. He eats with the cast and crews, hob-nobs with the technicians when he isnít on call, signs autographs if asked. Jack Lord also signs autographs graciously, but he is less readily available, because Hawaii Five-0 literally is his baby. He is constantly reading and helping to rework the scripts, meeting with the producer and CBS officials and directors hired for each segment. This is all in addition to learning his lines and building the image of McGarrett from day-to-day, show-to-show. In addition, he frequently plays host to the visiting guest stars - many of whom did come to the Islands for a visit or a vacation and were worked into a Hawaii Five-0 segment.

B&W from Fools Die Twice

(Fast-paced "Hawaii Five-0" is the third longest running serial in television history, topped only by "Bonanza" and "Gunsmoke".)

Kam Fong rehearsed his Five-0 role for 16 years, as a foot patrolman with the Honolulu Police Department. He is the stoic Chinese he plays on the screen: methodical, logical and studious. Off-screen he is compassionate and concerned, often discussing the difficulty of the contemporary Chinese in trying to assimilate the new ways of the West with the old and respected traditions of the East.

The relationship between Hawaii Five-0 and some segments of Honolulu society has not always been cordial and cooperative. There are those who feel the bizarre nature of the Five-0 scripts give the Islands a bad name. They need not worry. The existing criminal fringe has already done that! Ask any tourist who has been mugged or had his car rifled while he was swimming. And there is an organization of property owners on the slopes of Diamond Head who went to court a year ago to force CBS-TV to move their studios. They did. Three blocks further down Diamond Head Road to 18th Street. Which, presumably, satisfied the Diamond Head organization.

The fact is that, in addition to the extra income for the scores of principals and extras who reside in the Islands, the CBS experience has encouraged other producing agencies to try filming a series there. Filmways erected a sound stage on the windward side of Oahu in Kailua; and many TV producers, including Quinn Martin, have made pilots for a projected series in the past few years. Segments of Charlieís Angels, The Brady Bunch and McCloud have been filmed in the Islands, and once the directors and producers experience the magnificent scenery with every possible location available from desert to rain forest, the temptation becomes stronger. Governor George Ariyoshi has endorsed a film industry for Hawaii, and plans are being prepared for a sound stage in Kakaako. In fact, the Hawaii State Department of Planning and Economic Development reported recently that this calendar year, TV production "is expected to total at least $30 million in revenues for the State." This includes future projects already scheduled such as a Six Million Dollar Man segment to be shot on the north shore of Oahu, Island sequences for a future Benji film, a made-for-TV movie Death Moon and three new pilots, On The Loose, Tahiti Station and Good Morning - the first Warner Brothers entry in the Island sweepstakes.

Oscar Nichols, the gentleman who has already announced three different locations for that sound stage now scheduled for Kakaako, has also "announced" plans for two movies to be shot here: Death Dimension and Monopoly. And the biggest project in the works - a remake of Michenerís Hawaii as a TV mini-series which the Department of Planning and Economic Development says will bring in revenues of about "$15 million dollars."

Which, in turn, makes me and my boys very happy, you may be sure. So, to the enemies of Hawaii film and television production: be warned! As a professional, Sweetheart, I may not take you on myself, but I have this exotic friend with a shaved head and a Fu Manchu mustache and a huge tank of water.....

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Kam Fong

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Scott Inglewolf has been hard at work (?) putting together lists. His most current lists involve the titles of Five-0 episodes and the use of "violent" terms in them. Hawaii Five-0 was criticized for being violent while at its peak and many of the titles did have keywords for "violent" fiction.

Episodes with the word murder in the title:

Most Likely to Murder      Air Cargo, Dial for Murder      Didnít We Meet at a Murder?

Murder is a Taxing Affair Murder      With a Golden Touch      Hara Kiri - Murder

Presenting in the Center Ring - Murder     Murder -Eyes Only Invitation to Murder

Horoscope for Murder

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Episodes with the word death in the title:

Deathwatch      Death is a Company Policy        Death Wish on Tantalus Mountain

Charter for Death      Flash of Color, Flash of Death      The Flip Side is Death

Death With Father      Deathís Name is Sam        Let Death Do Us Part

Death in the Family      Death Mask

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Episodes with dead/deadly in the title:

A Thousand Pardons - Youíre Dead      Nine Ten - Youíre Dead      Motherís Deadly Helper

6,000 Deadly Tickets      Deadly Persuasion        Heads, Youíre Dead        Deadly Doubles

Yes, My Deadly Daughter      Deadly Courier

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Episodes with die/died in the title:

Yesterday Died and Tomorrow Wonít be Born        And A Time to Die      Fools Die Twice

Goodnight Baby, Time to Die     Why Wait Until Uncle Kevin Dies?      Try to Die on Time

To Die in Paradise      Why Wonít Linda Die?

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Episodes with kill/kills in the title:

Twenty-four Karat Kill      Forty Feet High, and it Kills      To Kill or Be Killed

You Donít Have to Kill to Get Rich, But It Helps        Iíll Kill Ďem Again        To Kill a Mind

Practical Jokes Can Kill You

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Episodes with Killer in the title:

Killer Bee      Draw Me a Killer       Computer Killer     Killer at Sea        A Killer Grows Wings

Tour de Force - Killer on Board      The Skyline Killer

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DANNO NEWS

Danno

 

Our roving reporter in Hollywood, Leilani Kimmel-Dagastino has sent us the latest Danno sighting...

Re-Release of Swiss Family Robinson

Walt Disney Pictures recently released a re-colorized, digitally re-mastered edition of the 1960 literary classic Swiss Family Robinson on May 22 and 23 at the El Captain Theatre in Hollywood. On hand signing autographs for the 2 days were James MacArthur and several other cast members. This was James MacArthurís 5th film after The Young Strangers (1957), The Light in the Forest (1958), Banner in the Sky (1959), and The Third M an on the Mountain (1959).

The film was one of Disneyís biggest and most fondly remembered hits and is full of breathtaking South Seas scenery, hundreds of exotic animals, and treacherous pirates.

This heroic tale chronicles the courageous exploits of the Robinson family after they are shipwrecked on a deserted island. Using teamwork and ingenuity, they skillfully overcame the obstacles of nature and transform their new home into a "civilized" community. But the ultimate challenge lies ahead when a band of cutthroat pirates threaten to destroy the Robinsonsí makeshift paradise.

The film starred John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro and co-starred Sessue Hayakawa, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, and Cecil Parker. It was directed by Ken Annakin.

The El Captain Theatre, located at 6838 Hollywood Boulevard, is a single screen theater, originally built in 1926, which was completely revamped in 1991 by Pacific Theatres and the folks at Disney. It specializes in family features and sometimes features live stage shows before animated movies. It is a fantastic place to see a movie because every seat, from the front row to the last seat in the balcony is a great seat. LA film critics and movie buffs consistently rate this theatre as one of the best. Itís refurbishment is what finally spurred the much stalled Hollywood Renaissance Project.

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Five-O Movie News

(Leilani also sent along this article from the June 5 edition of the Daily Breeze - Los Angeles South Bay Cities area)

Quick - which of todayís crop of male film stars would you cast to play the unflappable Det. Steve McGarrett in a big-screen version of the 1968-1980 series Hawaii Five-0?

Producer George Litto is playing that "what if" casting game for real.

He and his associates are also discussing directors for their planned $80 million to $100 million feature, for which, he says, they now have a screenplay.

Litto says the project has been moving forward fast over the last few months. "It was delayed while we were in a dispute over rights with CBS for two years," he says. "That was arbitrated and resolved in our favor at the beginning of the year...We control the film rights with the estate of Leonard Freeman, who created the series."

Litto also said the feature Five-0 will be nothing like the attempt at an updated version of the vintage cop show that CBS unsuccessfully tried about three years ago. (Article by Marilyn Beck)

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Favorite Episodes/Least Favorite Episodes

The votes are in. Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Favorite Episodes:

  1.  Singapore File

2.  Man in a Steel Frame and Once Upon a Time

3.  Hookman

4.  Blind Tiger and Time and Memories

5.  Bells Toll at Noon and Highest Castle and V for Vashon

Least Favorite Episodes (this one was tough, almost everyone had a different choice!)

1.  One Big Happy Family

2.  The Child Stealers

3.  FOB Honolulu and The Jokers Wild, Man, Wild

4. Tricks are Not Treats and The Young Assassins

5.  Horoscope for Murder and Two Doves and Mr. Heron

Showing up on both lists were: Draw Me A Killer, FOB Honolulu, Hookman, Man in a Steel Frame, Nine Dragons and Singapore File.

*********************************Zulu

 

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For our French and Italian members who might need help with translations - Flo Faure-Conorton has volunteered to help out.

A líintention des fans francophones:

Pour obtenir:

-une version francaise du bulletin edite par le CJLR

-les traductions en francais des articles presents sur le site http://www.jacklord.net

-tout autre type díinformations sur Jack Lord ou Hawaii Five-0...

Contacter Flo a <FloH50@yahoo.com>

Merci et Aloha!

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Per ottenere:

-una traduzione in italiano della "newsletter" pubblicata dal CJLR

-le traduzioni degli articoli del sito webb http://www.jacklord.net

-altre notizie su Jack Lord o Hawaii Five-0

Mandare un messagio a Flo <FloH50@yahoo.com>

Grazie e Aloha

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And now a word from our sponsors:

Anyone interested in copies of Hawaii Five-0 episodes (mostly all full versions) can contact Barbara Brindle at 105 Warren Road, Sparta, NJ 07871.    Barbara's rates are very reasonable and she's very reliable. 

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We are looking for the following Jack Lord episodes on VHS: Dr. Kildare - A Willing Suspension of Disbelief and the movie The True Story of Lynn Stuart. Anyone who may have information about these programs can contactus at either the fan club or email address listed above.

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Memorial contributions can be made to the Jack and Marie Lord Trust c/o Hawaii Community Foundation, 900 Front Street Mall, Suite 1300, Honolulu, HI 96813. This fund was established in 1988 and was set up by the Lordís to benefit their favorite charities. We have been assured that while personal responses are not possible, Mrs. Lord is made aware of all contributions.

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From Jerry Picard: he reminded us that last fall Kam Fong underwent surgery for cancer. Jerry spoke to Kamís son Dennis and who said his dad was a bit down. Anyone interested in sending cards to wish him well may do so. The address is Kam Fong, c/o Dennis Chun, 2578C-2 Pacific Hts. Rd. Honolulu, HI 96813.

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Aloha, see you in October

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