Review: ‘Harrison: Cry of the City’

As telepic opens, Harrison has moved in with Cecilia and her fiancee Frank (Jeffrey Nordling), himself a New York City police detective.

As telepic opens, Harrison has moved in with Cecilia and her fiancee Frank (Jeffrey Nordling), himself a New York City police detective.

Hungry for some adventure — and eager to avoid involving himself in the couple’s impending wedding plans — Harrison agrees to work with an attorney assigned to defend a former drug dealer (Robert Montano) who’s the sole suspect in the murder of a police officer whom Harrison’s future son-in-law is investigating.

Needless to say, Harrison’s decision to join the defense of an alleged cop killer alienates him at home with both his daughter and Frank, and his problems increase as he faces opposition from a police department unwilling to see the presumed murderer set free.

TX:Filmed in Toronto by Michael Gleason Prods. in association with Paramount Domestic Television. Executive producers, William Sackheim, Michael Gleason; producer, Marilyn Stonehouse; director, James Frawley; writer, Gleason; Forced to wrestle with the dilemma of choosing between the love of job and family (a dilemma which has confounded him throughout his career, and now even into retirement), Harrison begins to question his role in the investigation.

A flurry of clues eventually convinces him to stick with the case, even when the defendant’s attorney succumbs to doubts about her client’s innocence.

Strength of story falls on shoulders of Harrison, whose air of British befuddlement belies a flair for getting his point across forcefully, impressing the attorney (who, as played by Cynthia Harris, is plenty tough herself), with whom he has a continuous banter sprinkled with baseball analogies he can’t quite seem to grasp.

Subplot features Hurley trying to finalize plans for her wedding, but finding the men in her life less than cooperative. Unfortunately, she’s given little else to do except stand around in a pair of tight jeans and act exasperated with her father — which is too bad, because she’s not a bad actress.

Plot provides little surprise, but is still engaging, thanks to the characters and to even-handed direction. Over all, production looks good, with a certain moody quality, although the Toronto locale doesn’t capture the flavor of Manhattan, where the story is set.

Harrison: Cry of the City

Production

Harrison: Cry of the City (Tues. (27) 8-10 p.m., UPN)

Crew

Music, Ken Harrison; editors, Jerrold L. Ludwig, Nicole Kallis; camera, Robert Primes; production design, Barbara Dunphy; art direction, Jennifer Carroll; sound, Bruce Carwardine; casting, Helen Mossler, Bonnie Finnegan.

With

Cast: Edward Woodward, Elizabeth Hurley, Jeffrey Nordling, Cynthia Harris, Robert Montano, Jude Ciccolella, Felicity Huffman. In a reprise of their roles in UPN's "Shamrock Conspiracy," Edward Woodward and Elizabeth Hurley return as the retired Scotland Yard detective Teddy Harrison and his daughter Cecilia, topping the cast of "Harrison: Cry of the City," a murder mystery set in New York City. Story is sprinkled with witty dialogue and a strong characterization by Woodward as Harrison, the former chief inspector whose charm could carry a regular series if given a chance.
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