Jo Ann Harris on The FBI

If you were watching American TV in the '70s, chances are that you would eventually come across the beautiful actress Jo Ann Harris guest starring on one of your favorite shows. In 1973, she made a very memorable appearance on the long running television crime series The FBI

For her role on The FBI, Harris utilized her 'bad girl' persona, an extension of the one she used to great effect in the feature film The Beguiled a few years before. In the episode titled 'Sweet Evil', Jo Ann Harris played Mary Ann Linden, the younger sister of Cass Linden (Melissa Murphy). Cass had turned to a life of crime following the failure of her modelling career and, along with her violent boyfriend Beau (Andrew Prine), she now steals money and other valuable objects from various people. When the outlaw couple arrives in Tennessee for a short visit to the childhood home of Cass, they end up leaving with Mary Ann.

It turns out that Mary Ann is a troubled youth and she has no problem acclimating herself to the life of a criminal. She even toys with the idea of killing an older gentleman before Beau puts a stop to it. But, of course, the FBI is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to apprehend them.

Jo Ann Harris, full of devilish grins and searing stares, perfectly portrays a youthful criminal on the loose for the first time. She's extremely physically attractive and she seems to relish playing an evil young lady. It's a chilling TV episode made even more disturbing by her haunting portrayal. Any fan of Jo Ann Harris is encouraged to take a look at her guest spot on this classic television show.  

Jo Ann Harris and actress Melissa Murphy

Cyrielle Clair in Dragon Blood

In 1982, the beautiful French actress Cyrielle Clair co-starred in a martial arts movie called Dragon Blood. The star of this very entertaining motion picture was Taiwanese Kung fu fighting expert John Liu (who also wrote, directed and produced the project) and it was filmed in some breathtaking locations on the Canary Islands.

The presence of the stunningly lovely Cyrielle Clair helps to set Dragon Blood apart from many similar films. Her striking physical beauty is among the first things many viewers will notice and her ability to command the screen was quite evident even in this early stage of her long career. In the version of the movie I watched, her voice (along with the rest of the cast) was dubbed into English....but it was still quite easy to see how good of a job she was doing. The gorgeous young actress also seemed to be having a lot of fun making this and, alongside her effective dramatic scenes, she also has several playful moments with her co-star John Liu.

Dragon Blood is an engagingly campy effort that's easy to watch and enjoy. But even if one is not a fan of martial arts films, it's entirely worth watching just for the good looks and great talent of Cyrielle Clair.

Janear Hines in Hit!

Sometimes someone has only a small role in a film but nevertheless ends up being one of the most memorable things about it. When the film in question is one as good as Hit!, a movie full of terrific performances and unforgettable scenes, this is quite a feat.

Hit! is a 1973 movie directed by the great Sidney J. Furie and starring the one and only Billy Dee Williams. The plot concerns Williams and his quest to bring down a French drug ring following the accidental death of his daughter from a heroin overdose. It's an undeniable classic and a very entertaining revenge flick. 

Early on in the film, the legendary Billy Dee Williams meets up with an old girlfriend. She works with computers for the US government and she's willing to give Williams some vital information that he needs for his deadly mission. The actress playing this part is Janear Hines and she's quite attractive and, based on the immediately noticeable chemistry between her and Billy Dee, talented as well. Their scene together is all too brief but very memorable. Her character is alluded to later in the movie but she is not shown again. I'd love to see her in other projects but Janear Hines only worked sporadically throughout the 1970s.

Meredith Baxter in The Invasion of Carol Enders

In 1973, actress Meredith Baxter took top billing in a supernatural thriller from producer Dan Curtis called The Invasion of Carol Enders. The invasion mentioned in the movie's title refers to the essence/spirit/soul of one person entering into another. Baxter portrays the unwilling receptacle for such a phenomenon. Her character is the victim of a brutal attack and, after almost dying at the hospital, she suddenly recovers...but when she awakens, her boyfriend and doctors quickly discover that another woman's personality has manifested itself inside of her. The other woman had been murdered so, using this new body, a hunt begins for her killer.

One of the first things many viewers of The Invasion of Carol Enders may notice is Meredith Baxter's striking beautiful physical appearance. The talented actress commands the screen and gives a very memorable performance playing a young woman confronted with a strange situation. 

Even though it is associated with several popular names and features some very interesting subject matter, The Invasion of Carol Enders has largely been forgotten. And because Meredith Baxter was working on television so frequently in the 1970s and had so many other higher profile successes, this particular project seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. Her fans, if they haven't already sought it out, would be well served by taking a look at her fine performance in this gem. Likewise, fans of fun TV thrillers and/or nostalgic '70s curios will most likely find a lot to like here.  

Ione Skye in Stranded

Like so many other thousands and thousands of people across the globe, I'm a massive admirer of the lovely actress Ione Skye and I especially enjoy her projects from the late 1980s. One of her early films was a science fiction piece called Stranded from 1987. While many of Ione Skye's movies were popular when released or have since attained cult popularity, Stranded remains somewhat obscure amongst her oeuvre.

In Stranded, Ione Skye plays a beautiful teenage girl who lives with her grandmother (Maureen O'Sullivan) in an isolated home somewhere in rural America. On a quiet, normal night, a group of aliens crash land and take shelter within the home. The girl and her grandma are, at first, shocked by the presence by the alien lifeforms. They soon become friendly with the creatures and begin to see that they mean no harm and only need assistance. However, after the aliens accidentally kill a local young man, the police arrive and want some answers. While the situation escalates, Ione Skye and her grandmother bond with the extraterrestrials. Will the aliens be able to make it out alive?

This is a very underrated science fiction film. A simple story is told well, the performances are good and there are lots of nice special effects. Perhaps one day this project will receive a proper DVD release and more people will be able to enjoy this classic '80s sci-fi romp.

Janet Leigh in Kid Rodelo

Janet Leigh is not best known for her work in westerns, but the beautiful actress did star in the fantastic Old West thriller The Naked Spur and she appeared twice on the popular western television series The Virginian. However, in 1966 (though made in 1965) she also co-starred in another western film, Kid Rodelo.

For whatever reasons, Kid Rodelo remains rather obscure. It was released theatrically in 1966 and it played on TV often in the early '70s, though I'm guessing that the lack of a proper home video release was a big factor in the continuing unpopularity of this movie. Thankfully, mainly due to the internet, fans and curious viewers now have the opportunity to see this fine film.

Based on a Louis L'Amour book, Kid Rodelo is about a cleverly hidden cache of stolen gold and the men who will die to get it. Janet Leigh plays Nora, the only female character, a woman who was with one of the men who was after the gold. After that man dies early on, Nora sticks with Kid Rodelo (played by Don Murray), presumably because he seems like the smartest (and cleanest) guy left fighting for the treasure.

With a stark and effective musical score and a straightforward but intriguing story, Kid Rodelo is a pretty good western (to its benefit, the movie also features a great performance from screen veteran Broderick Crawford). Though some people (i.e. people who don't watch that many westerns and/or low budget films) may be slightly put off by the sometimes clunky editing and generally rough nature of the filmmaking, it's nevertheless an entertaining and engaging piece of cinema. 

Regardless of the quality of the film, Janet Leigh is does a terrific job in her role and she looks absolutely gorgeous throughout. She made this movie inbetween higher profile motion picture projects, but she had been working on the silver screen for nearly twenty years at this point and her consummate professionalism really shows here. Her huge screen presence and innate charm are perfectly on display in Kid Rodelo, just as they are in her more popular efforts. Any Janet Leigh fan would be well advised to take a look at her in this neat little western romp.