David Janssen said the film industry turned into a quick buck business in 1970

"I'm all for experimentation, but not when it takes the place of being a pro," the actor said.

Many changes happened in film and television between 1950 and 1970, and many actors shared their opinions, some ultimately changing from film to television and vice versa. Both industries wanted to reach new generations and push out more content.

Actors like Don Knotts felt like television was in a rut, too tiring and that the film industry was easier.

Yet what made the industry "easier" also created poor production quality because making more money with little effort was the main motive.

David Janssen, star of The Fugitive, saw the movie industry become redundant and lazy. In a 1970 interview with The Miami Herald, the star shared his thoughts about the changes.

"[The] movie business has changed in the last year and a half," he began. "For one thing, there are a lot of themes going out that I don't agree with, that I don't like being associated with. Some of them are groovy, yes, and a lot of them aren't."

Janssen had experience in both television and films. The actor had a hit show on air from 1963-1967 and starred in the 1967 crime thriller Warning Shot.

He added, "Everybody wants to make an easy rider for $1.95 and make millions, which is hard to do. Too many guys in Hollywood get out with a handheld camera and they say, 'man, we're gonna make a picture about some people on the highway.' Now that's not filmmaking, that's a flip of the coin and I don't like the odds."

Janssen wasn't against creating content from new, fresh ideas, but many movie themes were the same and a gamble.

"As a professional, I like the odds to be stacked in my favor. Some of the kids have made some marvelous films, but it's usually a lucky shake of the dice and not professionalism. I'm all for experimentation, but not when it takes the place of being a pro."

Janssen returned to television because he believed that's where the true professionals were.

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22 Comments

Mark 6 months ago
I believe he returned to television because his post-Fugitive movie career was a disaster!

Consider the films he had lead roles in...Warning Shot, Where It's At, Generation, Macho Callahan. Have you heard of any of those? Unless you're a real Janssen fan (like myself), you probably haven't. But you've probably heard of The Green Berets and Marooned? Those are films that David had supporting roles in.

Bottom line: David Janssen wasn't a movie star by any stretch of the imagination. A good SUPPORTING actor in movies, but not a lead. TV, however, was a different story...it was there that he established himself as a leading man, and it was there he had the most success.
Avie 12 months ago
"Janssen wasn't against creating content from new, fresh ideas, but many movie themes were the same and a gamble."

Janssen was right, and on the right track, but he didn't quite grasp the problem, which is that there's a big gulf between movie studios trying to figure out what the public will pay money to see, and trying to give them what they WANT to see, because audiences really don't want anything in particular, other than to be entertained and feel that they've gotten their money's worth. When studios engage in the latter, they are only pandering, and those audiences -- as well as people on the inside like Janssen -- sense it and resent it.
katecahill 12 months ago
I agree- so many current shows are crap. I've really enjoyed seeing David Janssen in Harry O in METV+ ( I just started being able to get it in my area, so not tired of it yet!)
Also- one of the fun things about watching these old shows is seeing actors who later became stars in early roles. (just saw a very young Gene Hackman on Route 66!)
I'd love to see Ben Casey on one of these channels. Lots of dramatic lighting in B&W!
Moverfan katecahill 12 months ago
That's the fun part of watching MeTV--you're sitting there enjoying the show and all of a sudden it's "Hey, I know that guy"!
DannyZ 13 months ago
Yes

The entertainment business is in tough shape all around

Very sad



Deleted 13 months ago
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Moody 13 months ago
Streets of San Francisco was a great show. That would be a great addition to MeTv's lineup.
Moverfan 12 months ago
Streets Of San Francisco was syndicated years ago--my sister used to watch it on a local station here in the Detroit area (she was born in 1975). And Tarzan was on either Decades or H&I about four or five years ago, but I don't know if it still is.
AgingDisgracefully 13 months ago
MeTV! Please show Janssen's O'Hara, US Treasury from '71-'72.
True, there are only 23 episodes, BUT it's a Jack Webb Production.
Unintentional comedy awaits.
And another chance to see more of David's shortened career.
MeTV+ has run through 45 episodes of Harry O at least 3 or more cyclesworth.
We need some new old stuff.
Judges?
Deleted 13 months ago
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CaptainDunsel 12 months ago
When watching one of these current "celebrity" TV shows, it's important to keep an internet-connected device handy. That way you can look up to see who the [bleep] any of these "celebrities" *are*! Too many people just famous for being famous.
12 months ago
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Moverfan 12 months ago
What we need is a kind of sign-up sheet m-s one thing like "Hey, MeTV, could you consider this?" kind of thing. Write down your username, the name of the show and the years it aired, if you know them. If you go to the sheet and the show's already on there, you could add a "me too" vote. I'm not saying they'd be under any obligation to get any of these shows, but at least they'd have an idea of what most of us would like to see.
12 months ago
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McGillahooala 13 months ago
All of these stars would roll over in their graves if they saw the crap being produced today.
Bapa1 13 months ago
It was a "quick-buck" business from the start.
harlow1313 13 months ago
Well, I'm not sure about his view point. Often times small productions are from people working with what is available to them, which may not be much.
MrsPhilHarris 13 months ago
This might be a good show for METV to air.
DocForbin 13 months ago
Janssen did return to TV portraying the title character in "Harry O" and did the narration for and put in a cameo appearance in the mini-series "Centennial". He was going to portray the title character in the made-for-TV movie "Father Damien: The Leper Priest" but died shortly after filming began. He was replaced by the White Shadow himself, Ken Howard.
LoveMETV22 13 months ago
"Don Knotts said television was ''in a rut'' in the late 1960s."
" David Janssen said the film industry turned into a quick buck business in 1970."
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Wow it sounds like the late 60's and 70's were a tumultuous time in the television and Film Industries.
Moverfan LoveMETV22 12 months ago
It's understandable, though. Think of all the changes the country was going through at the time a-d very thing was affected, even the entertainment business.
Moverfan Moverfan 12 months ago
By the way, that a-d should read "everything". Apparently my keyboard does not like it when I separate things with a dash.
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