The television series THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO was based on the novel Poor, Poor Ophelia which I covered this past Friday. As I watched the pilot, I was struck by how close it stuck with the novel. Every plot point was straight out of the book in the same order, down to such things as missing keys, a girl constantly running out to replenish the parking meter, and most of the character names.
The big changes were the setting, from Santa Monica to San Francisco, and the two cops investigating. Homicide Detective Al Krug became Karl Malden’s Lt. Mike Stone and his new partner went from surfer boy, university man Casey Kellogg to Inspector Steve Keller, Michael Douglas’s character. They did switch the characters a bit though. In the book, Krug was the cynical man who believed the lawyer guilty and Kellogg the one who figured he might be innocent after a bit of investigation. Just the opposite in the pilot. I suppose Malden was the big star and must be the sympathetic one.
Kim Darby plays a girl whose body is found washed up on the beach, beaten and murdered, with a lawyer’s business card encased in plastic hanging around her neck. She appears in flashback sequences the lawyer, played by by Robert Wagner, remembers. The names were Holly Jean Berry and David J. Farr, same as in the novel. Other faces were Tom Bosley as the girl’s landlord Sarreti, Andrew Duggan as Captain Malone, Stone and Keller’s boss, Edward Andrews as Farr’s boat owning neighbor, and Lawrence Dobkin as the killer.