Richard Diamond, Private Detective (TV Series 1957–1960) Poster

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One of the best Private Eye shows from the 1950s.
WEBUTLER18 February 2004
"Richard Diamond" was one of the all-time great private eye television shows from the late 1950's. The series starred the raspy-voiced David Janssen as the title character driving around in his Ford convertibles trading innuendos with Sam, the female operator for the Hi-Fi Answering Service, via his car phone as he solves all manner of cases. Janssen is tough and sexy and one can only wonder if he and Sam ever connected in real time. Sam is only shown in profile from the shoulders down seated in front of a switch board, in tight fitting dresses, legs crossed and usually dangling a stiletto-heeled shoe from her toe as she delivers Richard's messages in a breathy low husky voice. The show is fast, well acted, entertaining and shot in "glorious" black and white with a great jazz score. An original soundtrack album was released by Mercury records during the shows run on network television. It's great fun and well worth a look.
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Dick Powell Hands Over To David Janssen
bkoganbing12 July 2008
Richard Diamond premiered on radio in 1949 and ran for three seasons in that medium. The part of the hardboiled detective was a natural for Dick Powell who had made over his apple-cheeked crooner image from the Thirties to one of film-land's premier tough guys. On the radio show Powell was a former NYPD detective who also served in the OSS in World War II. He who essayed the part of Philip Marlowe so well in Murder My Sweet had no trouble in making Richard Diamond a hit on radio when that venue was losing audiences and sponsors to television.

In 1957 he was offered the part to do again on television. But Powell who was a practical businessman as well as talented actor felt at this point the role demanded a younger man. Like John Wayne who recommended James Arness for Gunsmoke, another radio series transitioning to television, Powell hired David Janssen, a young contract player with Universal for Diamond. I did say 'hire' because it was Powell's Four Star Production Company that produced the show for television.

Janssen was also an inspired choice. I don't recall if the OSS part of his background was kept for television as it was a younger Diamond Powell wanted, but what was added was the legs and hands of Mary Tyler Moore as Sam the message center operator. We never saw her face, we were saved that for The Dick Van Dyke Show, but her legs were a thing of beauty indeed. And that sultry voice, YOIKES.

Moore was the only other real regular on the series, Janssen played a lone hand. Richard Diamond was a throwback to the Raymond Chandler/ Dashiell Hammett school of fiction detectives. He was a tough guy with a biting wit and his adventures were accompanied by a nice Man With A Golden Arm type jazz score.

Richard Diamond ran for three seasons and Janssen went on to his biggest success in The Fugitive. Still there are some who consider Diamond his best television work and I'd love for TV Land channel to dig up those episodes so a new generation can find out.
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Better Than Outstanding!
mozart-7326818 August 2019
I vividly recall loving this show as a little kid in the late 1950s, so much, that I wished my name was "Richard". Then recently I noticed the full episodes were on YouTube and delved in. I am astounded how great this show is, and can understand why my entire family loved this show 60 years ago!

The script, the dialog, the acting, the directing, the action, the music, the camera work, and the lighting....all are superb and infinitely better than any junk on TV in the last 25 years! The excellent writing is able to pack an incredible story and resolution into 24 minutes...just amazing!

David Janssen's portrayal of Richard Diamond is outstanding; smart, tough, clever, with a boyish grin that gets him information that others may not get. He displays a believable sensitivity to the unfortunate, but like most of us, is a sucker for a pretty face!

I have made it through the entire two seasons, and it was the most enjoyable shows I've watched in decades. I plan on watching all four seasons in order, and highly recommend this series.
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