Maverick: Bundle From Britain (1957) Review

Maverick: Bundle From Britain  (1957)
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"Maverick" had suffered a steep decline from its glory days by the time this episode was filmed, but it's still a good show. Roger Moore replaces the absent James Garner as Maverick in this one, a task about as enviable as his replacing of Sean Connery in the role of James Bond years later. Moore did some extremely good episodes, though, one in particular written and directed by Robert Altman, but this isn't one of them and this isn't it. Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick and Moore as his cousin Beau work hard at it but the script in this one just isn't quite up to snuff, and Kelly plays the material a bit too broadly, something that would have been inconceivable in his work with Garner. It's worthwhile to dyed-in-the-wool Maverick adherents (like me) and Roger Moore admirers (you won't believe how young he looks in this, shot long before his later series "The Saint"), but this one should only be ordered after you've experienced the classic earlier episodes with Garner and Kelly. It's easy to see why Moore was chosen to replace Garner, though, since the resemblance between the two actors throughout the 60s is eerie. Later in the same season the studio went that one better, though, by hiring Garner lookalike Robert Colbert, dressing him in Garner's signature black outfit, and calling his character "Brent."

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