Created by Leslie Stevens
“I’ve got a .38, I’m licensed, and I shoot 290!”
In Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model?, a 1977 made-for-television slice of cheese, TV’s I Dream of Jeannie trades in the harem pants and the flesh-covered belly button divot for a trenchcoat and a pantsuit (and sometimes considerably less) as LIZ STONESTREET, a former cop turned private investigator, with a knack for undercover work.
She had initially gone into law enforcement when her husband, a police detective, was killed in the line of duty, but now she’s working for a detective agency.
She’s hired by a woman to track down her son, Eddie, a would-be thug who works at a porn theatre. In his locker she discovers a pair of expensive diamond earrings and newspaper clippings about a missing socialite, Amory Osborn, the niece of a prominent industrialist. Liz suspects a connection between Eddie and Amory, and ignoring her boss’ advice, decides to go “undercover” at the porn joint, which seems to be a one-stop strip club/theatre/film studio.
It’s unclear what Liz is supposed to be (A hooker? A whore? A porn actress? A sexy usher?) but it gives her a chance to ditch the pantsuit, which made Eden look like a tall blonde shoebox, and an excuse to hang around the theatre, looking for clues.
Turns out Eddie and high class gal Amory have a bit of a thing going on, and that the little rich girl just happens to dabble in porn as “Angel Collins.” Fro fun. For kicks.
There are twists, there are turns, but mostly, this convoluted mess seems to be an excuse for a lot of cheesecake–including Eden, who by then should have known better. But then, so should the rest of us.
Apparently, the film, intended as a pilot for NBC’s weekly rotation of mystery movies drew repspectable ratings, but looking back, it just feels surprisingly exploitive and kinda cheap, despite a decent cast.
But, for whatever reasons, it wasn’t picked up.
- “So if you like TV movie sleaze, hot pants, socialites turned porno stars, Eden in barely-there clothes and a bit of mystery, then Stonestreet is waiting for you!”
— Made for TV Mayhem
- STONESTREET: WHO KILLED THE CENTERFOLD MODEL? | Buy this DVD
Premiere: January 16, 1977
Written by Leslie Stevens
Directed by Russ Mayberry
Starring Barbara Eden as LIZ STONESTREET
Also starring Louise Latham, James Ingersoll, Joan Hackett, Ann Dusenberry, Richard Basehart, Joseph Mascolo, Sally Kirkland
THE DICK OF THE DAY
- June 27, 2021
The Bottom Line: I DREAM OF JEANNIE’s Barbaras Eden as a tough gal PI, in this 1977 slice of made-for-TV cheese. She’s got a gun & a pantsuit, but soon ditches the latter to go “undercover” as a porn star? A stripper? A whore? It’s complicated.…
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks, Jeff, for the reminder…