Gus Monk (The Monk)

Created by Blake Edwards
(1922-2010)

“An independent guy like Gus Monk is always attractive. He attracts women, money, excitement… and danger.”

No, not that Monk. This is a whole different San Francisco treat. Hmmmm… maybe they’re related.

The Monk was a pilot for a proposed television series, featuring George (Route 66) Maharis as GUS MONK, a free-wheeling (and unlicensed) San Francisco private eye who had a beer-swilling pet cat called Aristotle–pretty hip for TV of that era.

The pilot aired as the ABC Movie of the Week on October 21, 1969, and also featured Jack Albertson, Edward G. Robinson Jr. and Janet Leigh, Gus is hired by a mobster to guard an envelope containing important information, but the envelope is stolen, the mobster is subsequently murdered, and Gus is left as the prime suspect. A “merry-go-round of viciousness and murder” is promised.

According to Maharis fan Chris Jehle’s “Just try taking your eyes off George long enough to check out Janet Leigh as his love interest and chief suspect. Check out Janet’s wardrobe: fur-trimmed mini-skirts and bare midriffs! Too bad this didn’t click as a series!”

Maybe, but Blake Edwards, who’d had some good luck creating other “hip” dicks such as Richard Diamond, Mr. Lucky and Peter Gunn, struck out with this one. Nobody picked up the pilot.

Still, the little seen and little remembered made-for-television film occasionally pops up in those cheap ass  DVD mega-packs…

TELEVISION

  • THE MONK
    (1969, ABC)
    74 minutes
    Premiere: October 21, 1969
    Story by Blake Edwards
    Written by Tony Barrett
    Directed by George McCowan
    Produced by Tony Barrett
    Associate producer: Shelley Hull
    Executive producers: Aaron Spelling and Danny Thomas
    Music by Earle Hagen
    Starring George Maharis as GUS MONK
    Also starring Janet Leigh, Jack Albertson, Edward G. Robinson Jr., Joe Besser, Rick Jason, Raymond St. Jacques, William Smithers, Jack Soo, George Burrafato, Linda Marsh, George Saurel, Joe Besser

THE DICK OF THE DAY

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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