Español: “La Mujer Maravilla”
[ "Wonder Woman" ].
Italiano: "Wonder Woman" ["Wonder Woman"].
Français: "Wonder Woman" ["Wonder Woman"].
Deustch: "Wonder Woman" ["Wonder Woman"].
This was the second attempt to bring Wonder Woman to life, this time as a Made-for-TV movie. It was originally conceived as a pilot for a subsequent series that actually never materialized due to the poor response of the audience.
Undoubtedly a regrettable and forgettable incar-nation with former-tennis player Cathy Lee Crosby in an obvious miscasting as a plain-clothed blonde Wonder Woman. If that short 60s presentation by William Dozier was a lame experience, this one went far beyond.
This Wonder Woman was far away from her comics counterpart and to be sincere showed no resem-blance to the classic Amazon Princess everybody knows. First, she was blond and apparently had no powers. Second, most of the time she acted like an Emma Peel-like superspy and not as the traditional superhero. Third the casting choices and interpreta-tions were inadequate. On top of all this, the supporting cast wasn't supporting at all, the direction by Vincent McEveety was really pedestrian and the script by John D.F. Black was a real shame.
What other fate but failure this product deserved? Once again thanks to the Divine intervention and the wisdom of the audience the result was an overwhelming flop.
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure.
Broadcast Network: ABC.
Supplier: Warner Bros. Television.
Running Time: 78 minutes (Real time, 90 minutes with commercials).
Original Airdate: Tuesday, March 12, 1974. Second Run: August 21, 1974.
Time slot: It was premiered on Tuesday, March 12, 1974 at 8:30 PM in ABC’s Tuesday Movie of the Week.
Movie Ratings: 1) According to Leonard Malting’s “The Movie & Video Guide”, this movie is below average. 2) According to David Hoftede’s “Hollywood And The Comics”: 1 star out of a 4-star rate for which 4 is excellent, 3 enjoyable, 2 worth a look, 1 bomb, and 0 worthless. 3) According to Steven H. Schuer’s “Movies on TV and Videocassette”: 2 stars out of a 4-star rate for which 4 is excellent, 3½ very good, 3 above average, 2½ average, 2 fair (falls short of the mark), 1½ poor, 1 awful, and ½ abysmal.
Availability: Though it was released on videocassette, nowadays it's hard to find. There are two different versions issued on VHS. Check out the VHS section of this site for further information. Most likely to find as bootleg copies thru special vendors or fan services.
Director: Vincent McEveety.
Writer: John D. F. Black.
Developed For Television By: John D. F. Black. Executive Producer: John D. F. Black. Producer: John G. Stephens. Director of Photography: Joseph Biroc, A.S.C. Editor: Gene Ruggiero. Set Costumer: Jerry Herrin. Music: Artie Butler. Art Director: Philip Bennett. Unit Production Manager: Clarance Eurist.
Assistant Director: Jack Roe.
Casting: Hoyt Bowers.
Film Editor: Gene Ruggiero.
Set Decorator: Cheryal Kearney. Stunt Coordinator: Joe Hooker. Costumes Designed by: Bill Thomas.
Copyright © 1974 by Warner Bros. Television. All Rights Reserved. Filmed at the Burbank Studios, Burbank, California. Produced by Douglas S. Cramer Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
• CATHY LEE CROSBY [ Diana Prince / Wonder Woman ].
• KAZ GARAs [ Steve Trevor ].
Guest Star: • ANDREW PRINE [ George Calvin ]. Special Guest Star: • RICARDO MONTALBAN [ Abner Smith ]. Starring: • Anitra Ford [ Ahnjayla ]. • Charlene Holt [ Hippolyte ]. • Robert Porter [ Joe]. • Jordan Rhodes [ Bob ]. • Richard X. Slattery [ Colonel Henkins ]. Featuring: • Beverly Gill [ Dia ]. • Sandy Gaviola [ Ting ]. • Roberta Brahm [ Zoe ]. • Donna Garrett [ Cass ]. • Mario Roccuzzo [ Waiter ]. • Ronald Long [ Big Spender ]. • Lomax Study [ Desk Clerk ]. • Thom Carney [ Fred ]. • Alain Patrick [ Bellman ]. • Ed McCready [ Wesley ]. • Steve Mitchell [ Thug ]. • Robert Kersch [ Man ]. • George Dega [ Captain ].
A set of books that are vital to American security turn up missing from United States Government offices in Rio, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul and London. The books contain a complete list of all U.S. field agents, their cover identities, their current assignments and every top-secret and military code.
At an emergency meeting of high-level U.S. officials, Steve Trevor [KAZ GARAS] surveys the situation; 39 field agents have now been exposed and may be in danger. The thieves have demanded 15 million dollars to be delivered in 48 hours. According to the government’s computer only three men have the resources to attempt such a heist and succeed. Trevor dismisses the officials with instructions to find these men and the books however possible.
Diana Prince [CATHY LEE CROSBY], Trevor’s secretary, listens in, and the crisis situation triggers memories of the day she left her island home.
She recalls bidding farewell to her sisters, and her mother Hippolyte’s explanation of her mission: “to take our pure and true love, justice and right to that world beyond ours, and open closed eyes in the world of man.” Trevor knows of her mission as well, and her code name—Wonder Woman. She requests and receives a leave of absence from her post to investigate the matter.
Her intuition leads her to Paris, but she doesn't go unnoticed. She is contacted by George Calvin [ANDREW PRINE], an assassin and operative for Abner Smith [RICAR
DO MONTALBAN], the mastermind behind the stolen books. They exchange pleasantries at dinner while she searches for a lead.
Later, as Diana reports back to Steve Trevor from a pay phone, she is nearly run down by a speeding car. Not only does she make her escape, she manages to place a tracer on the car and follow it to one of Smith’s mansions. Once again, she is expected, and again she escapes. Back at her hotel, Calvin and two assassins are waiting for her. She fights her way out and learns that Smith is headed for New York. Diana beats him there by an hour in her invisible airplane.
Steve Trevor finds a huge crate in his office containing a live burro, with instructions concerning the delivery of the ransom. He is to put the money in two saddlebags, strap them to the burro and ship them to Alba, Nevada, an abandoned ghost town. Meanwhile, Diana has also received a visitor from the animal kingdom—a poisonous snake in her New York hotel room. A saucer of milk from room service foils yet another attempt on her life.
Abner Smith recruits Ahnjayla [ANITRA FORD], a disgruntled sister of Diana’s from back home. Wonder Woman arrives in Alba, escapes another deathtrap and finds the burro with the ransom. She is confronted by Ahnjayla and Calvin. While he grabs the ransom and escapes, the two women battle, with Diana emerging triumphant.
Calvin takes the money to Smith’s luxurious hideout on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Wonder Woman is not far behind and again (as usual) she is expected.
After a long chase over water and land, the villains are captured and the books are returned. Diana then heads home to Washington and to Steve Trevor.
David Hoftede in “Hollywood And The Comics”:
If it weren’t for its title, I doubt anyone could make the connection between this movie and the characters created by William Moulton Marston. As the most popular female superhero in history Wonder Woman certainly deserves a grand cinematic treatment, but this isn’t it. In fact, it barely qualifies as an attempt.
Nowhere on screen is there any mention of the cooperation or even approval of D.C. Comics, which may explain quite a bit. For instance, Diana’s last name is never given, nor is the name of her island home. Wonder Woman never appears in costume, or with any of her familiar paraphernalia. There is a brief mention of her invisible plane, but we never see it (though admittedly that would be difficult).
There is no physical resemblance whatsoever between sandy blonde Cathy Lee Crosby and the brunette heroine of the comics. Her “transformation” from Diana to Wonder Woman involves nothing more than taking the bobby pins out of her hair. She does wear a red, white and blue uniform, but if it weren’t bad enough that it is not the original (or revealing enough to be appreciated on a different level), it is also completely devoid of style, recalling nothing so much as a “moon maiden” costume from a low-budget 1950’s earth invasion flick.
The cheapness of the outfit is in keeping with the rest of the production. The sets are reminiscent of high school theatre, complete with “high-tech” government computers and intelligence equipment that was hopelessly outdated even when the movie was first broadcast. Adam West’s Batcave holds up better than this.
The level of intelligence in John D.F. Black’s script is best summed up by one scene preceding the climactic chase. When Abner Smith escapes with the money, Diana looks around for a way she can follow him. By a stroke of luck, there just happens to be a motorcycle sitting in the middle of his living room. Such amazing conveniences are a regular occurrence throughout the movie.
Black seemed to have the “Avengers” TV series in mind more than any comic book when he wrote this mess. His Wonder Woman is not an Amazon princess, but a special government agent with no apparent super powers. Sadly, Black doesn’t even steal well. The dignified meetings between distinguished heroes and villains, with their veiled threats amidst dinner conversation, were polished and classy with John Steed and Emma Peel, but here they just look ridiculous.
It would not have been difficult to rise above this material, but the cast still cannot manage it. Crosby emerges best, probably because everyone around her is beyond help. Ricardo Montalban, cast as “Abner Smith” (a sure sign of trouble right there) dips every word in venom before spitting it out. As his right-hand man Andrew Prine is embarrassing. His attempts to be suave while trying to seduce Crosby are hilarious. Anitra Ford, who plays Ahnjayla, would have actually made a better Wonder Woman, if she could act. As it is, her brief appearance is not brief enough.
“Wonder Woman” was a pilot for a television series that thankfully never materialized, for if it did we may never have seen the Lynda Carter version that followed just one year later. While not exactly a hall of fame broadcast in its own right, it is certainly proficient enough to erase any trace of this mishap from all but the most masochistic memory.
“Hollywood And The Comics” Published by Zanne-3. Copyright © 1991 by David Hoftede. All rights reserved. ISBN: 0-9629176-4-8.
Leonard Maltin Review in “Movie And Video Guide”:
Live-action cartoon—the one that didn’t make it about a superhuman female who uses her powers to stalk an elusive espionage agent. Unlike Lynda Carter, Crosby doesn’t even resemble WW. Set in present-day.
“Movie And Video Guide” Copyright © 1995 Leonard Maltin. Copyright © Jessie Films Ltd. Published by Dutton Signet, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.
Steven H. Scheuer in “Movies on TV and Videocassette”:
Crosby doesn’t make a convincing Amazonian superhero, her stars-and-stripes frock doesn’t compare to the original, and the villain she’d faced with -the ultra-hammy Montalban- would’ve been laughed off the old “Batman” series.
“Movies On TV And Videocassette” conceived and edited by Steven H. Scheuer. Managing Editor: M. Faust. Produced by Ink Projects. Copyright ©, 1995 Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-28801-6.
William Schoel in “Comic Book Heroes Of The Screen”:
...Very little from the comic book was carried over, aside from stalwart boyfriend Steve Trevor (Kaz Garas) and some references to an Amazonian heritage. Wonder Woman’s star-spangled one-piece ‘bathing suit’ was traded in for a more traditional uniform with stars on the sleeves. The story line has Wonder Woman trailing a spy named ‘Mr. Evil’ (a moniker as corny as ‘Egg Fu’, if not more so), played with hi usual suave assurance by Ricardo Montalban. The proceedings are never more than dreary under prolific Vincent McEveety’s pedestrian direction, which misses some opportunities for outlandish excitement provided by the script. ‘Cathy Lee Crosby,’ wrote critic Robert L. Jerome, ‘appears a bit green and ill at ease in a role which calls more for pizzazz than poise. Yes, she can throw a javelin with skill, yet she can’t quite hurdle the banalities of a Saturday morning script which goes from A to B in routine fashion.’ It didn’t matter; this Wonder Woman never went to a series.
"Comic Book Heroes Of The Screen" Copyright (c) 1991 by William Schoell. A Citadel Press Book. Published by Carol Publishing Group. ISBN: 0-8065-1252-0.
Bok in “Variety”:
"Wonder Woman" was pretty much of a dud. Whatever the motivations to try to resurrect the 1940s comic book heroine in 1970s form, the finished product was mostly dull, childish derring-do with dialog that often seemed to make the actors cringe. The potential saving grace of camp never surfaced and seems to have been purposely avoided.
What remained was a simpleminded, straightforward attempt to hold an audience with comic-book absurdities, not worthy of repetition. Lead Cathy Lee Crosby gave the title role some level of credibility and appeal by simply playing it straight, but her stunt and action footage looked too well rehearsed - and especially reduced a javelin sparring match with Anitra Ford to absurdity.
Kaz Garas and Andrew Prine, as Crosby's friend and foe, respectively, were stuck with most of the embarrassing
dialog to utter, and neither survived the handicap. Only Ricardo Montalban, near the end of the feature, brought some sense of flair to the proceedings, suggesting - much too late - what ingredient might have salvaged the "Wonder Woman" pilot. - Bok
"Variety" - Television Reviews by Bok- Copyright (c) March 20, 1974 by Variety, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
1:14:00 (14 minutes unedited, 90 minutes with commercials). VHS:
Available on commercial VHS and long-deleted. Now available on non-commercial VHS format on a fan-to-fan basis, or specialized vendors. DVD:
Not available on commercial DVD format, but available in bootleg DVDs. INFO:
Second try to bring Wonder Woman into TV life, but the first one to be broadcasted. VIDEO:
"WONDER WOMAN WITH CATHY LEE CROSBY". Opening Credits.
"WONDER WOMAN WITH CATHY LEE CROSBY". Video Clip 1.
"WONDER WOMAN WITH CATHY LEE CROSBY". Video Clip 2.
"WONDER WOMAN WITH CATHY LEE CROSBY". Video Clip 3.
"WONDER WOMAN WITH CATHY LEE CROSBY". Video Clip 4.
"WONDER WOMAN WITH CATHY LEE CROSBY". Video Clip 5.
"WONDER WOMAN WITH CATHY LEE CROSBY". Video Clip 6.
"WONDER WOMAN WITH CATHY LEE CROSBY". Video Clip 7. TRIVIA:
Cathy-Lee Crosby was tennis pro before becoming an actress.
This dull version of Wonder Woman vaguely resembles her comic counterpart. First of all, this Wonder Woman is blonde. And she seems not to have any super-powers. Though she wears bracelets, those are far from being the world-famous bullet-deflecting bracelets. Also her lasso is far from being that of the original conception.
Kaz Garas was a guest-star in "The New Adventures of Wonder Woman".
The only difference of Diana Prince and Wonder Woman is that when she poses as Wonder Woman she has her hair down.
Thought the invisible plane is mentioned, it is never seen.
It seems that Diana Prince / Wonder Woman is too fond of telephones because she's seen talking on the phone on virtually every scene.
Rumor has it that Lynda Carter herself was among the actresses who tried for the role.
One of the most criticized facts about this telefilm is its little resemblance to the actual character of the comics, but from 1968 through 1972 Diana Prince turned a plain-clothed Emma Steel-like superspy. When this telefilm was shown on TV the comic counterpart had returned to her classical image with the red, white and blue uniform.
There's no mention or approval mentioned by DC Comics.
In May 2006, in issue #6 of "Infinite Crisis", Wonder Woman as portrayed by Cathy Lee Crosby, is featured in a single panel in Earth 462, in a parallel universe.
All pictures, audio and video are © 1974 by Warner Bros. TV / ABC-TV and are used here with informative purposes and do no intend to infringe any copyrights. All rights reserved. Any graphics, pictures, articles, audio and video or any other material contained within this site may be copied for personal use only and may not be used or distributed within any other web page without expressly written permission.