Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Perfect Crime Specialists

Where is Byron Chudnow? According to the Internet Movie Database, bastion of cinematic knowledge on the interwebs, he is not dead. Born in 1926, he'd be 83 years old now. His last active credit was as a producer for the Robert Mitchum-starring TV comedy drama, A Family For Joe in 1990. He spent four decades in the entertainment industry in various capacities, from musical supervisor to editor to producer.

Byron is also credited with having directed three feature films and one TV movie, each of these movies linked by a single element: dobermans.

Yes, Byron Chudnow is the director of The Doberman Gang, The Daring Dobermans, The Amazing Dobermans, a trilogy of theatrical releases, followed by Alex and the Doberman Gang, a 1980 TV movie that attempted to sell Chudnow's concept of canine-based action-adventure to a home audience.

I caught up with The Daring Dobermans in the '70s on (where else?) late night TV and was suitably impressed by the concept and execution of story and stunts. The final set-piece committed by the eponymous quintet and, allow me to state this for those of you who may doubt: any movie—ANY MOVIE—built around a climactic bank robbery executed by five doberman-pinschers wrapped in explosive vests is a classic in any book.

So, where's the retrospective DVD box set of this glaringly ignored triptych of canine goodness? Billy Jack got his—why not the world's perfect crime specialists? (And let's be quick about this one, too, before Byron croaks—if he hasn't already.)

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