Just before Lynda Carter, there was Cathy Lee Crosby. It all began in 1974, when ABC aired a “Wonder Woman” movie. It starred Crosby and the script, written by John D.F. Black (“Star Trek,” “Shaft”), was faithful to a new direction the Wonder Woman character had taken in the DC comics title. She was far more grounded and less invincible. And Crosby definitely had what it took. She was a natural athlete, with stunning good looks, and a wholesome quality. Looking back, she would have made a great Wonder Woman for a television series. That role would go to Carter and the rest is history. Still, we have the pilot movie to appreciate that just happens to have released on DVD as of December 11. So, let’s take a look.
The best part of this movie is that it can’t help but be full of shaggy ’70s goodness. Every young, or youngish, guy has billowy long feathered hair if they can manage it or some shaggy quality going on. The pickup lines are all cheesy. The crime and violence is campy. And the villain is a mysterious lothario all dressed in white. Hey, that’s Ricardo Montalban, prior to finding his destiny on “Fantasy Island!”
The plot is simple but fun. A criminal mastermind has stolen all the code books holding the identities of 39 American spies. He wants 15 million dollars within 72 hours or he sells the information to the highest bidder. We find that Wonder Woman has settled in nicely as a secretary for Steve Trevor, who leads various military operations. With a wink and a nod, Steve authorizes Wonder Woman into action. And she soon finds that one of her biggest challenges will be to fend off the advances of the creepy henchman in charge.
Along the way, we see how Wonder Woman improvises when she’s hot on the trail.
And we learn of a new nemesis, Angela, who promised to knock Wonder Woman’s lights out.
For a light and fun look at what the 1970s almost launched for Wonder Woman, this is priceless. But it won’t cost you much to get your own DVD here.