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Arthur Hailey's “Wheels”

trenton james horton john

(NBC, 5/7/1978 to 5/15/1978, 5 Parts, 10 hours). The slick 1971 Hailey novel about passion and intrigue at the corporate level of the automotive industry emerged as an elegantly produced soap opera in this project, the biggest ever handled by a single director (Jerry London). It was highlighted by the Emmy-nominated performance of Lee Remick as the bored wife who finds that playing second-fiddle to executive husband Rock Hudson’s development of a new car leaves her plenty of time for some extramarital sex, alcohol and drugs. This 10-hour movie was filmed in an unprecedented 61 different locations around southern California with a stellar cast heading a roster of over 150 speaking roles. It subsequently gained the dubious distinction of being truncated in its repeat showing by four hours with absolutely no publicity—and with no viewer complaints as Parts 3 and 4 were simply dropped without notice.

Production Companies Roy Huggins Productions, Universal Television. Director Jerry London. Executive Producer Roy Huggins. Producer Robert F. O’Neill. Teleplay Hank Searls, Millard Lampell, Nancy Lynn Schwartz, Robert Hamilton. Based on the Novel by Arthur Hailey. Photography Jacques R. Marquette. Music Morton Stevens. Editors Edwin F. England, Gene E. Ranney, James T. Heckert, Jamie Caylor, Larry D. Lester. Art Director William H. Tuntke.

Cast Rock Hudson (Adam Trenton), Lee Remick (Erica Trenton), Blair Brown (Barbara Lipton), John Beck (Peter Flodenhale), Ralph Bellamy (Lowell Baxter), Scott Brady (Matt Zaleski), John Durren (Merv Rucks), Marj Dusay (Caroline Horton), Lisa Eilbacher (Jody Horton), Anthony Franciosa (Smokey Stevenson), James Carroll Jordan (Kirk Trenton), Adele Mara (Teresa Chapman), Howard McGillin (Greg Trenton), Tim O’Connor (Hub Hewitson), Gerald S. O’Loughlin (Rusty Horton), Allan Rich (Waggoner), David Spielberg (Dr. Patterson), Harold Sylvester (Rollie Knight), Jessica Walter (Ursula), Fred Williamson (Leonard Wingate), Anthony Costello (Emerson Vale), Ramon Bieri (Ernie Johnson), James Booth (Sir Phillip Sturdevant), John Crawford (Parkland), Stewart Moss (Brett DeLossanto), Cliff Emmich (Damiano), Deborah Richter (Val), Al White (Newkirk), Ray Singer (Al Holleb), Bob Hastings (Bob Nessel), Richard Venture (Chief Arenson), James Ray (Arnold Beecham), Carole Mallory, Marilyn Devlin, Dave Shelley, Ellen Travolta, Sheila DeWindt, Danna Hansen, Randy Kirby.

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