Hart reviews: what the press thought


[Thanks Vic.] 
Scroll down  for a selection of press reviews of the series and movies.

Reviews : the TV series

  • Some critics were far from kind when the Harts were first shown on American television (25 August 1979 on ABC) . One prediction that the show would not last was far from the truth. 

"a throwback to the Nick and Nora Charles style of the late '30's..times have changed an so have viewers tastes and the chances of "Hart" surviving in today's competitive climate without considerable improvement in plots and quality of dialogue is slim indeed. "This is supposed to be done in sophisticated, flippant light comedy style..but the dialogue handed the two could not have gotten them into the current Polaroid commercials." The reviewer goes on to complain that the guest cast were wasted, the plot was silly and dreary the plot is. " "Hart" is starting out old-hat slick- and tough competition in its period could shot it down fast" 1

  • Other critics didn't get the idea at all. Both Powers and Wagner still vividly recall fighting to keep the Harts relationship blissful during the original run, resisting suggestions of network executives. Wagner recalls " They wanted us to have a child,and they wanted us to get involved with other people." 2  

Then again, others were more kind:


  • "Jonathan and Jennifer made marriage look sexy. They were childless, classy and monogamous, very much in love. And really rich. They had fun. They had a great car and an ever better plane" 3

 How the movies rated.

The movies rated well world-wide. Everyone was happy to see the Harts back. Pictured above is a typical trade-ad from an industry magazine, which congratulates Hart to Hart for the highest rating audience ever for the Family Channel Sunday night movie.

  •  The press acknowledged the return of the Harts with headlines in the entertainment/television sections of magazines and newspapers. The Harts had been missed, and were welcomed back. There had been rumours over the years that the Harts would return. But although return was sweet for the stars, they did it on their own terms. Robert Wagner explained that " the reason we haven't done it was that a situation hasn't come up that was as ideal as this one. We were approached on doing one (TV movie) and I never wanted to do just one." 4


  • The movies rated well in Australia and America.. Robert Wagner was paticularly pleased about this when he was interviewed in 1994. He was relief that the movies were so popular. "They [the viewers] could have said , 'Christ, are they coming back?' But this seemed to be very much welcomed." 5