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David James Elliott
David James Elliott was singing in a rock band when he read King Lear in a theater history class at the age of 19 and was encouraged to try his hand at acting. He was accepted at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute (a Canadian arts college equivalent to Juilliard) in 1983 and later at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, where he won the Jean Chalmers Award as Most Promising Actor. He then starred in the CBC series "Street Legal" from 1985 to 1988. Elliott, who played Terry Parson in "Melrose Place," credits his one-time appearance as Carl the moving guy on "Seinfeld" with opening more doors for him than all his other experience combined. In 1990, he moved to Los Angeles and was signed to a development deal with Disney. His résumé quickly grew as he guest-starred in such series as "Doogie Howser, M.D.," "China Beach," "The Hitchhiker" and "Dark Justice." In 1992, he landed a recurring role as a pro baseball player in the long-running CBS hit series "Knots Landing," and later that year he starred in the syndicated series "The Untouchables." His feature-film credits include "Clockwatchers" and "The Shrink Is In." Among his other television credits is the movie "Dodson's Journey," on CBS.
David William (James) Elliott was born on September 21, 1960, in Milton (a small suburb city of Toronto), Ontario, Canada. He is the second of three sons of Arnold Smith, a heating and plumbing wholesaler-contractor, and his wife, Pat, an office manager. Arnold Smith had come to Canada from the Bahamas. David Smith grew up in Milton, but spent much time in the Bahamas, as most of his relatives live there. Elliott did not set out to be an actor. His early interest was in music - rock 'n roll music. He was front man for a band, and even briefly quit high school to play with the band full time. The band left Milton and went to the big city -Toronto. There the band members got questionable digs in boarding houses and played gigs at night, while trying to earn a pittance to live on during the day. Elliott at one point was working in a belt factory. The group, which went by various names - the Supervisors being one (one of the band stole some T-shirts with the title "Supervisor" on them) - kept breaking up. Finally, Mr. Elliott decided that enough was enough, and went back to finish high school. He was only 19.
His theatre history class was studying King Lear, and he read the part of Lear. His teacher was impressed by his reading and encouraged him to consider acting as a career. He knew nothing about acting, in fact had never even seen a live play, let alone been in one. His brother told him that Ryerson Polytechnic Institute in Toronto had the best acting school in Canada, so he decided to audition there. He cribbed for the audition by reading a book on auditioning.
At the audition, he "forgot his classical piece, ... sang 'Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah' and .... faked .... through a scene from Sam Shepard." To finish, he started inventing dialogue. As Elliott recounts it, "... they saw some talent they could nurture. It was a miracle." Prior to his graduation from Ryerson, Elliott auditioned for the world-renowned Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ontario. He was accepted as a member of its Young Company. He stayed at Stratford for two years, learning the advanced acting skills needed for classical theatre, and earned the Jean Chalmers Award as Most Promising Actor.
After Stratford he played the role of Dick the Male Stripper in B Movie: The Play, in Toronto. There he was seen by one of the producers of CBC's Street Legal - a night-time soap opera about lawyers. They were looking for a "young hunk" as a love interest for the lead female lawyer. Elliott was asked to audition for the role of Nick Del Gado, the Toronto police detective. He was, to them, untried talent, and therefore scary, but his screen test was the best, and they decided to take a chance on him. The lead actress, Sonja Smits, described him thus: "He wasn't developed at all when he arrived ... but he was very tall and very charming."
Street Legal proved to be a breakthrough for Elliott. The producers kept giving him more to do, and he kept improving, so that by 1988-89, he was a legitimate co-star in the series, and became somewhat of a household name in Canada (named Flare magazine's Bachelor of the Year). There was talk of a Street Legal spinoff, with him in the lead role of Nick Del Gado, private eye. But before that came to pass, he decided to give Hollywood a try.
So in 1990, with the offer of a development deal from Disney, David Elliott moved to Los Angeles. But first, in order to join the Screen Actors Guild, he had to change his screen name, as another actor was already registered as 'David Elliott'. So he added the 'James' - David James Elliott.
The development deal with Disney fell through when the head honchos decided that he was too young for the part they had crafted for him. Elliott found other work, doing a short-lived Canadian-French television series with Shannon Tweed, Fly By Night, and guest appearances on various television series. However, this period was fraught with difficulties, and he went through some lean times as he struggled to make his way in Hollywood. In 1992, he landed a recurring role as a pro baseball player in the long-running hit series Knots Landing on CBS. Later that year, he starred in the syndicated series The Untouchables. He also starred in the independent film Clockwatchers with Parker Posey and Lisa Kudrow. He is currently filming the feature film The Shrink is In with Courteney Cox and David Arquette.
Elliott is married to actress Nanci Chambers and has daughter Stephanie and son Wyatt, and they live in Los Angeles.
David James Elliott is the star of CBS series JAG, he broke out from the pack in 1995, when he landed the role of Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr. -- Navy lawyer, fighter pilot and all-around hunk -- on the hit CBS series JAG. Our man DJE is a hit as well. Why, he's even been in People magazine. David James Elliott had TV Guide Awards for Favorite Actor Drama in March 5, 2000.
Elliott Discharges from 'JAG,' Heads to ABC
David James Elliott, who's had a 10-season run on the CBS military drama "JAG," is leaving the show at the end of the season.
Elliott, whose "JAG" contract is up at the end of the season, has signed a new deal with ABC and sister studio Touchstone TV, the showbiz trade papers report. The one-year agreement calls for the studio and network to either cast him in an existing project or develop a new series for him.
The actor will also receive a co-producer credit on any show in which he stars.
What Elliott's departure means for the future of "JAG" is unclear. CBS isn't commenting on the fate of the series, which has been a stalwart on its schedule for nine seasons after moving over from NBC following its first year.
Airing on Friday nights, the show draws a little under 10 million viewers per week, off somewhat from the 10.8 million it averaged in the same time period last season. Some of that decline may be due to the fact that its lead-in, "Joan of Arcadia," is down about 1.6 million viewers compared to last year. Still, "JAG" leads its time period in total viewers.
As Elliott's run on "JAG" winds down, the show will introduce a new character, played by Chris Beetem ("As the World Turns"), later this month. Beetem will play a new member of the Judge Advocate General team.
Elliott is the second star of a long-running CBS series to sign with ABC in the past week. On Tuesday, the network announced it had signed a development deal with "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Patricia Heaton.
David James Elliott's secret weapon
If you were to cross Tom Cruise in Top Gun with Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, you just might come up with Lieutenant Commander Harmon Rabb Jr., the fictional pilot-turned-Navy lawyer of CBS's JAG. Now in its fourth season (and on its second network), the show has become television's little engine that could, defying conventional wisdom by regularly gaining viewers and quietly creeping up into the top 20. JAG's stealth weapon just may be its dashingly hunky star, David James Elliott, 38, who cut his TV teeth on shows like Melrose Place and Knots' Landing. For the Canadian-born (and classically trained) Elliott, the show's mix of action, drama, mystery and comedy keeps it fresh. "I would imagine on shows like Law and Order that after a while the actors just go, 'God! It's just the same thing every day, over and over,'" he confides. Some thoughts from Elliott on everything from conspiracy theorists to good haircuts.
A Cold War childhood was perfect training to play Harm Rabb: "I grew up playing war ... [My buddies and I] threw dirt and rocks at each other. We'd lead attacks. We'd break up into squads. It became a neighborhood thing for a while, our neighborhood against the other neighborhood. There was always a war breaking out somewhere."
Elliott's own military aspirations were short-lived: "I tried to join the Marine Corps at one point, but it was going to take too long. They said, 'Well it should take about a year,' and I said, 'Well, I'll come up with a new plan by then. You can have me right now.' And so I became an actor instead. It's the next step down."
A hidden downside to those dapper military uniforms: "You can't put your hands in your pockets! That's not allowed. [The show's technical adviser] says, 'Noooo. No hands in the pockets. Ever!' So whenever we're in civilian clothes, the first thing I do, the hands are IN the pockets. I'm so bored with it. I can put my hands on my hips, or cross them in front or behind. But you can't fold your arms in front of a superior officer. I'm going, 'This is ridiculous!' "
Shhhh! Don't tell: "That 'regulation' haircut comes courtesy of a chi-chi LA salon, not a military barber. Everyone else who works on the show comes in and gets their head buzzed. My argument was, 'I'm the star of the show. I should have a decent haircut.' I'll have it short, but I'll have it so I can at least do something neat with it."
You've been doing a lot of controversial, ripped-from-the-headlines storylines like the Tailwind controversy: "We take great pains to be as realistic and topical as we can be, but our first objective is to entertain. We're not making training films, so we take a little artistic license. I don't think the show is out to assault the military, but at the same time, I don't think it's out just to champion the military either. There's good and bad people everywhere."
Something he really envies about his TV alter-ego: "I think one of the cool things about [Harm] ... is that he gives orders and they're followed. That doesn't happen in my life. I ask and generally get some kind of sideways version of what I requested."
On getting the rock-star treatment from real military personnel:" We threw a party for the real head of JAG, who was retiring. My God! I literally could not even pause to take a drink. It was smiling, photo sessions, autograph, photo, autograph, autograph, photo. It went on-and-on and on-and-on. It was unbelievable. It went on for like two hours. It was exhausting."
Just for the record, he's only seen Top Gun and A Few Good Men once: "I bought them to watch again and I couldn't bring myself to do it. ... Our show is far more accurate than those two, so for me to watch those now would be kind of disturbing to me. [I'd be thinking,] 'He can get away with putting his hands in his pockets and I have to adhere to correct protocol. Damn him!' "
Elliott's real-life experience flying simulated dogfights with a magazine reporter was not exactly something out of Top Gun: "I was petrified. God! It was so scary. You're supposed to do eight fights. We did three and I said, "Can...we, like, ...go...back?" ... I was so afraid, but I was trying to hold it together so he wouldn't annihilate me in the press. It would be so embarrassing."
Why is JAG doing so well amidst a sea of Friends-clones? "Maybe we've just been bombarded with the cool 20somethings and the hairdos. Maybe people are starting to get interested in things worldly. Maybe the news is getting to people. Maybe it's just time for a change... Maybe our young people are not as vacuous as we would like to lead ourselves to believe -- that all they're interested in is hairdos and looking at other beautiful people. Maybe they're interested in learning something."
What's in the mail Elliott gets from people who think he can help them fight the government? "Please send this on to the Pentagon --' I'm sure you have connections there. They were injecting me with truth serum and brainwashing me in a small underground room below the Pentagon for 12 years.' And, I once got a letter from a woman who told me she was 90. She said if she were 30 years younger, I would have had to watch out. I guess 60 seems really young when you're 90. She said she would eat me with a spoon."
Speaking of conspiracy theories, are you frightened about the end of millennium? "I think it's just going to be business as usual. I think nothing's really going to change. I don't even think this problem with the computers [the so-called Y2K bug] is going to be as big as everyone says. Everyone is so into alarmist theories. They're looking for some great change, for the millennium to make some kind of difference spiritually. ... We'll wake up and it's just going to be another day. I remember when 1984 was the big thing. '84 came and nothing happened. I think it's going to more of the same."
David James Elliott: Top Gun
Sure, David James Elliott says he's mighty impressed by all the high-tech gewgaws and military pyrotechnics that chew up much of the scenery of JAG, the new NBC Saturday night action-adventury series in which he stars as a hunky Navy lawyer investigating nefarious doings around battleships, submarines, cockpits and distant foreign embassies. "The hardware," he admits, "is kind of a co-star in the show."
As Lieut. Harmon Rabb of JAG - the Judge Advocate General's office - it is Mr. Elliott's job to sound knowing on screen about the destructive capabilities of everything from Tomcat fighter planes to Shadow torpedoes. Yet Mr. Elliott, clad in dress whites in his trailer on the Universal Studios lot after finishing the filming of another scene, says that what astounded him most as he prepared for his role wasn't all the state-of-the-art weaponry. Rather, he continues, it was the intricacies of military protocol.
"I've been studying all these books on etiquette," the 35-year-old actor says, rising to grab a volume. "Did you know that if you're invited to a superior officer's house for dinner, you don't stay more than half an hour after coffee is served?"
Explosions and attention to military detail are part of the reason that JAG, after only a handful of episodes, already ranks as a prime hope at NBC for a rating success. A hybrid of Top Gun-style technology and A Few Good Men whodunitry, JAG also offers Mr. Elliott's matinee-idol looks and a healthy dollop of sexual tension, largely in the form of Tracey Needham, who plays Rabb's fellow JAG investigator.
Mix in some humor, unlikely guest cameos and topical references, and this just might work. Faced off against CBS's well-established Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, JAG has already drawn even in share points and is winning the key demographic of adults between the ages of 25 and 54.
"It's performing very well," says David Nevins, NBC's vice president for prime-time series. "The idea was to do a smart adult action show that viewers could take seriously. We wanted a show that would appeal to men, but which also had strong female stories so people could watch this instead of the VCR on Saturday night."
To that end, Mr. Elliott vows he's not out to carve his lead character as one-dimensional macho superhero. "Harmon is complicated, not a cartoonlike Indiana Jones," he says. "He has a lot of levels, which means there will be a lot to unravel down the road."
There was even a lot to unravel in the show's pilot episode, when Mr. Elliott was introduced as the son of a hero, a pilot lost over Vietnam. Having blown his own flying career because of a night-vision problem, Lieut. Rabb is sent to an aircraft carrier in the Adriatic to investigate the mysterious death of a female fighter pilot who somehow fell overboard. The underlying topic was women in combat, and as Rabb got to the bottom of the mystery, the show nudged the issues from every direction.
The Navy did not cooperate with the producers in that pilot episode on a controversial subject; since then they have been allowing JAG to use some stock footage on a script-by-script basis. Meanwhile, later episodes have included story lines revolving around such up-to-the-minute topics as computer terrorism and the Shining Path guerrillas of Peru.
That said, the program is not This Week With David Brinkley. Rather, JAG is the latest creation of Donald P. Bellisario, the same man who came up with Magnum, P.I. and Quantum Leap. Those shows made the careers of Tom Selleck and Scott Bakula, and Mr. Bellisario says he will be shocked if David Elliott doesn't enjoy the same kind of success.
"For a leading man for JAG, I was looking for someone in the Selleck mode," he says. "I needed a man who was very strong yet very vulnerable, but who also had a sense of humor. Strangely, both David and Tom are 6-foot-4-inches, and both were 35 when they started these series. David has all the equipment to go on and be great."
The junk factor aside, the show also benefits from being able t borrow footage from the film library of Paramount, which originally pitched the show to NBC on behalf of Mr. Bellisario. Thanks to the arrangement, the producers have been able to take high-quality action footage from movies that include The Hunt for Red October, Top Gun and Flight of the Intruder and splice it inot their plots seamlessly.
Another novelty employed by the producers is the frequent use of celebrities and look-alikes in the show's background. In the JAG pilot, Jay Leno appeared on a television screen doing a Tonight Show monologue that included jokes about the key fictional character of Rabb's investigation. In later shows, the real Oliver North and a pseudo-President and Mrs. Clinton made appearances.
Now, 100 yards from Mr. Elliott's trailer, technicians on a set meant to resemble a South American village are preparing an ambush that in the final cut will include action footage taken from the film Clear and Present Danger. As a tramful of vacationers on the Universal Studios tour watch from afar, bullet-riddled limousines race around the town square for several takes.
Mr. Elliott explains: "In this show [ed. War Cries] I'm investigating an accidental shooting by a marine at a Peruvian embassy. In the last episode I looked into the death of a friend aboard an F-14 aircraft. In that script my character was more personally involved. I like that."
This is to be expected, perhaps, from a classically trained actor from Toronto who studied for two years at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario. After moving to Los Angeles in 1990, Mr. Elliott made the guest-appearance rounds on Doogie Howser, M.D.. His big break was a starring role in the series The Untouchables, but still he fretted that he was wasting his training and talent. "I almost went back to the theater," he says, "because out here everything seemed to be about getting the job, not the work itself." And then he pauses. "But with this show I've found my muse." In the guise of superhunk star of a Saturday night serial?
Mr. Elliott laughs, and claims to have been working so hard on the show that he's not even aware of his sudden celebrity credentials. "I had dinner recently with Scott Bakula," he remembers, "and he told me how strange it is at first on a new show. You'll be working and working, and then you'll finally take a day off. Suddenly, you realize that everybody knows you. It's really weird, but I don't even know that yet. I'm here 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I don't really see humanity."
They've been seeing him though, and so far most thumbs have been up.
A Conversation With 'JAG' Star David James Elliott
So much for gut instincts. When David James Elliott signed on to play as Lt. Cmdr. Harmon Rabb Jr. of "JAG," he was convinced he had an instant hit on his hands. Then, when the military/courtroom drama tanked in the ratings, was canceled by NBC after one season, and ultimately rescued by CBS, Elliott was wishing he could just be done with the whole thing.
"I'll be honest," he says. "I was sort of disappointed when CBS picked us up. Part of me was saying, 'Let's just let it die and move on. Why torture ourselves?' But it wouldn't die."
No kidding. After flying below the Nielsen ratings radar for years, "JAG" built slowly until, in its fourth season, it emerged as a bona fide hit. Now in its 10th season, the show is still going strong, with no signs of decay. So Elliott had the right idea about "JAG's" potential. He just didn't have the time frame right.
"It's not an easy show to make," he says, "so it's been nice to see all your hard work pay off. I believe word of mouth was a big thing with this show and it took a long time. That and the fact that CBS was really behind it and did push it in a big way."
Elliott's role as Harm, a Navy pilot-turned-lawyer with the Judge Advocate General Corps, is demanding in more ways than one. Given that the stories vary from taut courtroom drama to "Hunt for Red October"-style action to romantic-comedy fantasy episodes, Elliott has to be able to call upon a wide range of acting skills. "I love that about the show," Elliott says. "It keeps it interesting for me and I think it's interesting for the viewers. Although I think it hindered the show a little in the beginning because it was tough for people to put a finger on what it was. That and getting over the prejudice to it being a military show. Some people were going, 'Aaah, I don't like military shows.' When, in fact, it's more than just that."
Even after all these years, Elliott still loves doing the show, especially when he gets meaty courtroom scenes, which are his favorites.
"If if were up to me, we'd do even more courtroom stuff," he says. "It's the most fun for me as an actor. It's more fun to do something in a courtroom or to do two actors sitting around a table, head to head, than to be running through a smoke-filled building, chasing bad guys. That's exhausting work. Or the jet stuff. That's hard, too. It's just a nightmare to shoot. Oh, God, it takes forever and you're locked into the capsule for hours and hours. It's grueling and you're back is hurting because you have to contort your body in there."
Of course, those are the scenes - the ones with state-of-the-art military hardware - that many fans imagine as being the "cool part" of the job.
"Yeah, right, but it's really the nightmare part," Elliott says. "It looks great when it's done. You're glad you went through the agony, but at that moment you're like cursing your fortune, going, 'Write another courtroom scene, please!' On the other hand, for the courtroom stuff, you have to go home and memorize yards of legalese, which can be a daunting task, especially if you've been working 16-hour days for awhile. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy."
That was Elliott's mantra, in fact, when auditioning for the role of Harm back in 1995: Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. "I had auditioned seven times over like two and a half months," he recalls. "It was exhausting. I kept going, 'What is so hard about making this decision?' I kept coming into smaller rooms with more people in them. And weeks later, I would be going, 'What did I do last time to make them like me?' It was exhausting." Now he's a TV icon and a living, breathing hero to his real-life JAG counterparts. "We threw a party once in Washington, D.C., at JAG headquarters for the retiring head of JAG," Elliott recalls, "and it was like the Beatles had arrived. We were having a screening and there was like a two-hour party beforehand. I never stopped smiling for a picture or signing autographs. I literally couldn't even take a drink. It was unbelievable. But it's nice to be liked."
This isn't quite the life that Elliott imagined for himself as a kid growing up in Canada. Back then, he wanted to become a rock star. "I was looking for some direction," he says. "I was into the rock-'n'-roll thing. I had bands and stuff and I was getting frustrated with that whole thing. But I felt that expressing myself in that way was definitely what I was supposed to be doing."
Then came a pivotal moment that changed his life. "I was in grade 13 - in Canada, we go to grade 13 - and that's when I took the history of theater and we performed "King Lear." And my theater teacher said, 'You should be an actor.' The thing about music was it wasn't quite deep enough for me. So I auditioned for theater school and I got in. And it was then that I knew what I was supposed to do with my life."
David James Elliott: Soaring with the Eagles
David James Elliott steps into the Brentwood coffee shop and heads turn. At 6’4” with piercing blue eyes, his striking good looks make him stand out in a crowd. That star quality is apparent even though he’s still not a household name, but the lead in TV’s JAG truly believes he is in some kind of seventh heaven.
“It’s just a great exciting time in my life right now,” he says as a greeting. “Being a father and husband and having great work. It’s groovy, it’s really great,” Elliott exclaims.
The series, which is in its third year, is doing well, maybe great. Because JAG is produced by Magnum P.I.’s Donald Bellisario, Elliott initially had to face comparisons to Tom Selleck. But after more than two years, he’s beyond that. The show has given him the chance to get his head above the clouds, literally.
“Yeah, I’ve flown with the Blue Angels. That was incredible. In an F-18 - it was the experience of a lifetime.” The show has certainly opened new doors for him. He and co-star Patrick Labyorteaux are working on treatments for half hour sitcoms, and then there’s the possibility of some big screen projects.
“The tough part of this show is the yin and the yang of it. As a result of the show, I’m considered for better roles in movies, but because the show is what it is, there is really no time. So I hope to do one on hiatus.” He adds, “I want to be as prolific in the business as I can be. I want to act, write, direct and produce.”
Luckily, Elliott has an understanding wife who, it turns out, is also an actor. He explains, “She understands the business. We work on stuff together and she’s my b.s. meter. She’ll always let me know if there’s truth or if I missed that moment.”
That supportive relationship has helped him get through the lean times when he says he once rarely worked for a year and a half. “It was scary. I worked drips and drabs,” Elliott says in a matter-of-fact way. “You go through that a long time and you try and guess what they want instead of going in and giving them your impression of the role. I needed to find my muse’s fire again. So, we went away for six weeks.”
Now, with the series, Elliott is back on track. He describes himself as motivated, driven, excited and happy. He stays healthy by working with a nutritionist and by doing up to 150 push ups and 300 situps a day. He and his wife, who is from Canada, have even found an area in L.A. that makes them feel at home.
“You know what we miss more than anything and why we like Brentwood is this little area feels like a neighborhood.” He adds, “You miss the neighborhood in Los Angeles.”
David James Elliott' most important role
Although he plays Commander Harmon Rabb on the hit CBS drama JAG, the most important role David James Elliot plays is husband to his wife Nancy and father to his 3-year-old daughter Stephanie. “Whenever I’m not on the set, I’m with them,” says the Toronto native.
That includes time spent on the golf course, although his daughter’s game is not quite as good as David’s. “Mostly she just rides along with us, but every once in a while she’ll get out and hit one. I don’t want to force anything on her. I want her to love the game as much as I do.”
Elliot has a six handicap, but, he says, “We’re gonna knock that down.” On the set of JAG, he has a putting green in his trailer, as well as a digital camera to monitor his swing and work out all the kinks.
This summer, during what WGA members like to refer to as the “unscheduled hiatus,” Elliot looks forward to traveling. He’s planning a trip to Europe and the Bahamas for a bit more bond-ing time with his family. And, of course, to work on that golf handicap.
David James Elliott's new movie '' Code 11-14 2003''
Towards the end of the Serial Killer movie "Code 11-14", and after the serial killer's identity has been revealed to the audience, the killer radios leading man David James Elliot (who has since figured out the killer's identity as well) and taunts him with this line, "It sure took you a long time to figure it out." To which I chuckled and thought, I second that!
David James Elliot (TV's "JAG") plays the impossibly unobservant FBI agent Kurt Novak, who is chasing a serial killer that preys on beautiful women in L.A. After a suspect is captured in Australia, Novak flies over to the home of Crocodile Dundee with his neglected wife Michelle (Terry Farrell) and son Johnny (Myles Jeffrey) in tow. After the Australian police decide that they've caught their man, the Novaks return home, only to discover that the real serial killer is onboard their plane and this time he's targeting them!
The first thing that should occur to you it this: "Wait a minute. An FBI agent chasing a serial killer decides that it's a good idea to take his wife and child on the manhunt with him? No way!" According to writers Kearns and Lafia, "Yes, way." Directed by Jean de Segonzac, who painted a visually entertaining film with "Mimic 2", "Code 11-14" is surprisingly very plain. The movie offers nothing by way of visual stimulation, and there's almost no action until a brief fight between the Novaks (yes, that's right, all three of the Novaks) and the serial killer at the very end. This ain't no "Air Force One", and definitely nothing close to "Turbulence".
The screenplay for "Code 11-14" is the real villain here. It's all the more irritating because the film really showed some promise at around the halfway point, when the movie managed to surprise me with its gradually developing suspense. Unfortunately it all falls short because I knew who the real serial killer was the first time I saw him. It also doesn't help that the film fails to provide any thoughtful red herrings for us to suspect. In fact, I had to delete the name of the actor playing the serial killer from the credit listing because it gives away the killer's identity.
The star of "Code 11-14" is David James Elliot, whose FBI agent doesn't exactly give me faith in the observant powers of the FBI. Nanci Chambers, the real-life Mrs. James Elliot, plays Novak's partner, who helps Novak uncover the killer's identity from the ground. Terry Farrell has the unenviable distinction of playing the worst mother in the history of movie moms. On at least 4 occasions, and after having been informed by her FBI agent husband that a serial killer is onboard their plane and is targeting them, Farrell's motherly instinct-challenged mom leaves her son all alone. Gee, I'm so shocked that the serial killer finally abducted the boy. Who would have thunk it?
"Code 11-14" is not a very good movie. It lacks logic on more than one occasion, and its story is as constricted as its plane location. David James Elliot looks the part of an FBI agent, but his character is so dense that one wonders how he ever passed the tests to become an agent in the first place. The direction by Jean de Segonzac is strangely uninteresting and a big letdown considering his previous work.
Also, for a movie about a serial killer on the loose, "Code" has very little gore, blood, sex, or violence. Everything is just so...TV-movie-of-the-week-ish
David James Elliott starring on the hit CBS series ''JAG'' as Navy Cmdr. Harmon Rabb
JAG (military-speak for Judge Advocate General) is an adventure drama about this elite legal wing of officers trained as lawyers who investigate, prosecute and defend those accused of crimes in the military, including murder, treason and terrorism. Navy Cmdr. Harmon "Harm" Rabb (David James Elliott), an ace pilot turned lawyer, and Marine Lt. Col. Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie (Catherine Bell), a beautiful by-the-book officer, are colleagues who hold the same high standards but find themselves clashing when they choose different routes to get to the same place. The unmistakable chemistry between them must be held at bay for professional reasons as they traverse the globe together with a single mission: to search for and discover the truth.
Helping them with their mission is Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts (Patrick Labyorteaux), a lawyer who proved his grit and determination when, after losing a leg in a land mine field while on a mission, fought back and became even better at his job, and Cmdr. Sturgis Turner (Scott Lawrence), a JAG lawyer who was Harm's friend at the Naval Academy and now has a friendly rivalry in and out of the courtroom with him, as well as with Lt. Cmdr. Roberts. Also on the team is P.O. Jennifer Coates (Zoe McLellan), formerly Admiral Chegwidden's outspoken assistant, and now assigned to help the new JAG settle into the job.
David James Elliott, a nearly 40-year old hunk of burning love from Ontario, Canada. DJE - as all true aficionados refer to him - started life as a musician, was too smart to stay one, and ended up not only an actor, but a pretty damn respectable one, too, with mucho classical credits and awards from such prestigious organizations as the Stratford Shakespearean Festival.
He started his television career on CBS's Street Legal in the late 1980's, earning a fair amount of fame in Canada before moving to Los Angeles in 1990 to try his hand at Hollywood. What started out as a lean decade picked up steam when he landed a co-starring role in The Untouchables syndicated series, stood out in a string of made-for-television movies, and made guest appearances on such programs as Seinfeld, Melrose Place and Knot's Landing.
He broke out from the pack in 1995, when he landed the role of Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr. -- Navy lawyer, fighter pilot and all-around hunk -- on the hit CBS series JAG. Our man DJE is a hit as well. Why, he's even been in People magazine. His acclaim hits new peaks, of course.
So what gets our motor running about this man? Well, besides the uniforms: the eyes, the smile, the body...the voice. And did we mention the uniforms? But don't take our word for it. See for yourself. Check out DJE in JAG, showing every Tuesday night at 8 PM on CBS or Monday through Fridays on USA at 7 PM.