Coogan's Bluff (1968)
What's Tisha's finest performance? The vaudevillian slapstick of Batman's Legs Parker? The deadpan of Get Smart's Teesha Heinschmidt? The comic whimsy of Norwood's Marie? Naillil, fey alien of Night Slaves? Or even the campy sorceress Fawn, who steals the show from Vincent Price and Bill Bixby in their Night Gallery episode?
Then there's the angelic-faced sociopath, the Buffy Cameron of 1971's made-for-TV movie A Death of Innocence. . . .
Or Tisha's utterly magnificent performance as Grace Mayo in A Woman Accused, playing the shattered Sixties "flower child" on the psych ward after one too many acid trips. . . .
But it would be hard to dispute that her finest film is Coogan's Bluff. Of course there's The Whales of August, but that was Ann Sothern's movie, with Tisha's role limited to a well-acted opening-scene cameo.
But Coogan's Bluff. . . . The movie that marked Clint Eastwood's transition from "The Man with No Name" to the urban cowboy. . . . That inspired (in Dennis Weaver's much tamer version) the seven-season TV series McCloud. . . .
A "Clint Eastwood movie," yes, but really an ensemble cast, in fact as much an ensemble cast as Casablanca.
Coogan's Bluff, with its melange of cops and social workers and urban misfits. . . . Lee J. Cobb and Susan Clark and of course Don Stroud. . . .
And the enticingly beautiful flower child with the weirdly psychedelic name of "Linny Raven". . . .
Now, just try imagining anyone but Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund. . . . Or anyone but Tisha Sterling as Linny Raven!