Hill Street Blues (1981–1987)
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Can World War III Be an Attitude? 

Hill Street finds the precinct under siege when the gangs react to the president canceling his walking tour. Hill and Renko arrest a car thief who has a knack for fixing things around the station. Frank asks Joyce to represent LaRue who is facing bribery charges.


Robert Butler


Michael Kozoll (created by), Steven Bochco (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel J. Travanti ... Capt. Frank Furillo
Michael Conrad ... Sgt. Phil Esterhaus
Michael Warren ... Officer Bobby Hill
Bruce Weitz ... Sgt. Mick Belker (credit only)
James Sikking ... Lt. Howard Hunter (as James B. Sikking)
Joe Spano ... Det. Henry Goldblume
Barbara Bosson ... Fay Furillo (credit only)
Taurean Blacque ... Det. Neal Washington
Kiel Martin ... Officer J.D. LaRue
René Enríquez ... Lt. Ray Calletano (as Rene Enriquez)
Betty Thomas ... Officer Lucy Bates
Charles Haid ... Officer Andrew Renko
Veronica Hamel ... Joyce Davenport
Barbara Babcock ... Grace Gardner
Dan Hedaya ... Ralph Macafee


Esterhaus finds himself tempted by a new woman when Grace Gardner returns to decorate the precinct and won't take no for an answer. LaRue has his first hearing and draws support from both partner Washington and Captain Furillo. Lucy Bates questions her femininity when Hunter asks her to join his team. A car jacking leads Hill and Renko to arrest "Malibu," who turns out to be completely willing to confess and pay back his time doing fix-up work around the precinct. And with Furillo out at LaRue's hearing, the hill finds itself under siege from gangs angry with the president canceling his walking tour. Written by Spirit

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

24 January 1981 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MTM Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Charles Fleischer, who plays "Malibu" is also known for playing Carvelli on Welcome Back, Kotter and as the voice of Roger Rabbit. See more »


Lt. Howard Hunter: [to Lucy Bates] I was wondering if we could have a little verbal... mano a mano.
[Lucy looks confused]
Lt. Howard Hunter: ... A Talk.
Officer Lucy Bates: Sure, about what?
See more »


References Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) See more »


Mr. Sandman
Written by Pat Ballard
Performed by Robert Hirschfeld
See more »

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User Reviews

"Can World War III Be an Attitude?" is a pretty good early ep of "Hill Street Blues"
5 April 2018 | by tavmSee all my reviews

After what happened in the previous ep, LaRue is now being investigated for his conduct. Grace Gardner returns as the precinct decorator and she and Sgt. Esterhaus don't seem to get along much but not for long. And a car thief Hill and Renko arrest also seems to be an expert mechanic. Oh, and the President cancels his planned visit to Hill Street...Not as entertaining as previous eps but writers Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll still provide many good dramatic and comedic moments like future Roger Rabbit voice actor Charles Fleischer as that car thief/mechanic. Also appearing is future ex-husband of Carla Tortelli on "Cheers", Dan Hedaya in his second "HSB" ep, as the slimy cop who turned in LaRue. Can't wait to watch the next one after "Can World War III Be an Attitude?"...

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