Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|McCloud - Seasons 1 and 2|
Actors: Dennis Weaver, J.D. Cannon, E.J. André, Savannah Bentley, Karen Carlson
Directors: Alex March, Boris Sagal, Bruce Kessler, Douglas Heyes, Jack Smight
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
"There ya' go." Rustle up some action and adventure as police drama McCloud rides on to DVD for the first time ever! Emmy winner Dennis Weaver stars as the brave Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud, the toughest cowboy to ever t... more »
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Peter Q. (Petequig)
Reviewed on 11/12/2010...
Picking up where Clint Eastwood left off, Dennis Weaver did a great job portraying the "Fish out of Water" character.....a Cowboy in New York City !
McCloud Rides Again--AT LAST!
Dace Gisclard | Houston, TX USA | 08/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the most fanatical McCloud fan in the world (I'll arm wrestle anyone who says I'm not) it is an understatement to say that I am delighted that the series has been issued on DVD--AT LAST! The three double-side DVD's, housed in sturdy slim cases, contain Seasons One and Two. The episodes are arranged in chronological order, with a filler episode of "MacMillan and Wife." The transfer has obviously been done with some care--the series has never looked so good on TV--one can even make out the texture of the tweed in McCloud's jacket. Despite some occasional graininess, it looks as if the series might have been filmed yesterday! There are Spanish and English subtitles, and each episode has a helpful and informative synopsis menu.
Are the episodes complete and uncut?...well, yes and no... First, the good news--Season Two appears to be uncut. Nowadays, when McCloud runs on TV, the first few minutes of "establishing scenes" preceding the opening credits are invariably omitted. Frequently, the "summing up" scenes at the end are cut, too. These are often really funny vignettes, such as McCloud roping a crook from a moving taxicab at the beginning of "Fifth Man in a String Quartet." Most of these scenes have not been shown on TV since about 1986. They usually contribute little if anything to the central story, and were obviously cut to allow more commercials. On the other hand, they contribute a LOT to the establishment of character. This is important--one of the strengths of the series was that it successfully managed the tricky mixture of believable character comedy and detective story--more in the subtle manner of "The Thin Man" rather than the situation comedy of "Barney Miller". Without this comic leavening, police dramas can become unbearably grim. It is absolutely wonderful to have these scenes back!
It's also great to have the pilot episode, which I don't recall seeing on TV since about 1985. Viewers will notice an inconsistency in Chris's account of how she first met McCloud. In the first episode of Season One, Chris says that she met him while vacationing in New Mexico. The pilot has it otherwise--their real first meeting was in New York--of course, this doesn't affect one's enjoyment.
Now, the bad news. Season One originally consisted of six one-hour episodes. UNIVERSAL studios later combined these into three one-and-a-half hour programs. Contrary to the misinformation disseminated from some internet sources, these DVD's give Season One only in this later, mutilated form. Maybe the original material no longer exists, or perhaps no one cared enough to search for it, or maybe UNIVERSAL thought no one would notice. Heaven knows how much good stuff we'll never see again.
I have never seen the first season in its original form (it's difficult to get to a TV exactly when you want to when one has been drafted into Army basic training). However, back issues of TV GUIDE are a valuable source of information. Doubtless, much must have fallen to the cutting room floor during re-editing. A case in point is episode two ("Horse Stealing on Fifth Avenue"), which was grafted onto episode four ("The Stage is All the World") producing a hybrid called "Manhattan Manhunt." The "horse stealing," which gives "Horse Stealing" its title, was completely removed, and all that remains is the subplot about a drugstore bandit.
Further observations: I don't understand the point (other than advertising) of including an episode of "McMillan and Wife." Surely there were more appropriate fillers, such as the sequel, "The Return of Sam McCloud," or maybe the episode of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries in which Weaver appears as himself filming an episode of McCloud, or "Murder Can Hurt You" in which Buck Owens delivers a McCloud parody as "Sheriff Tim McSky!" Even interviews with the cast about the making of the series would be nice--most of them are still around (update of 4/09--Weaver died a few years ago). A recent e-mail to UNIVERSAL inquiring about the exact contents of the DVD's and offering suggestions for fillers, elicited the reply that there were "no plans at present to issue this series on DVD." Make of THAT what you will...
Another caveat: check disk one carefully--I have already gone through two defective copies. On both, the second episode on side B ("Murder Arena")froze and refused to play any further. On the first copy, this occurred at about 36:00, and on the second, at about 49:00. I tried two different players, both recent Toshiba models, with identical results. Hopefully, Universal will correct this problem.
So, is this set worth your investment?--yes, definitely! Notwithstanding my agonizing about Season One, this is probably as close as we'll ever get to having McCloud on home video. Because of my disappointment about Season One, I had originally intended to give this release just four stars, but this series is too good for that. Indeed, I'd give it more than five stars if Amazon's rating system allowed it! That off my chest, it's great to have this excellent series in such a fine DVD transfer. Despite my complaints, I wouldn't be without it, and enthusiastically recommend McCloud to viewers who are unfamiliar with the series. Now, let's have the other five seasons (Three and Four should fit nicely onto three double-sided DVD's!)--hopefully, it won't take another 35 years!"
One of the best TV series ever made
D. R. Schryer | Poquoson, VA United States | 06/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A previous reviewer -- who didn't like this series -- described McCloud as "a Texas cop come to the Big Apple." I can't take this dismissive review seriously because this reviewer clearly knew very little about this outstanding series in which Dennis Weaver played a deputy marshall from Taos, New Mexico -- not Texas. The reviewer got the Big Apple part correct, though, since McCloud was on temporary assignment to the New York police department for several seasons.
Personally I loved this series because McCloud was the ultimate maverick, rescuing people and solving cases by ingenuity, persistence, and courage with little concern for the fine print in the rules. My three favorite TV adventure series were Maverick, McCloud, and Remington Steele. Fortunately, McCloud and Remington Steele are scheduled to be available on DVD shortly. If you liked one of these series you may also like the others, as I do."
"McCloud" kicks the dust off his boots and arrives on DVD
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 08/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A fun mystery series, "McCloud" was re-edited by Universal taking six 60 minute episodes and making them into three 90 minute episodes for syndication. What we have here is the syndicated version which means that footage has been cut from the episodes as they combined various episodes into one 90 minute TV movie. The show in its original format would have earned five stars for its best episodes. The original elements for the series has to exist but Universal just elected not to bother and find them and/or restore them to their original length. That's too bad as it indicates a much larger problem that seems to exist at Universal's marketing department-they just don't care. It's just product for them. Warner Home Video actually takes pride and adds extras and commentaries to most of their TV on DVD releases. They actually bring value to fans. Universal, on the other hand, has only started adding more extras recently to select titles but keeping most bare bones. I'm not so sure about season two because I haven't seen many of these in years but the first season I do recall seeing in syndication and noticing footage missing. We do get the pilot episode as well which is a big plus.
Looks like "McCloud" knocked the dust off his boots when he arrived on DVD. While there's some analog artifacts in the form of dirt, etc. that are evident in this transfer, the episodes look extremely good in an unforgiving format. Could they have been cleaned up a bit? Frankly, yes but their presentation is pretty solid overall. There is some digital artifacts evident but it's not a huge amount. The colors have faded a bit but overall given the age of the series "McCloud" looks pretty good. The mono sound doesn't offer much opportunity for improvement but that's fine as the dialog is clear and the music, despite occasional distortion, sounds good.
Universal is doing its cross promotional thing again as they did with "Sliders: Season Three"/"Earth 2"/"Cleopatra 2525" where episodes from other genre related shows were put on as an extra. It's a pretty cheap extra and clever marketing I just don't think it's good value for customers. Given that most of the main actors are still alive, it's a pity that there's no retrospective documentary or discussion of the popularity of this series. Weaver can be a charming storyteller and Muldaur captivating. I'm sure if both were asked to revisit one of their popular successes they'd be willing to do so.