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Michael Shayne Detective, Vol. 1
Michael Shayne Detective Vol 1
Actor: Richard Denning
Genres: Television
NR     2007     1hr 52min


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Movie Details

Actor: Richard Denning
Genres: Television
Sub-Genres: Television
Studio: Critic's Choice
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 01/09/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Rare DVD release of a run-of-the-mill TV detective series
Robert Huggins | Suburban Philadelphia, PA United States | 03/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The late 1950s/early 1960s was the era of the private detective on television, with all three networks broadcasting shows like "Richard Diamond, Private Detective," "Peter Gunn," "Hawaiian Eye," "77 Sunset Strip," "Bourbon Street Beat," "Surfside 6," "Checkmate," etc. Set in Miami, the "Michael Shayne" series was an "also ran," never quite catching the imagination of the public like some of the other shows did and, ultimately, running 32 episodes during its single 1960-61 season. The character of "Michael Shayne" was developed by Brett Halliday in a series of novels and short stories, and later into a series of films in the 1940s with Lloyd Nolan and Hugh Beaumont in the starring role. When the time came to adapt "Michael Shayne" for a television audience, Richard Denning was cast in the title role. Denning was a solid B-movie actor whose film career dated back to the late 1930s, and who successfully made the transition to the small screen in the popular "Mr. & Mrs. North" series (1952-54) and later had a recurring role as the governor of Hawaii in the long running "Hawaii Five-0" (1968-80). It's Denning who elevates the rather routine material found in the two episodes contained in this DVD release from Critics Choice Video. The two episodes included on this single DVD are "Shoot the Works" (originally broadcast on November 11, 1960) and "Marriage can be Fatal" (broadcast on March 31, 1961), and were made for an hour-long time slot. It's interesting to note that a few of the supporting cast members were changed in the second half of the season, and these cast changes are reflected in the second episode. It's also interesting to note that actor Philip Carey guest stars in the first episode. Carey had starred as "Philip Marlowe" in another one season (1959-60) television detective series of the same name.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only commercially available DVD of the "Michael Shayne" television series. As is the case with many of the TV shows released by Critics Choice, the prints utilized for this release are not restored but are in comparatively good shape and watchable . . . they're just not very sharp or crisp looking, a common problem when original film elements are not utilized as masters. Also, Critics Choice claims a combined running time of 112 minutes for the two episodes, working out to 56 minutes for each episode suggesting, perhaps, that original commercials were included. In fact, each episode runs about 50 minutes and no commercials are included. There are no extras or chapter stops on the DVD.

With the exception of A&E Home Video's two releases of the "Peter Gunn" series (most of season 1), the various private detective television series of the late 1950s/early 1960s have been largely ignored on DVD. So despite the undistinguished crime stories featured in the two episodes on this DVD, "Michael Shayne" is a welcome addition for fans of detective shows from this bygone era. My rating is closer to *** & 1/2 given the rarity of this series.