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Wiseguy - Mel Profitt Arc (Season 1 Part 2)
Wiseguy - Mel Profitt Arc
Season 1 Part 2
Actors: Ken Wahl, Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance, Manolo Villaverde, Martika
Director: Charles Correll;Jan Eliasberg;Larry Shaw;Peter D. Marshall;Helaine Head;William A. Fraker;Aaron Lipstadt;Robert Woodruff (II);Kim Manners;James A. Contner;James Whitmore Jr.;Rod Holcomb;Zale Dalen;Douglas Jackson;Jonathan Sanger
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2003     10hr 0min

When OCB agent, Vincent Terranova is assigned to investigate assassin, Roger Lococco, neither he nor his superiors are aware that Lococco is working for international arms and drug dealer, Mel Profitt. More importantly,...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ken Wahl, Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance, Manolo Villaverde, Martika
Director: Charles Correll;Jan Eliasberg;Larry Shaw;Peter D. Marshall;Helaine Head;William A. Fraker;Aaron Lipstadt;Robert Woodruff (II);Kim Manners;James A. Contner;James Whitmore Jr.;Rod Holcomb;Zale Dalen;Douglas Jackson;Jonathan Sanger
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Studio Works
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 12/30/2003
Original Release Date: 09/16/1987
Theatrical Release Date: 09/16/1987
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 10hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Why was it edited?
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the first television showing Kevin Spacey had a wonderful diatribe about how people will eventually rip open the bellies of others for the food inside. In the re-runs a couple of minutes were cut from each episode to make more room for more commercials. For some reason the DVD uses the "edited for more commercials" versions, so this wonderful scence is missing. You can hear a brief audio segment of the diatribe during the episode where Roger Lococco plays a tape of Mel Proffit in order to drive Susan insane."
Photoscribe | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA | 02/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Never in your life will you ever see acting like this in a television series! Kevin Spacey, Joan Severance, William Russ, Jonathan Banks and Elsa Raven and others shine like newly minted dimes in this incredible show. Elsa Raven, a likeable, grandmotherly actress, seems to be every casting director's idea for a chubby, middle-aged mama, except for her turn as Gertrude Stein in "The Moderns". I caught about three or four episodes of the "Sonny Steelgrave" arc of this show just channel surfing and noticed how intense and gritty the acting was. I watched for about four episodes. THEN the Mel Profitt arc started, and it was a roller coaster ride from then on! Spacey chews the scenery like a piranha as the paranoid, charismatic and reputedly brilliant Mel Profitt, an enfant terrible of organized crime who runs his empire of weapons-trading and illegal drugs with the help of his sister, Susan, played by the gorgeous and talented Joan Severance.Stephen J. Cannell must have been on one of those legendary rolls that writers, specifically TV, movie and sci-fi writers, get on sometime, becaue he has everything covered here....humor, pathos, psychoses, sociopathology, charisma, situations, and a VERY good sense of governmental corruption. Sadly, he never equalled his work on "Wiseguy" again, and never got the same quality of cast for any of his other projects on TV. "Wiseguy" was one of a kind.Kevin Spacey's take on Profitt is unlike any protrayal of a crime boss you've ever seen...he parlayed him as self-educated, witty, playful, unpredictable and moody, and it was done perfectly! As the unassuming Vinnie Terranova, Ken Wahl is very unsuspicious in his role as an FBI mole, in this case, perhaps developing too much of an affection for his targets, Mel and Susan, (a major fault of his in the other arcs as well). He is especially enarmored of Susan, who is truly good-looking, as in supermodel, and much saner than her squirrelly brother. She also seems to be attracted to _him_. As a mole for the OCB faction of the FBI, he takes quite a bit of guff from Mel, who scares the bejeebers out of him in one scene early in the arc where he plays Russian roullette with Vinnie over his sister's attraction to him. It is hinted, throughout the arc, that there is an unnaturally close relationship between Mel and his sister.Vinnie and Mel actually become best buds eventually, despite this, believe it or not. The odd thing about this whole arc is that Vinnie was actually supposed to investigate another major player in the piece, a Roger Lococo, played by William Russ, who eventually led him TO Mel and Susan. Severance handles herself beautifully throughout, but really shines when Mel finally dies "A Viking's Death" near the end of the arc, and she is left alone to run his vast organization. Susan mentally collapses when Russ' character, the scheming Roger Lococo, another government mole (CIA) sucked in too deep, leads her to believe that Mel might still be alive. She deludes herself into thinking that she and Vinnie are going to have a baby, complicating Terranova's mission when she can't communicate with FBI officials and has to be committed. Severance, unfortunately, like too many talented ladies in my long list of gems, had a career that went nowhere after "Wiseguy". She essentially became window dressing for a few totally mediocre films and was cast as social director in a lame revival of "The Love Boat". In the "easter egg" interview on the 4th disc of the DVD set, she also, apparently, has bleached her hair blond recently. CHEZ INFAMIE!! She looks like one of Charlie's Angels with that towheaded mess! Please, Joan, go back to brunette!!Roger Lococo, I might add, worships the ground Mel walked on, a very bad thing when you're supposed to be investigating somebody for the government. If there is any character anywhere near as unpredictable or dangerous as Spacey's Mel Profitt in this arc, it's definitely Russ' Roger Lococo. William Russ, oddly enough, ended up playing a sitcom dad for six years on a show called "Boy Meets World" after his run on "Wiseguy", but here, he gives Spacey his only real acting competition, though everybody's good.Jonathan Banks plays Vinny's ascerbic immediate boss, Frank McPike. Jim Byrnes, a man who has a knack for being in interesting TV shows, (he was also in the "Highlander" series later on,) plays Vinnie's mole's mole, "Uncle Mike". People like Clyde Kusatsu and Franklyn Seales are also in this arc, to good effect. Kusatsu plays one of Vinnie and Frank's colleagues and Seales is very good as a hot-tempered associate of Mel's who turns on him.Through it all, the acting, music, writing and production values are pure top notch CBS....cinematography is typically good CBS dramatic, with saturated colors and excellent scene composition. An urban sophistication no other network has been able to duplicate is apparent as well, and NO OTHER NETWORK had anything during this period in the eighties to equal it: not "L.A. Law", not "Twin Peaks", NOTHING was ever like the Mel Profitt arc of "Wiseguy"! I became a fan of this show from the moment I saw the first Profitt episode to the last series episode with Wahl in it. Unfortunately, they tried to foist another actor on us in place of Ken Wahl in the last two or three episodes of the fourth season, and it just didn't work, and "Wiseguy" was history. Damned shame, too. The same thing happened to "Moonlighting" and "The Equalizer", the only shows even close to being in its class.After the Mel Profitt arc, there were arcs starring Jerry Lewis as a 7th Ave. garment manufacturer. Ron Silver played his hotheaded son. Paul Winfield, Patti D'Urbanville and Tim Curry were feuding record producers and Robert Davi was a REAL "wiseguy". None of these arcs were as gripping and entertaining as the Mel Profitt arc of this show. I might go so far as to say that even the revered Sonny Steelgrave arc wasn't as good! Honest!If you appreciate good television crime drama and terrific acting, you could do MUCH worse than buy this entertaining arc of one of the best crime shows ever on television..."Only the toes knows...""
Only the toes knows.....
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 12/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"OCB boss assigns his top agent Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl) to investigate Roger Lacocco (the always brilliant William Russ), they have no idea where the thread will lead them. In quick time, Vinnie learns Roger is the strong arm for the Profitts - Mel and Susan (Kevin Spacey in a tour d force performance and Joan Severance). They are a brother and sister (a little too close perhaps to Vinnie's eyes), but they are big business of the shady kind. Vinnie works his way into Mel's confidence and into Susan's desires, causing Vinnie to have to tip toe around both profits very carefully. Vinnie, for a hardened OCB agent, never can see to keep his distance from the people he is sent in to bring down and ends up emotionally involved. As the drugged out insanity of Mel seems to grown more paranoid, Vinnie finds it harder to keep that emotional balance - AND HIS LIFE - as Mel does not like his sister getting too close to any man.Somewhere along the way, only Roger seems to be quite sane and able to distance himself, but even that will be tested as his past going all the way to Vietnam is dragged into a military plot to throw over the leadership of a small island.It keeps you guessing, the acting and writing is Telly at it's best. With super performances by all, along with the droll Jonathan Banks as Vinnie's immediate boss, this is one that bears repeat viewing. But then so do all the WiseGuy arcs...cannot wait for the Winston Newquay Arc with the magnificent Tim Curry!! Bring them on already!!!"
The Profitt Arc Soars!!!
Deborah MacGillivray | 12/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wiseguy was truly a ground-breaking entrant into the episodic world of television, and the first "arc" featuring Sonny Steelegrave took the viewer on an emotional rollercoaster. Just as we were getting off of that "ride", along came the Mel Profitt arc to throw us back onto the 'coaster! Kevin Spacey burst onto the scene with an amazing performance as the brilliant, psychotic criminal mastermind, Mel Profitt. His "balance", sister Susan, (the sexy Joan Severance) was herself twisted by her own genius and inability to distinguish right from wrong. Her familial attraction to Mel drove her to both protect him emotionally yet dispense his heroin "as needed" (0nly the toes, knows...), with more than a hint at familial lust, displaying the ongoing duality prevelent in this arc. Vinny Terranova works for the OCB and poses as a criminal...Roger Lacocco (the great William Russ) poses as a criminal and actually works for a splinter group of the NSC (?)...Mel Profitt is a criminal genius and an emotional cripple...Susan Profitt is his counter-balance and emotional guide, yet is herself an emotional cripple as well, waiting for Vincent's strong embrace to take her away from it all...words won't do these episodes justice, so please, run, don't walk, to purchase this DVD series. You won't be sorry!"