Following the phenomenal success of MIAMI VICE, Executive Producer Michael Mann returned to television with a new kind of gritty crime drama, one that talked tougher and hit harder than anything the small screen had ever s... more »een before. For two explosive seasons, CRIME STORY told the hard-boiled saga of hair-trigger cop Lieutenant Mike Torello [Dennis Farina] and his obsessive pursuit of ruthless gangster Ray Luca [Anthony Denison] from the mean streets of early ?60s Chicago to the neon nights of mob-run Las Vegas. Today, CRIME STORY is considered a true cult classic as well as one of the most startling series in television history. THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON features a stellar supporting cast that includes Stephen Lang, Bill Campbell, Ted Levine, Darlanne Fluegel and Joseph Wiseman, and such guest stars as David Caruso, Michael Madsen, Pam Grier,Ving Rhames, Lorraine Bracco, Gary Sinise, Deborah Harry, Vincent Gallo and Julia Roberts.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 7/14/2015...
Of all the old television series I have wished would come to DVD Crime Story was always at the top of my list! Now that I have season one I can sit back and enjoy as often as I choose. The acting (especially real one time cop Dennis Farina) and the rest of the regular cast keep me watching episode after episode.
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Dreadful transfer for a brilliant series
B. Corners | 11/12/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I love Crime Story. I watched every episode during its original release (a large statement, since I almost never follow a TV series) and five or six years ago, I bought on VHS the complete series. The fact that I have now purchased this DVD set says a great deal about my respect for the plot, the actors, the director, and just about everyone involved.But the transfer to DVD is shockingly bad. Apart from the image quality, which is a standard TV grain, they have replaced much of the original music. This is most dramatic in episode four, "The War," which used to have John Coltrane and Duke Ellington playing their classic, meditative version of "In a Sentimental Mood" and now features a studio saxophonist playing music that, at best, would be appropriate for a meaningless hot tub encounter.The four-page booklet inside does not track the episodes--the only way to know what's included on each disk is to insert the DVD and check the menu--nor do the episodes include any chapter breaks. Given what's possible now, this packaging is genuinely third rate.This set is not as disappointing as the cancellation of the show, but it's close."
John P. Richardson | Colorado Springs, CO | 12/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What can I say about Crime Story as a show that hasn't already been said here? It was underrated in its day and still is. So I'll keep this review focused on the DVD box set itself.As an owner of the VHS box set that came out in the early '90s, I was really looking forward to a DVD version mainly for the better picture and sound quality. I was not let down and this alone makes the set worth the price. The picture is sharp and clean and the sound, although mono (remember, this is from the pre stereo TV days), is clear and free of chops and drop-outs. Anchor Bay did a great job transferring the series to this medium.About the only thing I can fault is the lack of extras. There are no bonus features at all. No interviews. No original trailers/teasers. No press photos. Nothing. Although the liner notes for the set are extensive with some really nice background info, it doesn't make up for the utter lack of extras that could have been included.And one plea to Anchor Bay. Back when the show was first on TV, New World produced a full video for the theme music. I saw it a few times on late night TV and it was a bonus on the VHS version of a New World movie called The Demons. When the season two box set is released, how about putting that on there?Regardless of the lack of extra features, this is a wonderful collection of a wonderful series. Whether you're a Crime Story fan or just looking for something to watch when the network shows are in reruns, do yourself a favor and grab this set. You won't be disappointed."
Crime Story - An original shotgun blast from the past!!
Allison B. Berman | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crime Story is one of the finest crime dramas ever aired on network television bar none. This is the L.A. Confidential of television and then some! The cinematography, casting, acting, writing, painstaking attention to detail in rendering period authenticity, music, style...there's never been anything like it before or since. It holds up very well to repeat viewings even for those who don't like watching anything a second time. Until now, the only examples produced, have been various videotape releases, the domestic LD releases of both pilot and first 2 episodes, and the Japanese release of the entire first season (complete with subtitles). They all consist of dated, soft, low contrast, hazy transfers. None of them compare to this new Season One DVD Box Set in picture quality. The Pilot episode in this new set is sharper and smoother looking than previous releases (even the DVD), has excellent contrast with nice inky blacks, deep rich colors and a warmer look to it. The rest of the episodes have the same high contrast, deep blacks and saturated colors with adequate shadow detail. The dark and gritty look is by design, fitting to the film noir subject and not distracting in any way; and being DVD, clean clear freeze frames are rendered. This transfer is current and up to the minute.As for audio, some have had their panties in a wad over replacement music. Expecting the worst, I did A/B comparisons between this set and older tapes of the series. Episodes compared were The Kingdom of Money (one of my favorites) and The War. Sequence for sequence from opening scene to closing credits both versions of The Kingdom of Money were virtually identical-not a single note of music was different (I suspect this is indicative of most of the episodes as well). When comparing both versions of The War, I found 2 or 3 sequences (non critical chase/action sequences) to have different dubs of incidental music, the original music having been indeed edgier and jazzier than the replacement music. But to be perfectly honest, if I weren't looking for the changes, I probably wouldn't have noticed them. All the rest of the major music was, like The Kingdom of Money, virtually unchanged. As with all productions which utilize large amounts of music, legal rights to all of it can be a problem. However, the negligable changes here have done nothing to dampen my enjoyment of this series. Certainly nothing to have a hissy fit about. Season 2 while not as tightly knit as Season 1 is nevertheless very entertaining and it was nice to see the series expand in other directions. The Russian fighter pilot, for example, flying his MIG 21 to the United States to defect (Welcome to America!) was brilliant! There are some terrific stories here, some of which have further explored the depth of the characters. Yes I am very much looking forward to Season 2.Rather than knocking Ancor Bay for this release as some have, I commend them for it. None of the previous releases of Crime Story had registered so much as a blip on the sales charts. Indeed, some may remember ambitious plans for an LD release of the entire series 2 episode volumes at a time starting with the pilot. This was abandoned after the pilot and first volume due to lack of interest. I think this was due to the release of individual episodes rather than complete season box sets but, nevertheless, for any studio to invest large amounts of cash in a high priced "definitive" version of a niche title without a track record would have been foolhardy. Ancor Bay (not a deep pockets studio) had a lot of guts to stick its neck out and bring us 2 complete seasons of a series it probably thought would have been a financial write off. They are either fans themselves or have shown an inordinate amount of consideration for those of us who are true Crime Story fans with this gift. I'm one of those who would rather have 85% of something than 100% of nothing. To be perfectly honest, I'm very disappointed in those "fans" out there who not only refuse to buy these sets, but recommend that others don't either. They will make very certain that a future "definitive" release of this show with completely restored original music (perhaps a Dolby Digital remix), a slick High Definition transfer, better packaging, lots of extras, commentary and perhaps even some chapter stops and an episode guide, will NEVER happen. My recommendation is, support this treasured work by buying this package for yourselves and as gifts for friends and family and support the studio that brought it to you as imperfect as you may think it is. I bought 2. Perhaps enough interest will be generated to warrent a future Revised Special Edition. In the meantime you will have a pristine archival representation of this classic show, which will never wear out or fall prey to laser rot, to hold on to and enjoy over and over until a better one is released. If not, when this title goes out of print, your chance to own it on DVD may be gone forever."
Farina all the way with rollerskates...
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 12/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dennis Farina was a real-life Chicago cop, so maybe that is why he brings so much to this role. He heads the task force of bringing down mobsters namely Ray Luca (Anthony John Denison - he took over for Ken Wahl in WISEGUY after Wahl was injured). But there is a super supporting cast with Bill Smitrovich(Nero Wolfe) as Det. Danny Krychek, Steve Ryan as Det. Nate Grossman, Bill Campbell (very very young here!) as Det. Joey Indeli, and the brilliant Stephen Lang as Stephen Lang as Prosecutor David Abrams. But the show was nearly stolen by Ted Levine (Silence of the Lambs) as Frank Holman and John Santucci as Pauli Taglia (a real life jewel thief at one time!).Produced by Michael Mann (Miami Vice, Manhunter), you get the same attention to period detail and music. The stories are fast action, with witty dialogue - like a drunken Farina tells a plump lady in a bar "I'd like to strap you on and go rollerskating".This is Mann's genius at it's best with wonderful acting to keep you spellbound."