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Brilliant But Cancelled - Crime Dramas (Delvecchio/ Gideon Oliver/ Johnny Staccato/ Touching Evil)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Judd Hirsch, Jeffrey Donovan, John Cassavetes, Jr. Louis Gossett
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 23, 2006
  • Run Time: 209 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EUMMYI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,636 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brilliant But Cancelled - Crime Dramas (Delvecchio/ Gideon Oliver/ Johnny Staccato/ Touching Evil)" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

See the shows that were cancelled before their time with four gripping crime drama episodes in the Brilliant But Cancelled collection. From the producers who would go on to make the television sensations Hill Street Blues, Columbo and Law & Order come these intelligent series that span over forty years of television. Johnny Staccato - "Tempted" Independent film pioneer John Cassavetes starred from 1959 to 1960 in this hip drama about a jazz pianist who moonlights as a private detective. Set in New York's ultra-cool Greenwich Village, this detective series was filmed in black and white and features smooth musical numbers to accentuate its smoky, sultry narrative tone. Delvecchio - "Licensed to Kill" From legendary producer Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue), Delvecchio aired from 1976 to 1977 and starred Emmy winner Judd Hirsch as Dominick Delvecchio, an honest and courageous LAPD detective who is studying to pass the legal bar exam. Assisted by his tough-as-nails boss and his wisecracking partner, Delvecchio finds himself torn between a life of action and danger and his dreams of a prestigious career in law. Gideon Oliver - "Sleep Well, Professor Oliver" A brilliant Columbia University professor of anthropology (Louis Gossett, Jr., Stargate SG-1) finds that his unparalleled knowledge of human behavior is applicable in some of the world's most puzzling crimes. Produced in 1989 by Wolf Films, the award-winning development team behind the highly successful Law & Order franchise. Touching Evil - "K" Touching Evil originally aired in 2004 and followed the exploits of the FBI's Organized and Serial Crime (OSC) Unit, a rapid-response, elite crime squad. The OSC brings back renegade agent David Creengan (Jeffrey Donovan), who pushes the law to the limit to track the criminals no one else can find.

Amazon.com

On Universal's Brilliant But Cancelled: Crime Dramas, whodunit fans get a chance to relive classic episodes of four critically acclaimed but short-lived series: Johnny Staccato, Delvecchio, Gideon Oliver, and Touching Evil. Spanning decades of television, the DVD's highlight is Johnny Staccato. Starring John Cassavetes in the title role, the episode (ca. 1959) stands up surprisingly well in modern times. Cassavetes is so suave and cool that no one would doubt his ability to play a jazz musician who happens to solve crimes at night. Each of the episodes has its own merits--Judd Hirsch is appropriately intense in Steven Bochco's Delvecchio, Louis Gossett Jr. is charmingly brilliant as an anthropology professor/sleuth in Gideon Oliver, and the elite crime fighters in Touching Evil could give anyone on Law & Order a run for their money. But the problem with this concept is that aside from the crime-solving element, the shows don't flow well from one to the next and ultimately leaves the viewer wanting to see more than just one episode from each show. --Jae-Ha Kim

Customer Reviews

If you are going to sell a DVD, clean the master copy before copying.
Bennet Pomerantz
Anthony LaPaglia plays some sort of satanic cult leader who murders babies,kills people in order to make snuff films,and behaves like an over-the-top psycho..
Charles H. Levenson
This old Yankee may just have bad hearing but I've been to the UK many times and thought I knew its accents.
David Luken

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Eric Paddon on May 23, 2006
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Universal probably has the greatest archive of classic television programs compared to any other studio. And sadly, no single studio has more consistently turned out poor quality releases of those programs on DVD, with their consistently defective double sided DVD-18 discs, not to mention shamefully abandoning many titles after just releasing one season (Dragnet, Adam-12, Kojak, Hardy Boys to name but a few).

The "Brilliant But Cancelled-Crime Dramas" DVD, ostensibly Universal's opportunity to show off some high quality project of theirs that let's us see premiere episodes of certain short-lived programs, sadly falls into the same category. While the premiere episode of "Johnny Stacatto" with John Cassavetes is presented in great quality and uncut, the premiere episode of "Delvecchio" (a 1976 drama with Judd Hirsch) fails on three levels. (1) The episode is taken from what looks like a 16mm print, dark and fuzzy (2) the episode is clearly a cut syndicated print of the kind used on A+E in the early 90s as the episode running time is a mere 45 minutes when 48-50 was the norm in those days and (3) there are NO OPENING TITLES OR CREDITS! Instead the episode starts cold with the episode title and the guest cast so the uninitiated has no idea who stars in the program and who the supporting cast consists of.

Jeers again to Universal for another sad and shoddy chapter in their ongoing history of bad quality TV on DVD releases.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Bennet Pomerantz VINE VOICE on June 18, 2006
Universal television is guilty as in many other studios of releasing one season sets of old shows with limited scope-if they dont sell, there is never a season two released

From Home Media retailing article, Unfinished Business by JESSICA WOLF "Others fared a little better, but were still left by the wayside. Universal Studios Home Entertainment last year released Airwolf: Season One, and it sold nearly 20% of the units of Universal's top TV DVD release for the year, Miami Vice: Season One"

I had hope for this four show one disk special,Brilliant But Cancelled - Crime Dramas . However it seem shoddy release at best, which isnt a good sign. The two of the episodes on this collection are blurred. If you are going to sell a DVD, clean the master copy before copying. There are so many print bubbles on the Johnny Staccato...however the acting is good! The Delvecchio has no opening credits and the copy seems ill fitted for the TV, such as it was miscopied. Touching Evil episode seems as it they just picked an episode from the middle of the bunch, it was more confusing without a backstory.

The Gideon Oliver copy was great but slightly trimmed. However the show lasted ONLY eight 75 mins episode and produced by Law And Order's Dick Wolf. C'mon Universal, you should have gave this an own box set (it was part of the failed mystery movie wheel ABC tried ten years ago-I want a Burt Reynold's B.L. Striker Box set NOW)

Again from the article--"Completists, take note: Not every TV series that begins rolling out on DVD will finish its run. Maybe a first-season set doesn't sell enough copies, or maybe the sales dropoff for the second season is so great that the release door is promptly slammed shut.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Luken on January 6, 2011
"Touching Evil" has all the elements of a successful series but somehow good story lines and great acting aren't enough. The series just begins. There is no back- grounding. Who are these people and how did they wind up collectively bashing in doors? What is their organization (CSA doesn't tell us much) and what is its or their mission? The photography stinks: Somebody is addicted to hand held shooting. Most the time the screen is a jumble of unrecognizable scenes and sounds. This old Yankee may just have bad hearing but I've been to the UK many times and thought I knew its accents. So much of the dialogue is wasted on things like throats and walls (as opposed to microphones) that even my pretty, young wife (with perfect hearing) can't recognize what the characters sre saying to one another. All these little things add up to a big flop. What a tragedy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr Fixit of Altus on July 4, 2013
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only show I reconized was Delvecchio, to young for Johnny Stacato never saw other shows, quality of transfer 1ST rate quality of programs , not so much
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TIP.PY TOES on August 11, 2014
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Only one show of each title....total ripoff !!!
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By kathleen on October 17, 2014
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When I see some of the junk on TV-which I rarely watch now-I don't get it. Here are examples of excellent writing, amazing performances, professional design, everything that makes any show worth watching. Cancelled? Now I'm searching for the complete series of each one of these. I'm on the alert list for Touching Evil. Anyone know about the others? Anywhere I can buy them?
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By Felecia McAllister on October 29, 2014
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Love the collection, wish it was possible to find the shows individually on DVD.
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