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Burke's Law: Season 1 - Volume 1 (First 16 Episodes) (1963)

Gene Barry , Gary Conway , Charles F. Haas , Byron Paul  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.99
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Burke's Law: Season 1 - Volume 1 (First 16 Episodes) + Burke's Law: Season 1 Volume Two + Honey West: The Complete Series (Fullscreen B&W)
Price for all three: $69.23

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Barry, Gary Conway, Frankie Laine
  • Directors: Charles F. Haas, Byron Paul, Frederick De Cordova, Robert Ellis Miller, James Goldstone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 800 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013PVGGI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,233 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Burke's Law: Season 1 - Volume 1 (First 16 Episodes)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Watching the smart, sexy, sophisticated, and more than a bit naughty Burke’s Law is like entering Hef’s swinging pad for a little Playboy After Dark action. Gene Barry, in his Golden Globe-winning role, stars as Amos Burke, a millionaire playboy. He is described as "a bon vivant, elegant, an attractive man." He also happens to be a police captain in charge of homicide. "It’s what he does best," his partner explains. Well, not quite. He’s better at juggling a bevy of beautiful ladies. "We have a nodding acquaintance," he smooth-talks one. "You say ‘nodding’ about marriage and that’s the way I like it." Inevitably, his trysts are interrupted by word that a murder has been committed and a body found. Then, it’s off to the crime scene in his chauffeur driven Rolls Royce (piloted by the trusty Henry, portrayed by scene-stealer Leon Lontoc). Fun enough, but what further distinguishes Burke’s Law is its dazzling array of stellar suspects; former Hollywood greats, contemporary stars, comedians, indelible character actors, and fresh-faced up-and-comers. Just dig this line-up for the episode, "Who Killed Billy Jo?": Cesar Romero, Phil Harris, Tina "Ginger" Louise, Ida Lupino, Ken Berry as a swinging partygoer, and in a surprising cameo, David Niven as a bumbling juggler. Gary Collins provides some potent youth appeal as Tim, a go-getting new detective and fount of arcane information related to each case. But he’s no match for "the old captain," who dispenses his own brand of wisdom, such as, "Never drink martinis with a beautiful suspect," and "Never grow up; you’ll grow old," punctuating each aphorism with, "Burke’s law." A cop show like no other, Burke’s Law’s pleasures are anything but guilty, from the seductive voice that purrs, "It’s Burke’s Law" during the opening credits to guessing which star is the culprit. Wally Cox? Carl Reiner? Frankie Avalon? Carolyn Jones was nominated for a Golden Globe for her virtuoso quadruple role as sisters in "Who Killed Sweet Betsy?" and Barry himself has a high time with his dual role as a lookalike murder victim in "Who Killed Snookie Martinelli?" Almost worth the price of this set is the prologue in which Barry’s Snookie regales his exhausted all-night party guests with an energetic rendition of "C’est Si Bon." How ‘60s can you get? As a welcome bonus for classic TV buffs, each disc contains vintage 1963 commercials (Arnold Palmer for L&M cigarettes--"He’s been smoking them for years"). You’re still deciding whether to order this? "Don’t think about it, just do it." That’s Burke’s law! --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

"Burke's Law" was a hit prime-time TV series that aired on ABC in 1963 and ran until 1966. It starred Gene Barry in the title roll (for which he won a Golden Globe - Best TV Actor Award in 1965) of an LA chief of detectives, who also happened to be a millionaire! Each episode featured unusual plot twists, glamorous settings and a fabulous list of guest stars. So good it was brought back for a brief run in 1994! VCI will be releasing season one in two separate collector's sets of 16 episodes each. Digitally remastered from the original 35mm master, each collection will also include `bonus' original commercials and previews. Bonus Features: </> Scene Selection| Burke's Lawisms| Vintage Commercials Specs: </> 4-DVD9s; Dolby Digital; 800 minutes; Color; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - NR; Year - 1963-65; SRP - $29.99

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Unique and Funny Cop Show February 25, 2008
The 64 black and white hour-long episodes of "Burke's Law" were originally broadcast from 1963-65 on ABC. The show then morphed into "Amos Burke, Secret Agent" for another 17 episodes during the 1965-66 season. And one episode "Who Killed the Jackpot" served as the introduction of the "Honey West" characters played by Anne Francis and John Ericson.

Gene Barry played police captain Amos Burke, who headed up homicide while maintaining a lavish lifestyle; not because he was on the take but because he was already extremely rich and was just working for whatever intrinsic value the job provided. This was the main hook or novelty of the show, which was a weekly showcase of his lavish lifestyle (chauffeured limo with fully stocked bar, mansion, and a host of gorgeous women clamoring for his affections). Although technically a mystery-adventure series there was a significant comedy element generated by the reactions of his detectives and his superior to Burke's displays of wealth and indulgence.

Barry was perfectly cast as the suave and sophisticated working playboy. Unfortunately the supporting cast was quite marginal and the writers never developed these secondary characters beyond the most superficial level. But this did allow room to showcase a multitude of guest stars and like "The Wild Wild West" many of these were Hollywood's hottest starlets. Especially memorable was former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley whose unexpected chemistry with Barry led to multiple appearances during the course of the series.

Unlike "Columbo", the series withheld the identity of the killer from viewers until the end although it was not disclosed in the standard "Murder She Wrote" moment of revelation.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class Show, First Class Release! May 6, 2008
Verified Purchase
A decade before Aaron Spelling gave us a long list of big-name celeb guests on shows like "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" he was serving them up on this great 1963-65 detective show "Burke's Law", which starred Gene Barry as the suave millionaire playboy police captain solving a murder from which a half dozen big named guest stars were among the suspects.

VCI's release of the first half of Season 1 (16 hour long episodes) is first-rate, especially since they've never handled a TV series before for release. The episodes clearly come from the original 35 mm masters, and while not as sharp as the prints we see on CBS/Paramount DVDs, they look very good. Original commercials from the film prints have been presented as a supplement, similar to Image's later releases of "Naked City" while the end of each episode retains the preview for the following week's show narrated by Barry.

VCI is committed to doing the entire run of the show (including its reimagined "Amos Burke" version) as well as the spin-off "Honey West" and they are to be commended for bringing back these B/W gems of mid-60s TV to us!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improbable, but highly entertaining series.... May 7, 2008
Verified Purchase
How many of LA's Chief of Detectives, have been chauffeured to work in a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, live in a palatial mansion, and are the toast of society? Enter one, Amos Burke, played expertly by Gene Barry, whose only real distinction in the cinema was a starring role in George Pal's "War of the Worlds," (1953).

Barry, not unlike the character depicted in "Burke's Law," was well-suited to the role. Born into a family with musical credentials, (his father was a violinst; his mother a singer) Barry had a sense of effortless style, grace, charm and an attractive baritone voice and, at one time, entertained the idea of an operatic career for the stage.

After appearing in several forgettable films, save "War of the Worlds," Barry embarked on a successful acting career throughout the 50's and 60's. He even had the distinctive honor to be the first villain in the pilot for "Columbo" entitled "Prescription Murder" (1968), as what else? An eminent psychiatrist suspected of killing his wife. In the 70's Barry starred in the short-lived series, "The Adventurer" with Barry Morse and the lovely Catherine von Schell (Maya from Space 1999), as a globetrotting, ultra wealthy, bachelor (although a little too old for the role)solving international capers. The european locales added a bit of flair to this otherwise pedestrian series.

Nonetheless, this first set of Burke's Law comes highly recommended. VCA has done a superb job of remastering the episodes and has even included vintage commercials from LARK and L&M cigarettes, Crest toothpaste, and other interesting spots from VCA's vaults--all accessible from the menu screen. The only downside to this set is that VCA has opted to only release the first 16 epsidoes of Season 1, rather than the whole season.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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This is one of those cop shows that my mom DIDN'T tell me about, actually, my Dad got me hooked on this one, even at the tender age of nine, I watched this show with interest of "who killed......" this one and "who killed........." that one and I never got tired of it and my prayers were answered when I stumbled on this while accidently roaming through the DVD section one day on Amazon a few weeks back and instantly purchased it. The episodes still hold up very well and are still as entertaining today as they were back in the 60's and what's even better for me is I do not remember alot of the ones I just saw on this first set so I will be looking forward to the second set toward the end of the year I was told so..............

THE GOOD: The quality of the transfer is good, there were a hiccup here and there in the later episodes of this set that I noticed. Another terrific plus is the inclusion of the vintage commercials from that time period, I was laughing watching Arnold Palmer smoking while playing golf, it boggles the mind (nowadays anyway) how much they pushed smoking back in those days. There is also a special feature on the restoration process of the episodes.

THE BAD: VCI Entertainment dropped the ball on the Marketing strategy, not so much the fact that they decided to put the seasons out in Volumes but instead of putting 16 episodes on 4 discs in one DVD package, they put 4 Episodes on 1 DVD in 4 DVD packages so it is somewhat a bulky package and I think after they are done releasing Season 1, I am going to write to them ( I already did and thanked them for putting this series out, they told me they appreciated ANY feedback from customers ---HINT HINT ) and suggest they slim down the rest of the seasons because it takes up way too much space on my DVD rack and I'm running out of space as it is.

So in the end, do I reccomend this TV series?, Absolutely, it definitely holds up better than I thought it would.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy! - Alex's Law
This first volume of this season is outstanding. Gene Barry is great as Captain Burke, a millionaire homicide detective. Every episode title begins with, "Who Killed.... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alex Doster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As a little kid I always liked this show. I'll be buying the rest of the installments.
Published 1 month ago by Pat Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A ton O' fun and decent transfers.
Published 1 month ago by Spencer G. Gill III
5.0 out of 5 stars "Kiss The Girls And Make Them Cry"
Briefly, if you have fond memories of "Burke's Law" as a child and you have a significant other who did not have the opportunity to previously review the series, I strongly... Read more
Published 6 months ago by OhYo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Look at Early 60's TV with a Terrific Series
A collection of 1963 episodes from this filmed celebrity round-up starring debonair Gene Barry as ultra-rich Detective Captain Amos Burke, assisted by an older detective nearing... Read more
Published 6 months ago by William A. Howes
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Classic!
They don't make them like this anymore! A wonderful series with awesome casting and beautiful style and writing in every episode.
Published 7 months ago by Gary Conway
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a Gift
As I recall this was a really good show, it didn't last as long as I thought it should. I bought this for someone who really loved it and wanted the series.
Published 10 months ago by NJD
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 1960's Show
Burke's Law Season 1 Volume 1 is lots of fun. A detective show with a twist. The great guest stars add much to the enjoyment. Read more
Published 10 months ago by K. Nolting
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic
Great seeing so many actors from this era, especially great character actors. Also funny to watch arrests made with little if any evidence and the criminal puts up no resistance... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Madkins42431
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It!
We have purchased Season 1 vol 1 and 2. The shows are so much fun to watch. Can't wait until VCI
releases (hopefully) Season 2. Read more
Published 13 months ago by NB Mad
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Burke's Law
I'm thinking "fully remastered Dolby" sound.

Burke's Law was the highlight of my Friday nights as a child. The best part, besides Gene Barry's insouciance, were the guest stars.
Consider this spectrum:

Silent Film Stars
ZaSu Pitts
Buster Keaton

Golden Age of Film Stars
Joan... Read More
Mar 10, 2008 by Howard Baldwin |  See all 3 posts
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