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Cracker: Series 1 (2003)

Ian Mercer , Amelia Bullmore , Michael Winterbottom , Jean Stewart (III)  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Cracker: Series 1 + Cracker - Series 2 + Cracker - The Complete Third Season
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ian Mercer, Amelia Bullmore, Robbie Coltrane
  • Directors: Michael Winterbottom, Jean Stewart (III), Charles McDougall, Julian Jarrold, Simon Cellan Jones
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 364 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AYJVA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,029 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cracker: Series 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 3 TV movies on 3 discs

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hot on the heels of PRIME SUSPECT came Robbie Coltrane's (Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies) outstanding creation of "Fitz," in the PBS series CRACKER. Fitz is an addicted gambler, a heavy drinker, and a brilliant if deeply flawed criminal psychologist. He is, to the working mind of a killer what CSI is to a trace of blood or a single hair. For Fitz, murder is just the beginning. Three stories follow Fitz as he investigates an accused commuter train killer with amnesia, a couple who share love and murder, and the killing of a young boy that shakes a community to its core.

The compelling Cracker is among the more exciting British mystery series from the 1990s, featuring a hero so flawed he's just as likely to end up inside a jail cell as outside chasing bad guys. Robbie Coltrane, perhaps best known for playing Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, is unconventional psychologist Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a rotund teacher who exhorts students to look within their dark hearts and who gleefully embraces his own addictions to gambling, booze, and nicotine.

Caught in a downward spiral, Fitz sneers as his debts mount and his wife (Barbara Flynn) leaves him, but he rallies when a favorite student is slashed to death on a train in series debut "The Mad Woman in the Attic." The suspect, a longtime amnesiac, is put through grueling police torments, but Fitz believes in the man's innocence, thus establishing his ambivalent relationship with Detective Chief Inspector Bilborough (Christopher Eccleston) and a quasi-romantic alliance with another detective, Jane "Panhandle" Penhaligon (Geraldine Somerville, also from the Potter films). Michael Winterbottom, now a renowned feature filmmaker (Welcome to Sarajevo), provides admirable direction.

Fitz's interest in obsessive behavior and his talent for spinning out instant psychological profiles makes him invaluable to Bilborough in subsequent episode "To Say I Love You," in which a rage-filled young man and his scheming girlfriend kill a loan shark. Though the story is less interesting than the Cracker pilot, Fitz's slow crawl back to self-respect and resentful cooperation with his estranged wife's therapist are irresistible entertainment. Finally, "One Day a Lemming Will Fly," in which the murder of a 13-year-old boy sparks a lynch-mob mentality among the public, is a strong two-parter that raises some interesting crises for Fitz. Does he belong with his wife and kids or with Panhandle? Is he better at his job when his personal life is a disaster? The provocative final scenes make one hunger to see more of Cracker. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent program August 29, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
The star of the show, "Fitz" (Robbie Coltrane) pulls off a very credible psychologist working with the cops. It reminds me a little of the old Law and Order with Vince D'Onofrio except that Fitz works the suspects slower and more methodically.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Better, and yet..... April 30, 2013
It's a brilliant show. The writing is as good as it gets. The acting, the direction. Perfect (at least for the first 3 seasons). But this is the thing. Once you start making your way through the episodes you begin to notice a disturbing trend. The homicidal maniacs all seem to be either 1. very poor 2. disabled 3. orphans, etc. etc. I haven't seen every episode, but I find this a shameful flaw in an otherwise great show. Where the f--- are the polished white collar criminals?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense Series January 5, 2013
This is a gritty, intense series. The setting is Manchester, England and the protagonist, Dr "Fitz" Fitzgerald, is a flawed psychologist who has issues with drinking, smoking, overeating and gambling. He is a mess, but he is also talented at working with crime psychology. He is also quite funny. In one show he says, " I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I am too much." This is typical of the smart dialogue. The lead actor, Robbie Coltrane, plays him brilliantly. This is not at all cozy. It's a dark British procedural with a crime psychologist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Robbie Coltrane, usually known for his comedy, is perfectly cast in this very good spin on the popular haggard detective character. It's not the same old thing and the plots are refreshingly unpredictable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars End run around Netflix November 6, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After viewing the series 2 Cracker that was available from Netflix, I was eager to see the earlier and later segments. Unfortunately Netflix had them for too long in the "Saved" section of my queue. Thus I had to purchase series 1 and serie 3. Both turned out to be most worthwhile. I plan to lend them to other Cracker fans. By the way, skip the inferior and derivative one-disc American version. Cracker is a seriously flawed but fascinating charater and the writing is excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Robbie Coltrane is Awesome December 20, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Thought provoking dissection into the human psyche.

He demonstrates how to deconstruct, then reassemble a persons life in such a way as to make them crack.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! December 15, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Really started watching for Christopher Eccelston but then feel in love with the series! Coltrane is amazing as well as the rest of the cast!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The gold standard for flippant and flawed detectives. September 7, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This is my favorite Masterpiece Mystery series. A fat, chain-smoking, gambling addict who is passionate and intelligent. Knows humanity all too well including his own. Steps over the line in criticizing others but rarely gets away with it as he takes his share of "the truth" thrown right back at him. I love that it takes 2 or 3 hours to close one case but it still holds the tension and your attention as he and the detectives all labor to get the job done.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
hoping it gets better.
Published 14 days ago by Geraldine Klier
4.0 out of 5 stars Hearing was a problem.
The first shows had too much sound going on and no closed captioning. It was hard to follow. Later they stopped playing music and conversation in the background besides what they... Read more
Published 13 months ago by S. Marsh
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracker Season
I liked this series! The acting was great and the theme of each mystery was interesting. Even though the main charcter has terrible personal habits, he carries off the part... Read more
Published 14 months ago by James A. Woodward
4.0 out of 5 stars Options
I would like to give a rating for stars and that's it. If your wanting more, look for a publication. Your options are to limited.
Published 14 months ago by Seawisl
1.0 out of 5 stars hated it
poor writing & acting.......too boring to finish watching first episode. don't waste your time...and don't waste time reviewing what's with these stupid review "rules"?
Published 15 months ago by kate
4.0 out of 5 stars Robbie's the gift of gab...but the relationship hook can't land the...
Face it, Robbie's a big lad. And...unhealthy. The girls don't really go for the intellect. They don't. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Matthew Curtis
4.0 out of 5 stars The series is great!
The series is really interesting to watch. The only reason I gave it a 4 was because I don't really like the protagonist. That must seem juvenile, but there you have it.
Published 15 months ago by K. Forbes
5.0 out of 5 stars Coltrane is Excellent
I enjoy British mysteries very much anyway, but they are often very similar in style. This one is different, thanks to Robbie Coltrane. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Betsy Scalzo
3.0 out of 5 stars Fat and Altruistic
One must suspend reality and assume psychology is a valid form of "seeing " the human makeup, and that philosophy is nonexistent. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Slick Vic
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