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Cracker - The Complete US Series (1997)

Robert Pastorelli , Robert Wisdom , Michael Fields , Stephen Cragg  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Pastorelli, Robert Wisdom, Robbie Coltrane, Josh Hartnett, Mariska Hargitay
  • Directors: Michael Fields, Stephen Cragg, Whitney Ransick, James Steven Sadwith
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Tango Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 960 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00096S3XG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,573 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cracker - The Complete US Series" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 16 episodes on four double-sided discs
  • Photo gallery
  • Booklet

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starring Robert Pastorelli (Murphy Brown) as "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a brilliant but abrasive police psychologist working with the L.A.P.D. Fitz doesn't fit the typical psychologist stereotype; he's a drinker, a gambler and cheats on his wife. Fritz has uncanny success interrogating criminals and cracking cases; after all, he understands their vices, weaknesses and perversities.


A Standout…A Well Stocked Treat -- Variety

A Top-Notch Drama -- SouthCoast Today (Lynn Elber, Associated Press)

An Expertly Written, Produced and Acted Series -- The Cincinnati Enquirer

Demands Attention -- The Hollywood Reporter

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile in its entirety September 14, 2006
There's no way this U.S. version ever could have equalled the UK original by Granada Television, even though the U.S. show was co-produced by Granada. If for no other reason, the necessary constraints of American network television when this series aired on ABC instantly resolved the question. Nudity, profanity, and violence more freely play on British broadcasts as, now, they do on American cable TV programs. Still, in this U.S. version there is more than enough of what made the UK original great to warrant watching and even owning the DVDs.

The striking difference between the appearance of the U.S. and UK casts makes sense: in the U.S. version, the cops look and act like American men and women. Robert Pastorelli plays a New Jerseyite transplanted to L.A., not a Scotsman transplanted to Manchester. More important, his Fitz is as much an abusive, arrogant, intellectual bully as Robbie Coltrane's reading and just as worthy of comeuppance. Angela Featherstone portrays an American version of Jane Penhaligon with nuance and subtlety, spot-on for the repressed, passive/aggressive character. Robert Wisdom (more recently of The Wire) plays the Jimmy Beck character without the angst that yielded the Grand Opera character arc (more on that below) of the later Jimmy McGovern-penned UK episodes. Instead, African-American Wisdom embodies the "black vs. blue" issue that's more relevant in the States than in the UK. Smoldering R. Lee Ermey is alternately threatening and paternal as the cops' boss. Carolyn McCormick plays the beleaguered Judith Fitzgerald well, but it's unfortunate that as written she's less fiery and less ethically ambiguous than Barbara Flynn. That's a shortcoming of the U.S. version.
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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a Chance August 29, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The American version of Cracker needs to been seen.

When it played on ABC, I'm sure those who were unfamiler

with the U.K. version didn't know what to make of this

show. Pretty damn faithfull to the original version,

American audience's didn't quite know what to make of

it. Way Way too dark for the U.S.. Too Smart??

Most likely. So no matter how good it is, it will fail.

The series was not dumbed down, and many of the episodes

were taken directly from the U.K. versions. Episodes where

there is no such thing as a happy ending.

Americans don't seem to like that. Things that they

have to think about, and things that don't really

work out. But that is life. We don't seem to

be able to grasp reality here in the states.

Anyways the late Robert Pastorelli, equals

Robbie Coltrain's performance as Fitz.

I loved this show when it first premiered, then

it disappeared. I'm so happy to be able to

own it now. It will stand proudly right next

to the U.K.'s Cracker in my DVD collection.

Robbie Coltrain
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a rip off April 13, 2006
One of the reviews states that this Cracker is a ripoff of the UK show. How can it be a rip off when you are told in the credits this show is based on the Granada TV show. Granada, the original producer of the UK show, created a US arm to co produce this show for ABC. So please be careful how you use the word "rip off".

If anything, Granada should have made sure the show could live up to its British cousin. And in a way I think it did. Another comment written here says US audiences don't usually like a challenge when watching tv. Dark stories challenge you and the feel good factor isn't there at all. So maybe the fault is in the network not knowing how what to do with this show. Perhaps if the show was produced now it would be a hit since people are in a darker place in this post 9/11 world. It is a shame we don't have Robert Pastorelli to play Fitz anymore, but I am sure there are other actors out there who would take on such a role.

In some ways wouldn't you say House is a distant cousin of Fitz? And House is a top rating show. So maybe ABC can resurrect Cracker.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Feeble American ...of a British classic August 12, 2003
This one definitely falls into the category of "what were they thinking?" Robbie Coltrane made this part his in the original British series and this American remake does nothing but muddy things up. Whereas Coltrane was truly offensive but brilliant, Pastorelli is forced to turn the character into a softer "likable" version to fit the network sensibilities. If you saw the original, this one is unbearable. If you didn't, go get it now that it's being released on DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The American Version of "Cracker" November 30, 2004
"Cracker" is one of those series that, in my opinion, should never have played on network television; it's my belief that the show would likely have enjoyed a much longer life had it played as a cable TV series. Since the American version of "Cracker" had such a limited run, it's quite possible that this may end up being the only DVD release that we'll ever see of this series and, as such, should be savored for the late Robert Pastorelli's fine performance in the title role. This is the two-part series opener and it's a good enough introduction to the series, though the second episode tends to drag a bit, especially during Fitz's (Pastorelli) confrontation with a woman who has electrocuted several young men. Look for Josh Hartnett as an intended victim of the killer who also happens to be Fitz's son in the series.

The DVD is pretty much a "bare bones" affair . . . there are no extras included and though the back cover of the DVD says "scene selections," they either didn't work on my DVD player or don't exist. Both episodes, including the opening and end credits, played straight through.

My rating for "Cracker" is closer to *** & ˝.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tv series
Great tv series if you like Josh Hartnett . Havent watched it in a long time ,but it was on of my favorite tv series
Published 6 months ago by James D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
This was a great series when it was on TV. So glad I found the DVD. Robert Pastorelli is a fantastic sad he passed away too soon.
Published 14 months ago by Janice A Levin
5.0 out of 5 stars Good series
Interesting series, good acting, keeps you guessing and surprises you. I would recommend it to anyone that likes mystery and suspense.
Published 19 months ago by S. Pack
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC
Published on July 27, 2011 by MIKE E
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling...Well Acted...Great Series !
I won't go into details about this since the other reviewers have done that...but I'll just say..if you were a fan of this Series "Cracker" when it was aired on TV... Read more
Published on July 22, 2011 by cindell
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the naysayers; You're in for a (dark) treat
This American adaptation of the British series CRACKER has been much, and unfairly, maligned for not being as good as its UK antecedent, but I think closer to the truth is people... Read more
Published on October 18, 2010 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracker TV Series is a winner
I remember the English TV Series "Craker" staring the wounderful actor Robbie Coltrane, but the USA TV series is just a powerful and enjoyable. Great
Published on September 4, 2010 by RK
2.0 out of 5 stars nearly exact copy of the UK version
this show focuses on a psychiatrist working as a freelance consultant for the police. his understanding of the criminal mind helps find, catch or predict perpetrators and deliver... Read more
Published on January 4, 2010 by Stefan Huber
1.0 out of 5 stars Go for the original!
Why would anyone watch this when the original Cracker series with Robbie Coltrane is available!! Dont waste your time!
Published on August 29, 2006 by Karen Bickley
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding.
This one has it all. For some reason, the shows I really enjoy seem to get cancelled......quickly. Cracker delivers the goods on all counts.
Published on June 30, 2005 by Maxwell Mattord
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