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Deadwood: Season 1 (2005)

Molly Parker , Keith Carradine  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,636 customer reviews)

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Two detectives are brought together to solve the murder of an eleven year-old boy on a picturesque beach in a small coastal town. Under the glare of the media spotlight, the two race to find the killer, while the clock ticks and the mystery deepens. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Actors: Molly Parker, Keith Carradine, Brad Dourif, Robin Weingart, Ian Mcshane
  • Producers: David Milch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 720 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,636 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006FO5LO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,860 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Deadwood: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 12 episodes from the 2004 season
  • "Making Deadwood"
  • "The Real Deadwood" featurette
  • Two-part interview with creator David Milch by star Keith Carradine

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The remarkable first season of Deadwood represents one of those periodic, wholesale reinventions of the Western that is as different from, say, Lonesome Dove as that miniseries is from Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo or the latter is from Anthony Mann's The Naked Spur. In many ways, HBO's Deadwood embraces the Western's unambiguous morality during the cinema's silent era through the 1930s while also blazing trails through a post-NYPD Blue, post-The West Wing television age exalting dense and customized dialogue. On top of that, Deadwood has managed an original look and texture for a familiar genre: gritty, chaotic, and surging with both dark and hopeful energy. Yet the show's creator, erstwhile NYPD Blue head writer David Milch, never ridicules or condescends to his more grasping, futile characters or overstates the virtues of his heroic ones.

Set in an ungoverned stretch of South Dakota soon after the 1876 Custer massacre, Deadwood concerns a lawless, evolving town attracting fortune-seekers, drifters, tyrants, and burned-out adventurers searching for a card game and a place to die. Others, particularly women trapped in prostitution, sundry do-gooders, and hangers-on have nowhere else to go. Into this pool of aspiration and nightmare arrive former Montana lawman Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and his friend Sol Starr (John Hawkes), determined to open a lucrative hardware business. Over time, their paths cross with a weary but still formidable Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and his doting companion, the coarse angel Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert); an aristocratic, drug-addicted widow (Molly Parker) trying to salvage a gold mining claim; and a despondent hooker (Paula Malcomson) who cares, briefly, for an orphaned girl. Casting a giant shadow over all is a blood-soaked king, Gem Saloon owner Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), possibly the best, most complex, and mesmerizing villain seen on TV in years. Over 12 episodes, each of these characters, and many others, will forge alliances and feuds, cope with disasters (such as smallpox), and move--almost invisibly but inexorably--toward some semblance of order and common cause. Making it all worthwhile is Milch's masterful dialogue--often profane, sometimes courtly and civilized, never perfunctory--and the brilliant acting of the aforementioned performers plus Brad Dourif, Leon Rippy, Powers Boothe, and Kim Dickens. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

(HBO Dramatic Series) 1876. In the Black Hills of South Dakota lies Deadwood, a lawless town inhabited by a mob of restless misfits ranging from an ex-lawman to a scheming saloon owner to the legendary Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. The richest gold strike in American history provides the backdrop for HBO's next great drama.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
433 of 457 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hands down the best series on television in 2004. November 5, 2004
Format:DVD
The best kept secret on television is Deadwood, a semi-true story of the lawless town in South Dakota that popped up during the gold rush days of the 1800's. The real Deadwood boasted legendary residents like Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock. Both figure prominently as characters in the TV series but are far from the only great characters on display.

Perhaps you've heard of the series, but never gave it a look. Or perhaps you were warned by others that the language was so profane as to render it unwatchable. True, the series isn't for anyone under the age of 18, but it must be understood that this semi-historical piece was written to represent the actual dialect and social tenor of the region at that time. Deadwood was a rough place without real law, and gold was on everyone's mind. All the elements for great drama were there. Greed, corruption, deceipt, innocence, morality (or a lack thereof), hope, hate, fear, addiction, murder, jealousy and love. Deadwood truly represents a kind of sociological study of human evolution within a laissez faire society.

It was clear from episode 1 that the new Deadwood series on HBO was something special. By episode 4, I was certain that Emmy nominations/awards were imminent. The show was largely ignored by the Emmys, likely sufferering from a combination of "newcomer syndrome" and overshadowing by The Sopranos. But make no mistake, it was more than worthy with the actors comprising a splendid balance of the familiar and the unfamiliar. Regardless of fame however, there isn't an off performance to be found in the season. Nor is there a grossly derivitive one. The characters are all satisfyingly deep, nuanced and often downright quirky.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I don't mean to upset you, it's always about the money" February 13, 2005
Format:DVD
This is my nominee for best new drama. This revisionist western will knock your socks off with its fascinating characters and atmosphere. It's May 1876 former Montana marshal Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and his business partner Sol Star (John Hawkes) open a hardware business in the gold-mining town of Deadwood, South Dakota. Deadwood becomes the crossroads for the famous, infamous and the people they kill. Bullock meets Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and has a run in with Gem Saloon owner Al Swearengen (Ian McShane). Swearengen lives up to his name; he's a man with the foulest mouth one can imagine and a pretty nasty fellow to cross. McShane's portrayal of Swearengen makes him one of the most complex villans this side of Tony Soprano.

"Deadwood" becomes the nexus for some of the most important figures of the old west creating a great opportunity for storytelling from writer/creator/producer David Milch ("NYPD Blue"). A sprawling, down and dirty revisionist western, the pilot directed by Walter Hill ("Southern Comfort", "Hard Times", "The Warriors") features marvelous performances from Ian McShane, Brad Dourif, Timothy Olyphant, Molly McShane, Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe. Authentic right down to the pig crap, "Deadwood" features the great dialogue, action and storytelling skills we've come to expect from Milch, Hill and the other collaborators on this cable TV series. A warning for viewers--you'll hear a lot of bad words because, well, because Milch feels that folks spoke like that back then.

There may only be 12 episodes included here but they're all high quality. My only complaint is that the series probably could have been packaged with more episodes per disc making the set less cumbersome.
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172 of 205 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Milch turns "Deadwood" into the Wild Wicked West December 19, 2004
Format:DVD
Of all of the HBO series that I have watched in their entirety, I think "Deadwood" is the weakest of the lot (the other are "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under," and "Carnivàle"). However, before I convince you this is damning with faint praise I would add that "Deadwood" is one of the ten best shows on television and that it has one of the most captivating characters around with Ian McShane's Al Swearengen, the profane overlord of the frontier town as the owner of the Gem Saloon. Ironically, Al is so good at being bad, with his fingers in every pie in town and always looking for more, that he ends up dominating all of his scenes and all of the other characters.

"Deadwood" was created by David Milch, who always gets mentioned as being the creator of "NYPD Blue," but whom I always laud as the writer of "Trial by Fury," the third season premier episode of "Hill Street Blues," which remains on my personal list of ten best television episodes I have ever seen. To jog your memory, it is the one where a nun is raped and murdered and Frank Furillo coerces a confession from one of the killers by threatening to drop charges and have them released to an angry public. The threat was of vigilante justice, which is certainly an element of "Deadwood."

The time is 1876, which is when the nation's centennial was soured by the news of Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn. Deadwood is in the South Dakota Territory, where statehood threatens to bring law and order, which the locals consider more of a threat than Indian attack. The men play cards, get drunk, and dream of mining for gold, which allows them to indulge in more gambling, drinking, with money left over for buying the services of a woman for a night as well.
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Deadwood and western lit
Any of Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy novels: All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain. McCarthy's masterpiece, Blood Meridian, makes Deadwood seem like a kindergarden coloring book primer.
Sep 12, 2007 by Pen Name |  See all 2 posts
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