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Father Dowling Mysteries: Season 1 (1987)

James Stephens , Tom Bosley  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

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Father Dowling Mysteries: Season 1 + Father Dowling Mysteries: Season 2 + Father Dowling Mysteries: The Third and Final Season
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Stephens, Tom Bosley, Tracy Nelson, Mary Wickes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: February 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 474 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006CR2OWM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,352 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

- Episodic Promos

Editorial Reviews

An amiable, inquisitive Chicago priest moonlights as a detective and is assisted by a rather worldly, lock-picking nun.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
224 of 230 people found the following review helpful
By Lil MC
Format:DVD
Father Dowling Mysteries was a brilliant, original, intelligently written, and super enjoyable mystery series starring Tom Bosley (most notably for some as Mr. Cunningham on Happy Days), Tracy Nelson (daughter of famed 60's rock singer Ricky Nelson, also the sister of Gunnar and Matthew Nelson of late 80's early 90's hair band Nelson), and Mary Wickes (notably from the feature films "Sister Act" and "Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit" as Sister Mary Lazarus).

Bosley plays Father Frank Dowling, the priest of a Chicago parish who runs around the windy city with his right-hand streetwise nun, Sister Stephanie "Steve" Oskowski (played by Nelson), solving murders, much in the tradition of "Murder, She Wrote" and "Diagnosis Murder". Father Dowling and Sister Steve are supported by housekeeper Marie (portrayed by Mary Wickes). Father Dowling and Sister Steve investigate murders, and in the tradition of the aforemention "Murder, She Wrote", outsmarting the police and criminals themselves while uncovering deeper hidden clues that the police overlook.

This series started in January 1989 with a total of 8 episodes in its first season. The series was launched by a tv-movie called "Fatal Confession: A Father Dowling Mystery" which aired in 1987. The show was not given its proper due as it ended in 1991 at the end of its third season. I hope that the tv-movie that started it all will be included in this release. The phrase "they don't make shows like this anymore" is absolutely true about high caliber shows like this one.

If you miss the days when shows weren't hyper-sexualized, when mysteries were solved without grotesque gore, vulgar language, and toilet humor, if you miss the days when tv used to have substance, then you will LOVE "Father Dowling Mysteries".
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! January 13, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this video for ever!!! The series is well written, produced, and portrayed! I am so glad they have finally gotten around to putting it out there on DVD.
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
By DEvans
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have really enjoyed this series. It ranks up there with Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder. My VCR tapes are about worn out. This is a real good series and I hope they release them all. They are that good.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Show - Disappointing DVD Quality February 7, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've been waiting a long time for the Father Dowling Mysteries to come to DVD. It was one of my favorite series during its original run from 1989 - 1991. Along with "Murder, She Wrote" I considered it a sort of comfort-TV. (Like comfort food in a way, only without the calories!) I could count on both shows for an hour of decent entertainment with likable characters, (mostly) solid writing and pleasant casts.

The Father Dowling Mysteries didn't enjoy the long run of Murder, She Wrote and the wait for it to come to DVD has been considerably longer. Unfortunately, now that it's finally been released, the quality of the DVDs isn't what I had hoped it would be. I knew I wasn't going to get Blu-ray quality, but I expected the episodes to look a little better than they did on my VHS tapes when they were newly recorded and they just - don't. Not really. A couple of the episodes (The Missing Body Mystery, for instance) look overly dark and a bit muddy in places and even have some odd moments where the picture jerks a little. (Forgive my techy-talk.)

Aside from a promo for each episode - "Next on the Father Dowling Mysteries..." (which are of even poorer quality than the episodes) - there are no extras. There are, however, English subtitles.

The case is just as bare-bones as the DVDs. A brief synopsis of each episode is included, but it's printed on the reverse side of the case art. That means that, unless you remove the insert from the case, you're reading the synopsis text through the plastic and some of it is obscured by the doohickies that hold the discs in place.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waited for this one for awhile!!! January 19, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you liked the other family-friendly mystery shows from the 80s/90s (i.e. Murder she Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, Columbo etc.) then you will probably enjoy this one as well. I grew up with this one and have waited a veery long time for it to come out on DVD. They have a great cast that plays well off of one another and it is a fun, family friendly show. I am definitely ordering this! Hopefully the rest of the series will be soon to follow.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This TV Series January 7, 2012
By AZG21
Format:DVD
The Father Dowling Mysteries television show is one of my very favorite TV Shows. And I am so glad that Season One will soon be released, and hopefully the rest of the episodes will also be released soon after.

The person who wrote the negative review slamming this TV Show because if its religious nature sounds like they maybe suffering from a severe case of HolyBibleoPhobia and Godophobia.

The Father Dowling Mysteries TV Show is a great TV series to have for the whole family to enjoy and is appropriate for people of all ages.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully this is just the BEGINNING February 5, 2012
Format:DVD
Finally this is on dvd. Prior to this the only way to get it on dvd was a very bad bootlegged copy. I haven't seen this yet, but since its the official release, hopefully the picture is much clearer. I grew up watching this series. True, the series was nothing like the book, but it had to have done some good since the author continued to write the books well into the late 2000's. A decade after the show went off air. Its a shame the series was only on for three years. This was very much in the same vain as Murder She Wrote, Columbo, or Diagnosis Murder. Hopefully This is only the beginning. If this sells well, then the other seasons should be released on dvd. If you haven't seen this and are a fan of the type of mystery shows listed above, I'd recommend giving it a try out.
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