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McMillan & Wife - Season One

4.2 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Revisit TV's favorite husband-wife detective duo as they take on crooks, murderers and the windy streets of San Francisco in the captivating complete first season of McMillan & Wife. Written by TV legend Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue), this classic mystery series stars the dashing Rock Hudson as San Francisco's newest police commissioner and Susan Saint James as his loyal and inquisitive wife, Sally. He may be a top-ranking official in charge of the safety of one of America's largest cities, but she's the housewife with more than a few case-solving tricks up her sleeve! One of the original shows in the NBC Mystery Movie lineup, McMillan & Wife proves that when it comes to solving crime, two clueseekers are always better than one.


They were the happening '70s answer to Nick and Nora Charles from the Thin Man movies, and when McMillan & Wife premiered as part of the "NBC Mystery Movie" lineup (in three-way rotation with McCloud and Columbo) on September 17, 1971, they were an instant hit with both critics and viewers. The two-hour pilot "Once Upon a Dead Man" set the serio-comic tone for the series: San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan (Rock Hudson, his film career in decline) and the goofy doofus Sgt. Enright (John Schuck) frequently found themselves in the midst of a mystery, typically beginning when McMillan's cute and kooky wife Sally (Susan Saint James) stumbled onto telltale evidence or a murder scene. The McMillans were the perfect image of '70s California cool, attending trendy parties and charity benefits while solving robberies, murders, and other malicious goings-on, sporting the latest fashions (Hudson's handlebar moustache and longish hair perfectly complementing Saint James's bellbottoms and shag hairdo) and verbally sparring with some of the goofiest dialogue this side of Hope & Crosby's Road movies. Schuck provided additional comic relief while Nancy Walker, as the McMillans' nosy maid Mildred, made brief but memorable appearances before her role was expanded in subsequent seasons.

By latter-day standards the plots are simplistic but cleverly engaging, especially given that the entire series was something of a lark. The first regular series episode "Murder by the Barrel" (9/29/71) is indicative of the series' entertainment value, and "Death is a Seven Point Favorite" (12/8/71) was a season highlight, with '70s stalwart Don Stroud as a pro football quarterback targeted for murder in a bookie scheme gone awry. And while Hudson's macho image was certainly appealing to viewers unaware of his off-screen homosexuality (several episodes end with Stewart and Sally under the sheets), there's no denying that Saint James (whose irresistible charm was previously established on Robert Wagner's caper series It Takes a Thief) was the ideal costar, a perfect Nixon-era combination of looks, humor, and flighty, non-threatening intelligence, adorable to men and acceptable to women's-lib activists. Drawing upon Universal's reliable stable of TV directors including Hy Averback and Addams Family alumnus John Astin, writers including future TV mogul Steven Bochco, and a bevy of guest stars including Andrew Duggan, Jackie Coogan, Wally Cox, Herb Edelman, Peter Bonerz, June Havoc, Rene Auberjonois, Tyne Daly and many others, the debut season of McMillan & Wife (totaling 10 hours and 25 minutes of viewing time) provided a strong start for the series, which lasted (ultimately without Saint James) until 1977. --Jeff Shannon

Product Details

  • Actors: Rock Hudson, Susan Saint James, John Schuck, Nancy Walker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: 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: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 9, 2005
  • Run Time: 1250 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNHS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,808 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "McMillan & Wife - Season One" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In August 2005, Universal will finally release some long-overdue programs of that '70s mainstay, the NBC Mystery Movie. Tell me you can't hear that whistling theme song in your mind as you read those words!

In March 2005, season one of the most famous Mystery Movie, Columbo, was released. Clearly, Columbo is still popular, as this release was quickly followed with season two. In August, season three of Columbo makes it to DVD, along with (finally!) season one of both McCloud and McMillan and Wife. For the first time in DECADES, we can see these detective shows UNCUT and COMMERCIAL-FREE. This is great news for fans of terrific '70s TV!

Season one of McMillan and Wife consists of one two-hour pilot, ONCE UPON A DEAD MAN, and seven episodes, each 90 minutes long (73 minutes sans commercials). The episodes originally aired from Sep. '71 - Mar. '72, and their titles are:

MURDER BY THE BARREL (directed by John "Gomez Addams" Astin!)
A barrel contains dishes, then a body, then the body disappears.

A woman's husband and dog are both kidnapped.

Mac and Sally go to a masquerade, where a necklace is stolen.

A mysterious note is discovered inside a football.

Sally is targeted for murder by a jewel thief.

Mac and Sally are sealed in their home to be fumigated to death.

An old flame of Mac's comes back into his life.

Support '70s detective shows on DVD by picking up all of these babies that you can. Maybe Streets of San Francisco will be next!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was still in grade school when the Sunday Night Mystery Series came out but watched it every weekend with my mom. McMillian and Wife was always my favorite. Watching the show brings back fond memories of watching with mom, but also of the effervescent Susan St. James, the bitingly funny Nancy Walker, endearing John Schuck and of course the ultra-cool and patient Rock Hudson as the commissioner.

I'll have to echo the comments already aired here about the lack of any special features or inserts. What gives here? Also, the dual layer DVD's are a real drag. How about a little more substance for the season two set, Universal? Don't be so cheap!

Finally, you've got to add in the Mystery Movie whistle theme...

Love the show, so glad to see the DVD's. Let's go Season Two!

PS: Having watched the entire season now, I found a hidden episode with Claude Akins. It's not documented on the DVD packaging, probably because the last 20 minutes are riddled with DVD skips. This episode has Mac and Sally visiting Palm Springs to play golf with Mac's old buddy played by Claude. On the way back in the private plane they're in, the pilot gets shot and Mac has to land the plane in the middle of nowhere. No explanation of how they find a phone, but hey, that's okay. It's still cute, if you can stand the skips at the end. I found it by selecting "play all" on disc 2 side B.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If my review were based solely on the merits of "McMillian & Wife", it would easily score five stars. This modern interpretation of Dashelle Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles from "The Thin Man" is, to its fans, almost flawless television. It was my favorite of the NBC Mystery Movie entries, and today I enjoy it even more than I did then. How delightful to slip back into the more innocent, gaudy, fun times of the 1970's with Mac and Sally.

However, one must beware of DVD compilations released by Universal Studios. Like all of my other Universal sets, skips and sticks beset this one. Two of the eight episodes are ruined, one has a gap of about 90 seconds that is lost to a sticking problem, and another loses almost ten minutes in this same fashion. There are similar comments all over Amazon reviews by others who have had these same problems with Universal sets. We also own the Dragnet set, which skips, sticks, and has a totally jacked menu. We recently purchased the Adam-12 set, and it not only skips and sticks, it appears to have actually damaged our DVD player. Now the machine makes a loud whirring sound, and has begun to skip and stick on ALL DVD's.

I can't imagine what is wrong with those people at Universal, but they are putting out some seriously botched product. Buy any set from them with caution.
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Format: DVD
Universal seems to be having problems with their DVDs of TV Shows.

I gave my wife the McMillan and Wife Season One set. It freezes and skips throughout. It's a shame because she loves the show. The discs are not damaged in any visual manner...no smudges or scratches. They just freeze.

She gave me the Dragnet series of DVDS...another Universal product.
My joy turned to aggravation though as those Discs kept freezing up as well.
And it is not just our DVD player. We have four in the house and it did it in all of them.

It's obvious Universal is having a problem with the production of DVD's.
I did a little checking on the internet and it appears alot of other people are having the same problems. Universal needs to recall their compilation series.
Evidentially the Adam-12 discs have the same problem.
So be warned, if you buy Universal TV series DVD's, there could be problems.
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Topic From this Discussion
Where is Mc Millan & Wife Season 2, 3 ,4 etc
I wonder about this one too. Has anyone heard anything?

Great series! I hope they put Season 2 on DVD soon!
Apr 18, 2006 by sbradford |  See all 17 posts
McMillian & Wife
Don't hold your breath, the guy at TVSHOWSONDVD.com told me this will have to be farmed out to another company to get released, great
Sep 15, 2008 by Ognir Rrats |  See all 2 posts
Season 2 of McMillan and Wife
Its coming later this year from a company in Canada. YAY!!!
Keep checking the status by coming to TVSHOWSONDVD.COM
Jun 3, 2010 by S. M Thiel |  See all 6 posts
where are seasons 2,3 etc of McMillan and McCloud ????
This is really too much......they release one season of McMillan & Wife and then expect us to wait over a year to get the next season. This is so upsetting to me that I might not even buy it now. This is crazy!!
Jul 1, 2006 by H. Solomon |  See all 4 posts
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