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Tales of the Gold Monkey: The Complete Series

4.5 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

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Product Description

Broadcast on ABC in early 80s, the series became a massive hit following the success of Indiana Jones’s ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’. This 22-hour long series is set in a backwater corner of the South Pacific a young American adventurer and his ragtag group of friends become involved in death-defying hi-jinx, transporting people-on-the-run in a well-worn Grumman Goose seaplane. Set in 1938, this series captures the ambiance and character of a mysterious romantic era. Directors: Harvey S Laidman, Virgil W Vogel, James Frawley, Winrich Kolbe, Ray Austin, James Fargo. Stars: Stephen Collins (Private Practice, 7th Heaven, Blood Diamond), Caitlin O’Heaney, Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes), Jeff Mackay (JAG, Magnum PI, Black Sheep Squadron.) Show Created by: Donald P Bellisario (Magnum, Airwolf, Quantum Leap, JAG, NCIS).


Stephen Collins heroically tries to keep up with the (Indiana) Joneses as rakishly charming soldier of misfortune Jake Cutter, who works as a pilot for hire on the South Pacific island of Boragora in 1938. Comparisons with Raiders of the Lost Ark are inevitable, but according to the series retrospective included as a bonus feature on this six-disc set, producer Don Bellisario (Quantum Leap, Magnum P.I., and NCIS) pitched this to the networks before Indy ever cracked his whip. It was only after Raiders became such a colossal hit that ABC saw gold in Monkey. Alas, this series never really took off, but nearly 30 years later, it's a grandly entertaining bit of escapist fare that packs old Hollywood Saturday matinee thrills and adventure into every episode. The colorful characters include Corky (Jeff Mackay), Jake's trusty (when he's not drunk) mechanic and sidekick; Bon Chance Louie (the peerless Roddy McDowall), the ethically questionable French liaison and governor, and owner of the disreputable hangout the Monkey Bar; and Sarah Stickney White (Caitlin O'Hearney), chanteuse and spy. Stealing nearly every scene he's in is Jack, Jake's one-eyed dog, always good for a comical cutaway. You can't beat the Nazis for villainy (check out John Hillerman's outrageous accent in the feature-length pilot episode), but Monkey steps over the PC line with deadly dragon lady Koji (Marta Du Bois) and her samurai henchman. These Tales are told mostly tongue-in-cheek. Expensive for its day, the series nevertheless has a B-movie look, which enhances its hokey charms. In addition to the newly filmed interviews with cast and creators, the bonus features include five immersive audio commentaries, as well as detailed character bios and a series "fact file." Virtually unseen since its original broadcast, Tales of the Gold Monkey is of more than nostalgic interest. Stephen Collins fans will surely be in--wait for it--7th Heaven. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

Original Pilot 96mins, gallery, episode and series synopsis, biographies, 26-page collectors book, New 30min “Making of” Documentary featuring Stephen Collins, Caitlin O’Heaney Harvey S Laidman and producer/writer Tom Greene.

Product Details

  • Actors: Stephen Collins, Jeff MacKay, Leo the Dog, Caitlin O'Heaney, Roddy McDowall
  • Directors: Virgil Vogel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fabulous Films/Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 990 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JOJP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,931 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tales of the Gold Monkey: The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Tales of the Gold Monkey was one of the greatest shows on TV in the 1980's when I was growing up. I remember this show but for the life of me I have been struggling to remember the name of the show for the last 5 years. I knew I the actor from 7th Heaven from somewhere but I could never remember why I remembered him.

Jack the one eyed dog, is how I tracked it down as I put that in my web browser. I want so bad to buy the 21 episodes all on DVD for my step-father for Christmas but it's not available. He and I would watch it and laugh at the hilarity and silly things this "Pirate" gone good, the freelancing mercenary of the air with his pontoon boat in 1938, set right before the beginning of World War II.

A great TV series and it should never been canceled.
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Until today I really did not know the exact name of this show but I remember the two words from the photo I have in my mind of a Golden Monkey so I tried to search for it in the web since all these TV series are being released on DVDs as sets. So I tiped THE GOLDEN MONKEY TV SHOW, and I found out that the real name was TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY, I was very happy that I finally found what I was looking for and desided to search Amazon.

I hope that the show will be released very soon due to the fact that it is a great show and I was really sad when I found out that it only lasted for one season.

The Cast were:
*Jake Cutter............Stephen Collins
*Corky..................Jeff MacKay
*Sarah Stickney White...Caitlin O'Heaney
*Bon Chance Louis.......Roddy McDowall
*Rev. Willie Tenboom....John Calvin
*Princess Koji..........Marta DuBois
*Todo...................John Fujioka

The show first aired on September 22nd, 1982 until July 6th, 1983 for only one season and 22 episodes and they are as follows:

01- Tales of the Gold Monkey (1) 9/22/1982
02- Tales of the Gold Monkey (2) 9/22/1982
03- Shanghaied 9/29/1982
04- Black Pearl 10/13/1982
05- Legends Are Forever 10/20/1982
06- Escape From Death Island 10/27/1982
07- Trunk From the Past 11/3/1982
08- Once a Tiger...
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Any fans of Indiana Jones type series or movies should like this TV series. Decent acting, stories, and music made it well worth watching. I like many others have my fingers crossed this will come out on DVD. It didn't quite catch on as well as the Jones movies, so I guess it was more of a Smith. But I know if you see it you won't be disappointed. Some great flying in one of the best planes of the period, a Grumman Goose. Fans of aviation should definitely check it out. If you like this series be sure to catch "Aviator" with Christopher Reeves, "High Road to China" with Tom Selleck, and "Snow Walker" with Barry Pepper. A bit more serious aviator survival movies, but well worth a look.
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"Tales of the Gold Monkey" is an easy show to make fun of. It is full of worn-out clichés, embarrassing stereotypes, stupid dialogue, needless narration, bad blue screen effects, cruddy matte paintings, ill-fitting stock footage, archaic costumes, cringeworthy acting, fake sets and utterly preposterous plots. When people try to defend this series, they often begin by pretending as if this isn't so, and thus fatally weaken their argument. I would never make the case that "Tales" was great television. I would actually start by acknowledging that in many ways it was terrible television...and then explain just why that doesn't make (hardly) any difference.

"Tales" is a series which even in 1982 was a rare breed: the action-adventure show. It recreated a period in history (the last period in history, actually) when vast areas of the Earth were still unconquered, and thus adventure and exploration still possible. We forget it now, but there was a time within the living memory of some people when a large portion of this planet still slept in the pre-industrial era, and wandering too far off the map could get you eaten by cannibals, devoured by wild beasts, or plunk you down amidst the ruins of a lost city. When men and women who lived on the edge of that map literally straddled the line between civilization and savagery, the known world and the deep blue. It was an era of explorers, treasure-hunters, missionaries, smugglers, sailors, silk-scarfed pilots, drunken storytellers, one-eyed traders, pirate, crooks, spies, unscrupulous businessmen, and empire-builders. And that is what "Tales of the Gold Monkey" was all about. That brawling, half-tamed lawless time when half the world was an unknown quantity and wonder was still possible. Think "Magnum P.I.
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There's a beautiful moment in the bonus commentaries from this sensational just released DVD box set of the TV series "Tales of the Gold Monkey" where writer-producer Tom Greene dissects in detail a marvelous scene that he wrote. It says everything about what made the magic of "Gold Monkey" so great, and in my own opinion, and, it seems many others here, made it perhaps one of the best series ever on TV.

The scene is from the episode "Last Chance Louie" wherein Louie, brilliantly played by Roddy McDowell, is about to be put to death by guillotine for killing a long-ago rival. He is innocent, of course, and he is, in fact sacrificing his life to save his long-lost daughter, who he believes was the real culprit. All of his friends are saying goodbye to him. Greene explains that the episode had a lot to do with the idea of what he calls hidden tears. The characters can not, or will not show real tears, or if they do, they hide them from each other. In fact, an earlier scene shows Louie actually shedding a tear, but only from the side away from Jake (series star Stephen Collins), and he brushes it away quickly so Jake can not see it.

In the "goodbye" scene, Sarah, played by the exquisitely beautiful and talented Caitlin O'Heaney, tries to find words to say goodbye. She will not cry, because Louie has ordered everyone not to. However, as Greene explains, he wrote in the stage directions that as she moves towards Louie, a beam of moonlight shines through the brim of her straw hat and a pattern of "moonlit tears" shows on her cheek. Greene explains that this is something you may write in a script, but usually, especially in TV, you would never really expect to actually visualized, even if you were, as he was, also a producer on the show.
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Subtitles, and CC are usually turned on differently. If you can't get them on I would say blame a cheaply made DVD. I wish there were some way of preventing manufacturers who are not going to offer all features from buying up the rights to these shows. If Congress wanted to really do something... Read More
Apr 2, 2012 by Mocha's Mom |  See all 4 posts
Coming to DVD in Spring 2010
There have been several "box sets" of the show, both on VHS and DVD that you could buy for about five years now. It seems they first came from a very loyal fan who had okay air checks of the show from when it first was broadcasted. It actually included a "director's cut" of... Read More
Jun 2, 2010 by Tarkus |  See all 5 posts
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