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The Dick Francis Thriller - The Racing Game (1979)

Mike Gwilym , Mick Ford  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.99
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The Dick Francis Thriller - The Racing Game + Dick Francis Mysteries (In The Frame/ Blood Sport/ Twice Shy)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mike Gwilym, Mick Ford, James Maxwell, Susan Wooldridge
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: 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: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 309 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001A33ZIK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,552 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Dick Francis Thriller - The Racing Game" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Biography of Dick Francis

Editorial Reviews


A superbly produced production...five hours of riveting entertainment. -- Library Bookwatch

Highly under rated and extremely watchable -- Memorable TV

Suspense and intrigue are always on tap, as are plot twists that keep the story lines interesting and unpredictable. -- Library Journal

Product Description

As seen on the PBS Mystery! series

Sid Halley, champion steeplechase jockey, suffers a devastating injury in a fall that ends his career. He sinks into self-pity until his aristocratic father-in-law bullies him into trying something new: becoming a private detective. A great literary gumshoe emerges as Halley regains his dignity, faces his vulnerability, and finds new meaning in life.

Based on the novel Odds Against and other stories by former jockey and bestselling author Dick Francis, this series goes inside the cutthroat world of British horse racing. As owners scheme, bookies connive, and greed leads to murder, Halley uses what he learned as a jockey to expose the scoundrels in the Sport of Kings.

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE Dick Francis biography.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A superbly produced production, "The Dick Francis Thriller: The Racing Game" is a six episode, two volume boxed set that originally aired in the U.S. on the PBS award winning series 'Mystery!' in its 1980 inaugural season. Sid Halley is a star steeple chase rider who suffers a career-ending injury that ends his riding career and launches him into life as a private detective who specializes in all manner of race track mischief from bookies, to blackmailers, to murder. From top-notch acting, to spot on set designs, to a meticulous attention to Dick Francis' original story, "The Dick Francis Thriller: The Racing Game" provides a bit more than five hours of riveting entertainment and is especially recommended to Dick Francis fans, mystery buffs, and community library DVD collections!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series October 15, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Loved this series. Very true to the Dick Francis Mysteries that featured Sid Halley. I've seen the other "movies" that were based on Dick Frances works and they were horrible. Barely recognizable as being based on his books. Watching this series was pure pleasure. Well written and well acted. Sure wish there were more!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dick Francis? Brilliant as always! April 14, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a long-time devoted fan of the complicated Dick Francis books, I was hesitant to try a TV version of the stories, wondering how any of his stories could be condensed into an hour. I need not have worried, the stories are up to standard and the Halley character with his "bionic hand" is well done and believable.
Well worth the purchase!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm a big Dick Francis Fan but SOUND QUALITY atrocious January 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Were the original TV broadcasts this bad? Cannot believe the sound quality of the video releases.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best adaptation you're likely to find!! August 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is the 1979 Yorkshire Television production starring Mike Gwilym as Sid Halley. It starts with ODDS AGAINST, and then adapts five more stories. Perfect casting. My only comment about the high quality of this production is that Dick Francis dedicated WHIP HAND to Mike Gwilym and Jackie Stoller (the producer of the series).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much improved version March 1, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When this set came out years ago, I got it right away because I fondly remembered this mystery from PBS. I have rewatched over the years, but the quality was very, very poor. I saw that this was reissued by a new owner, so purched the set again. What a difference! Good quality and sound. A real pleasure to rewatch now. You will not be sorry you purchased this much loved mystery series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery Horses Suspense Horses Action Horses May 27, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very good plot and well done for the 1970s. Now (at this review date) sells used at 75% orig retail. Cheaper than rental/streaming per episode. The 6 episodes do have a 70s look, quite nostalgic. The main downfall is some difficulty catching all the accent dialogue as this DVD set was produced before this distributor began putting subtitles on all their products. But it is a DVD set, so you can stop, reverse, and listen again, if needed. It's PBS Mystery!

An ex-race jockey takes a fall and gets his hand trampled. It's crushed beyond use. This just after his wife walked out. with racing no longer an option he puts his efforts toward solving crime as a Private Investigator around the race course. Halley (Mike Gwilym) bets on plenty of horsing around to fill his days. Based on stories by real jockey and author Dick Francis. PI sidekick is Barnes (Mick Ford) and there are a number of guest stars.

Episodes average 51 minutes each:
A takeover attempt on a race course needs uncovered to save the track. It's the duo's 1st PI case, hired by Halley's father-in-law.

Halley loses his bet and is sure a race was thrown. Even more is uncovered as Halley learns to use his new bionic arm and hand. Short flash of nudity.

A horse put down after accidentally being hit by a milk tanker. Halley & Barnes are hired to check out insurance fraud. Halley reconnects with wife Jenny (Susan Wooldridge).

A tip on a long shot--a win--then a very poor bookie. Needs investigating and then gets deadly.

A kidnapped horse puts the Pvt. Eye Duo on the trail of Leapy lad. Why no ransom demand?

Winner horses running badly. Can Halley connect syringes with performance?

Expect a bit of language and criminal violence along the way, and plenty of beautiful horses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dick Francis Fan September 18, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Dick Francis' books. I started reading them over 20 years ago and now listen to the audio version on my iPod. When I discovered that there were British TV shows based on Dick's books, I could not wait to get a hold of them. This purchase came in advance of the delivery date and was in excellent condition. For what they charged, it was a great purchase.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality
An excellent projection of one of my favorite authors. It does give the feeling of British ihumor and of atmosphere.
Published 5 days ago by V. Owens
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it; 1970's TV converted to DVD
Love love love Dick Francis books, was so excited to find these shows converted to DVD;

I read another review that said the picture quality wasn't so great, but we had... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sue Steel
5.0 out of 5 stars Dated era, but more up-to-date than Francis' Books
These were basically enjoyable. I've always wondered why they didn't make movies from Mr. Francis' books, and here they are. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gweman
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to find, but..
Unwatched as yet, but based on Series 1, they are good stories, though the sound on the tapes is a bit fuzzy,
Published 15 months ago by Terry Stowers
5.0 out of 5 stars Two birds with one order
My daughter and I had watched and thoroughly enjoyed the original showing;
Dick Francis remains one of our favorites authors. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Marjorie M. Bridson
4.0 out of 5 stars Racing Game DVD through Amazon
Received in very good time but, as it's a gift, I can't say about the quality of the DVD yet.
Published on November 14, 2011 by MG
4.0 out of 5 stars Dick Francis Racing Game DVD
I loved the characters and story. It was put onto film nicely from the book.
Published on July 13, 2009 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the novels
Fairly well done adaption of the novels. Production values only fair, but a gritty portrayal. Worth watching if you are a Dick Francis fan.
Published on January 11, 2009 by Jim Thomas
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