on January 9, 2007
THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO was one of the best crime dramas of the 70's, featuring screen veteran Karl Malden as Lieutenant Mike Stone and rising star Michael Douglas as Inspector Steve Keller. The series was produced by Quinn Martin and filmed on location in the City By The Bay.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about STREETS, besides the solid scripts and beautiful location scenery, was its powerhouse roster of guest stars. The series featured performances by many top actors from both new and old Hollywood, including Martin Sheen, Joseph Cotten, James Woods, Ida Lupino, John Ritter, Leslie Nielsen, Patty Duke, Nick Nolte, Rick Nelson, Larry Hagman and even a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Michael Douglas left the series in 1976 to pursue a movie career. His final episode was the two-part fifth season premiere, "The Thrill Killers", about a radical organization that kidnaps an entire jury. The story was inspired by the Patricia Hearst kidnapping case, which was still making headlines at the time. Douglas was replaced by Richard Hatch for the final year.
The first season has quite a number of outstanding segments, and it's great to see it finally coming out on DVD. Praise should go to the artist who did the cover design -- it's one of the coolest DVD covers I've seen in quite some time. Yes, having the season split up into two separate volumes is questionable, but regardless of how it's released, THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO is definitely worth adding to anyone's classic TV collection.
on June 4, 2007
Agreeing with nearly every reviewer here about the quality of the show and the greediness of Paramount to not have the whole first season on these discs for the price you'd normally pay for a complete season, I have to add alittle about the show's appeal to someone who wasn't aloive at the time of its airing. I grew up in the 80s, but the residual culture of the 70s was quite strong in my neighborhood and childhood television experience. Watching this show brings me right back to all that was well with the world of my youth with its fros, leisure suits, big cars, loud colors and cymbol tinking sound tracks when the cops sneek around at night. And i love how you can see the mics under the casts' shirts and the camera in the windows' reflections. Or how the dead can be seen breathing or blinking. So refreshing compared to the over-hyped and over-gross details of death, murder and sex that are soooooo pervasive today. And the camera work is great. No jumping aorund like Law and Order to give you a headache! Oh how I wish the 70s and early 80s were still here. Every age has it's own sense of innocence when thought back upon, and this show captures that for me. Sounds wierd, but maybe you understand too.
The plots of SoSF are pretty good, the pace relaxing and the acting/guest appearances are superb. Buy this set (used?) or get it like I did at the library. Good times indeed! Enjoy!
on May 12, 2007
The opening theme music, the San Francisco scenery, the stories, and the performances of Karl Malden and Michael Douglas make "The Streets of San Francisco" one of the best cop shows of the 1970's. The shows are still enjoyable and do not seem dated with the exception of the clothing and cars (it was great seeing a mint '67 Dodge Charger in one episode!). I wished they released a full Season One DVD set, but I'm happy to have these episodes.
I hope they release volume 2 and all the other seasons as this show deserves it.
Episodes on volume 1 and the air dates:
Pilot - 16 September 1972
The Thirty-Year Pin - 23 September 1972
The First Day of Forever - 30 September 1972
45 Minutes from Home - 7 October 1972
Whose Little Boy Are You? - 14 October 1972
Tower Beyond Tragedy - 28 October 1972
Hall of Mirrors - 4 November 1972
Timelock - 11 November 1972
In the Midst of Strangers - 25 November 1972
The Takers - 2 December 1972
The Year of the Locusts - 9 December 1972
The Bullet - 16 December 1972
Bitter Wine - 23 December 1972
A Trout in the Milk - 6 January 1973
on January 5, 2007
SOSF was one of the best cop shows on TV and exemplified the 70s. Many of us who lived through that era and enjoyed the shows were salivating over the eventual (and LONG OVERDUE) DVD release. When I read an IMDB blog that Amazon had it on pre-order, I rushed to the site.
I was thoroughly disappointed and disgusted that this DVD is PART ONE of Season One! Part One!!! And the price is what you'd expect to pay for a full season on most other TV series, except some like Wiseguy, whose distributors were clearly trying to bloodsuck money from the fans. Clearly, that is the case here, too: when a fan get the full Season One, he/she will pay double. I won't: I'll wait until an Amazon seller drops it down to half price and get it then.
on January 23, 2007
Remember, this is a T.V show..so..it is tame and somewhat..less..than we currently expect..obviously..in terms of plot etc..SO what OTHER aspects warrent the purchase?
Well..for me, and..for anyone who was born, lived/lives in Northern California..or The City as it's known by almost everyone North of Frisco..well..this is a treat..
See the City BEFORE it bacame what it is today..which is..a TREND..a place to live for people who simply PURCHASED it AWAY from the people who built it..it's hard to imagine Gentrification of a WHOLE CITY..but so it is..thank the force of benevolent intelligence for Prop 13..or no one born in California without a silver spoon would still be here..and in this series..you get the tour.."Old Frisco"
Episodes that include old Murals..(like the "Jo Boc" mural by R.Crumb on the Mission Community Center..Douglas and Malden have a scene in front of it..and of course...it is GONE today..) and the streets of San Francisco..of course..as seen in perhaps the HEYDAY of the city...
For me, born in the city in '68..it is a treat to see the city of my childhood..the Purple Hippo Restaurant, the old Frisco..the way it was before "Yuppies" ruined it forever..
Also, this series is worth the Guest Star list...Our...illustrious(?) Governor...Der Arnold...appears..and MANY others..well worth it as a window into the history of the city, and of American culture..c'mon..it's The Streets of San Francisco...circa the 70's....it's great..and heartbreaking at the same time...
I'm surprised that this Quinn Martin production has come to DVD with so many other Martin shows ("The Invaders", "The Fugitive) left in limbo. I'm going to give this 4 stars for the series, 3 for the extras and 2 for only giving us half a season. I don't want to discourage fans from buying it because studios usually release these half season sets to gage whether or not it will sell well enough to keep putting it out.
Regardless, "Streets" was a fine series and introduced Michael Douglas to many people. The real star here though is Karl Malden who LIVES in the skin of his character of Lt. Mike Stone. Actually shot on location in San Francisco, the show may have aged a bit but the performances, writing, guest stars and deft direction by a parade of TV veterans keeps the show entertaining despite the passage of time. I was always a fan of this show and while the passage of time has diminished many great shows, this wouldn't be one of them. Sure, it's not geared towards our "story arc" based audience but the episodic nature of the series works well for this series quite well.
The show looks pretty good here with nice colors and image quality. Some of the shots look a bit soft here and there but overall the show continues to look very good. The original mono audio sounds clear as well. I still love that propulsive opening theme music.
We don't get any featurettes or commentary tracks (a pity because it would be interesting to hear Douglas' assessment 30 plus years later of his performance and that incredible hair). We go get a nice vintage interview from 1972 with Douglas and Malden on the set of the show. We also get a "pilot presentation" reel.
Although lacking in new special features, the vintage ones are quite good for this set. Paramount/CBS unfortunately has taken the strategy that Fox has with many of their vintage shows and decided to release this (along with "The Untouchables") in half season sets which will be frustrating for fans of the show. I just hope it doesn't discourage too many fans from purchasing this set as they are no doubt looking at sales to gage the release of the rest of the seasons of the series.
on April 25, 2007
During the final part of Act IV of the Thirty Year Pin, I was literally breathless for about five minutes, it was so tense! I can't honestly think of the last time I watched a modern drama and sat perfectly still for that long.
I remember watching this in syndication as a youngster, and frankly, it's better than I remember. The old cop/young cop dynamic is great, and well played by Malden and Douglas.
This is old fashioned television with long, long shots and takes, few cuts, actors acting with their whole bodies/body language/walk and all that. Unlike a lot of modern shows--tension comes from the story instead of frenetic editing. Some episodes have these amazing 2 and a half minute tracking shots where Malden and Douglas walk and talk, pause and talk, walk and talk with no editing cuts--it's all one take! It's down a corridor to end at the boss's office in the pilot, and there's one outside near fisherman's wharf in 45 minutes from home. It's really something to see and gives the show a different feeling from modern tv.
Something I only noticed after watching a few episodes--the opening credits are sort of a day in San Franciso--it's morning at the start, you cross the bridge and hit the wharf, daytime city scenes follow with the cops. It's afternoon about the time the guest stars roll around, and it all ends with nightime along the roads of the red light district. Very cool, indeed!
You can't go wrong with this set--I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would. Malden and Douglas are giving it their all, San Francisco is beautiful, and the 70s look mighty gritty.
on April 11, 2007
First, I'm happy this tv show was even put on DVD. I'm sure the response to the first DVD will determine if any others are produced. Second, the quality of the video is really surprisingly good. Third, seeing San Francisco in 1972 is like time travel - worth the price of the DVD right there.
This show wasn't produced on fake soundstages or in Los Angeles, as was McMillan and Wife. This was done all right here in San Francisco. As a current longtime resident of this city, I'm intrigued at how life was here back then.
Karl Malden and Michael Douglas were a great team together and although this show was made following a simple forumula, they made the best of it. It isn't Masterpiece Theatre, but it does the job better than a lot of old cop shows.
on December 13, 2008
This is the first half-season's worth of ABC's classic '70's police series, "The Streets of San Francisco." For the uninitiated, "Streets" was a police drama that starred famed actor Karl Malden as Lt. Mike Stone, a 23-year veteran detective of the San Francisco Police Department. Michael Douglas (who currently does the opening V/O for "NBC Nightly News") costarred as his young partner, Inspector Steve Keller. Together, they patrolled the City by the Bay, with Stone acting as a mentor, a father figure if you will, to the rookie Keller. This first half-season's worth (I say that because this series was cut into volumes for DVD release) spanned from Sep. 1972 to the first week of 1973, and included the following outings:
Pilot (a.k.a. "The Streets of San Francisco") (9-16-72)
"The Thirty-Year Pin" (9-23-72)
"The First Day of Forever" (9-30-72)
"45 Minutes from Home" (10-7-72)
"Whose Little Boy Are You?" (10-14-72)
"Tower Beyond Tragedy" (10-28-72)
"Hall of Mirrors" (11-4-72)
"In The Midst of Strangers" (11-25-72)
"The Takers" (12-2-72)
"The Year of the Locusts" (12-9-72)
"The Bullet" (12-16-72)
"Bitter Wine" (12-23-72)
"A Trout in the Milk" (1-6-73)
All of the abovementioned outings (including the pilot) are contained on four single-sided discs in two slipcases. The discs are packaged against a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge at night. The first and third discs have images of Karl Malden; the second and last discs have images of Michael Douglas. The discs have the names of the outings on the left at the top. The fronts of the slipcases have images from the series on top, the release title near the top, and the disc numbers at the bottom, all against another backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge. The episode listings are on the back of each slipcase. The box says that the first 16 outings of #1 are included; I didn't count 16. I counted only the pilot and 13 regular outings, for a total of 14. Perhaps Paramount thought that the pilot could be split into two separate outings for syndication-- who knows?
This first release has two bonuses, both on Disc 1. The first is a "pilot presentation" that details what the series is about, and introduces the characters. Clips from the pilot are used in this 9-min. feature. The other is a short interview conducted by famed entertainment writer Army Archerd with Malden and Douglas; the setting is that of Stone's office.
A lot of people here have been disappointed in the fact that this series was cut in volumes for DVD release. They bemoan the fact that you're paying full-season prices for only half-season releases, therein paying the price of two normal full-season releases to get a full season's worth of a volume series. This is seen by some people, I believe, as a profit-maximizing measure for Paramount. The volume format (as used for this series and several others), once you finish all of the outings in a specific volume, leaves you wanting more. I know I am-- this first release of "Streets" had some pretty darn good entertainment for a `70's series.
In short, despite the fact that "Streets" was cut in volumes for DVD release, this first release gets my personal purchase recommendation because of the sheer entertainment value.
Television just doesn't get any better than this, except maybe "The Fugitive" (the original series - and also another Quinn Martin production) or "Route 66" which I hope will come out on DVD one day. The Streets of San Francisco is just brillant TV! Great writing, great acting, and great scenery - vintage 70's San Francisco! The set DOES include the two hour pilot, and the transfer is crystal clear, the audio is on par for mono 70's TV, not great but certainly listenable! Back in the 70's I don't think the audio engineers expected we would be watching their programs in 7.1 Dolby Digital Surround systems in our home theaters or living rooms. I also don't approve of splitting the Season into 2 parts, I stopped buying a lot of Fox-TV on DVD (such as the Irwin Allen series - Lost In Space, Voyage to The Bottom Of The Sea, etc.)for that reason. I am glad I purchased The Streets of San Francisco - I have enjoyed it so much! Please release the next season as a complete box set, not split into parts please Paramount.
What I don't get though is this, the production clearly states it was made by "Warner Brothers", it aired on ABC -TV in the 70's, so how did it become a CBS-DVD / Paramount release? That's weird.