Burke's Law: Season 1 - Volume 1 (First 16 Episodes)
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Gene Barry played police captain Amos Burke, who headed up homicide while maintaining a lavish lifestyle; not because he was on the take but because he was already extremely rich and was just working for whatever intrinsic value the job provided. This was the main hook or novelty of the show, which was a weekly showcase of his lavish lifestyle (chauffeured limo with fully stocked bar, mansion, and a host of gorgeous women clamoring for his affections). Although technically a mystery-adventure series there was a significant comedy element generated by the reactions of his detectives and his superior to Burke's displays of wealth and indulgence.
Barry was perfectly cast as the suave and sophisticated working playboy. Unfortunately the supporting cast was quite marginal and the writers never developed these secondary characters beyond the most superficial level. But this did allow room to showcase a multitude of guest stars and like "The Wild Wild West" many of these were Hollywood's hottest starlets. Especially memorable was former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley whose unexpected chemistry with Barry led to multiple appearances during the course of the series.
Unlike "Columbo", the series withheld the identity of the killer from viewers until the end although it was not disclosed in the standard "Murder She Wrote" moment of revelation.Read more ›
VCI's release of the first half of Season 1 (16 hour long episodes) is first-rate, especially since they've never handled a TV series before for release. The episodes clearly come from the original 35 mm masters, and while not as sharp as the prints we see on CBS/Paramount DVDs, they look very good. Original commercials from the film prints have been presented as a supplement, similar to Image's later releases of "Naked City" while the end of each episode retains the preview for the following week's show narrated by Barry.
VCI is committed to doing the entire run of the show (including its reimagined "Amos Burke" version) as well as the spin-off "Honey West" and they are to be commended for bringing back these B/W gems of mid-60s TV to us!
Barry, not unlike the character depicted in "Burke's Law," was well-suited to the role. Born into a family with musical credentials, (his father was a violinst; his mother a singer) Barry had a sense of effortless style, grace, charm and an attractive baritone voice and, at one time, entertained the idea of an operatic career for the stage.
After appearing in several forgettable films, save "War of the Worlds," Barry embarked on a successful acting career throughout the 50's and 60's. He even had the distinctive honor to be the first villain in the pilot for "Columbo" entitled "Prescription Murder" (1968), as what else? An eminent psychiatrist suspected of killing his wife. In the 70's Barry starred in the short-lived series, "The Adventurer" with Barry Morse and the lovely Catherine von Schell (Maya from Space 1999), as a globetrotting, ultra wealthy, bachelor (although a little too old for the role)solving international capers. The european locales added a bit of flair to this otherwise pedestrian series.
Nonetheless, this first set of Burke's Law comes highly recommended. VCA has done a superb job of remastering the episodes and has even included vintage commercials from LARK and L&M cigarettes, Crest toothpaste, and other interesting spots from VCA's vaults--all accessible from the menu screen. The only downside to this set is that VCA has opted to only release the first 16 epsidoes of Season 1, rather than the whole season.Read more ›
When I was seven (7) years old, I vividly remember watching the noted series. More importantly, I also remember where and how I was commonly positioned (laying on the carpet), in front of our black and white television set, how our living room was arranged, the lasting aroma from dinner still lingering in the air, and even how my hair was styled (in long braids).
During the noted period, I lived in a small town located in the "Bay Area" and everything in my life was pretty routine and predictable. Conversely, I was @ an age where I was beginning to formulate some ideas about what I liked and disliked about my life (do you get the picture??).
In any event, one evening, "Burke's Law" popped on our T.V. set and I suddenly learned about a smooth, sophiscated, rich, and sauve LAPD cop being chauffeured by a limo driver. How exciting!!
Amos Burke's life seemed so glamourous, tantalizing, a litte dangerous, and all I knew is that I wanted more. While investigating and solving crime, he also did alot of kissing, which made me curious about how to kiss a boy?? (I am still questioning whether I am doing it right??).
Specifically, last night, besides all of the expected smooching, I watched the third (3rd) episode of the first (1st) series, which featured among many stars, "Mary Astor" (famous for her role in "The Maltese Falcon" w/Humphrey Bogart).
To summarize my viewing, I watched the noted episode with great wonder as well as disappointment. I watched with wonder because "Astor" still possessed her acting chops.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was more than happy with Burkes Law. Very good DVD'S WOULD BUY MORE.Published 5 months ago by mrs gloria mcaleese
Only one of the discs worked, player kept saying cannot play this disc.Published 11 months ago by Valerie A.Stone
Brought back many pleasant memories. The stories still work despite the years gone by. Great interplay among the regulars. Enjoyed the seriesPublished 13 months ago by Harold F Kaufman