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Cracker - The Complete US Series

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Jun 14, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starring Robert Pastorelli (Murphy Brown) as "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a brilliant but abrasive police psychologist working with the L.A.P.D. Fitz doesn't fit the typical psychologist stereotype; he's a drinker, a gambler and cheats on his wife. Fritz has uncanny success interrogating criminals and cracking cases; after all, he understands their vices, weaknesses and perversities.

Review

A Standout…A Well Stocked Treat -- Variety

A Top-Notch Drama -- SouthCoast Today (Lynn Elber, Associated Press)

An Expertly Written, Produced and Acted Series -- The Cincinnati Enquirer

Demands Attention -- The Hollywood Reporter

Special Features

  • 16 episodes on four double-sided discs
  • Photo gallery
  • Booklet

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Pastorelli, Robert Wisdom, Robbie Coltrane, Josh Hartnett, Mariska Hargitay
  • Directors: Michael Fields, Stephen Cragg, Whitney Ransick, James Steven Sadwith
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Tango Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 960 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00096S3XG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,717 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cracker - The Complete US Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
There's no way this U.S. version ever could have equalled the UK original by Granada Television, even though the U.S. show was co-produced by Granada. If for no other reason, the necessary constraints of American network television when this series aired on ABC instantly resolved the question. Nudity, profanity, and violence more freely play on British broadcasts as, now, they do on American cable TV programs. Still, in this U.S. version there is more than enough of what made the UK original great to warrant watching and even owning the DVDs.

The striking difference between the appearance of the U.S. and UK casts makes sense: in the U.S. version, the cops look and act like American men and women. Robert Pastorelli plays a New Jerseyite transplanted to L.A., not a Scotsman transplanted to Manchester. More important, his Fitz is as much an abusive, arrogant, intellectual bully as Robbie Coltrane's reading and just as worthy of comeuppance. Angela Featherstone portrays an American version of Jane Penhaligon with nuance and subtlety, spot-on for the repressed, passive/aggressive character. Robert Wisdom (more recently of The Wire) plays the Jimmy Beck character without the angst that yielded the Grand Opera character arc (more on that below) of the later Jimmy McGovern-penned UK episodes. Instead, African-American Wisdom embodies the "black vs. blue" issue that's more relevant in the States than in the UK. Smoldering R. Lee Ermey is alternately threatening and paternal as the cops' boss. Carolyn McCormick plays the beleaguered Judith Fitzgerald well, but it's unfortunate that as written she's less fiery and less ethically ambiguous than Barbara Flynn. That's a shortcoming of the U.S. version.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The American version of Cracker needs to been seen.

When it played on ABC, I'm sure those who were unfamiler

with the U.K. version didn't know what to make of this

show. Pretty damn faithfull to the original version,

American audience's didn't quite know what to make of

it. Way Way too dark for the U.S.. Too Smart??

Most likely. So no matter how good it is, it will fail.

The series was not dumbed down, and many of the episodes

were taken directly from the U.K. versions. Episodes where

there is no such thing as a happy ending.

Americans don't seem to like that. Things that they

have to think about, and things that don't really

work out. But that is life. We don't seem to

be able to grasp reality here in the states.

Anyways the late Robert Pastorelli, equals

Robbie Coltrain's performance as Fitz.

I loved this show when it first premiered, then

it disappeared. I'm so happy to be able to

own it now. It will stand proudly right next

to the U.K.'s Cracker in my DVD collection.

Robbie Coltrain
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Format: DVD
One of the reviews states that this Cracker is a ripoff of the UK show. How can it be a rip off when you are told in the credits this show is based on the Granada TV show. Granada, the original producer of the UK show, created a US arm to co produce this show for ABC. So please be careful how you use the word "rip off".

If anything, Granada should have made sure the show could live up to its British cousin. And in a way I think it did. Another comment written here says US audiences don't usually like a challenge when watching tv. Dark stories challenge you and the feel good factor isn't there at all. So maybe the fault is in the network not knowing how what to do with this show. Perhaps if the show was produced now it would be a hit since people are in a darker place in this post 9/11 world. It is a shame we don't have Robert Pastorelli to play Fitz anymore, but I am sure there are other actors out there who would take on such a role.

In some ways wouldn't you say House is a distant cousin of Fitz? And House is a top rating show. So maybe ABC can resurrect Cracker.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Here again corporate decided to cancel an outstanding crime drama series.
Gerry "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a psychologist working with the Los Angeles Police. Fitz does not fit the typical psychologist stereotype, he is a heavy drinker, a gambler, and says exactly what on his brilliant mind. Fitz has uncanny success interrogating criminals; after all , he understands their
vices, their weaknesses and their perversities.
Fitz is a gritty and ever evolving character who's own life is as complicated and riddled with problems as the cases he assigned.
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This American adaptation of the British series CRACKER has been much, and unfairly, maligned for not being as good as its UK antecedent, but I think closer to the truth is people are upset at it simply not *being* the UK CRACKER, in the sense that it's not a direct parallel. But then, it isn't supposed to be. Nor should it have been. Headwriter/show runner James Sadwith did an excellent job of transposing creator Jimmy McGovern's British series to an American key. The tone is similar but not slavish, and while certain key characters are of course Americanized versions of the originals, other characters in the ensemble are new or composite; this is CRACKER reimagined comprehensively within an American sensibility. (And to emphasize how well the show delivers on its own terms, this was my first exposure to CRACKER; I delved into the UK original -- which is also extraordinary -- long after. Never through that initiation did I feel as if I were being shortchanged, nor was I confused as to the show's intention and style. Nor do I think you'll be disappointed.)

Furthermore, I submit that (the alas late) Robert Pastorelli's turn as the haunted, dissolute criminal psychologist Gerry "Fitz" Fitzgerald is every bit as compelling as Robbie Coltrane's Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald. Though a man of somewhat smaller physical stature, Pastorelli has the same-but-different bigness of personality and easy facility for grandness of gesture that's endemic to Coltrane. I live in NYC where I'm a constant theatregoer and I've seen many a production numerous times to experience new cast members -- for example, in AMADEUS I saw three brilliant Salieris: Ian McKellan, Frank Langella and David Dukes -- and there's a similar thrill awaiting any who open mindedly experience both Pastorelli and Coltrane.
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