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Hawaii Five-O: Season 1

4.8 out of 5 stars 375 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description



There's plenty to like about Hawaii Five-0, the late '60s cop show debuting on DVD by way of this seven-disc set including all episodes from the first season, along with the two-hour pilot that preceded it. Like the music, featuring Morton Stevens' popular theme song. Or the lovely Hawaiian scenery. And let's not forget "Book 'em, Danno," the signature line delivered (although not nearly as frequently as one might expect) by star Jack Lord's Steve McGarrett, not to mention Lord's perfect hair and wrinkle-free slacks. As for everything else, let's just say that Hawaii Five-0 has not aged well. Some of that is inevitably due to the infinitely more sophisticated production values of the series that have followed in its wake; Five-0's technology, sets, and other practical elements are laughably primitive by current standards. Problem is, the cheese factor extends to pretty much every other aspect of the show as well. Most of the action sequences are utterly tension-free, and the pace is frequently glacial, with interminable scenes bogged down by talky exposition. The dialogue is risible: McGarrett refers to one adversary as "a dirty, double-dealing fink," while the so-called hippies who populate the islands utter the kind of idiocies that could only have been written by cubes whose closest contact with the counterculture came from TV commercials for Hai Karate men's cologne ("Looks like splittin' the scene was real cool, baby" is but one egregious example). Lord does a decent job as the stiff-but-heroic McGarrett, variously described as "a hardhead," "an organizational misfit," "a brilliant operator," and "a rebel," but by and large the acting (including guest shots by Sal Mineo, Ricardo Montalban, Gavin MacLeod, and Yaphet Kotto) is wooden. Story-wise, "Cocoon," the pilot, features an intriguing premise wherein U.S. intelligence agents undergo sensory-deprivation torture before spilling their secrets; elsewhere, the elite Five-0 team deals with jewel thieves, gold smugglers, kidnappers, gamblers, murderers, mobsters, all-purpose "criminal masterminds," and even "Red agents" spreading the bubonic plague. In sum: with its light (if not quite frothy) tone, Hawaii Five-0 will offer harmless escapism to some viewers, especially those with a nostalgic bent. Others, however, will long for more substantial fare--you know, like Deal or No Deal. The DVD set includes a single bonus feature: "Emme's Island Moments: Memories of Hawaii Five-O," a retrospective with James "Danno" MacArthur and other cast and crew members. --Sam Graham

Beyond Hawaii Five-0

Virtual Hawaii DVD List

More ‘60s TV Series

More TV Series on DVD for the First Time

Stills from Hawaii Five-0: The Complete First Season (click for larger image)

Special Features

  • All 24 episodes from the 1968 season on 7 discs
  • The original pilot movie "Cocoon"
  • 45 minutes retrospective with James MacArthur"Emme's Island Moments: Memories of Hawaii Five-O" featurette from 1996, hosted by Emme Tomombang and James MacArthur

Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Harry Endo
  • Directors: Gene Nelson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Closed-captioned
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 1271 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (375 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LE16VC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,957 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hawaii Five-O: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Darienzo on March 9, 2007
Format: DVD
I have long been waiting for H5O to come out on dvd. (I mean, come on we have 6 seasons of Magnum P.I. now...) After watching my almost 20 year old VHS tapes made from tv I can say these dvd's blow me away with the clean crisp prints and excellent sound. This show was groundbreaking in that it was shot comepletely on location in Hawaii, something that was very expensive to do, and who can ever forget that theme music.

Season 1 has several great episodes and the pilot episode a 96 minute one called "Cocoon" is very chilling. Some of the standout episodes from this season are the pilot one, And They Painted Daisies On His Coffin, By The Numbers, Yesterday Died and Tomorrow Won't Be Born, King Of The Hill, and The Box. Two of these have Gavin McLeod playing the role of drug kingpin "Big Chicken" and he does it very well.

The only extra is a nice one. It is a special from 1996 filmed in Hawaii with James MacArthur as co-host. Sadly most of the stars of H5O have passed on since this was taped but it is a very interesting and informative special with a nice tribute to Jack Lord. My biggest wish is that James MacArthur had done some commentary for a few episodes, mostly King Of The Hill and And They Painted Daisies On His Coffin, as these were very piviotal episodes based on his character Danno.

If you are a fan of this show (or 1960's cop shows in general) be sure to pick it up you will not be dissapointed. Hopefully we won't have to wait twelve years to have all twelve seasons on dvd. Last note, all the epidoes apprear unedited and run approximately 51 minutes and all music seems to be intact including sevreal night club numbers sung by various guest stars on the show. Kudos to CBS for clearing the music rights for this show.
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Format: DVD
With one of the most recognizable theme songs in television history, Hawaii Five-O literally burst onto the television screen with its rapid fire montage of opening credits and a brisk pace to its action that was unusual at the time. It served as a counter punch to the lazy images of Hawaiians basking in the sun, by revealing a complex world of crime that swirled around Honolulu like a cyclone. It was up to Steve McGarrett and his boys to rid the island of these unwanted elements, with Wo Fat being his most memorable nemesis. The show may not have been the first to showcase local talent, but it had a strong cast made up of Americans and Asians that presaged the multi-ethnic crime dramas of the late 70s and 80s. It goes without saying that it was the inspiration for Miami Vice, but this was no pastel color version of Honolulu. You can forget Don Ho singing Tiny Bubbles. McGarret looked more like a hardnosed FBI agent than he did the chief detective, running his crew like drill sergeant. James MacArthur may have seemed a little soft but he provided the necessary relief to Lord's hardboiled command. Kam Fong played the memorable Chin Ho through most of the series, which lasted 12 years. An incredible run!
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Format: DVD
Jack Lord's classic series finally arrives on DVD. It looks great! Colors are bright and vibrant and we actually get a solid extra. "Hawaii Five-O" ran from 1968 to 1980 and was a fixture on CBS' schedule pulling in solid ratings throughout that time. Lord played former Navy officer Steve McGarrett who dealt with all manner of scum in the 50th State. As someone else pointed out, this is the granddaddy of the modern procedural show (along with some of Jack Webb's series)and, no doubt, inspired such shows as the "CSI" franchise.

This set has the original uncut 90+ minute pilot (which was cut into two episodes during syndication)as well as the entire uncut first season of the series. We also get "Emme's Island Moments: Memories of "Hawaii Five-O" a locally but professionally produced behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the show which features interviews with cast and crew members.

Paramount has done a terrific job with this set. I say "Buy 'em Danno!"
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Format: DVD
The 1st Season is set to be released just about spring cleaning time. What a great break from putting back the screens and sorting the attic. But this DVD version promises to be more than a diversion, as was the original TV series. For those of you who are too young to have watched it, Hawaii Five-0 remains the longest running cop show (1968-80)--and for good reason. It combined crisp script-writing that followed "The Formula" with some of the first on-locale shooting, superb production elements from Leonard Freeman and his seasoned crew, and the consistent professionalism of its star, Jack Lord. As noted elsewhere here, the opening sequence (a montage of Polynesian enticement intermingled with modern Honolulu, to the tune of The Ventura's big instrumental hit) itself is a stirring sequence and indeed won an Emmy for its editing.

To be sure, the acting is at times wooden, stiff to the point of making caricatures of the actors, but as the series developed, so too did the characters, endearing themselves to loyal viewers. Much has been made of the scenery, or rather the local setting, and how it enhanced the plot line. (The DVD format will no doubt bring a richer texture and sharper definition to the setting which the VHS format could never do). And it is worth noting that Freeman insisted on filming this on-location in Hawaii, an initially costly calculation that introduced the Aloha State to countless millions of viewers, and literally loaded the state coffers with tourist dollars.

Still uncertain as to whether to buy? Then consider the fact that Hawaii Five-0 has been in syndication for decades and shows no signs of waning interest. The number of fan websites devoted to the series is testament enough.
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