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Man in a Suitcase: Set One

4.0 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A rogue agent for hire in 1960s Europe

"Stylish action-adventure series" --The Independent (U.K.)

Accused of treason, a former American agent turns private eye

"Mac" McGill (Richard Bradford, The Untouchables) is an ex-spy with a murky past and an uncertain future. Wrongfully dismissed by his bosses in U.S. intelligence, he decides to freelance as a private detective based out of London. McGill’s work takes him far and wide, yet seemingly always on a collision course with the British authorities, the Soviets, and his old colleagues in American espionage. Beset by enemies on all sides, he strives to clear his name and restore his reputation. But until he does, he remains on the run, taking jobs in the dark and dangerous corners of European society.

This action-packed Cold War drama aired on ABC in the late 1960s and features savvy writing and a host of superb guest stars, including Donald Sutherland (Pride & Prejudice), James Grout (Inspector Morse), Anton Rodgers (Lillie), Nicola Pagett (Upstairs, Downstairs), Peter Vaughan (The Remains of the Day), Stuart Damon (General Hospital), and Judy Geeson (Mad About You).

Amazon.com

Bearing one of the miniskirt era's groovier theme songs, Britain's Man in a Suitcase presents a scenario similar to ITC's Danger Man (Secret Agent Man in the United Sates). After American intelligence gives him the boot for facilitating a high-profile defection, "Mac" McGill (Richard Bradford, The Untouchables) remains in London as a freelance detective. In the Charles Crichton-directed opener, "Brainwash," a band of political exiles pressures him to lie in order to get back what they've lost. When McGill refuses to play along, they torture him using the sort of mind-control methods featured in The Manchurian Candidate. (Best known for The Lavender Hill Mob, Crichton also directed "Day of Execution.")

A silver-haired chain smoker, McGill escapes by virtue of his fists and his smarts. Though he carries a gun, he prefers to use a well-placed karate chop. While Bradford's Method mumble adds to McGill's veneer of insouciant cool, his beach attire--tube socks!--is another matter. During the first season, the PI keeps an eye on an informer (George Sewell) in "The Sitting Pigeon," searches for the boss (John Barrie) who can clear his name in "Man from the Dead," and looks out for an old college buddy (a lanky young Donald Sutherland) in "Day of Execution." If he has time for a few girlfriends, a long-term commitment is out of the question.

Created by Richard Harris and Dennis Spooner (The Avengers), Man in a Suitcase ran for one 30-episode season. Other notable participants include actor Peter Vaughn and Room at the Top cinematographer Freddie Francis. McGill may be less sympathetic than Patrick McGoohan's John Drake, but the combination of visceral action and subtle humor makes for an enjoyable addition to the small-screen spy genre. This boxed set includes the first 15 episodes in the series plus four photo galleries, one for each disc. --Kathleen C. Fennessy


Special Features

Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Bradford, Rex Everhart, Peter Arne, Vincent Ball, Basil Dignam
  • Directors: Charles Crichton, Charles Frend, Don Chaffey, Freddie Francis, Gerry O'Hara
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 779 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047CG94S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,311 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Man in a Suitcase: Set One" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Nobody gets stabbed, shot, beaten, tortured, garroted, kicked, punched, and double-crossed more times than McGill, the hero of "Man in a Suitcase." An ex-CIA agent with a dirty past, McGill is kicked out of the CIA. He ends up in England and Europe, out of work and in need of money.

McGill will take any job, no matter how dirty it is, as long as he gets paid. This guy ain't Simon Pure. Money is his motivation. Wherever McGill goes he is a pariah. Nobody wants him around. Even his clients don't want him around. They just want him to do his job and get lost. He gets double-crossed by everyone, including his clients, and is punched senseless more times than he is able to smoke a cigarette. In fact, in one scene he trades punches in a brutal fistfight while he is smoking a cigarette. Somehow he manages to keep the cigarette in his mouth throughout the entire fight.

My favorite episode is the one called "Mariocki." A lot of the episodes are forgettable. Several of them are cut-and-dried. Some very good actors appeared in this series, including Donald Sutherland. American actor Richard Bradford is good as the sullen and explosive McGill, the man with a past. He's a sixties TV antihero who seems much more contemporary than other TV spies of the sixties such as the heroes Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

"Man in a Suitcase" isn't as good as "Secret Agent Man," Patrick McGoohan's TV spy series in the sixties, but it's close. Even the theme song of "Man in a Suitcase" is catchy. And that old beat-up leather suitcase McGill carries with him wherever he goes. Who can forget that? It's a shame the series lasted only one season.

--Bryan Cassiday, author of "The Kill Option"
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Format: DVD
As a kid, I used to enjoy watching the British action series shown on American tv. "The Saint" and "Secret Agent" are 2 of my all-time favorites. I also clearly remember watching this series. It was a summer-replacement series shown Friday nights on ABC. Unlike "The Saint," "Secret Agent" and "The Avengers," it was only shown once and not brought back again. I never expected to see this series again.
The series concerns an American secret agent bounced from the CIA for something he did not do. He now travels around Europe as a roving private-eye. (The series is sort of a great grandfather to the current "Burn Notice," shown on the USA network.) The main character with the tough-guy name of McGill is played by an American, Richard Bradford (who 21 years later would become more famous for his rough fight scene with Sean Connery in "The Untouchables.)
Bradford, who seems to have been influenced by the Brando school of method acting and walks with the kind of "I don't give a crap" gait that Vic Morrow had on "Combat," seems to smoke a cigarette in every scene, most of which he smokes down to the butt.
The thing I remember about this series is the cool theme music, which I have never forgotten and which I looked forward to hearing again.
The plots are, for the most part, interesting although many of the episodes end rather abruptly. The show is in color and like the color of most 1960's tv series far nicer and preferable to me than the color today. The disc quality is good.
As stated, I never expected to see this series again as it was not particularly successful and did not run long. However I am happy that it has been released and have enjoyed making McGill's acquaintance again.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Highly enjoyable spy/detective series made in 1967/68, featuring Richard Bradford as John McGill, ex-CIA agent forced to resign and now freelances as a pricey, globetrotting private detective.

Another fine series from the ITC Television Network, responsible for shows like "The Prisoner" and "Gideon's Way," this is a gritty, realistic and exciting set of episodes well-written with fast-moving plots and never short on action.

Bradford plays McGill with a degree of toughness and a laconic ease so well that he seems to be perfectly cast for the role. Trained at the NY Actor's Studio, Bradford was a Method actor and claimed Brando as his inspiration; in fact, Bradford had a supporting role with the Academy Award winning actor in the controversial film, "The Chase" (1966), directed by Arthur Penn. Supporting players, all fine character actors from ITC's stable, like Donald Houston, Angela Browne, and Judy Geeson, raise the bar of this rarely seen, but popular, detective series.

Compared to 'Danger Man's" John Drake, McGill is the antihero--a man for hire, keen and distrustful of others, with an eye for the ladies, but a man not without scruples. Shot in color, the series is markedly violent and in the fisticuffs McGill often finds himself in, the blood flows freely. But there is more: the stories and assignments McGill takes on are interesting as they are unusual at times. The international locales also add a bit of flair in contrast to the typical "Mannix" episode that was limited to that metropolis called Los Angeles.
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