The Streets of San Francisco: Season 1, Vol. 1
DVD | Box Set
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One of the most popular detective shows of the '70s, this show made Michael Douglas a star. Twenty year veteran Det. Lt. Mike Stone (Malden) is partnered with young, college-educated Inspector Steve Keller (Douglas) who has a lot to learn about being a police detective on the streets of San Frnacisco.
More career-making than groundbreaking TV, The Streets of San Francisco is an efficiently entertaining old-school cop show from Quinn Martin, master of the four-acts-and-an-epilogue hour drama (The Untouchables, The Fugitive). Old Hollywood meets new with the casting of Oscar-winning character actor Karl Malden (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront) and, in the role that put him on the map, future Oscar-winner Michael Douglas (Wall Street) as partners in San Francisco's Bureau of Inspectors. Malden is 23-year-veteran Lt. Mike Stone. Douglas is Inspector Steve Keller, whose "fancy degrees in criminology" don't impress Stone. The generational conflict is more pronounced in the pilot episode. When Keller questions whether a deceased woman found floating in the bay is a suicide, Stone derisively responds, "If you were born in this town, you'd know that the current under the bridge flows out to sea and not in." Though the t wo have their differences (Stone, a self-described "slob," wears the classic trench coat, while Keller is "the best dressed cop on poverty row"), Stone is a more patient mentor in the 1972 series' first 14 episodes (13 plus the pilot) that are contained in this set's four discs.
One of this series' retro-TV delights is the veteran/rookie casting dynamic that extends to the series' guest stars. The pilot episode features Robert Wagner as a slick and initially suspect lawyer, and a pre-Happy Days Tom Bosley as the victim's landlord. The future Starsky & Hutch show up, albeit in separate episodes. David Soul is a racist cop with a surprising genealogy in "Hall of Mirrors" and in "Bitter Wine," Paul Michael Glaser stars as a man who spent 12 years in San Quentin for his brother's crime. Other familiar faces from TV Land include Vic Tayback (Alice), Victor French (Little House on the Prairie), Edward Mulhare (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir), and Di ck Van Patten (Eight Is Enough). But perhaps this serie s' real star is San Francisco, an offbeat location for a cop show. Ghirardelli Square, the Golden Gate Bridge, and other landmarks are intriguing backdrops as the gruff but compassionate Stone and the more hotheaded Keller pursue criminals and killers, some of whom are as deeply twisted as Lombard Street. Throw in a vintage show-launch interview with Malden and Douglas conducted by former Hollywood columnist and Oscars red-carpet emcee Army Archerd, and you have a set that's a real San Francisco treat. --Donald Liebenson
Beyond The Streets of San Francisco
More DVDs with Michael Douglas
More DVDs with Karl Malden
More 70s TV Series
- 14 episodes from the 1972-1973 season on 4 discs
- Original pilot episode
- Pilot presentation
- Army Archerd interview
- 4 minute interview on the show's set with Michael Douglas and Karl Malden
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Top customer reviews
Anyway, the series itself is better than I remember it, though I was a child when it aired, and the picture and sound quality on these DVDs are great.
Each episode is presented in four acts and an epilog, and Karl Malden and Michael Douglas have great onscreen chemistry together, one playing the older and wiser veteran of the SFPD (Malden), while the other plays the young hotshot college graduate detective (Douglas), who is a rookie in comparison. The story lines are riveting and the cinematography is fantastic!
When they say "The Streets of San Francisco" they mean it! There are plenty of action and outdoor shots all around the Bay Area and I think this is the best part of the show. I always enjoy seeing real street scenery versus a sound-stage, whenever possible, especially of older shows from the 60s-70s, and this show does a spectacular job of doing it.
Like New York City was the fifth character in Sex and the City: The Complete Series (Collector's Gift Set), Karl Malden acknowledges that San Francisco is the third character in THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO in the bonus Archerd interview.
*** BONUS FEATURES ***
ARMY ARCHERD INTERVIEW-- 03:46-minutes -- interview conducted back then
The celebrity reporter interviews both Malden and Douglas about the show and gives the viewer insight on who these characters are.
PILOT PRESENTATION -- 08:45-minutes
This is an interesting teaser intro for the pilot with voice-over.
If you enjoy detective shows and seeing great shots of cities as they used to be, you can't go wrong with this set. Even the theme song is great! I can't help shaking my booty when I hear it.
I am particularly fond of one episode in this set, "The Bullet," a episode about a blackmailed professor who is shot and refuses to have the bullet extracted for fear of adverse publicity and loss of his tenure. The college campus is none other than my alma mater, the University of San Francisco. (In another season, historic Ralston Hall in Belmont, CA, on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University where I also attended, served as the setting for yet another episode of "Streets.")
The series served a springboard for Academy Award winner Douglas' foray into motion pictures. The series would enjoy a tremendous long run with Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galatica) taking over Douglas' role. But the series quickly fizzled as clearly the chemistry between Malden and Douglas was absent.
Douglas would leave the series to star in two very important movies that would launch his film career: "Coma" (1978) and following that, "The China Syndrome" with Jack Lemmon and Jane Fonda.
This box set would easily earn 5 stars had CBS DVD been more generous and released all of season one, and not just the first 16 episodes and really some very paltry extras: a promo for the pilot episode and a pretty useless Army Archerd (who was he anyway?) interview--obviously a PR piece for Quinn Martin. A commentary with Michael Douglas would have been most welcome and expected.
Only complaint, like others, is the way the seasons are being sold. Warner is trying to squeeze as much money out of buyers as they can by parsing them out by discs, instead of selling complete dvd collections of the series
Most recent customer reviews
It was a series of it's time, I just find it rather badly written and over-acted now.Read more
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