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Product Description

Harry Orwell is a decidedly different detective. And Harry O is decidedly different TV show. Forced off the force thanks to a bullet lodged near his spine, former police detective Harry Orwell gets by on his disability pension and the occasional private detecting gig ("100 bucks a day. Plus expenses"). No flashy car for the downtrodden Harry - he's as apt to get around town on bus as he is on foot. But he's as savvy as he is sophisticated, and though he might have to avoid the slugfests, he can crack any case. Even if it sometimes breaks his heart. Harry O features an actor at the top of his game, playing a character complex enough to contain his talents. This Six-Disc, 22-Episode Collection features the entire first season, co-starring Henry Darrow and Anthony Zerbe. Special guests include Stefanie Powers, Linda Evans, Martin Sheen, and Cab Calloway. Special Bonus: Contains the Original Pilot - Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 64 reviews
76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
TV's Greatest Private Detective Series Aug. 4 2012
By Gary P. Cohen - Published on
Over the years I've enjoyed many TV private detectives: Mannix, Rockford, Magnum, the guys of 77 Sunset Strip, SurfSide 6 and Checkmate, however none more than Harry O. Harry O was the melding of a great actor and a perfect role for that actor. The Fugitive is one of my 10 favorite series and I'v always considered the late, great David Janssen as TV's all-time best actor for that series. However I've always felt that he was as good, or better, as Harry O.
The character of Harry Orwell was sort of a low-key and grouchy one for Janssen, definitely not your average tv detective. (Janssen does a noirish voice-over at the beginning and the end of each episode.) He was a former cop for the San Diego Police Department, shot in the back on the job and receiving disability from the department. He works as a private detective on the side to supplement his income. He lives on a drydocked boat on the beach that he is always fixing.(Sort of like Gibbs and his boat in the early seasons of NCIS.) His departmental buddy is Lt. Manny Quinlan played by Henry Darrow. Harry doesn't drive around in a flashy car like Rockford or Joe Mannix, he takes the bus. Halfway through season one, Harry relocates to Los Angeles where he has to deal with a somewhat less-friendly cop, Lt. K.T. Trench well-played by Anthony Zerbe. (Zerbe won a best-supporting actor Emmy for this series.) (Manny Quinlan is later murdered in the excellent episode "Elegy for a Cop," leaving Harry out for revenge to capture his killer.) When he moves to LA, Harry trades in his bus pass for a beat-up sports car that is in the shop most of the time.
The first season of Harry O was successful and the series was renewed for a second season. (I've always preferred season two.) By the end of season two, Harry O was winning its timeslot in the Nielsen ratings when it was mysteriously and shockingly cancelled by ABC. There has never been an adequate explanation for this. (I read an interview with Zerbe years ago that said that the cancellation was the result of a new regime taking over ABC and wiping the slate clean of series they were less than enamored of.) The series was replaced with a crime drama starring Robert Stack that was quickly axed after one season. It has always irked me that Harry O was consistently beating its competition on CBS, the mediocre detective series Barnaby Jones starring Buddy Ebsen. Yet Barnaby Jones lasted years more and Harry O was gone after two. Harry O premiered one day before the other great detective series of the 1970s, The Rockford Files. Rockford Files was truly a great series and lasted seven years on NBC. Yet I've always preferred Harry O.
If you want to see the man I consider to be TV's greatest actor,David Janssen, you can pick up the four years of The Fugitive or the first season of Harry O. I sincerely hope that Season One of this great series sells successfully, so that Warner Bros. can then release Season Two. If whatever reason you have never made the acquaintance of Harry Orwell, then you should check this set out and see for yourself, you won't be disappointed.
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By Paul Manfredi - Published on
I became a "Harry O" fan in the 1980s when I began my first job, working the 3pm-11pm shift and getting home in time to watch Johnny Carson's monologue and then switching to The CBS Late Movie. Each night of the week, CBS broadcast a rerun of "The Night Stalker", "McMillan and Wife", "McCloud", "Columbo" or "Harry O" among many others! All of these shows were high on character and story and low on action. So different from today's crime shows!! This show still holds up. I'm in the process of watching Season 1 and the narration and stories are still absorbing! I love the line near the end of "Guardian At The Gates" when Harry says of Barry Sullivan's mean character: "Maybe that's the secret of greatness; to always be alone and never be lonely. That's a hell of a price to pay." A show like this would never make it on the air today. This show is way over the head of the corporate suits that make the "creative" decisions. I'm sure it wouldn't "test" well because there aren't enough murders, car chases and music!! I'll stick to watching "Harry O" and can't wait for Season 2!
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
"A hundred bucks a day, plus expenses..." Sept. 17 2012
By Terry Sunday - Published on
Verified Purchase
Right up front I'll admit that I wasn't a huge fan of "The Fugitive" when it aired on network television for four seasons starting in 1963. Oh, I watched it, along with most other Americans, but I was very young at the time and the show didn't make a strong impression on me. Nor did actor David Janssen, who played the title role.

Fast-forward 10 years to 1973, though, when Janssen returned to network television as crusty private detective Harry Orwell in the short-lived series "Harry O." That one DID make a strong impression on me, and I've been anxiously awaiting its arrival on DVD for--well, for about as long as DVDs have been around. At last my waiting is over. Warner Brothers finally released the first season in a six-DVD set that includes all 22 episodes plus the original pilot, all in color. Hopefully the second and final season will follow soon. All six DVDs come in a case no thicker than the type that normally contains just one DVD--it's very efficient packaging.

If you grew up at a certain time and had any interest in quality television shows, you're probably already familiar with "Harry O," and buying this set will be a no-brainer. If you've never heard of it but are a David Janssen fan, you should treat yourself to this series. He brings a maturity and world-weariness to the role of Harry Orwell that were missing from his portrayal of Richard Kimble in "The Fugitive." Orwell seems to be a character specifically designed for Janssen to play, and the actor's performances in the show are superb--as are those of the supporting cast, especially Anthony Zerbe, and guest stars including Stefanie Powers, Linda Evans, Martin Sheen and Cab Calloway.

Here's the place where I'd normally gripe about the fact that this DVD set is: a) burned-to-order on disks of questionable longevity, and b) quite expensive considering the utter lack of extras. But I guess I'm slowly accepting the reality that high-priced, made-to-order DVDs are better than none at all. And this set IS marginally cheaper than "The Fugitive" and "The FBI," in which each season was split into two DVD sets, each about the same price as the entire first season of "Harry O."

The data side of Disk 6 in my set came with a very deep, inch-long radial scratch. None of the DVDs were loose inside the case when the order arrived, so the damage didn't occur during shipment. I watched that disk immediately, just in case I might have to return it, but it worked fine. So now I've started back at the beginning, watching each and every episode of this superb series that demonstrates just how good television drama could be 40 years ago.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
At long last the release of a tv classic Sept. 11 2012
By Peter Carroll - Published on
Verified Purchase
At last Warner Brothers have finally allowed the release of this TV classic Harry O starring David Janssen.If you are a fan of him from his days as Richard Kimble in The Fugitive or Richard Diamond private detective both available from you will love this. Once again fine performances from a wonderful actor Janssen who died so young. This time he is in the role of Harry Orwell retired cop turned private detective. The acting overall is very good along with good story lines which overall make this item a must for your collection if you're a fan of 70's TV as I am.A highly recommended purchase and well done to those who made it available please don't wait as long to release season two. Many thanks Peter Carroll Republic of Ireland.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Harry O boy! Oct. 14 2012
By Johnny K - Published on
Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Harry O since it was first broadcast back in 1974. David Janssen is private detective Harry O ("O for Orwell, you know, like Nineteen Eighty-Four" quips a growling Harry to a character in one episode). Janssen is still a loner in this series as much as he was one in The Fugitive except that this time he has a lieutenant friend on the force instead of being hunted by one. Janssen makes the character of Harry O his own. After watching one episode you really like this guy, he's a good guy, one that isn't motivated by greed. He simply wants to see justice for all and he's willing to take on just about any case in which he believes something wrong needs to be set right. Harry is both street smart and book smart making him a man of rare intelligence. The plots are interesting, the writing is quite good and if you liked Janssen in The Fugitive, as much as I did, then you'll be glad to see that he returned to TV in this 1974-76 series. The series was abruptly cancelled after season two by ABC president Fred Silverman who reportedly preferred fluff and garbage like Charlie's Angels. I hope season two of Harry O will soon be released to DVD and once more I won't have to wonder what to watch tonight that doesn't waste my time like all the bad acting that abounds on today's new TV schedule.

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