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Naked City: Complete Series

Paul Burke , Horace McMahon , John Brahm , Stuart Rosenberg    Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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THERE ARE EIGHT MILLION STORIES IN THE NAKED CITY… Now available for the first time ever, experience the complete series hailed as “Not just another cop show” by Time Magazine. One of the most innovative police shows in television history, NAKED CITY puts a human face on crime, going beyond a simplistic portrayal of good vs. evil to delve into the complex personal dramas of the people involved. This collection contains all 4 seasons (138 episodes) on 29 DVDs from the acclaimed Emmy® Award-winning classic TV series. FEATURED GUEST STARS: Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman, William Shatner, Christopher Walken, Jean Stapleton, Carroll O’Connor, Jon Voight, Jack Klugman, Dennis Hopper, Martin Sheen, Robert Loggia, Robert Redford, Leslie Nielsen, Tom Bosley, Peter Fonda, Alan Alda, James Caan, Doris Roberts, Suzanne Pleshette, Ed Asner, Walter Matthau, Burgess Meredith, Rip Torn, Peter Falk, Diane Ladd, Mickey Rooney, George C. Scott, James Coburn, Vic Morrow, Rod Steiger, Telly Savalas, George Segal, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam and many more!

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic June 6 2014
By Deb
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I loved every minute of Naked City. I enjoyed watching the background, the way the stories were recorded, i.e. no music. I enjoyed seeing big stars in their early years. I love the time period, and the atmosphere of that era. I recommend this video to anyone who likes police films, or time periods.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Naked City Sept. 9 2014
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Great old show to go in my collection,,,will take some time to watch it all.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Set Feb. 19 2014
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I have watdhed a number of the DVDs and it brings you back to New York in the 1950's and 1960's
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of one of the best police dramas ever televised... Nov. 10 2013
By casual observer - Published on Amazon.com
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Long awaited, Naked City: The Complete Series is the dream collection for any fan of this well-written and well-acted show, but there are a few minor inconveniences that can be addressed - although none are a major detraction to the overall quality of the series in this DVD collection.

A couple of the episodes of the first season starring James Franciscus and John McIntyre are from grainy prints. Evidently, pristine source material was not available, and rather than deprive us of those episodes it's understood that we must settle for this compromise in visual quality.

However, since Disc Five of Season One has only the final four episodes on it, there was sufficient space on the disc to include episode bumpers, more original commercials (there's just a scant few at the end of the series - certainly not a true overview of the spots used during all four broadcast seasons) and network promos.

A booklet detailing the show's history could have covered it's inspiration from the 1948 Jules Dassen film production to development as a half-hour series mirroring the movie's opening and main characters [Veteran Lt. Muldoon and rookie detective James Halloran] through it's cancellation, then re-birth as an hour-long series with Paul Burke as Detective Adam Flint and Horace McMahon as Lt. Parker.

A background anecdote could have told newcomers to the series of John McIntyre's desire to return to his Western ranch home, and how his character was killed off a little past midway through the first season [in the episode "The Bumper"] and how Lt. Parker was transferred to the 65th Precinct as his replacement... as well as how Parker and Detective Arcaro (Harry Bellaver) are the only two original characters to return in the hour long revamp.

A list of guest stars by episode would have been nice, along with episode synopsis. Image did that for the 10 DVD, 40 episode collection, but not for a 29 DVD collection with a list price of $179.99.

Image Entertainment (and their parent company RLJ Entertainment) seem to have dual purposes in their releases. They reissue classic TV programming to fill fan desire, but put little care into their physical packaging or package print content.

My set arrived in a flash from Amazon, but Disc Five, Season One was off its hub and scratched. I contacted RLJ directly only to find they "no longer have a customer service department" and that the seller needed to get me a replacement. They dumped the responsibility on Amazon - who came through like champions - but have to eat extra shipping charges because RLJ only want to sell DVDs, not offer customer service as do other disc companies (including the much maligned but customer-friendly Mill Creek Entertainment).

In fact Image/RLJ has had other interesting issues in the past. I had to scrap a fairly new DVD player and buy a replacement for it because their Twilight Zone Complete Collection was disc-authored in such a way that the audio tracked perfectly but the image locked, jumped and stuttered on some machines but not others.

Their Perry Mason packages have had either flip page hub or spindle breakage and good luck if you need a replacement case... should you be able to find just a single one for sale, it can cost you a pretty penny.

That said, I repeat that these were minor issues worth addressing, but not enough to dissuade the true fan of "Naked City" from enjoying the complete series. For enjoyment, it's Five Stars all the way. Let's be honest, if we rated DVDs just on the way they were packaged, judging by many hard-core collectors' rants... most all disc manufacturers would get an F-minus.

Don't let the minor points cloud the fact that these are powerful, character-driven stories that are worth watching again and again.

Addendum: Nov. 18, 2013: I must concur with some of the other reviewers in noting that a full remastering, along with bonus material would have made this collection stand out among others. As I'm going through the programs I have found a few with grainy images and one which seems to have an audio clarity issue, but nonetheless I'm still happy to own the entire series - despite the shortcomings of RLJ Entertainment and their commercialized treatment of a television classic.

More thoughts: Dec. 1, 2013: Having now viewed most all of the box set, I have found a few more episodes with grainy video, one with a film edit, one with some damaged (torn) frames and no audio equalization throughout. I'm still a fan of the show, and not unhappy that I own this box set by any means, but RLJ could have done so much more into making this a truly special collectable set.

I must stand corrected thanks to a posted comment by fellow reviewer Delmo Walters Jr. He correctly pointed out that CBS/Paramount released Perry Mason, not RLJ. While they offer no extras either, their audio and video mastering of the Perry Mason series are miles ahead of RLJ's Naked City box set. I got a bit confused because Image had issued some CBS product before (Twilight Zone, for example), and I had wrongly thought they had an exclusive content licensing deal with CBS.
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would have gotten five stars, if remastered, but still gets 4 1/2 stars Nov. 9 2013
By W. Hinson - Published on Amazon.com
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The series debuted in 1958 when I was 7 years old. I was not allowed to stay up and watch it. It came on Tuesday nights at 9:30 p.m.; however, after the Rifleman at 9:00 p.m., it was off bed for this second grader. When it returned to television in 1960, I was 9 years old and allowed to stay up until 10:00 p.m. Unfortunately, Naked City returned as an hour program starting at 10:00 p.m. on a school night, still after my bedtime. So, I only caught an episode here and there when school was out. The word on the playground and from my brother, who was 5 years older and got to watch it on occasion, was that it was realistic, gritty, and adult.

I pre-ordered the complete series here on Amazon and have now had a chance to open it, examine the packaging, check the discs, and play a couple from the first (30 min) and second (1 hr) seasons. Here are my impressions:

DISCS AND PACKAGING: The discs are singled sided, that's a big plus with me right off the bat. Each season is in a plastic case, and all four cases are in a cardboard box. For some reason, cases holding seasons one and four snap shut nicely, but seasons two and three don't snap shut worth a darn, annoying but not a big deal. The cases and discs holders work pretty well to keep the discs protected. I put 7 discs from seasons one and two in my Sony DVD player and all loaded properly and played when selected. The menus on the discs are simple, but got the job done.

VIDEO AND AUDIO QUALITY: As noted in other reviews, season one episodes (30 minutes) lack the quality of later seasons. The video and audio quality of the episodes, both 1/2 hr and 1hr, vary quite a bit. Some are very good (pretty close to excellent) and others are not. They appear not to have been remastered, thus it seems to depend on how well the print of the episode was stored and has held up. None were what I would call poor, but one or two were good minus. But, considering that when the series was originally aired, we had a 13" Hoffman B&W television with a roof antenna, they're probably better than what I would have seen in the early 1960s.

I pre-ordered a set on October 19th at the $99 price. I don't know what happen, but sometime around October 27, I noticed the price on my pre-order had gone down to $25.48, WOW! I immediately ordered another set as a Christmas gift. So, I got two for $25.48 each. At that price, the set, even though not remastered, is a screaming deal. Because of the hit or miss quality of the episodes, had I paid a hundred dollars for the set I would have considered returning it for a refund. I'm not sure I would have actually returned it, but I would have "considered" it. Nonetheless, at $25.48, it's more than worth it.

QUALITY OF THE SHOW ITSELF: From the episodes I viewed, this was a great show . . . and still appears to be so. I will enjoy watching it over the next couple of years (one or two episodes a week) during my retirement. And for me, they'll be FIRST RUN! Cool.

*** ADDED January 27, 2014 ***
I've now viewed half of season one. I'm moving my rating to four and a half stars. This is simply great television. The video is not that bad at all. Besides, if it was too good, I might forget it's 55 years old. Not only is it better than most of the series offered on network televion today, you get a full 25 minutes instead of the 22 currently offered. I'm looking forward to season two where I'll get 50 minutes instead of 44.
71 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naked City: FINALLY...THE ENTIRE SERIES Just for YOU and ME!!! May 21 2013
By R. Wall - Published on Amazon.com
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There are 8 million stories...At long last...NAKED CITY is going to be released COMPLETELY on November 5th of this year (2013)...with ALL 39 half hour episodes from 1958 and ALL 99 hour long episodes from 1960 - 1963....CHECK OUT THE FABULOUS ART WORK !!!!

Naked City...New York City...the place where a landmark police TV series (based on the 1949 film The Naked City) was produced by Herbert B. Leonard. The series with so many great guest stars...Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Carroll O'Connor, William Shatner, Burgess Meredith, Robert Duvall, Ed Asner, Suzanne Pleshette, Eddie Albert, Robert Culp, Steven Hill, David Janssen, Rip Torn, Eli Wallach, Peter Falk, Claude Rains, Telly Savalas, Leslie Nielsen, Nehemiah Persoff, Jack Lord, Walter Matthau, Malachi Throne, Dick York, Alfred Ryder, Mitchell Ryan, Jack Klugman, Keenan Wynn, Dennis Hopper, Barry Morse, Brett Somers, Roddy McDowall, Martin Balsam, Frank Sutton, Hume Cronyn, Lee J. Cobb, Logan Ramsey, Jack Warden, Mickey Rooney, Martin Sheen, Peter Fonda, Orson Bean, George C. Scott, Jean Stapleton, David Wayne, Richard Basehart, Jesse White, Bradford Dillman, Frank Gorshin, Dana Elcar, Jon Voight, Michael Strong, Anthony Zerbe, Al Lewis, John Karlen, George Maharis, Vic Morrow, Henry Hull, Michael Conrad, Ross Martin, Richard Jaeckel, Simon Oakland, Luthor Adler, Chris Walken, Geraldine Brooks, Lois Nettleton, Keir Dullea, Myron McCormick, Louis Antonio, Susan Oliver, Phillip Abbott, Robert Blake, Woodrow Parfrey, Russell Collins, Robert Morse, Roger C. Carmel, Jeremy Slate, Sorrell Brooke, Joe De Santis, Nina Foch, Robert Loggia, Murray Hamilton, Johnny Seven, Jay Novello, Kim Hunter, James Shigeta, Abraham Sofaer, Richard Conte, Tuesday Weld, Joanne Linville, Michael Constantine, Edward Andrews, Neville Brand, Lonny Chapman, Paul Richards, Michael Tolan, Carol Rossen, Herschel Bernardi, Eileen Heckart, Dan Duryea, Joseph Campanella, Ed Begley. and...of course...the greatest and weekly guest star...New York City.

The 1958 episodes star John McIntire as Lt. Dan Muldoon and James Franciscus as Detective Jimmy Halloran (shown on extreme bottom left looking at DVD package front side) while the 1960-1963 episodes star Horace McMahon as Lt. Mike Parker, Paul Burke as Detective Adam Flint and Harry Bellaver as Detective Frank Arcaro (shown on extreme bottom middle looking at DVD package front side). Really giddy for this set now that the release date and Art Work are now available.

Not only does the beauty of late 50s early 60s New York City appeal to viewers...not just the many great guest stars appeal to viewers...but the hard hitting stories from the mind of Stirling Silliphant and his many varied talented writers yield many different stories about people in the Naked City from all walks in life. From the rich and famous to the ordinary every day Joe on the street...eccentrics...business men...syndicate members....business owners...those that struggle to make ends meet...tourists...immigrants...cops...politicians...poets...sailors...painters...professional sports figures...engineers...military veterans...professional hit men...men on death row...you name it...find their way into the drama that is...NAKED CITY.

Some of the absolute best hourly episodes not previously released will come with this set such as "The Deadly Guinea Pig", "Killer With A Kiss", "Without Sword and Stick", "Bridge Party" and "A Corpse Ran Down Mulberry Street".

Don't let this set pass you by. Lawrence Dobkin's narration of the hourly shows is superb and sets the proper mood for the hourly drama. Nelson Riddle's "Naked City" theme (for the hourly show)..is outstanding. The show, theme and narration for Naked City are five stars and then some.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing start for my introduction to RLJ products Nov. 20 2013
By DVD Collector - Published on Amazon.com
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First of all let me say that Amazon's customer service is Excellent, so this review does not reflect on them in anyway, and I was quite happy with the price I paid. Unfortunately the DVDs are not Excellent so far. I have only just looked at the first season so far and the quality is poor, some episodes are so dark or over contrasty that they are for unwatchable. Definitely not up to the standard that Image Entertainment would have offered. Now RLJ run this company I feel the quality has dropped. Also the cases are a bit poor, one of my cases arrived broken, not through transportation I think but because of poor quality. Hopefully the DVD quality will get better. I do feel that the ones done earlier by Image are superior. I'll be a bit careful next time in choosing RLJ products
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Remastered, But ... Nov. 6 2013
By A* - Published on Amazon.com
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Everything wonderful about this series has already been said. But if you are new to it -- you are in for a seriously good ride. It explores 50s NYC like no other television show, besides "Man With a Camera." The city is the main character here, it lives and breathes way beyond the story lines. I'm not of this era but my folks are and when they come over they have pin pointed places that they've been and I'm all sorts of fascinated. Also, I love seeing old cars, gadgets and signs (the last disc of this series, and the only extras are a few commercials from this era).

But enough about how great this show is (I know, I know, I said nothing else needed to be said about it, and I gave an entire paragraph devoted to its awesomeness), let's talk about the quality of the discs. The show looks OK. They haven't been remastered and the first season looks subpar. It is still highly watchable, but if there is a night scene, forget about seeing anything that remotely resembles details or distance. The second through last season discs look great. Like the loser I am, I ran through all the discs to make sure. Nothing majorly obtrusive, but again, the image could be cleaned up and they would really sparkle.

The Naked City is a great TV show. It is up there in my top five, nestled between The Rockford Files and The Twilight Zone. A great series and it is a joy to finally have the complete set.
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