Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

DVD Review: Burke's Law, Vol. 2

I reviewed VCI Entertainment's first Burke's Law DVD back in May (Season 1, Volume 1). Now Volume 2 is on sale, with the second half of this 1964 detective series' first season.

As I wrote at the time, I find this light-hearted mystery series to be highly entertaining, with clever, twisty murder plots, eccentric suspects and a charming leading man. Homicide Captain Amos Burke (Gene Barry) lives a very Playboy/Rat Pack lifestyle, romancing a different gorgeous babe every night, and possessing a heroic tolerance for dry martinis.

As with the first batch of episodes, the guest stars are a delightful mix of classic Hollywood veterans and fresh, young (in '64) faces: Dan Duryea, Ed Wynn, Carolyn Jones, William Shatner, Howard Duff, Michael Ansara, Dorothy Lamour, Spike Jones, Kevin McCarthy, Jim Backus, Barbara Eden, Tab Hunter, Fess Parker, Nancy Kovack, Jane Greer, Buster Keaton, John Cassavetes, Mako, Agnes Moorehead and Forrest Tucker are just some of the familiar faces who show up in these 16 episodes.

The writing is also superior, with several scripts penned by Harlan Ellison, and Gold Medal paperback writer Day Keene.

The full-frame, B&W picture quality is excellent, on a par with the previous set, and like that volume, VCI has included a bunch of vintage television commercials. In fact, my one complaint with the first set – its bulky packaging – has been remedied with this volume, as VCI has placed all 4 discs into a single, standard-sized DVD case.

Overall, it's a great presentation of a highly entertaining – and generally underrated – classic television series. If you collect old shows, like I do, you won't be disappointed in this set.

Highly recommended.

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