If you like the gritty cop shows of today, you can trace their origins back to one show that changed everything, Police Story. The show was wildly influential but for some reason never got a full home video release. I was very pleased when Shout! Factory announced they would be taking on the series. They have a reputation for high quality releases and they have done by well be the series.
Created by ex-cop-turned-author Joseph Wambaugh (The Onion Field), Police Story is an anthology series detailing the lives of LAPD officers in a collection of realistic and gritty accounts of what it meant to be a cop in 1970s Los Angeles. The series became the archetype for many critically acclaimed shows that followed, including Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life On The Street. The series distinguished itself from its predecessors by a multidimensional portrayal of its protagonist: these cops were flawed, not cartoonlike heroes. From week to week, gripping episodes addressed difficult issues such as police corruption and the stresses and hell that can come with leading a cop’s life.
With no regular cast, the show featured different stars each week, as well as a rotating acting ensemble including James Farentino (Jesus Of Nazareth), Tony Lo Bianco (The French Connection), Don Meredith (NFL Monday Night Football), Laraine Stephens (Matt Helm) and Vic Morrow (Combat! ). Season One stars included Ed Asner, Lloyd Bridges, Angie Dickinson, Dean Stockwell and Kurt Russell.
The DVD set has all 21 Original Episodes from 1973/74 season and some extras, including:
- “Slow Boy”: Pilot Film
- “Big John Morrison”: Movie of the Week
- Cop Talk: New interview with show creator, author and former LAPD Detective Sergeant Joseph Wambaugh