Lawless Years Coming Soon - Untouchables Fans Take Note!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Michael Alden, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    I didn't want to post anything on this until I got a definitive word but now it should be announced pretty soon. I've been working on this release for quite some time now and it's finally about to come out. The Lawless Years was a series very similar to The Untouchables (started actually 6 months BEFORE) dealing with gangsters in New York in the 1920s. Robert Stack even guest starred in an episode. James Gregory (Barney Miller) starred as a real life detective from that era. So, until The Untouchables comes out from Paramount (or hell freezes over, whichever comes first), you'll be able to get your gangster fix with this show.
     
  2. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    Holy smokes, talk about something unexpected! I've always been rather curious about this old series, and considering how I've always gotten a kick out of James Gregory (one of my favorite 'tv' character actors), this will definately be worth a purchase. I'd figured "The Lawless Years" had, like so many other series, just faded into the woodwork, never to be seen again. This is actually very exciting news (well, to a tv buff like me). This tv-on-dvd trend is continuing to marvel me!
     
  3. Tom.W

    Tom.W Stunt Coordinator

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    Great news about a great crime show! I'm also baffled about how an obscure show like Lawless Years finds its way to dvd before Untouchables, unless rights issues are involved. In any case, thanks to the forward thinking folks behind this one. Lawless Years is kind of a 30 minute version of the Untouchables set in New York. Lots of period related elements characterize the show.
     
  4. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I so want the old and new version of the Untouchables on dvd.
     
  5. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I've never seen The Lawless Years, but if its production values were as poor as The Untouchables I probably won't buy the DVD set. However, if it looks like Naked City....then I'll buy it! [​IMG]

    James Gregory was a great actor. He even played the temporary head of Hawaii Five-O (because they couldn't get Jack Lord to play McGarrett) in a 2-part episode of Sanford & Son taped in Hawaii! [​IMG]

    As for The Untouchables, don't forget that started as a 2-part episode on Westinghouse Desliu Playhouse 1959 before becoming a series that fall.
     
  6. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    I hope Lawless Years has English subs or CC's. We're talking 3 seasons. WGBH will do it pretty cheaply if the CC's aren't already available. According to TVRage.com we're looking at 19 episodes in the 1st season, 9 episodes in the 2nd, and 20 episodes in the 3rd.
     
  7. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I noticed at IMDB.com that "The Lawless Years" was produced by California National Productions, which seems to have produced a number of shows that lasted for a year or two. "The Adventures of Hiram Holliday" would make a nice companion release to "Mister Peepers" as both starred Wally Cox. And I'd really like to see "Pony Express." Any chance of seeing some of these other productions from California National?
     
  8. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Lawless Years was controlled by Allen Miner who was in charge of the show. He actually did some syndication on it after remastering it to tape in the 80s. I tracked down the tapes and made arrangements with his estate.

    I actually know someone who had spoken to the producer of Hiram Holiday about 10 years ago and he had had a set of prints but he broke the set up and had sold them off piecemeal.

    Don't know where the rights reside on Pony Express but it might be one worth looking into.
     
  9. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Thanks for posting this bit of great news, Michael. I think I may have read a blurb or two about "The Lawless Years" in my book on the making of "The Untouchables" by Tise Vahimagi. Being a fan of James Gregory, the show intrigues me quite a bit, even though I've never seen it before.

    Being the character actor nut that I am, I researched some of the notable guest stars in "The Lawless Years". Several of the better known are: Paul Richards, Vic Morrow, Barbara Stuart, Tige Andrews, Jack Weston, Robert Fuller, Clu Gulager, Stanley Adams, Ken Lynch, Joseph Ruskin and even Robert Stack himself!
     
  10. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Michael - thanks for your efforts to preserve long forgotton TV shows. I am not familiar with this show, but am definitely intrigued. If it wasn't for people who cared enough to make things happen, these shows would just rot away.

    Are you at liberty to say what company will be releasing these so I can keep an eye for it? These type of releases tend to fly below the radar unless someone is looking for it.

    Steve
     
  11. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    As soon as there is an official release date announced I'll provide more details.
     
  12. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    I'm happy to report that the official release date is here. Deep discount has it for Feb 28th, Amazon for a week later so I'm not sure which is correct. The company is Timeless, who also put out the Loretta Young Show.

    I've seen the source tapes and they were mastered from the original 35mm so the DVDs should look very nice. I don't know how much time they will space it out between the 2 releases (even though it was 3 seasons it was only 52 episodes) but hopefully not too long.

    The more support these types of shows get, the more of them we have a chance to see.
     
  13. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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  14. Tom.W

    Tom.W Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for this good news, Michael. Glad to see Timeless is releasing season one of Adventures of Robin Hood, up till now available in R2. Do you know if they will follow up with more seasons of The Loretta Young Show?
     
  15. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I'm a little suspicious of that season 1 release of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" from Timeless as they are only showing 30 episodes when, in fact, season 1 had 39 episodes. See: http://epguides.com/AdventuresofRobinHood/

    On the plus side, it's the first time that any U.S. DVD company has released the episodes in correct order, but I have nagging suspicions that this is nothing more than another release of public domain episodes, particularly as Timeless had released a collection of Robin Hood episodes on VHS some years back which I bought. Quality (on the VHS tapes) was average, but the opening title sequence and closing credits were cut from the episodes. Hopefully, this is a licensed release with improved visuals and uncut episodes, but I'm not buying it until I get confirmation that that's the case.
     
  16. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    DeepDiscount shows this set as being available for shipping, though Amazon's date for release has not changed. I've come across prices as low as $18.00 for this set!

    For Michael Alden:

    Can you confirm the accuracy of this? (under "The Untouchable Inspector Lugar")

    http://blogs.salon.com/0003139/2006/02/14.html

    I know you stated that the transfers should be above par, but in light of what's reported here, I'm wondering. Also, are the episodes complete and un-cut? That was certainly not the case with "Sonnett" and perhaps even "Branded".
     
  17. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Michael, I can't help with "The Lawless Years," but I will confirm that all "Branded" episodes were cut by about 3 minutes per episode . . . syndicated episodes from King World were used for the DVD release. Past comments on this board suggest that perhaps the syndication episodes were all that remain for both "Sonnett" (another King World property) and "Branded."

    Incidentally, Overstock.com is showing this for $19 plus $1.40 shipping.
     
  18. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Saw that too, Bob. Great price for a season set certainly, but it does raise a caveat in my mind regarding episode completeness and transfer quality. I wanted to make this a blind buy but will just have to adopt a 'wait and see' approach.
     
  19. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I found a 10% off code for Overstock.com at a DVD Talk forum that will effectively reduce the shipped price of "The Lawless Years" to $18.51. For those interested, the code is 73622, but I have no idea as to when it expires. I'm willing to take a low risk gamble on it quality-wise since it's less than 20 bucks, but I've found Overstock to be slow on shipping so it may take some time before I can report back on it.
     
  20. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the information regarding Overstock.com; even without the coupon I'll likely order from them anyway, pending your critique of this set. I've been searching the net for reviews, but "Lawless Years" is no "Time Tunnel" when it comes to series recognition. On Amazon I saw it ranking at #42,047(!)
     

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