Naked City

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Noir Voyeur, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Noir Voyeur

    Noir Voyeur Auditioning

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    So would I.
    Here in Australia, the 7 Network is screening season 1 episodes on its 7TWO channel at 0730 on Sunday mornings.
    This only came to my attention about 5 weeks ago ... so I have risen early the last five Sundays to watch them.
    This morning's episode was season 1, episode 25, "The Bumper" ... John McIntire's last appearance.
    The episodes are evidently cut, running at about 22 minutes, which doesn't compare well with the 30 mins run-time listed at imdb and other sources (and they certainly seem shortened to me!) At least they are presented in the correct aspect ratio. The picture & sound quality is just OK (obviously from video masters, and nowhere near as good as the Image DVD releases, for which new transfers were created).
    But since Image never released any season 1 episodes, there's no other way to see them.
     
  2. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    Without commercials, the show runs 25 minutes,more or less.
    But you have to also take into account what is known as the PAL Speed Up. In most cases when film prints are transfered directly to PAL they are run directly at 25fps rather than the proper 24fps. That would also account for the shorter running time.
     
  3. Noir Voyeur

    Noir Voyeur Auditioning

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    Oh yeah, PAL Speed Up, I forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me, Denny.
    Nevertheless, a 4% decrease in time would only account for 1 min being lost over 25 mins. But here's part of the answer: the episodes are being shown without credits. Instead, a title card reading 'THE END' appears abruptly, after the narration "...this has been one of them." There's about a minute saved by the network, right there ( I just timed the credits on a season 3 episode that I have on DVD and it ran 53 seconds). Can they even do this, legally? I guess if they can squeeze credits to half-screen (making them unreadable) so they can use the other half to promo some upcoming show, then they can do whatever they like. But I would have assumed the display of credits was kind of mandatory.
    Anyway even factoring that in, I still think there's another minute missing, somewhere.
    The perils of syndication... :(
     
  4. PatrickGoodluck

    PatrickGoodluck Stunt Coordinator

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    Regardless of PAL speed, the episodes are edited by at least 2 minutes. I think it should be illegal for networks to chop out the end credits. It's a terrible injustice and not to mention insulting to all the fine people that put the show together. Route 66 has been broadcasting prior to Naked City on the same channel and that has suffered the same fate unfortunately.
     
  5. Noir Voyeur

    Noir Voyeur Auditioning

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    I wasn't going to mention Route 66 since this is a Naked City thread, but the two shows are so inextricably linked, there's just no getting away from it!
    The R66 episodes currently screening in Australia are from Season 1, which I have on DVD, so I don't need to get up at 0630 to watch 'em. But naturally I've been catching the last couple of minutes before Naked City starts. I thought last Sunday's R66 episode did have the closing credits but I know others screened recently have not. And I did see the back end of one that was presented in fake widescreen, which is really the ultimate insult. Thankfully they don't seem to be doing that any more ... but that, plus the intrusive adverts, is why I buy DVDs.
    A couple of weeks ago the Naked City ep (S1 Ep23 - "Fire Island") featured George Maharis in a key supporting role. He was sporting a three-day growth, and looked very different from the clean-shaven Buz of R66. For all that, it was a mediocre episode. In fact having now watched 5 eps of Naked City's first season, I'm staring to side with those who prefer the longer episodes of Seasons 2-4. I'd still buy a DVD of Season 1, if it was ever released, though.
    btw I was watching "Dollhouse" tonight and one of the producers of that show is Kelly Manners, son of Sam Manners, who of course was production manager on both Naked City and Route 66, and who died only 3 weeks ago, just before Stephen Bowie could interview him. Kelly Manners, it seems, has worked as a producer on most of Joss Whedon's shows. Sam Manners had another son called Kim who was a prolific TV director but sadly passed away in 2009.
    I'm sure these guys would have been extremely frustrated to see the NC/R66 credits removed and their father's name nowhere to be seen. As you say, it's insulting.
    Back to Naked City, I also recently watched the 1948 Mark Hellinger/Jules Dassin film that inspired the TV series. A terrific piece of film-making ... I'm looking forward to watching it again! It's easy to see why it spawned a TV series, although the 10-year delay is a bit perplexing.
     
  6. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    I could have lived a little easier with the 60 hourly selection had the parties responsible for selecting the episodes chosen the ones with guest stars more wisely.
    Why was "The Pedigree Sheet" with Suzanne Pleshette ignored???
    Why was "Memory of a Red Trolley Car" chosen over "The Deadly Guinea Pig" (Barry Morse)???
    Why was "Portrait of a Painter" chosen over "Without Stick Or Sword" (William Shatner)???
    Why was "One Two Three Rita Rakahowski" or "Make-Believe Man" or "... And If Any Are Frozen, Warm Them ... " chosen over "Down the Long Night" or "A Corpse Runs Down Mulberry Street" (Nehemiah Persoff)???
    Maybe co-stars were the tie-breaker but that wasn't the case for every guest star.
    Several really good episodes were passed over.
    "No Naked Ladies in Front of Giovanni’s House!" was terrible and "A Horse Has a Big Head -- Let Him Worry!" was the worst of all of them.
    Just venting....that's all.
     
  7. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I would have preferred more from S2 and S3 than S4 if only because I preferred the theme music from S2-3 over the S4 theme!
    Is it true BTW, that producer Herbert Leonard did the narration himself? For years I always thought it was actor Lawrence Dobkin, because the voice sounds so much like Dobkin that I even got imdb to credit him for it, which might have been an error on my part if Leonard did the narration.
     
  8. SimonTemplar

    SimonTemplar Stunt Coordinator

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    "Prime of Life" is one of my favourites. It had a profound effect on me when I saw it last year. The way they expose how Adam's thought patterns become stressed in anticipation of the execution is excellent.
     
  9. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    No argument here....probably my favorite NC and ironically....the first one that my wife and I watched. The villain, Phillip Hames (played by Richard Hamilton) was superb and realistic. I understand in real life he was opposite of his Hames character and was a profoundly good influence on many folks in NYC.
     
  10. SimonTemplar

    SimonTemplar Stunt Coordinator

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    I also really liked the relationship between Paul Burke and Nancy Malone. The way they play that relationship is believable.
    The moment in Prime of Life when it cuts from the action scene of the rooftop gunfight to the quiet of the execution room and Adam's screaming out because he was elsewhere in his mind is brilliant.
     
  11. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    No doubt that "Prime of Life" is probably the most unique of all of NC episodes and we're even treated to some early moments with Gene Hackman.
     
  12. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    I guess my favorite ten NC hourly episodes are:
    Prime Of Life
    The Highest Of Prizes
    The Deadly Guinea Pig
    The Pedigree Sheet
    A Case Study of Two Savages
    Without Stick or Sword
    Robin Hood and Clarence Darrow, They Went Out With Bow and Arrow
    On the Battlefront, Every Minute Is Important
    Killer With A Kiss
    Bullets Cost Too Much
     
  13. SimonTemplar

    SimonTemplar Stunt Coordinator

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    It's a shame that Image are no longer the rights holders here. They seem to be showing classic TV a great deal of Blu-Ray interest and if they still had these, I'd dare to dream.
     
  14. Roy Wall

    Roy Wall Supporting Actor

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    Agreed.
    My wife wants the whole shebang !!!!
    There aren't many weak episodes of NC....not like most series....where writing and/or budgets slowly slides downhill.
    I knew nothing about the series but read the Amazon.com reviews and thought to myself....How can I miss on this set?
    Needless to say...the show far exceeded my expectations.
     
  15. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    Why did VCI stop BURKE'S LAW? Was their negotiation with Fox/Spelling only for the first season? It's one of the most entertaining series of the sixties.
     
  16. jim_falconer

    jim_falconer Supporting Actor

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    I love this series, and wish the entire run was available on DVD. I think the episode that left the greatest impression on me was "Today the Man Who Kills Ants Is Coming". I remember thinking towards the end of it, that I had just witnessed one of the greatest hour-long dramas ever produced for a TV show. The term 'powerful' is an understatement.
     
  17. Chris South

    Chris South Auditioning

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    I saw the Naked City episodes late on Channel 9 as a teen. I loved it from the first episode. I don't think the half hour episodes are as ideosyncratic, however the hour episodes felt so fresh and lively even years after they were made.
    The Nine Network regularly edited slabs out of the series too, usually to make way for infotainment commercials! However, most of the Series 1 episodes did only go for around 22-25 min. I can confirm this as I still have most of them on videotape somewhere!
    Of my favorites, I have always had a soft spot for "Hold For Gloria Christmas",where Burgess Meredith brilliantly plays a mad, desperate poet who tries to buy his work back from an uncaring Alan Alda. Meredith is funny, frightening and pathetic all at once, and it is completely suprising to see this as the plot for a cop show. Of course, series like The Bill have trivial storylines all the time, but this was something else!
     

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