Ironside: Season 1 (1967)

Genre(s): Crime / Drama
Shout Factory || NR - 1380 minutes - $59.98 || April 24, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-05-17


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: Raymond Burr, Don Galloway, Don Mitchell, Barbara Anderson


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:

    No Features


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 8
  • Full Screen (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital Mono)
  • Subtitles: None

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Query: What do you get when you combine “Dragnet” with “Perry Mason”?
Answer: “IRONSIDE”

Former Chief of Police Robert T. Ironside (Burr) gets gunned down while on vacation, confining him to a wheelchair. Wanting still to fight crime in San Francisco, he becomes a consultant for the police and takes over a floor of government space, an armored car and the help of Detectives Ed Brown (Galloway) and Eve Whitfield (Anderson). With the help of ex-con Mark Sanger (Mitchell), a man he once put away, they take on cases both personal and sometimes social.

What “Ironside” lacks in writing and dialogue, it makes up with Raymond Burr himself. The series began in 1967 (although the premiere was in ’66) after the conclusion of his most known role in “Perry Mason”. I wouldn’t say Burr is a great actor but he does have a certain presence even if it is in a wheelchair and enough bravado to make the series work. For the era, I can’t think of many others who could pull this role off so well.

The show is light-hearted although they do add in some social issues; “Ironside” is very mild and has a kind of idealistic quality that is a bit laughable. I would say it’s almost akin to “Dragnet” save for better actors and set/production design. That said, I still enjoyed the hell out of the show which begins with a feature-length series premiere that has Ironside on the case to find who shot him and why.

I can’t really say there’s one episode that stands out over another and even though I think this series wouldn’t last on today’s television (even without the idealism), but it is at least entertaining and a show that you really don’t have to put on your thinking cap if you don’t want to. I can sit back and just enjoy “Ironside” as a fun show. By today’s standards, I’d say if you like “Monk”, “Ironside” is right up your alley.

The stories are quite typical, actually. Like any police-drama throughout time you have robbery and homicide (amongst other things) and the focus is less on suspense and more on the wry and dry matter-of-fact basis for Ironside and his drive to solve the crime. Of course, while I’ve seen these types of crimes before on other shows, “Ironside” never becomes dull or tired.

The show also features some recognizable guest appearances from Edward Asner, Bruce Lee, Jack Lord, David Carradine and others.

Season One is broken up onto 8-discs, 2 discs in 4 slim cases:

Discs 1 & 2:
“The Pilot”, “Message from Beyond”, “The Leaf in the Forest”, “Dead Man’s Tale”, “Eat, Drink and Be Buried”, “The Taker”, “An Inside Job”

Discs 3 & 4
“Tagged for Murder”, “Let My Brother Go”, “Light at the End of the Journey”, “The Monster of Comus Towers”, “The Man Who Believed”, “A Very Cool Hot Car”, “The Past is Prologue”, “Girl in the Night”

Discs 5 & 6
“The Fourteenth Runner”, “Force of Arms”, “Memory of an Ice Cream Stick”, “To Kill a Cop”, “The Lonely Hostage”, “The Challenge”, “All in a Day’s Work”, “Something for Nothing”

Discs 7 & 8
“Barbara Who”, “Perfect Crime”, “Officer Bobby”, “Trip to Nashbury”, “Due Process of the Law”, “Return of the Hero”

Something interesting to note: I noticed that Ironside would go from a manual wheelchair to a better powered one off and on throughout the season. Obviously those episodes were probably filmed in order and released in a different order, but it did stick in my mind at times.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Nothing and nada are included (save for some Shout! Factory product trailers).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The show is presented in its original full frame picture and given its 40-years old now, it looks pretty good. There are plenty of expected dust and scratches but it’s not too noticeable so there’s no detraction from enjoying episodes.

The only audio available is a Dolby Digital Mono track that, like the picture, is suitable for a TV series. What else do you expect?



.::OVERALL::.

“Ironside” unfortunately doesn’t come to mind as a great series nor one Raymond Burr is known for as he’ll always be Perry Mason to most. However, now that its on DVD, a new generation and those from the 60s can be reminded. The show itself is entertaining and provides more than enough mystery to keep it fresh. The added little comedy jabs are a bit jarring but overall with Burr and the supporting cast makes this a worthwhile watch.

With a high price tag in the $60 range ($40 or so in-store), you might want to think twice. Shout Factory is also releasing the series in parts. I've seen the first volume at Wal Mart for a reasonable $14.44.