Prince of the City [1981]

There are eight million stories in the Naked City, and this disc compiles four of them from the ABC police drama that should please vintage TV fans with its gritty stories, noirish photography, and New York locations. The quartet included here is culled from the series' second season (1960-61), which was distinctly different from its 1958-59 debut. Stars John McIntire and James Franciscus were replaced by Paul Burke and Horace McMahon as the lead detectives; the half-hour program had also been expanded to 60 minutes. Untouched, however, were the complex, character-driven scripts, powered by stellar actors and directors. Among those featured on this disc are actors Eli Wallach and Walter Matthau, writers W. R. Burnett (High Sierra) and Stirling Silliphant (also the series' story consultant), and directors Arthur Hiller and John Brahm. Viewers under 40 may find the hard-boiled dialogue old fashioned, but cop show aficionados will appreciate the serious tone and action. --Paul Gaita

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