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Van Der Valk - Complete Series 1 [VHS] [1972]

Barry Foster , Michael Latimer , Anthony Simmons    Suitable for 12 years and over   VHS Tape
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Barry Foster, Michael Latimer, Susan Travers, Joanna Dunham, Nigel Stock
  • Directors: Anthony Simmons
  • Writers: Nicolas Freeling
  • Format: Box set
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Clear Vision
  • VHS Release Date: 22 July 2002
  • Run Time: 651 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068OWZ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 286,400 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

All 13 episodes from the first series of the 1970s cop show starring Barry Foster as the unorthodox Amsterdam police detective Piet Van Der Valk. In 'One Herring's Not Enough' Van Der Valk is startled by a case which begins with a phoned murder confession. 'Destroying Angel' has Van Der Valk look into a case of suspected poisoning. 'Blue Notes' finds the detective puzzling over a mystery involving dried flowers, a cryptic note and a famous violinist. 'Elected Silence' concerns a case of revenge which has unfolded slowly over the years. 'Thicker Than Water' sees Van Der Valk leap into action when a body is discovered in a canal. 'The Adventurer' has the detective court disfavour when he starts operating on a hunch. In 'A Death By the Sea' Van Der Valk looks into a case of death by drowning. 'A Man of No Importance' finds the detective investigating a corpse discovered in pyjama trousers on a barge. 'A Rose From Mr Reinhart' sees Van Der Valk consulted about police protection by a woman in danger. In 'A Dangerous Point of View' Van Der Valk investigates the case of a man who was found stabbed to death in someone else's flat. 'Season For Love' has Van Der Valk help a rich American woman in her search for a missing young man. 'Rich Man, Poor Man' sees the detective investigate an explosion at an Amsterdam workplace. Finally, in 'The Rainbow Ends Here', Van der Valk gets caught up in a tricky kidnapping case.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
It is a pity that this boxed set in unavailable for purchase here in the US because Van der Valk is truly an absorbing and entertaining detective drama that featured the late talented actor Barry Foster as Commissaris Piet Van Der Valk of the Amsterdam Police. With an catchy opening theme called "Eye Level," the series was not only shot on location around quaint Amsterdam and its canals, but was filled with a number of engaging stories involving murder, kidnapping, blackmail, illicit drugs, and prostitution with many elite, high-profile suspects.

Those expecting a crime drama on the order of "Mannix" or the popular UK series "The Professionals" are likely to be disappointed. Van der Valk is a detective drama similar to the popular series "Columbo" here in the US or "Bergerac" in the UK. But unlike Peter Falk's exasperating detective from the LAPD, Foster's character has a certain appeal: a cynical and hardened yet sophisticated cop with a taste for fine wines, classical music, and quoting Baudelaire.

Supporting cast is also excellent with Susan Travers as Van der Valk's wife, Arlette, and Michael Latimer as Inspector Johnny Kroon, Van der Valk's rookie detective-in-training clearly recalling the chemistry between Karl Malden and Michael Douglas in the popular "Streets of San Francisco" soon to be released here in the US on DVD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic TV Series Finally Made Available 23 May 2010
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"Van Der Valk,"a classic cult British mystery television series, set on the streets of Amsterdam in the early 1970's, has finally been released on DVD. The series, a police procedural that stars Barry Foster (Bob Rusk in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy [DVD] [1972]; Smiley's People [1982] [DVD]; Ryan's Daughter - Special Edition [DVD] [1970]; and The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD]) plays the title character, based on the novels of Edgar Award-winning British mystery author Nicolas Freeling. The entertainment was made by Thames Television for ITV; debuted in the U.K. in 1972, and ran for five seasons. Set 1 includes all six episodes from Series 1. Unfortunately, as the cast speaks in a mixture of accents, some Dutch, some English, and Foster in best cockney, playing his character as one of the lads, the production does not offer subtitles.

The series was shot largely on location in the charming old city of Amsterdam, all cobblestones and canals; however, neither the visual nor the sound quality is up to what we might expect today. Production values are also lower than we might expect with a similar entertainment today - and there are no guest stars. The dramas are gritty, and make full use of their setting, the peculiarities of the Dutch character, and their time. Van Der Valk smokes like a chimney, drinks hard --doing both in the actual station house -- and is out and about, driving a police car after having had a few drinks, with, of course, no seat belts.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great trip down memory lane! 24 Feb 2004
By A Customer
Wonderful detective series from the seventies set in Amsterdam in an era when TV detectives really knew what they were doing. Listening to the theme music again sent shivers down my spine! A must-have for any fan of the genre.
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