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Van Der Valk - Series 1 Box Set [DVD] [1972]

Barry Foster , Michael Latimer , Anthony Simmons    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 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, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Clearvision
  • DVD Release Date: 8 July 2002
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009PBX2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,563 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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
Format:DVD
"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
Format:DVD
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
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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2.0 out of 5 stars VAN DER VALK 29 Nov 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE. IT ,S HARD TO TELL THEY,RE IN A POLICE STATION.
THEY,RE ALWAYS WAITING FOR THE PUBS TO OPEN
IT,S DEFINATELY THE POOREST SERIES WE,VE BOUGHT. ( ABOUT 40 )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best detective dramas from the UK 24 Dec 2006
By Kenneth M. Pizzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
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.

The entire series will be released in a Network DVD set in October 2007 in Region 2 PAL encoding. Ultimately, this would be the set to shoot for as Network typically includes so many worthwhile and interesting extras and interviews with their multi-dvd sets. I am sure this will be a most welcome addition to their UK detective canon.
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